Support Criminal Background Checks for Animal Adopters

shelter pup

Target: Representative Paul Muxlow of Michigan

Goal: Support movement that will require animal shelters to the check criminal records of potential adopters.

Animals confined in shelters, waiting for their forever home, may soon gain extra protection from potentially abusive owners in Michigan. A reintroduced bill by Representative Paul Muxlow would require animal shelter employees to check potential adopters against a police database, which currently holds information about animal abuse convictions. This bill will help homeless animals find safe and loving forever homes.

There are no current laws that require animal shelter employees to ensure potential adopters are screened for animal abuse convictions, leaving shelter animals vulnerable. This bill was introduced in Michigan before, and passed the House with flying colors, but did not make it past the Senate due to time constraints. This bill, if passed, will require animal shelter employees to check the criminal background of potential adopters to ensure that no animal abuse has been on their record for the past five years.

Supporting this bill will help convince Michigan legislators that protecting animals up for adoption is incredibly important. Implementing this law will bring an end to the cycle of animal homelessness and abuse, as well as empower other states to adopt similar measures. Sign this petition to stand behind Representative Muxlow and urge this bill to pass.


Dear Representative Muxlow,

I am writing to assure you that I stand behind the bill that would require criminal background checks of anyone looking to adopt a shelter animal. Thank you for reintroducing this bill after it was not passed a few years ago. This important piece of legislation would help stop the cycle of violence against animals, as well as put an end to shelter overpopulation.

It is my understanding that this bill is going to only require shelter employees to check the criminal record of potential adopters. While shelter pets are more easily accessible than those in pet stores, this does not mean that pet-shop animals are safe from falling into the hands of abusive owners. If this bill passes and it proves successful, please take it upon yourself to extend this legislation to all businesses selling pets.

Thank you for your dedication to the animals of Michigan. Your compassion is evident and I applaud you for your tenacity. Please share this petition with those responsible for pushing this bill into law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nhandler via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Catherine Moynihan says:

    This is a great idea. However, I would like to see a mandatory prison sentence for animal abusers. You see stories every day about abuse and these perpetrators get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. If they were to serve time it would deter them from hurting animals. What do you all say? How can we start this conversation?

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