MacDonald, Wojno reintroduce animal protection bills

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald and Sen. Paul Wojno have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to protect animals and keep them out of the hands of abusers.

“As the recent case of a Macomb County woman repeatedly throwing a puppy into a river illustrates, animal abuse is real and is happening right here in our local communities,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “This legislation is in direct response to an earlier local case of animal abuse in which a man helped get a dog for a friend who he knew planned to harm it. Just as with other crimes, if a person knows someone is going to do something bad and he enables them, then he should be punished as well.”

In the earlier Macomb case, a man attempted to adopt a dog from a local shelter and was denied. He was able to convince a friend to adopt the dog and give it to him. The man then took the dog to a community park, where he brutally stabbed it and left the dog to die in below-freezing temperatures. He was convicted of torturing and killing the dog and sentenced to three to six years in prison, but the friend who procured the animal faced no repercussions for his role.

In the recent case, a woman in Utica is facing an animal torture charge after allegedly throwing a small dog into the Clinton River repeatedly on Jan. 4, causing it trauma — including a broken leg and a fractured skull.

“With these horrific instances of animal abuse happening more often, it is important to highlight that these actions will not go unpunished,” said Wojno, D-Warren. “This bipartisan package of bills will help send that message.”

Senate Bill 50 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. SB 51 would create sentencing guidelines for the new crime.