Animal Abusers Going the Way of Child Abusers? - NBC Bay Area

Animal Abusers Going the Way of Child Abusers?

Felons may be forced to show where they live, work



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    Under a new bill proposed by State Senator Dean Florez, those who abuse animals would be plastered on a state website with other convicted animal abusers, similar to the Megan's Law database for sex offenders.

    That's good news for Chopper, who wags his tail quite a bit these days in the streets of San Jose.

    The American bulldog-pit bull mix still looks menacing at 100 pounds.

    But he's very playful now, ever since Linda Gil adopted him.

    "Chopper was seriously abused," said Gil. "You can see he had his ears cut off with scissors. They were very infected when we found him."

    Gil said Chopper's previous owners cut his ears so other dogs wouldn't grab onto them during organized dog fights. Chopper was trained to attack.

    "It's heartbreaking," said Gil. "The dog had cigar burns on his back. He was severely abused."

    Those working against animal abuse support the proposed law.

    "Go for it," said Ana Casareto, who adopted neglected dogs from the shelter. "The more we know about who's abusing any animal, the better it is for all of us."

    If approved, the website would post the felon's picture, along with his home and work addresses.

    Florez said it's a way to make sure the felons aren't themselves adopting animals from a shelter, only to abuse them later.

    At Mountain View's Cuesta Park, Cindy Lonnstrom, owner of Diva Dogs, trained Jasper, a Pekingese puppy, to be social and obedient.

    But Lonnstrom said you can't train a dog to prevent abuse.

    "We definitely have a lot more work to do in educating the public in creating laws that protect animals," said Lonnstrom.

    Back in San Jose, Chopper continued showing off his teeth.

    That would have been menacing at one point during his abuse.

    But these days, when Chopper shows you his teeth, he likely just wants to play.