Michigan is looking to institute the first state-wide registry of people convicted of animal abuse, known as Logan’s Law. The new law will also prevent convicted animal abusers from acquiring pets.
In a huge leap forward for animal rights, Michigan could become the first state to pass a bill requiring the registry of offenders against animals. The bills are known as “Logan’s Law,” since they are heavily championed by Matt Falk, the owner of a husky named Logan that was killed when someone broke into his yard and threw a caustic substance, possibly battery acid, into his face. Mr. Falk has been actively seeking to strengthen animal cruelty laws in Michigan since the event took place in the spring of 2012.
Several counties, including New York City, have similar animal abuse registry systems, but Michigan would be the first state to institute such a tracking system for convicted animal abusers.
Logan’s Law would require everyone who has been convicted of animal cruelty to register as an animal abuser. The registrants would be made to pay a $250 yearly registration fee, and submit their fingerprints, social security number, and home address to a public data base for tracking. Furthermore, registered animal abusers would be prohibited from adopting any animal with a backbone.
Although opponents to the bill cite the state’s lack of funding, the $10,000 estimated costs for the first year will be funded by a private organization in California, with the subsequent years’ funding coming from the registration fees from the offenders.
Although the story of Logan galvanized major public sympathy and was one of the biggest factors in getting the bills off of the ground, Detroit Representative Harvey Santana was moved to introduce the bill after the story of Andrew Thompson became public. Thompson, a former Michigan University student, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after he killed 12 greyhound dogs, for which he received probation. Thompson allegedly ordered the dogs online, and then killed them one by one out of anger. Neighbors reported him after noticing that he seemed to be acquiring numerous dogs, which shortly thereafter went missing. The new law will prevent Thompson and others like him from legally acquiring more pets for slaughter.
People with a history of abusing, torturing, and killing animals for the thrill are known to escalate into violent crimes against humans. According to the Michigan Humane Society, more than 70 percent of reported domestic violence cases also involve the abuse of a pet. The animal abuser registry will help law enforcement track and monitor people who torture animals, hopefully before they branch into assaults against people.
By Julian Omidi