It's been a long time coming, but a bill that would create a statewide registry of people convicted of animal abuse is gaining support at the statehouse.   The republican-sponsored bill would also increase the fines and penalties for animal abusers.

The minimum penalty for cruelty to animals from jump from $2,500 to $10,000.  This proposed new bill would also increase the fine for the hit-and-run of a cat or dog from $50 to $2,000, and set up an anonymous animal abuse hotline.  Veterinarians who don't report suspected abuse could also be fined.