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Michigan ranks 20th in animal protection laws

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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has released its 2013 Humane State Ranking, a comprehensive report rating all 50 states and D.C. on a wide range of animal protection laws. Michigan ranks 20 out of 50 for its laws against animal fighting and the protection of farm animals.

There were 10 categories in the study including animal fighting, animal cruelty, wildlife abuse, animals in research, farm animals, exotic pets, companion animals, fur and trapping, puppy mills and equine protection.

Behind every good intentioned law are supports woven from the fabric of best practices, lessons learned from public tragedy and the legitimacy of our own personal experience. The adversary of this progress is bland legislation and the lack of resources to enforce that law. - Deb Monroe, CPDT-KA, Detroit Dog Examiner

Included here are highlights from the 2013 Report concerning domestic pets under the category of puppy mills, animal cruelty and animal fighting. The full report on the 2013 Humane State Ranking is available.

PASS - Puppy Mills in Michigan

  • Requires licensing of puppy mills
  • Requires inspection of puppy mills
  • Includes basic humane standards for dogs at puppy mills
  • Includes a Puppy Lemon Law

FAIL - Puppy Mills in Michigan

  • Limits the number of breeding dogs confined at large-scale puppy mills
  • Prohibits the stacking of cages at puppy mills
  • Restricts the sale of animals at outdoor sales and/or flea markets
  • Includes a pet store disclosure requirement on the source of animals


PASS - Animal Cruelty in Michigan

  • Felony penalty for egregious acts of cruelty
  • Felony penalty for a first offense of egregious cruelty
  • Allows the creation of pet trusts
  • Places limits on the inhumane chaining of dogs

FAIL - Animal Cruelty in Michigan

  • Prohibits the use of gas chambers for euthanasia
  • Requires state emergency response plans to include pets
  • Require the addition of bittering agent to antifreeze
  • Prohibits greyhound racing
  • Restricts the consumption of dog and cat meat


PASS – Animal Fighting in Michigan

  • Felony penalties for dog fighting
  • Felony penalties for possessing dogs for fighting
  • Prohibits attending dog fighting

FAIL – Animal Fighting in Michigan

  • Requires person charged with animal fighting to post a bond to cover the costs of caring for the animals

Michigan can move up in the rankings

In reviewing the report from HSUS what questions would you ask or suggestions would you make if you were to sit down with legislators, stakeholders or whoever you would consider as the “powers that be”? Our lawmakers are not out of reach. Thanks to the internet they are an email away. Do not rely on a form letter with some stale, exhausted commentary. Make your message personal, include examples and stories and show your genuine concern for the cause at hand.

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