The concept of an animal abuse registry is to list those convicted of certain animal-related felonies on a public website as is done with sex offenders. As animal abuse is a violent act, often a precursor to violence against people, frequently a symptom of problems in children, and always present in the criminal histories of violent felony offenders; it must be taken seriously. It is also critical that in practice, such a registry would protect animals from future abuse, further public safety, and could withstand the necessary constitutional scrutiny to justify the public branding of offenders.
It raises many questions and, at first blush, seems fraught with the possibility of unintended consequences. For example, this version of the statute mandates that a person convicted of dog theft be listed on the abuse registry. In other words, one who steals a valuable dog for a resale profit, or, an over-zealous animal lover who steals a dog that appears to be mistreated, (illegal but it happens) could be placed on this abuse registry without ever having to abuse the dog.
This is just one of a multitude of difficult legal and public policy issues present in this first draft. While the intent of this law is laudable, the actual text must be commensurate with the goal. Otherwise, we are supporting a caption, a bill in name only, while enacting a quandary.
Accordingly, I will be carefully watching the evolution of and amendments to this legislation.
Madeline Bernstein, Los Angeles
I agree with letter writer Bay R (in last week’s edition). Dogs off leash are fair game for hunters or anyone in fear of death or dog attacks.
Also, regarding Steve Stajich’s column about development in Santa Monica that favor the rich or favors the poor: In my experience, I went door to door in Council dist 11, City of Los Angeles. I know this is not Santa Monica, but it is Santa Monica- adjacent. I was getting my 1000 required signatures, at Von’s in MDR. A woman said to me ” Go to the area south of B B Hardware!!! You will get signatures!!” Sure enough, I went there and EVERY person grabbed my clipboard to sign me up for the ballot!!” Why you ask? Because Rosendahl, my opponent and the incumbent, took money from developers ( and my union, IBEW) in exchange for YES votes for development, apt buildings in neighborhoods like the BB Hardware neighborhood!!! This is not speculation it is fact! The people there showed me the locaton of the apt bldg they did NOT want in their single family type neighborhood!!! They begged Rosendahl to NOT vote YES on this development. But he voted yes, turning his back on his constituents. You get what you vote for, voters. SM and Los Angeles voters continue to vote in pro amnesty, pro illegal alien invasion candidates. You get what you deserve.
Craig Wilson, Los Angeles