Kingsport man added to TN Animal Abuse Registry after brutal cat beating

As expected, there seems to be a push for more attention to the animal abuse registry. You can see the bias in the story below when the writer says, “…explained why the registry is seemingly short when cases of animal abuse are widespread in Tennessee.

Who says that cases of animal abuse are widespread in Tennessee? We post as many cases as we can in Tennessee that comes up on Google here on this list. We would say, for a state with a population of nearly 7 million people, we don’t have that many cases. You can also see that they mention the registry “only” includes cats and dogs. Farm Bureau and others made sure that livestock were not included on the list. We doubt that’s going to change.

WBIR 10News took a look at Tennessee’s Animal Abuse Registry a year after it had been established.

In Feb. 2017, just seven people were added to the list in its first year. As of Jan. 2018, that number is up to 13.

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen explained why the registry is seemingly short when cases of animal abuse are widespread in Tennessee: It adheres to strict standards reserved for only the most heinous and violent animal abuse convictions.

“There are three ways people can make the registry. One is through aggravated cruelty to animals, fighting animals, or having sexual relations with animals,” Allen explained at the time.

Allen said most animal abuse cases end up being misdemeanors. In the case of aggravated cruelty to animals, as in Winston’s case, the offense is considered a felony.

“The aggravated cruelty to animals is a standard that is pretty high itself, you either have to cause the death of an animal or physical injury to an animal in a cruel and sadistic manner,” Allen explained.

The initial intent for the registry, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Briggs in 2015, was to deter cases of abuse and be used by rescue organizations and shelters as a tool so that no animals needing a home would end up in harmful hands.

Right now, the law also only covers “companion” animals, meaning dogs or cats.

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