A proposal to establish an animal abuse registry in Cook County cleared the board's Law Enforcement Committee Tuesday.
Under the plan, proposed by Commissioner John Fritchey, convicted animal abusers would be banned from adopting or buying pets for 15 years. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is among the proposal's supporters, while the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) opposes the plan, which could go up for consideration at Wednesday's board meeting.
As part of the measure, animal abusers who fail to register would be fined up to $2,000. There is also a $5,000 fine for registered animal abusers who break the rules and have pets. Pet shops and other animal sellers would be fined $5,000 if they "knowingly" sell pets to individuals on the registry.
IRMA's Tanya Triche said the group is concerned about having pet store workers "placed in a position where they confront a potential convicted abuser."
"The data is clear that people who abuse animals have violent tendencies toward people as well," she said, adding that "business owners should be protected from overregulation, and we ask that you keep their employees in mind who would have to deal with the consequences of an angry convicted animal abuser."