Animal abuse registry proposed in dog's memory

By Lance Farrell

Times Herald

WALES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Matt Falk hasn't given up hope the death of his beloved husky, Logan, will be remembered.

He is working to make the dog's memory something that will help raise awareness of animal abusers and track those convicted of the crime.

A pair of bills known as "Logan's Law" were recently introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. Sponsored by Reps. Paul Muxlow, R-Brown City, and Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, the bills would establish a registry of animal abusers and block convicted abusers from adopting animals. Similar legislation that would have formed an animal abuse registry didn't make it out of committee in the last session.

There are many laws to protect people, Falk told the Times Herald of Port Huron, "but there is nothing for animals." If enacted, the bills would prevent animal shelters from allowing abusers to adopt any animal with a backbone. Startup costs for the registry of about $10,000 would be shouldered by Animal Defense League Fund. The registry would be managed by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office animal control division.

Santana said he hopes to set a hearing date within the next couple of months for the package.

The bills were drafted in response to Logan's story. Falk said someone came onto his property and sprayed acid on the blind dog's face. Logan died in July from complications from the attack.

Falk recalled Logan as a "talker and a lover. He just loved going out. We couldn't have asked for a better husky."

Falk said he's still shocked by what happened to his dog.

"I couldn't believe someone would do that," he said.

No charges have been filed in the case.

While legislation didn't make it out of committee in 2012, it was reintroduced April 10 following a tremendous Internet response.

Falk has launched two web pages, and has reached over three million people. Falk said Facebook has been the main instrument for drawing support, quickly garnering 18,000 likes. He has been contacted by people all around the globe, and even sold a "Logan's Law" T-shirt to a woman in Beijing, China.

"Even though Logan's attack was a terrible thing, we have a chance to turn this into something positive for animals all over the state, and even hopefully someday the whole country," Falk said.

"Unfortunately animal cruelty is all too prevalent in our state, and so we need to enact laws to prevent such heinous acts from occurring," Muxlow said in a statement. "Because offenders of animal cruelty laws commit their crimes on multiple animals and occasions, an offender registry is an important safeguard against these violent acts."

Published: Tue, Apr 30, 2013