Earlier this year, two small female Chihuahuas were found in a vacant house in Nashville covered in blue plumbers glue.
According to local Nashville news outlet WATE, the sweet little pups -- who were named Opal and Diamond by rescuers -- eventually made a full recovery and were put up for adoption (though they lost a good bit of skin and hair along the way). Their case was so severe, however, that it prompted Tennessee lawmakers to pass a bill aimed at allowing the state to "track animal abusers like they track sex offenders."
Now, thanks to Opal and Diamond, Tennessee will become the first state to ever take action against animal abusers by listing their names, addresses and photos in an online animal abuse registry starting on January 1, 2016.
WATE explains, "The list will include people convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals, animal fighting or a criminal offense against an animal. Offenders will spend two years on the registry for first time offenses and five years on the registry for second offenses."
Tennessee Sen. Jeff Yarbro told the Huffington Post last month, "We proposed this law not just to take a stand against animal cruelty, but to take concrete action to prevent abuse and deter those who repeatedly engage in the torture and killing of animals."
Spokespeople for animal shelters have also said that they're confident the registry will help them do a better job of keeping animals up for adoption out of the homes of abusers.
"Given the documented link between abuse of animals and violence against people," Sen. Yarbro told the Huffington Post, "I think [more] states should consider registries and numerous other measures to put a stop to such cruelty."