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Animal Protection Unit (APU)

Our mission is to protect and advocate for the rights of animals, and to build a humane community relationship that promotes compassion for these animals.

Since 2017, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has seen a 76% increase in the number of cases involving animal abuse. The office has also seen a rise in the severity of the abuse and in the number of animals being impacted by the abuse.

What is animal abuse?


The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals:

  • Intentional infliction of pain and suffering – carries severe penalties for animal cruelty.
  • Duty to provide care – initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation;
  • Anti-animal fighting – either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting (for example, being a spectator at a fight is a misdemeanor while organizing a fight is a felony).

Michigan anti-animal cruelty law also protects animals in work-related roles, such as guide dogs and police animals.

Chief Jacqueline Gartin