Michigan a Top Dog in Animal-Protection Laws
Thursday, December 17, 2015
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is a top dog for animal protection laws, according to a new report from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
The annual list examines which of the 50 states are serious about animal welfare.
Lora Dunn, an attorney with the organization, says Michigan ranked fifth for having felony penalties for a variety of situations including cruelty, neglect, animal fighting and sexual assault.
"In Michigan, courts also may order the forfeiture of abused animals upon conviction,” she points out. “And also the courts may order mental health evaluations or counseling for offenders. "
Dunn notes that every state has room to improve, even those at the top.
Unlike many other states highlighted in the report, Michigan lacks legislation that allows animals to be included in protective orders in cases of domestic violence.
Illinois ranked first for the eighth year in a row, and Kentucky remained the worst state for its ninth consecutive year.
Dunn says Michigan could also improve animal welfare by mandating cost of care recovery for agencies that assist seized animals that had been abused.
"It's really important in these cases to get some of those costs of care that really rack up to be exorbitant amounts, to get those costs back to care-giving agencies so they can continue to help other animals in need," she states.
Other potential improvements listed in the report include the creation of an animal-abuser registry and mandatory reporting of suspected animal abuse by veterinarians.
get more stories like this via email
A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…
Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …
By Sarah Melotte for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection for the Public News Service/Daily Yonder Collabor…
The nation still is dissecting revealing testimony from this week's committee hearing on the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. A top White …
Students may be settled into their summer break - but in Minnesota, some remain focused on setting a peaceful tone ahead of their return to school …
A proposal to change the way Nevada votes is one step closer to getting on the November ballot after the State Supreme Court rejected a legal challeng…
A new coalition of businesses and nonprofits in West Virginia is ready to create at least 3,000 new green industry jobs. They say they just need the …
As Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin pushes forward on plans to withdraw the Commonwealth from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), …