Volusia adopts animal abuse database

Measure hopes to stop abuse of animals

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Residents in Volusia County will soon be able to see convicted animal abusers via an online database. 

Council members Tuesday unanimously approved a new database to help people identify convicts before they decide to adopt out, sell or transfer animals.

Supporters said the move will help ensure pets don't end up in homes where abuse has occurred.

"Even the simplest people, roommate, or the veterinarian, there's lots of uses for it. Not just law enforcement or animal control or rescues or shelters," said Debbie Darino, an animal supporter who presented the idea to the county council after a puppy was beaten to death in Ponce Inlet in 2017.

Darino started a petition called "Ponce's Law" to impose stricter punishment and penalties for animal abusers.

"What we did was amend the level, which is the criminal punishment code, and we also added the ability for judges to ban people who are convicted of animal cruelty from owning another animal," she said.

Three other counties in Florida have animal abuse registries, but Darino hopes that number grows.

"Maybe implement one in each of their counties and then let's bring it up to Tallahassee after that," Darino said.

The database will be available on the county's website starting June 1.

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