WOODBURY - A first-of-its-kind registry in the nation went online in Suffolk County today in an effort to protect pets from abuse.

Pets stores, breeders and shelters are now able to log onto an animal abuse registry managed by the Suffolk SPCA. Anyone convicted of a serious animal abuse crime in the county will appear on the website with their picture and address.

Officials say convicted animal abusers will remain on the registry for five years and be required to continually update their information.