Social Media Posts Prompt Flint Police to Investigate Animal Abuse

Social Media Posts Prompt Flint Police to Investigate Animal Abuse

Posted on:
April 12, 2016
Category
Criminal Defense
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Flint police recently started an investigation after a picture of a dog with its mouth taped shut went viral on social media. The photo showed a brown and white dog with tape around its mouth. Below the picture was a caption that implied the dog’s mouth had been taped shut as a punishment for chewing shoes. Police updated concerned citizens on the Flint Police Department Facebook page explaining that the police had located the dog. Police assured citizens that the dog was safe and that the Genesee County Animal Control had been contacted to investigate the dog’s safety. This incident sparked concern among animal lovers, and in this case it turned out to be simple to investigate and resolve. However, there are serious consequence for animal cruelty and abuse under Michigan law. If you are an animal lover or you suspect someone is abusing their pets, this article will help you understand Michigan’s animal cruelty law.

How does Michigan Define Animal Cruelty?

Michigan law prohibits pet owners from mistreating and abusing their animals. A pet owner must provide adequate care to any animal in their custody. Additionally, owners of livestock are not allowed to cruelly work, drive or beat an animal. Owners also may not allow others to cruelly work, drive or beat animals. Michigan law regulates how animals are transported, forbidding owners from tying an animal’s legs or feet during transportation. In fact, the law requires animals to be transported in a cage or secure vehicle.

What are the Consequences of an Animal Cruelty Charge?

Animal cruelty charges carry serious consequences. The exact penalty will depend depend on the number of animals involved and the extent of the abuse. The penalties for animal cruelty include:

  • One Animal Abuse: an animal owner may be charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. This carries a fine of up to $1,000, 93 days in jail and 200 hours of community service.
  • Two or Three Animals Abused: an animal owner may be charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. This carries a fine of up to $2,000, two years in prison and 300 hours of community service.
  • Four to Ten Animals Abused: animals owners may be charged with felony animal cruelty. This carries a penalty of two years in prison, a $2,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.
  • Ten or More Animals Abused: animal owners accused of abuse or neglect with previous convictions for this crime may face felony animal cruelty charges. This carries a penalty of up to 4 years in prison, a $5,000 fine and 500 hours of community service.

A court may also order the accused to pay for psychiatric or psychological counseling after their conviction. After multiple convictions, a courts will also order the convicted permanently give up ownership of their animals.

Let an Attorney Help

An accusation of animal cruelty could result in civil litigation, criminal prosecution and steep fines. If you have been accused of animal cruelty then you should contact the criminal defense attorneys at Nickola Law. We understand the nuances of Michigan animal cruelty laws and can provide you with the best defense possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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