New bills to prevent animal abuse in Michigan

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Tlonie Babcock is an adoption counselor with the Capital Area Humane Society.

“Alright, where will the dog be spending most of its time?” Babcock asked. “Inside or outside?”

When customers come looking for a new cat or dog she makes sure they are eligible to take one home.

However, in the Capitol, Senator Rick Jones is sponsoring a new package of bills to make that process even safer.

“They don’t have the money to pay out hundreds of dollars every week in background checks,” Jones said.

The package of bills, which cleared the senate and is pending in the house would allow non-profit animal shelters to access the criminal database called ICHAT, for free.

Julia Willson, the President and CEO of the Capital Area Humane Society is glad to see the bills moving forward.

“We love seeing any activity that’s going to ensure that criminals who have abused animals can’t get a hold of animals to abuse again,” Willson said.

However, she says this is just a great first step to stop abuse.

“With only 30 percent of the population adopting from shelters, that leaves a lot of animals still vulnerable to abusers,” Willson said.

But, this first step is critical for prevention.

“We hope that in the future, criminals won’t be able to get new victims,” Jones said.

Tlonie says the process normally takes 10 to 15 minutes, and adding another five is important for safety.

“Taking an extra five minutes to make sure that this person is valid and it’s ok to adopt an animal it would actually be worth it,” Babcock said.

It’s worth it to ensure a safe new home for all animals.

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