Molly’s Law: Commission Takes Steps to Prevent Animal Abuse

In an effort to prevent known animal abusers from procuring additional pets, the Board of County Commissioners approved changes to the Marion County animal control ordinance that provided for the creation of an animal abuser registry. In addition, Animal Services’ website will feature a list of people who have been enjoined by a court from owning animals. These measures will help pet stores, adoption agencies and breeders easily make sure they’re not inadvertently sending an animal abuser home with a new dog, cat, horse or other animal.

Fast facts:

The animal abuser registry will feature those who have been adjudicated guilty of an animal abuse crime (criminal court).

It’s set to launch in January 2017.

People adopting, selling or gifting animals will be required to check the registry before transferring ownership. If they don’t, they would receive a warning and education from Animal Services. Second offense would mean a fine.

The list of enjoined animals will be featured on Animal Services’ website and will include names of people currently enjoined from owning animals in a civil court.

The animal abuser registry is known as Molly’s Law. It’s named after Molly, an American boxer mix that received multiple stab wounds during a 2014 attack. Molly was cared for by Marion County Animal Services during the investigation and then adopted out after a lengthy vetting process.

The ordinance is being finalized by the county attorney and will be posted on Animal Services website once completed.