This story comes to us from Ann Griffin, Special Projects Manager at Michigan Humane Society; the pictures after the article show Debby MacDonald, Chief Investigator, Cruelty Investigation Department in action at a training:



Companion animals are continually becoming a more intrinsic part of American culture. Society’s views of animals’ value and rights are changing as animals become more integrated into our homes and communities. This shift is evidenced by changes in our legal system, which is slowly developing to better protect animals.

Law enforcement officers are a key component of the legal system and its relationship to animals. In their position on the front lines, their work arguably has the most significant impact on how the laws designed to protect humans and animals are administered. With the growing number of animals in our communities, law enforcement officers will encounter animals with increasing frequency.

“… it is critical for law enforcement officers to receive special training

MHS Training Academy Team
MHS Training Academy Team

designed to help them understand the laws …

and make them aware of the special issues that may arise

in investigations involving crimes against animals.”

— Ann Griffin, MHS

Recognizing the need for organized and comprehensive formal training in this area, the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) designed a one-day training program especially for law enforcement officers.   The program covers Animal Behavior in the Field, Michigan Animal Law, Animals as Evidence, and Human Violence and Animal Cruelty.

Without support from a 2015 AWF, the lack of law enforcement resources for this type of training may have been an issue. Although law enforcement officers recognize the importance of this training, typically, limited training budgets have to be allocated to homeland security programs. Thanks to the generous support of a 2015 Animal Welfare Fund grant, MHS has been able to provide this critically important training in Oakland County, Macomb County, and the City of Detroit.

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