Michigan Animal Rights Law

Michigan Animal Rights Law: Just with people, every area of the law impacts animals for good or bad.  From transactions like veterinary or breeding contracts, to issues in tort like determining damages for the wrongful death of a companion pet, animals are involved in wide range of legal battles.  Animal rights law disciplines are ever changing and evolving so they can be practiced from a variety of perspectives. 

Michigan animal and dog lawyer, Ruth Noble has a passion to serve animals and the people that love them. She will work tirelessly and creatively  to obtain the best possible outcome for the animal within the law.

Animal Rights Law Regarding Cruelty Laws

Michigan’s animal cruelty laws provide that “An owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of an animal shall not do any of the following:

  • Cruelly drive, work, or beat an animal, or cause an animal to be cruelly driven, worked, or beaten.
  • Fail to provide an animal with adequate care.
  • Carry or cause to be carried in or upon a vehicle or otherwise any live animal having the feet or legs tied together, other than an animal being transported for medical care, or a horse whose feet are hobbled to protect the horse during transport or in any other cruel and inhumane manner.
  • Carry or cause to be carried a live animal in or upon a vehicle or otherwise without providing a secure space, rack, car, crate, or cage, in which livestock may stand, and in which all other animals may stand, turn around, and lie down during transportation, or while awaiting slaughter. As used in this subdivision, for purposes of transportation of sled dogs, "stand" means sufficient vertical distance to allow the animal to stand without its shoulders touching the top of the crate or transportation vehicle.
  • Abandon an animal or cause an animal to be abandoned, in any place, without making provisions for the animal's adequate care, unless premises are vacated for the protection of human life or the prevention of injury to a human. An animal that is lost by an owner or custodian while traveling, walking, hiking, or hunting is not abandoned under this section when the owner or custodian has made a reasonable effort to locate the animal.
  • Negligently allow any animal, including one who is aged, diseased, maimed, hopelessly sick, disabled, or non-ambulatory to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture, or pain.
  • Tether a dog unless the tether is at least 3 times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail and is attached to a harness or non-choke collar designed for tethering.


The preceding is provided for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, it cannot be relied upon as legal advise.  Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations.  Please consult with Ruth Noble at Seward, Tally & Piggott, P.C. for legal aid.

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Contact Information

Seward, Tally & Piggott, P.C.

1009 Washington Ave.

Bay City, MI 48708

Phone: 989-892-6551

Fax: 989-892-1568

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and by special appointment

We are located across the street from the Post Office and Court House.