While many states have enacted state-wide databases, these do little to prevent animal abusers of procuring more animals in different jurisdictions. Take the case of Heidi Erickson. From the ALDF run website, www.exposeanimalabusers.org: In 2003, Boston authorities raided Heidi Erickson’s filthy apartment, seizing dozens of dead cats, five cats who were near death, and a Great Dane so emaciated he was unable to walk. Erickson’s apartment was condemned and a Housing Court judge banned her from living in Boston with cats. One month after the Boston raid, Watertown police seized 50 sick cats and a dozen dead ones from Erickson’s second apartment. All of the living cats were ultimately euthanized.
In the Boston case, Erickson was found guilty of six counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to 3 years of probation. She was allowed to have animals, and the four surviving cats were returned to her. Charges in the Watertown case were dismissed.
In 2009, Erickson resurfaced in Plymouth where authorities removed three dead cats and eleven living cats, some needing immediate medical attention and some suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, and open sores. Erickson was convicted of eight counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to 90 days in jail and 5 years of probation, during which she must have no contact with any animals and must take anger management classes.
In 2010 (prior to her sentencing in Plymouth, Mass.), Erickson moved to Kentucky where deputies discovered five cats and two horses allegedly living in poor conditions.
Animal hoarders, like Erickson, are frequently responsible for causing dozens and even hundreds of animals to suffer for years, and they exhibit recidivism rates near 100%, especially in the absence of counseling and court-ordered bans on possessing animals.
If there was a national database, it would be easier to prevent these kind of repeat abuse cases. Please visit aldf.org and exposeanimalabusers.org to find out how you can support these efforts.