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.
Jul 11, 2014


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.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Only $10? If you know anything about most of the no-kill shelters, $10 a pet is out of line for them. Why does the government need to get involved? If they feel the need to do so, they should check out some of the county shelters, their shoddy treatment of animals, and their off the hook fees. Or perhaps the legislature could go after puppy mills.


That's why I don't adopt a pet because my background is none of there business.


Wonder if the background rules/regs will be as stiff as for kids?


Like the ones Obama is farming out nationwide without any knowledge of who is getting them / what diseases the kids may have / or whether the kids or their recipients are gang bangers or worse?


everything always comes back to Obama


I guess it's some other President who is refusing to enforce our immigration laws - Abraham Lincoln perhaps?


Since you couldn't help segueing off-topic:

Neither Obama or Abraham Lincoln flat out refused to enforce immigration laws, as best I can tell, especially with Obama's record of illegal immigrant criminal deportations and border security and patrol statistics that are substantially greater than previous presidents, but they apparently also share something else - an understanding and rejection of immigration policy based on specific expressions of bigotry:

Right from the horses mouth:

"While Lincoln did not question the white-only immigration policy of his time, he did reject the anti-Catholic, anti-European nativism of many of his fellow Whigs: “I am not a Know-Nothing,” he wrote his former law partner Joshua Speed in 1855. “As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’” Someone with Lincoln’s basic values might be concerned that ill-devised immigration policies could reduce wages for some citizens; that, after all, was one of the arguments of the Lincoln Republicans against the expansion of slavery. But Lincoln’s dismissal of prejudice against Irish and German Catholics naturally leads to dismissal of all arguments about immigration based in bigotry."


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.