animal abuse

Michigan Humane Society staff to sleep in doghouses

Feb 16, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Some Michigan Humane Society staffers will be spending the night in doghouses as part of an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving pets outside in freezing temperatures.

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Legislation meant to crack down on animal abuse in Michigan is one step closer to becoming law.

A state House panel approved bills Thursday that would ban convicted animal abusers from adopting an animal for five years. The legislation would also give animal shelters free access to a state database they could use to run background checks.

State Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, is spearheading the effort in the House.

“It just says, for the state of Michigan, we are a leader in the nation when it comes to how we approach the humanity of dealing with animals,” said Santana.

The legislation now goes to the full state House.

user: RTD Photography

The question of how many stray animals are in Detroit has been talked about ever since Bloomberg News put out this piece with the typical "Detroit is a hellhole" headline:

Abandoned Dogs Roam Detroit in Packs as Humans Dwindle

Chris Christoff reported that the city had "as many as 50,000 stray dogs."

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that other groups said there's no question that the number has been "wildly inflated."

Tom McPhee of the World Animal Awareness Society estimated there were between 1,000 to 3,000 stray dogs in the city.

Now, yet another estimate has been published.

Sarah Cwiek / Personal photo

An animal welfare group says there are far fewer “wild dogs” running Detroit streets than many have suggested.

Detroit has captured national headlines in recent months for its stray dog problem, with some reports estimating the city was home to at least 50,000 dogs roaming the streets.

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Two bi-partisan bills that subject pet shop operators and breeders to rules against animal neglect and cruelty are on their way to the Michigan House.

Senate Bills 285 and 286 also toughen penalties for animal neglect or cruelty, depending on the offender's prior convictions and the number of animals involved.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Legislators working to prevent animal abuse in Michigan

A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues. Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check could be waived for shelters. Cracking down on animal abuse has broad support, though some dog breeders question doing tens of thousands of background checks to flag a small number of abusers.

Michigan left turn could enter other states

The median U-turn is common on Michigan roadways; they allow drivers to avoid accident-generating left turns at intersections. But Wayne State University engineers say they aren't common in other states yet, in part because the design isn't included in standard manuals and software used by highway designers. The university received a $78,000 grant from Scientific Applications with which they plan to develop equations, text and software to include the Michigan left turn in the Highway Capacity Manual.

Looking forward to local primaries tomorrow

Local primaries will be taking place across Michigan tomorrow. The most interesting might be the Detroit mayoral primary. There are 14 names on the ballot, but the race is widely seen as a duel between former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. But Duggan isn't even on the ballot, he's running a write-in campaign. Only the top two candidates will advance to the November general election.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues.

Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check could be waived for shelters.

Judges would have to order defendants convicted of crimes against animals not to own animals for at least five years.