Suffolk County, New York – You Rock!

©Susannah Kay

Have you heard the news?  Suffolk County, a wonderfully forward thinking county on Long Island has just passed legislation creating the nation’s very first animal abuse registry.  As with sex offender registries, people convicted of animal cruelty within Suffolk County must now add their names to an online list of offenders that is accessible to the public. The Suffolk County law was prompted by a recent spate of animal abuse cases including that of a woman accused of forcing her children to watch her torture and kill kittens and dozens of dogs, then burying the remains in her backyard. 

©Susannah Kay

Jon Cooper, the bill’s sponsor argued for the registry based on the strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence- it’s known that those who commit heinous crimes against people often hone their skills by torturing animals. Heck, as far as I’m concerned, those who abuse animals deserve to be “outed” whether or not that abuse might ever be perpetrated against people. In fact, if I were “Queen of the Universe” the repercussions for animal abusers would be far greater than this legislation allows for, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.  Mr. Cooper’s next goal is to create legislation that will prevent registered animal abusers from purchasing or adopting new pets. Kudos to you, Mr. Cooper, along with Suffolk County. Let’s hope your new legislation becomes contagious! 

©Susannah Kay

By the way, who is the insanely adorable dog performing a leaping fox impression in the attached photos (you didn’t expect me to show photos of animal abuse, did you)?  Why he’s none other than my adorable Quinn.  I love watching him leap, and my photographer/daughter finally acquiesced to my demands to catch him in the act!  

Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members abundant good health.  

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

You can support your favorite rescue group.  The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program shares a portion of the sales proceeds with approved non-profit organizations when you purchase a book via the Speaking for Spot website and designate the organization at the time of purchase.

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12 Comments on “Suffolk County, New York – You Rock!

  1. I hope to follow in the steps of Suffolk County with my city in the future! Working at a animal control facility, we see cruelty all the time. We have our own cruelty ordianance and can quickly and aggressively go after offenders. This would be so beneficial for us when we are adopting out one of our animals. There are times that adopters come through our facility that we are suspicious of their intentions. We try hard to find the best home for the animals we caer for and this would give us more peace of mind! This is also the month that we hold off on adopting out any all white or all black pets in case the Halloween ghouls want to have some “ritualistic fun”. We love our critters and we love our job!

  2. What a beautiful dog and delightful photos!
    Yippee for Suffolk County. I agree that “just” animal abusers should be “outed” but if this is what it takes, so be it, its a step in the right direction.
    Despite all the abuse that is still there, awareness and the actions of an increasing number of good souls are indeed making a difference.

  3. Great post re animal abuse – I am sharing it over on Facebook to my friends as well. We need to take note here in California as well.

    I also love the pictures of your “flying dog.” :-) I have a very soft spot in my heart for dogs who can channel their inner Superman

    Here also is my Shiloh doing her flying interpretation at Chrissy Field in San Francisco – photo taken by the amazing Amanda Jones.

  4. Oh, I hope this will be a precedent-setting action that will have states, counties, and municipalities in the U.S. following suit. Friends of min co-authored a book: The Atlas of Crime. One of the authors had a particular interest in the correlation between animal and domestic abuse.

    I am passing this piece on to my boss, a veterinarian, who is on the advisory board for our county animal services department. I also know a former law enforcement office (K9 Division) in the same county, who might lend his voice to this.

    Thanks for posting this ground-breaking news.

  5. Fox or lil horse jumping, either way Quinn is one adorable lil pup.
    Great article, CONGRATULATIONS to Suffolk County NY for passing such legislation … should be Nation wide!
    And … Dr. Kay when you become Queen of the Universe let me know and I will be more than happy to join your army …

  6. I’m sure glad someone is finally publizing animal abusers names. That should happen everywhere! I wonder how we can make that happen in CA?
    I would also like the punishment for animal abusers far worse than it is now.
    Last, Quinn is one cute & happy little dog.

    Thanks, Nancy for keeping us up to date and informed.

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  8. If only more cities and counties were so forward thinking. A registry would be able to alert shelters and rescue groups about dangerous, potential adopters.

    Your dog is Quinn is adorable.I used to have a dog that reminded me of a fox as well and I named her Kitsune (Japanese for fox).

  9. Wonderful news, Dr. Kay. And…the pictures of the dog are sweet.

    Thanks for your support!

  10. This is the right step in the right direction. Hats off to Jon Cooper and the people of Suffolk County for such compassionate governance. Californians, take note!