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A group of Michigan citizens and law enforcement, led by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, are holding a public forum tonight (Monday, March 20) at 6:00pm Eastern Time to discuss and answer questions about a potential 2024 statewide ballot measure to change animal cruelty laws in the state.

This virtual forum is free and open to the public.  More information and a link to register can be found here.  Even if you cannot participate this evening, you can register and receive a recording of the meeting.

The group proposing the ballot measure is called Protect MI Pet, and according to their website, the ballot initiative will create a constitutional amendment to establish an animal abuse registry and also “change property laws to spare animals from being incarcerated for months or years while their abusers await trial.”

Current Michigan law already has an animal abuser registry.  In addition, current law allows an animal to be impounded when the owner is charged with a violation of the state’s cruelty laws, including intentional or reckless acts that result in an animal being killed, disfigured, maimed, etc.  The law also allows a prosecuting attorney to request a court order that the animal be permanently forfeited to the impounding agency before the case is complete and there is a final disposition.  Current law also already requires owners to pay for the care of the animals.

AKC has concerns with current law which could result in owners never getting their pets returned even if they are not guilty.  We also have concerns over putting something potentially even harsher in the state constitution, as this ballot measure may seek to accomplish.

For more information on AKC’s position, view our one page handout and this brief policy video.

AKC Government Relations continues to monitor this initiative, and legislation that may impact Michigan dog owners and will provide more information as it is available.  For questions contact AKC GR at