Protect the Innocent,
Join the Fight!

Michigan crime statistics show that animal abuse is up 4x since 2016 in Michigan. You can help!

Help stand up for the victims of violence and abuse who cannot defend themselves. Together, we can save animals from abuse and neglect and be a voice for the innocent.

Protect the Innocent,
Join the Fight!

Michigan crime statistics show that animal abuse is up 4x since 2016 in Michigan. You can help!

Help stand up for the victims of violence and abuse who cannot defend themselves. Together, we can save animals from abuse and neglect and be a voice for the innocent.

Join Protect MI Pet to support the passage of ballot initiative for the 2024 election that will create a registry of convicted animal abusers and change property laws to spare animals from being incarcerated for months or years while their abusers await trial.

Together, we can save animals from abuse and neglect and be a voice for the innocent.

Animal abuse is an appalling crime. And behind the heartbreaking stories of the helpless victims, there is another shocking and devastating horror: the tragic link between animal abuse and other forms of violence, including child abuse, domestic violence, and even school shootings. 43% of school shooters have previously harmed animals. This is not just an animal rights issue. This concerns every one of us who wants to live safely in a Michigan that cares for every member of our community, human and animal.

Protect MI Pet

The Protect MI Pet Ballot Initiative is seeking placement on the 2024 ballot and will allow Michigan voters to decide whether to create a statewide registry of convicted animal abusers. If approved, the name of every convicted animal abuser in Michigan will be publicly accessible to shelters, police, breeders, the concerned public , and law enforcement. The Protect MI Pet bill will also change Michigan property laws to spare animals from being incarcerated while their abusers stand trial. This is a matter of life and death, and these animals cannot wait for months and years in hopes of legislative justice.

This ballot initiative is being proudly lead by Genesee County Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson and a coalition of animal lovers and political advocates who are passionate about both animal and human rights. You can get involved today and join their team in the movement to end animal violence.

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The Terrible Truth

There is now a clear and proven link between animal abuse and domestic violence. The research is conclusive and the findings are devastating. The good news is that increased awareness of this proven link has been shown to reduce the incidence of future crimes.

75% of abused women who have companion animals report a history of their companion animal being threatened or intentionally harmed by their intimate partner, with children being present and witnessing the violence over 90% of the time.
Animal cruelty is a predictor of current and future violence, including crimes of assault, rape, murder, arson, domestic violence, and sexual abuse of children.
Half of all children are exposed to animal cruelty at some point in their lives.
A review of school shootings from 1988 to 2012 found that 43 percent of the shooters had histories of animal cruelty.
Disclaimer: These photos are property of the state of Michigan

Animal Abuse In Michigan

Michigan State Police report that animal abuse cases in Michigan have increased by 4x since 2016.
Please exercise caution before watching or sharing videos and news reports that detail the inhumane and criminal abuse of animals
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Detroit dog buried alive after owner moves, dug up by Good Samaritan

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Gruesome case of animal cruelty reported in Montgomery County
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Genesee County sheriff opens animal abuse investigation after video of groomer surfaces
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Macomb County veterinarian arraigned on animal cruelty charge

The barbaric treatment and neglect of
animals is never acceptable

We kindly and urgently ask your help as we work to stop the violence against helpless animals and support the work of law enforcement and responsible shelters and breeders. With your help, together we can work to end animal cruelty.

Help Stop Animal Abuse Now

We need your help. Our furry friends depend on it.

Kick off for Protect MI Pet begins on National Pet Day April 11th. Following that and over the next year, we hope to gain the support necessary to get Protect MI Pet on the 2024 ballot. To make this happen, we need to collect 500,000+ signatures in support of this initiative. Along the way, we need your help with donations, signatures, volunteering your valuable time spreading support and encouragement for this initiative, and ultimately your vote.

Donations can also be sent via check to:
615 S. Saginaw Street. Suite 7011. Flint, MI 48502

Frequently asked questions about the ballot initiative

What is Protect MI Pet?

Sometimes the answer is simple and common sense. Protect MI Pet will make 2 important changes to the Michigan Constitution, if approved, in November 2024. First, it will change the current law so when there is probable cause that an animal is being abused, the animal will be removed from the dangerous situation and re-homed with a loving family while the legal process continues. Second, Protect MI Pet calls for a registry of convicted animal abusers to be created and to be maintained by the state of Michigan, where it will be available to the public. The name and animal-related crimes of each offender will be on the registry for a period of time depending on the type and severity of crime. When someone is convicted of animal abuse, it is our duty to ensure they cannot do it again.

An analysis of data collected by the FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) shows that animal abuse is a strong predictor of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and a better predictor of sexual abuse than a history of homicide, arson, or weapon convictions. 

When we stem the violence against animals, we will help decrease domestic abuse too. Animal abusers are five times more likely to harm humans. Learn more about the research into animal cruelty as a precursor to other forms of violence here.

Why a registry?

In Michigan today, animal owners can still unknowingly give a pet to someone who has been found guilty of a previous crime against animals. No responsible shelter, breeder, or animal owner wants to hand over an innocent pet to a convicted abuser. The registry is a solution that means accountability for offenders and protection for animals. Searching the registry would be quick, easy, and free.

How does the initiative protect pets?

Animals are considered property in Michigan, and can languish in shelters for years, waiting for their abusers to come to trial. The ballot provides specific protections that will ensure animals are removed from a dangerous situation even before a trial, and do not remain in danger during an extended legal process.

Automatic forfeiture of animals 22 days after probable cause found for charges relating to animal cruelty, fighting, and neglect.  The animal can then legally be placed in a safe and loving home. A person subject to registration shall not possess, own, transport, sell, purchase, carry, ship, receive, or handle a companion animal in Michigan until the expiration of 3 years after all of the following circumstances exist:

  • The person has paid all fines imposed for the violation.
  • The person has served all terms of imprisonment imposed for the violation.
  • The person has successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation.
  • A person who possesses, owns, transports, sells, purchases, carries, ships, receives, or handles a companion animal (define in statute) in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 364 days or a fine of not more than $3,000.00, or both.
Why a constitutional amendment?
Animal abuse is a matter of life and death. For the animals and for humans as animal abuse is often a precursor to other forms of criminal violence. By going directly to the voters to approve a constitutional amendment, we all have a voice in ensuring Michigan leads the way nationally in protecting animals and can be sure the law we drafted becomes the law of the state. Finally, and most importantly, these animals cannot wait potentially for years in hopes of legislative justice. The time to act is now.
Who is behind Protect MI Pet?

This ballot initiative is led by a broad coalition of professionals and concerned citizens that understand the direct connection between animal cruelty and violence. The first sponsor of this critical initiative is Genesee County Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson. Throughout his 30+ year law enforcement career, Sheriff Swanson has seen thousands of animal abuse cases and witnessed first hand the devastating impact on the abused animals, their human loved ones and how this abuse often leads to violent crimes against other people. He believes that the Protect MI Pet Ballot Initiative can be a key tool to help law enforcement and every Michigander increase public and animal safety. Join with us and you can also be a part of Protect MI Pet by volunteering or by donating below.

Protect MI Pet Ballot Question Committee Members

Chris Swanson
Alena Clark
Betsy Felton
Adam Mizel
Brooke Tucker 
Jim Kietzner
(News/Communication advisor)

Advisor to the Committee: Michigan Pet Alliance

Animals Shelters of Michigan

To see a complete directory of registered animal shelters in Michigan, click the button below.

Paid for with regulated funds by Citizens for the Michigan Animal Abuse Registry, 615 S. Saginaw Street Suite 7011, Flint MI 48502

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