Judiciary committee takes testimony on anti-animal abuse legislation

LANSING— The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, took testimony on legislation that would prevent convicted animal abusers from adopting pets at shelters, said sponsor state Sen. Rick Jones.

“Animal abusers can move on to become people abusers,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is important that we catch animal abusers and get them psychological treatment. It is also important that repeat offenders don't have an easy source of new victims.

“I have been working with a bipartisan team of legislators to come up with ways to prevent easy adoption of dogs and cats at shelters by convicted abusers. We first researched creating an animal abuse registry similar to the sex offender registry. However, it was decided that could be costly and difficult to start up,” added Jones.

After doing more research with the Michigan State Police I now have legislation in the works to solve the problem. Non-profit organizations that adopt out pets will have free access to the Internet Criminal History Access Tool. This will allow them to see the criminal history of animal abusers and stop an adoption before it is too late.

“Progress was made today to ensure that dogs and cats will not be adopted by people who are going to abuse them,” Jones said.  “I would like to thank everyone who came to testify today, and I look forward to continuing to work on this legislation.