MacDonald introduces animal protection legislation

Senator joins prosecutor, sheriff to announce new county animal abuse efforts

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald joined Macomb County officials on Monday to support new county efforts to protect animals and announce new bipartisan legislation to keep animals out of the hands of abusers.

Senate Bill 316, sponsored by MacDonald, would criminalize the practice of knowingly providing an animal to an individual who intends to abuse the animal or use the animal in a fighting operation.

“This legislation is in response to a tragic case of animal abuse in Macomb County,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “A man attempted to adopt a dog from a local shelter. After being denied by the shelter, he convinced a friend to adopt the dog and give it to him. He then took the dog to a community park, where he brutally stabbed it and left the dog to die in below-freezing temperatures.”

The man was convicted of torturing and killing the dog and sentenced to three to six years in prison.

“However, the man’s friend who procured the animal will face no repercussions for his role in the crime,” MacDonald said. “My bill would help protect more animals by allowing law enforcement to also target those who help abusers.”

MacDonald outlined the legislation at a press conference in Mt. Clemens with Macomb County Prosecutor Eric J. Smith, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, and state Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township. The men also announced a countywide Animal Abuse Task Force and an Animal Protection Unit.

“We are united in Macomb County and in the state Senate in support of improved state laws and county enforcement efforts to stop animal abuse,” MacDonald said.

SB 317, sponsored by Sen. Paul Wonjo, D-Warren, would create sentencing guidelines. SBs 316 and 317 will be formally introduced on Tuesday.