Agenda Item No. 28


Introduced by the Law Enforcement Committee of the :








WHEREAS, there has been growing concern about animal cruelty in Ingham County and across the country; and


WHEREAS, according to the Humane Society of the United States, “Many studies in psychology, sociology and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty”; and


WHEREAS, in a 2004 study conducted in a Florida Department of Corrections maximum security prison, researchers found that violent offenders who committed crimes as adults were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed acts of cruelty against animals as children; and


WHEREAS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has recognized the connection since the 1970’s when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most, as children, had tortured or killed animals; and


WHEREAS, the Humane Society of the United States also states that, “Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse and elder abuse”; and


WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder; and


WHEREAS, Michigan statutes specifically define and prohibit certain negligent and cruel acts upon, or treatment of, animals, and charge various law enforcement jurisdictions with enforcement authority; and


WHEREAS, many Michigan residents are not aware that certain acts upon or treatment of animals constitutes criminal behavior under the laws of the State of Michigan; and


WHEREAS, such crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies, the penalties for which can include significant fines and/or jail or prison time; and


WHEREAS, many residents are unaware not only of these laws, but of what sorts of acts constitute cruelty, abuse or neglect under the law, and what the penalties are for such; and


WHEREAS, a citizenry educated about the connection between abusive, negligent and cruel treatment of animals and domestic violence and criminal behavior may be more likely to pay attention to such behavior in their own children and neighborhoods or to report incidents of  serious animal cruelty to authorities; and 


WHEREAS, residents can be empowered and motivated to report incidents of animal cruelty or neglect, such as lack of shelter and sport fighting, if they are made aware of the provisions of applicable laws.


Agenda Item No. 28




THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners supports the increased efforts of Ingham County Animal Control and the Ingham County Prosecutor to enforce animal cruelty and neglect statutes within its jurisdiction.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners encourages county residents to learn and understand what constitutes animal neglect and cruelty under the laws of the State of Michigan and the penalties for such behavior, and encourages county residents to learn about and understand that abuse and neglect of animals may also be an indicator of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and other criminal activity.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners encourages Ingham County residents to report all witnessed instances of animal cruelty and neglect to the appropriate law enforcement authority.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners hereby declares November 2005 to be “Animal Cruelty Awareness Month” in Ingham County and encourages interested entities and persons to join together to increase public awareness of animal cruelty and neglect statutes, the relationship between animal cruelty and certain violent criminal behavior, and how to recognize and report such behavior.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:  Yeas:  De Leon, Nolan, Copedge, Thomas, Schafer, Vickers                                       Nays:  None     Absent:         None   Approved 10/27/05