Animal Protection Unit (APU)
Since 2017, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has seen a 76% increase in the number of cases involving animal abuse.
We have also seen a rise in the severity of the abuse and in the number of animals being impacted by the abuse.
That is why I am proud to create the Animal Protection Unit.
Eric J. Smith
What is animal abuse?
The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals:
- Intentional infliction of pain and suffering – carries the most severe penalties for animal cruelty and a violation is automatically a felony;
- Duty to provide care – initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation;
- Anti-animal fighting – either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting (for example, being a spectator at a fight is a misdemeanor while organizing a fight is a felony).
Michigan anti-animal cruelty law also protects animals in work-related roles, such as guide dogs and police animals.