Cuyahoga County ok’s animal abuse registry

CLEVELAND - A Cuyahoga County animal abuse registry will allow Goddard's Law to take a bigger bite out of crime. Protecting dogs, cats and other companion animals from abusive owners.

"Anything to protect animals it's just bad out there," said dog owner Jim Baker. "There are bad people that want to do things so with this it's another check and balance to the system."

The public registry will list the names of people convicted of felony animal abuse. As of now the list stands at zero. Several people have been charged but there have been no convictions under Goddard's Law in Cuyahoga County.

Those convicted in the county will be required to register with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff, who will maintain the database. Additionally, felons under Goddard's Law may face a fine of up to $500 dollars. The ordinance passed Tuesday was created by county councilwoman Sunny Simon.

Leaders at humane societies and shelters say the registry will help them better screen and block people who have abused pets.

"The problem is we won't know," Ayse Dunlap with the Animal Protective League. "We haven't known, we certainly hope those people wouldn't come back but not being able to verify, that has been the missing piece of our process."

The registry comes at the perfect time. Dunlap says animal abuse cases have increased 12 percent from 2015 through 2016.