The Manatee County Humane Society has a special unit designated to investigate animal abuse. They try to screen potential adopters, but their tools are limited. Some state lawmakers are trying to toughen laws and give shelters more tools.
Some lawmakers want to make it a third degree felony if someone abuses a pet. There is also a push to create a statewide animal abuse registry, similar to the one that is currently in Hillsborough County.
“I love it for sure, they need to do that and watch people like that,” said dog owner Vincent Visco.
The FBI is also tracking animal abusers, because agents believe people who abuse animals can move on to abusing people.
Directors at the Manatee County Humane Society said they will be watching the legislation as it moves through debate. They are hoping the measures easily pass and become law.