Late last week, Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed a law stepping up to protect animals from the hands of abusers. Logan’s Law now requires animal shelters to search the Michigan State Police Internet Criminal History Access Tool database before handing over a shelter pet to a would-be adopter. The new law exempts shelters and non profit animal welfare organizations from paying the $10 fee to use the database. The bills passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support earlier in December.
According to the Times Herald, if a person’s name is on the list, they would be ineligible to adopt an animal for five years, however they could still buy a pet at a pet store. Section 8c(1) of House Bill 4353 says animal shelters “may consider an individual’s criminal history when deciding whether to allow that individual to adopt an animal.” House Bill 4355 gives shelters the right to check the database.
Logan’s Law was named after an Alaskan Husky named Logan owned by Matt Falk of Wales Township. In March 2012, someone intentionally doused the dog’s face with battery acid. The senior dog died a few months later despite the best efforts to save him.
Two related Senate bills did not pass, and according to advocates will give more teeth to the law when people are found guilty of animal abuse or neglect, including killing, torturing, mutilating, maiming, disfiguring, poisoning or involvement in bestiality with an animal. The court could then order a defendant not to own or possess an animal for any period of time, which could include a lifelong ban. It would prohibit anyone from being involved with animal fighting, baiting or target shooting of a domestic pet, and as part of the sentence, the court must order the abuser not to own or possess any animal for the next five years.
Both bills are expected to be reintroduced in 2017. For more information and how you can help, click here.
Rest in peace Logan. Your life mattered.
(Photos of Logan’s Law via Facebook)
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