Background checks for pet adoptions are common sense

Michigan lawmakers are looking to make it safer for pets finding their way to a new home.

The Legislature is mulling a bill that would require animal shelters to conduct background checks on people adopting pets. The checks would be conducted using the Michigan State Police’s Internet Criminal History Access Tool.

The state would use this service to determine whether a pet adopter has a prior criminal history for an animal abuse offense before being allowed to adopt a pet.

With so many animals in need of a home, the potential is there for some of these four-legged friends to end up under the wrong roof. It seems like, more and more, there are instances where people are reported for animal abuse or cruelty, whether it is for having too many pets in a home or for treating an animal badly.

That’s why it’s good to see this legislation come about. If someone has a shady background with animals, these people shouldn’t be allowed to own pets.

Unlike humans, pets don’t have a voice, so being able to weed out potential cruelty before it happens is essential.

And one thing that’s good to see is that the state isn’t putting an undue burden on local animal shelters to obtain these background checks. A related piece of legislation would exempt an animal shelter performing a name-based background check for an adoption from being charged the normal $10 per name processing fee associated with the state police database.

With so many shelters struggling just for basic supplies, it’s good to see they won’t be forced to pay – or potential pet owners won’t be saddled with extra charges – for a background check.

Our hope is that this legislation does as intended and protects pets, giving them loving homes with caring owners.

– Grand Haven Tribune