New animal abuse laws in Michigan

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Starting this month, new legislation in Michigan will more than double the penalty for heinous crimes involving animals.

“We do have a lot of cases where an animal is either strangled to the point of defecating on itself or passing out or severely maned so their ears are cut, or they’re beaten with a bat… maybe tied up by their leash,” said Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nattalie Macomber.

The state of Michigan is taking a stand against these types of crimes with stricter penalties and Macomber believes this is a good time to start changing the narrative.

“The culture is really changing and the education about what animal abuse actually is has really evolved in the last few years,” she said.

The new laws set out to be more sophisticated than the laws previously held.

“As opposed to just having one law regarding killing, torturing an animal, we now have three different degrees of that,” Macomber said.

Animal abuse crimes correlate with other crimes such as domestic violence.

Macomber said that stopping animal abuse could be the first step to stopping other involving crimes as well.

Jodi Lebombard, the director of the Ingham County Animal Shelter, is appalled by animal cruelty in any way, and hopes that these new laws put a stop to animal violence.

“It’s disgusting,” Lebombard said. “We’re happy that … harsher sentences, and so on, are continuing to progress.”

You can report animal cruelty and neglect in Ingham County with the Ingham County Animal Department.

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