Background checks required for pet adoption?

Families spend time exercising with their pets at the dog park.

State legislators are considering a bill requiring background checks for people looking to adopt animals.

The aim is to prevent animals from being placed into homes with knownâ??or accusedâ??animal abusers.

7&4 News spoke with some dog owners who say they support whatever measures it takes to end animal cruelty.

Katie Bush and her boyfriend were shopping for a dog on Craigslist. They found one they liked and decided to meet the owners, but were surprised at what they actually found.

â??We went to see her and she was rather beat up. We didn't want to leave her at that house. So we took her,â?? said Bush.

It took Bush's dog Ivy quite some time to recover from the abuse she had received.

â??We were here probably every day for three or four months until she was able to do that and play with another dog," said Bush.

Animal shelters try to combat animal cruelty by involving counselors in the adoption process, as well as lengthy questionnaires.

Cherryland Humane Society Executive Director Mike Cherry tells 7&4 News the goal when placing animals in homes is to find responsible people who will make the commitment to treat them humanely, take care of them, and make sure they see the veterinarian regularly.

The bill going through the State Senate would require shelters to perform background checks to prevent people convicted of animal abuse charges from adopting.

â??There are people who really have been guilty of abuse,â?? said Cherry. â??[The bill] would weed those people out and help in the process of adopting the animals.â??

Under the bill, breeders would not be required to do background checks on people buying animals.

Some say the bill is an unnecessary way for the government to intrude, but many people 7&4 News spoke with say the system can only help.

â??Is anything else we have out there perfect? No. But I think it would help. It can't really hurt,â?? said dog owner, Joe Bush.

Ivy's mom says animals are defenseless and don't have a voice. She thinks any added security in the adoption process is welcome.

â??She can't go to someone and say my mom hurts me like a child could go to a teacher. The extra step would be awesome,â?? said Katie Bush.

The first draft of this bill involved an animal cruelty registry which proved to be too costly.

Cherryland's director told me going to someone's home or doing a background check are really the most reliable methods.