Care of An Animal (Neglect and Abuse)

It is a misdemeanor in Michigan (punishable by no more than 93 days in prison, a fine of no more than $1,000.00, up to 200 hours community service, or a combination of, and the costs of prosecution) for any owner, possessor of, or any person to:

(1) Fail to provide adequate care for an animal;

(2) Cruelly work or beat an animal

(3) Transport an animal whose legs have been tied together (except for medical care) or to transport an animal without providing a secure space;

(4) Abandon an animal;

(5) Negligently allow any animal to suffer neglect or torture.

(6) Tether a dog unless the tether is at least 3 times the length of the dog and is attached to a harness or a non-choke collar

Further, if any of the above violations involved 2 or 3 animals or resulted in an animal’s death, the violator would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in prison, a fine of no more than $2,000.00, up to 300 hours of community service, or a combination of and the costs of prosecution. If the violation involved 4 to 10 animals or the violator had a previous conviction involving neglect of an animal, the crime becomes a felony punishable by no more than 2 years in prison, a fine of no more than $2,000.00, up to 300 hours of community service, or a combination of and costs of prosecution. If the violation involved more than 10 animals, the violator becomes guilty of a felony punishable by no more than 4 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000.00, or no more than 500 hours community service. The court may also order a psychological evaluation of anyone violating the statute.

In addition, if an animal control center or a veterinarian is holding an animal pending the outcome of a criminal action the Prosecutor could file a civil forfeiture action and the animal may be forfeited to the shelter.  MCL 750.50.

Definitions under the statute:

  • Animal: any vertebrate other than a human being
  • Adequate care: provision of sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain a state of good health.
  • Neglect: failing to sufficiently and properly care for an animal to the extent that the animal’s health is jeopardized.
  • Person: an individual, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, association, governmental entity, or legal entity. MCL 750.50(1)

Neil Rockind, P.C. is a criminal defense firm located in Southfield, Michigan and is home to two (2) of Michigan’s most aggressive and respected criminal defense lawyers.  Neil Rockind has obtained acquittals and successfully defended people accused of Animal Neglect in many cases.  Neil Rockind began his career in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office as an assistant prosecutor and is nicknamed “The Rockweiler” for his aggressive and successful style.  Rockind has been named a Super Lawyer, Top Criminal Defense Lawyer, Best of Detroit by Hour Magazine, among the Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan, among the Top 50 Lawyers in Michigan and among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by a national trial lawyers organization.  Colin Daniels another member of Neil Rockind, P.C. has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.  If you or a loved one is charged with the crime of Animal Neglect contact 248.208.3800 or email us at jmellas@rockindpc.com to make an appointment and see how much we can help.

 

Neil Rockind, Metro Detroit's Finest Trial Lawyer

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