Lucido continues quest to protect Michigan’s pets

LANSING, Mich. — In his continued efforts to defend abused animals in Michigan, Sen. Peter J. Lucido has announced he is introducing legislation to help protect them.

The first proposal would require veterinarians in the state to report suspected animal abuse.

“Michigan veterinarians are not currently required to report any suspected animal abuse they find during their work, even though they are perhaps the most qualified individuals to spot it,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “My bill would change this by requiring veterinarians to report suspected abuse.”

In May, the senator announced similar legislation that would require employees of Child Protective Services to report suspected animal abuse during investigations of child abuse.

“Southeast Michigan has seen a spike in cases involving animal abuse and neglect,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith. “In Macomb County, we started our Animal Abuse Task Force — P.A.W.S. — to bring an end to inhumane actions toward animals. I applaud Senator Lucido for taking the lead and working to provide a legislative tool to ensure our beloved companions don’t fall victim to additional neglect.”

The second bill would regulate animal rescue operations to help prevent them from breeding animals.

“There is currently a lack of oversight when it comes to animal rescue operations,” Lucido said. “In some cases, some of these operations are abusing their roles and are breeding the rescued animals, and then passing off the offspring as ‘rescues.’ I believe more must be done to ensure what they are doing is on the up-and-up and to help protect these animals.”

Senate Bill 419 would require animal rescues to register their operations with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and they would be required to report all intake, movement and major actions taken with their rescue animals.

“Michigan Humane is supportive of a state statute that will bring appropriate and much-needed oversight to Michigan’s home-based rescues,” said Matt Pepper, president and CEO of Michigan Humane Society. “As home-based rescues become more prominent, we believe that it is critically important that all animal welfare organizations be held to the same animal care standards.”

Lucido said he hopes the new bills will be formally introduced soon.