Bills let animal shelters do background checks

LANSING (AP) — Animal shelters will be authorized — but not required — to do background checks before allowing someone to adopt a pet under legislation signed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

The bills OK’d are intended to prevent animal abusers from adopting pets.

Lawmakers initially voted to require criminal history checks but recently amended the legislation to not mandate such checks.

The bills also allow a state agency to write rules establishing minimum standards for large-scale dog breeding kennels and the housing, care and handling of animals. People will not be able to operate a large-scale dog breeding kennel unless they register the business by paying the state $500 annually.

Calley signed the bill because Gov. Rick Snyder is vacationing out of state.