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Oklahoma Animal Abuse Register Could Help ID Criminals

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and the Columbine High School shooters are among a long list of infamous criminals with a history of hurting animals before they went on to target humans.

That tendency is part of what's behind a movement to create registries of animal abusers.

Oklahoma is among 11 states considering registry proposals. They could follow Tennessee, which launched its registry in 2016, along with municipalities in recent years including New York City. 

The main goal of such registries is to prevent abusers from being able to obtain other animals. But backers say they could also raise red flags about people who may commit other violent crimes.

Oklahoma Representative William Fourkiller, who represents parts of Delaware, Cherokee and Adair counties, authored HB 2614 that calls for the creation of the Oklahoma Animal Abuse Offender Registry.

The other states considering registries are Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.

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