Logan’s Law Would Mandate Animal Abuser Registry
On January 18th, Senate leaders chose not to place the bi-partisan bill package entitled “Logan’s Law” on the Michigan Senate agenda, thereby not allowing the House bill to be put to the vote. But the sponsors of Logan’s Law, Rep. Paul Muxlow and Rep. Harvey Santana, have not given up hope. Although it has been mere days since the bill was left dead in the water on the Senate floor, they have already begun the process of preparing to reintroduce the bill.
The law would be named for Logan, an 11-year-old Husky who was owned by Matt Falk. Logan was fatally injured when someone snuck into Falk’s backyard and threw an acid based chemical on the dog’s face. Although Falk rushed Logan to the vet, where he was treated and seemed to be recovering, his age and the stress inflicted on his system were too much. Logan died in his sleep just a few months later.
No one was ever charged for the crime, but Falk began a campaign to create a state-wide animal abuser database, similar in structure to the Michigan child abuse central registry. It would allow access to a convicted person’s status as an “animal abuser”.
If a person’s name were to be placed on the State of Michigan animal abuser registry, their profile would only be available to certain individuals or agencies. For example, police and other law enforcement personnel, veterinarians treating animals they suspect may be victims of abuse, and animal protective agencies who are investigating reports of animal abuse against an individual would all be able to access the registry.
Much like the state’s sex offender registry (SORA), Logan’s Law would require that anyone convicted of an animal abuse crime would have to register with the state within a fixed period of time after release from jail or prison. If their sentencing did not include time behind bars, they would be required to register within days of the sentencing itself.
Once listed on the registry, an individual would be refused the sale or adoption of an animal from an animal shelter within the state of Michigan. Current Michigan law states that knowingly killing, torturing, poisoning, maiming or mutilating an animal is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
What do you think? Would Logan’s Law be a positive change? Or would it simply be another example of knee-jerk government intrusion into our lives?