LANSING (WWJ) –  Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation designed to keep pets out of the hands of potential abusers.

HBs 4353 and 4355, sponsored by state Reps. Harvey Santana and Paul Muxlow respectively, give animal shelters the opportunity to check the criminal background of a potential adopter using the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) in order to determine whether someone has a criminal history of animal abuse.

Earlier versions of the bills included an animal abuse registry and would have required a criminal background check — but some changes were made in the Legislature’s lame duck session.

Muxlow has said it’s time for Michigan to take a strong stance against crimes related to animal abuse, neglect and cruelty, and that this new law is a step in the right direction.

“It’s a compromise; it’s not exactly what I’d like to have,” Muxlow said after the bills passed the State House last week. “But I’m pretty excited…a couple million people who’ve been waiting for something.”

The bills, now PAs 392 and 393, also establish a regulatory program for large-scale dog breeder kennels.

Calley signed several pieces of legislation on Wednesday while Gov. Rick Snyder is vacationing out of state. One bill will allow the sale of drugs like Narcan that reverse an overdose without a prescription, and another will prohibit Michigan communities from regulating plastic shopping bags.


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