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Hillsborough County Approves Animal Abuse Registry

Convicted animal abusers will no longer be able to adopt dogs and cats in Hillsborough County.

County commissioners on Thursday approved a new registry for people convicted of harming animals, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Individuals on the registry won't be able to adopt or work with animals, and retailers and shelters will be required to check the registry whenever someone wants to adopt.

Potential adopters will have to sign an affidavit affirming that they have never been convicted of animal abuse. Then, retailers would verify after and notify the county to send animal control officers to seize the pet.

Shelters would run the background check immediately.

Advocates say the registry will allow law enforcement to keep tabs on violent individuals.