Study: Over 234K pets illegally residing in Michigan rental homes

A study has recently released information about pets illegally living in Michigan rental homes.

According to a recent study, about 234K pets are illegally living in rented homes across the state of Michigan. That means a significant number of landlords have no idea some of these animals are living on their property.

“I think that honesty will be the best thing, or not have a dog there at all,” said dog lover Linda Olivache.

But as it turns out, not registering your dog, in general, is against a law that’s been in place since 1919 and can land you in some hot water, according to attorney Todd Russel Perkins.

“Failure or refusal to comply results in misdemeanors with fines between $10 and $100 and/or no more than three months in the county jail,” said Perkins.

Nationwide, the American Veterinarian Medical Association says that only 13 pets were licensed nationwide, meaning that more Michiganders are breaking the law than you’d probably think.

“Including myself. Including myself. It’s still good law but it’s kind of like spitting on the sidewalk. I don’t know if they reversed it,” Perkins added.

But what exactly are the benefits of registering your pet? First, it’s a way for the state to keep records intact.

“There’s actually a form that the owner needs to fill out and send in. You can send it in online. You can send it in through snail mail. But that registers the pet to the owner; otherwise, we don’t know who the pet belongs to,” said Dearborn Family Pet Care Medical Director Dr. Cheryl Good.

Secondly, it’s also a way for owners to keep track of their own pets. Most of the time, the registration happens alongside microchipping, for better or worse.

“Whether they want to be united with them or, god forbid, if they did bite somebody. They would be able to find the owner and find out if that pet has had a rabies vaccine because that would be the most important thing to know,” Dr. Good added.

However, Attorney Perkins believes the 1919 law should be updated with some clarification because it was put into place over a century ago.

“There needs to be more information to the general public about what to do, how to do it,” Perkins insisted.

Every time you get a new pet or move, updating your paperwork with the vet is crucial.

About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.