Michigan

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MI - Cruelty, neglect - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code. This statute sets out the Michigan duty of care for all vertebrate animals, including what constitutes sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain an animal in a state of good health. Also explained are the penalty and forfeiture provisions for violations of the statute. The exclusions under the statute include those animals used in hunting, fishing, trapping, horse racing, farming, pest control, zoos, lawful killing under the Animal Industry Act, and scientific research. In 2019, the penalty provisions were revised. A first violation with one animal is a 93 day/$1,000 misdemeanor. If the violation involves two or three animals or the death of any animal, the penalty increases to a 1-year/$2,000 misdemeanor. If the violation involved 4 or more animals but fewer than 10 animals or the person had one prior conviction, it becomes a 2-year/$2,000 felony. If the violation involved 10 or more animals but fewer than 25 animals or the person had two prior convictions, it becomes a 4-year/$5,000 felony. If the violation involved 25 or more animals or the person has had 3 or more prior convictions, it becomes a 7-year/$10,000 felony. Finally, if the person is an operator of a pet shop and he or she has had 5 or more prior convictions, it is a 2-year/$5,000 felony.
MI - Cruelty - Legislative Analysis

This document is the legislative analysis for House Bills 4551 and 4552. The bills (now law) amend the penal laws (MCL 750.50) to revise the penalties for harming animals and allow for consecutive sentencing.  Both bills would exempt veterinarians and veterinarian technicians from the prohibitions and penalties when lawfully engaging in the practice of veterinarian medicine. Under the new law, a court could order a term of imprisonment imposed for a violation prohibited under the bills to be served consecutively to a term of imprisonment imposed for any other crime including any other violation of law arising out of the same transaction. 

MI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (MCL 750.49 - 70)


The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals: intentional infliction of pain and suffering, duty to provide care, and anti-animal fighting.  The intentional infliction of pain and suffering provision carries the most severe penalties for animal cruelty and a violation is automatically a felony.  A violation of the duty to provide care provision is initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation.  A violation of the anti-animal fighting provision is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting.  The provision does not apply to the lawful killing of livestock or customary animal husbandry of livestock, or lawful fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife control, pest or rodent control, and animal research.

MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code. This is the felony animal cruelty law in Michigan. Under the law, a person is guilty of killing or torturing animals if they: (a) knowingly kill, torture, mutilate, maim, or disfigure an animal; (b) commit a reckless act knowing or having reason to know that the act will cause an animal to be killed, tortured, mutilated, maimed, or disfigured; (c) knowingly administer poison to an animal, or knowingly expose an animal to any poisonous substance, with the intent that the substance be taken or swallowed by the animal; or (d) violate or threaten to violate subdivision (a) or (c) with the intent to cause mental suffering or distress to a person or to exert control over a person. Whether the offense becomes a first, second, or third degree felony depends on listed factors, including whether the animal is a companion animal (as defined in the law). A first degree felony conviction results in imprisonment up to 10 years, a fine of not more than $5,000, and/or community service for not more than 500 hours. As a part of the sentence, the court may order the defendant to pay the costs of the prosecution and the costs of the care, housing, and veterinary medical care for the animal victim, and the court may order the defendant to not own or possess an animal for ANY period of time including permanent relinquishment. Lawful killing of animals including fishing, hunting, pest control, and scientific research are excluded.
MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code. Note: Repealed by P.A.2015, No. 210, § 1(f), Eff. March 14, 2016. This statute provides that it is the duty of the officials involved in animal cruelty investigations to arrest and prosecute those committing the offenses where there is knowledge or reasonable notice of the acts. The failure or neglect by an officer involved to do so may result in a misdemeanor.
MI - Cruelty - 712A.18l. Juveniles, guilty of cruelty to animals or arson; court ordered psychiatric or psychological treatment This statute provides that if a juvenile is found to be within the court's jurisdiction for an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a violation of the Michigan penal code relating to either cruelty to animals or arson, the court shall order that the juvenile be evaluated to determine if he or she needs psychiatric or psychological treatment. If the court determines that psychiatric or psychological treatment is appropriate, the court may order that treatment in addition to any other treatments or penalties allowed by law.
MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. This Michigan law provides that no railroad company shall permit the confinement of animals in railroad cars for longer than 36 consecutive hours without unloading for rest, water, and feeding of at least 5 consecutive hours unless prevented by a storm, or other "accidental causes." Any company, owner or custodian of such animals, who does not comply with the provisions of this section, can be fined between $100 and $500 for each and every such offense. However, when animals are carried in cars where they have proper food, water, space and opportunity for rest, the provisions of this section that require unloading do not apply.
MI - Courtroom - 600.2163a. Protections and procedures for minor, developmentally-disabled, and vulnerable-adult This law relates to the use of courtroom support dogs, which became effective in January 2019. The court must permit a witness who is called upon to testify to have a courtroom support dog and handler sit with, or be in close proximity to, the witness during his or her testimony. For purposes of this law, "witness" is defined as a person under the age of 16, a person over 16 who has a developmental disability, or a vulnerable adult. This section only applies to certain prosecutions and proceedings under the Michigan penal code. A notice of intent to use a support person or courtroom support dog is only required if the support person or courtroom support dog is to be utilized during trial and is not required for the use of a support person or courtroom support dog during any other courtroom proceeding. “Courtroom support dog” means a dog that has been trained and evaluated as a support dog pursuant to the Assistance Dogs International Standards for guide or service work and that is repurposed and appropriate for providing emotional support to children and adults within the court or legal system or that has performed the duties of a courtroom support dog prior to September 27, 2018.
MI - Constitutional Provisions - § 5. State lands This section describes the State legislature's authority over all state land and the requirement that all departments that have supervision or control of any state land submit an annual report as to the status of such land to the legislature
MI - Constitutional Provisions - Protection of Natural Resources This section declares the protection, conservation, and development of the state's natural resources to be of paramount public concern and the legislature shall provide for the protection of the air, water and other natural resources of the state from pollution, impairment and destruction.

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