(SNN/NBC) - A House bill may change the way animal abuse offenders are punished in Florida.
The bill, HB-871, would require the department of law enforcement to post a photo on its website and specify the offense. The offender would also be unable to own a pet.
Last September, Hillsborough County passed their own county-wide registry. Other county and city officials in the Sunshine State are urging a state-wide law.
"If you're going to be charged with a felony you don't need to own a pet," said Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore.
Those convicted would be placed on state site for two years or more depending on if they are repeat offenders
"They would be charged with felonies like sexually abusing animals, stuff that is disgusting," said Whitmore.
Whitmore hopes the bill gets the green light in Tallahassee this legislative session.
"Two representatives are sponsoring it and are looking for a senator to sponsor it," said Whitmore.
Supporters say animal abusers often hurt humans including children.
"I’m a nurse and statistically people who abuse animals, you're totally going to abuse an adult or child," said Whitmore.
Courtesy: Suncoast News Network via NBC News Channel