Are CPS Workers Now Also Mandatory Reporters For Animal Abuse in Michigan?

A picture of a kitchen sitting outside on a tree stump, against a background of green.
abuse and animal abuse often happen hand-in-hand, and homes where animals are mistreated will often be the places where children are mistreated as well.

When people think of the words “CPS worker” and “mandatory reporter” they tend to think in terms of child abuse. Specifically, the fact that CPS workers are mandatory reporters themselves, and the fact that when a mandatory reporter calls in report suspect child abuse, it’s a CPS worker that shows up to investigate. But a recently introduced Senate bill is hoping to add a little something to the list of mandatory reporting that will be required of CPS workers in Michigan.

Animals are just as vulnerable as children.

Animal abuse is a cause for concern here in Michigan, and animals are just as vulnerable to maltreatment and neglect as children. An animal can’t speak up on their own behalf or in their own defense, and few of them are able to protect themselves against people who are intentionally cruel, violent, or neglectful. But Senator Peter Lucido wants to make it a legal requirement for CPS workers, who are already in and out of many homes in Michigan on a daily basis, to report suspected animal abuse.

CPS workers would have to report suspected animal abuse

If Senate Bill 0352 ever gets signed into law, CPS workers would be legally required to report any and all instances of suspected animal abuse or neglect to an animal control officer in writing. Under this proposed law, the report would have to be made within 72 hours of the CPS worker encountering the alleged problem. Any CPS worker who fails to make the report would be facing up to 90 days in jail, and in cases of a false report, the charge would be a felony with a punishment of up to four years in prison.

This isn’t the first time this sort of idea has been suggested.

According to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) “Initiating a cross-reporting and cross training agreement between agencies can increase the number of animal cruelty and human violence reports investigated.” Currently, only 19 states in the US have any laws in place that make reporting suspected animal abuse mandatory, and only 13 states make it a requirement that social workers and CPS personnel report suspected animal abuse when they encounter it during their work.

Child and animal abuse are often present at the same time.

The SPCA also says that animal abuse and child or domestic abuse tend to go hand-in-hand. “Animal cruelty committed by any member of a family, whether parent or child, often means child abuse occurs in that family. A survey of 57 pet-owning families under treatment for child abuse by New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services revealed that, in 88 percent of the families, at least one person had abused animals. In two-thirds of those cases, the abusive parent had injured or killed a pet; in the remaining cases, children were the animal abusers.”

CPS workers sometimes make mistakes. Don’t be falsely accused.

While we agree that reporting child abuse and animal abuse is extremely important, and protecting both children and animals should be a priority, we also know that not every suspicion is based in fact. Many people have been falsely accused by CPS over the years, and we know that battling those allegations can be a Herculean task! So don’t try to do it alone. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and get help from some of mid-Michigan’s most trusted CPS defense attorneys