“Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids.”

- Robert K. Ressler, FBI serial killers profiler

Since the '90s, a number of states have registered sex offenders and abusers to help protect us from their crimes. Now, many states have or are considering a similar registry for animal abusers. The two seem inexorably linked.

An animal abuser registry, passed last week in Tennessee hopes to prevent people who have harmed animals from repeating or escalating this horrible behavior against helpless animals.

Many who commit cruelty to animals move on to their fellow humans. According to PETA, a police study in Australia revealed that “100 percent of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of animal cruelty.”

All 50 states provide for felony animal cruelty laws, but some are weaker than others. Wyoming provides for up to $5,000 in fines and up to two years in prison for livestock and work animals for the first offense, but other animals seem uncovered. Even if convicted, there is no call for psychological analysis.

Do you want to know who's in your neighborhood? Is this a massive overstep of authoritarian rule? What price are we willing to pay for safety? Weigh in:

What is your opinion?

I find animal cruelty so repugnant and outrageous that I would urge anyone who suspects the abuse of an animal that cannot defend itself, please, take action. If you suspect animal abuse, here’s WHAT TO DO.

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