A pair of bills aimed at preventing those with a history of animal abuse from adopting animals has been approved by the Michigan Senate. The bills would allow animal shelters to access Michigan's Internet Criminal History Access tool to check whether a potential adopter has been convicted of crimes related to animal abuse and prevent those who have committed animal abuse crimes from adopting for a minimum of five years.
The set of bills, which has come to be known as "Logan's law" after a husky who was killed after being attacked with acid near Port Huron, were first introduced in 2013, MLive reports. Initially, the bills sought to create a registry for those convicted of crimes related to animal abuse, similar to those used to identify sex offenders. The proposal came under controversy, however, with state police officials arguing that it would be expensive and cumbersome to implement.
The revised bills instead utilize Michigan's ICHAT system for the same purpose, allowing nonprofit animal shelters and animal control to check the system for animal abuse convictions without being charged a fee. The types of abuse that would result in a a mandatory ban from adopting for five years and a potential permanent ban under the bills include animal fighting (such as dog fights), killing or maiming an animal, poisoning an animal, sodomy, and bestiality. Other crimes would result in a ban after the second offense, such as physical abuse and abandoning an animal.
The bills were both passed by the Senate on Jan. 28 in a vote of 37-1. Democratic State Sen. Steve Bieda, who sponsored one of the bills, noted that the new initiative could help prevent future violence to humans as well as animals.
"Many serial killers have admitted that they started torturing and killing animals before they moved on to their human victims," Bieda said, according to MLive.
The bills have now been referred to the Michigan House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary.
The acid attack on Logan in March 2012 was described in a post to the Facebook group dedicated to Logan's law.
"The acid burned slowly, First with just a small area on his muzzle," the post reads. "It quickly spread until it had burned most of the right side of his face & around his eye."
Logan later died in July 2012, as a result of complications from the attack.