Kansas bill would prevent animal abusers from adopting

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WICHITA. Kan. (KWCH) -- Kansas lawmakers have drafted a bill that would keep convicted animal abusers from owning animals again.

The bill would close some of the loopholes and create an animal abuse offender registry through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Lindsey Claycomb works with Beauties and Beast. She sees abused and neglected animals every day. She recalls the day a good Samaritan called in about a dog about a found wandering in a Haysville cornfield.

"Stevie came to us extremely emaciated -- a distended belly and patches of hair loss. We took her to the vet and an x-ray revealed that she had been shot multiple times," said Claycomb. "It was very clear she had been abused in her past."

Sarah Coffman, with the Wichita Animal Action League, also sees animal abuse and neglect more than she would like. She recalls one case where a dog was rescued only to be adopted out to another owner who used her for fighting.

"When she didn't perform well, she was shot and killed and dumped in downtown Wichita. And those are the horrors we see every day," said Coffman.

Under the proposed bill, first-time offenders would stay on the list for two years. Second offenders would be on the list for five years. The bill would also allow animal distributors, pet shops and breeders to check the list before selling another animal.

Rescue groups say they already have a "no adopt list" that they keep updated, but there's no central database.

"I think it's going to prevent a lot of future abuse from happening because it's going to help us keep a better eye on offenders after they get off probation, and they aren't under any restrictions of not owning animals," said Coffman.

The new bill is currently in the Kansas House waiting on a hearing. Right now, there's no word on whether the KBI would back the bill and how much it would cost to fund.