New law could ban felons from adopting shelter pets

Aaron Bellor mugshot

Two Bay County men are accused of torturing and killing animals.

â??I have a hard time with anybody that would abuse an animal in any way, shape or form,â?? says Neil Wackerly, president of the Humane Society of Midland County.

Authorities say Derek Keyes attacked a pit bull with a hammer. In a separate incident, Aaron Bellor allegedly poured boiling water over a dog named Sassy before running her over.

â??There were several witnesses to this case,â?? says John Miller, sheriff of Bay County. â??He alleges that he was trying to put the animal out its misery,â?? adds the sheriff.

The two Bay County men now facing jail time for the abuse.

Meantime, lawmakers looking to add animal abusers to a statewide registry---banning them from adopting shelter pets for five years.

"I just can't find an excuse for people to abuse an animal. If you're going to do that, you shouldn't have one,â?? says state representative Paul Muxlow (R-Brown City).

"Anytime the politicians are protecting animals, Iâ??m all for that,â?? says Wackerly.

While Wackerly welcomes the proposed law, he's hoping for a crackdown on animal abusers hoping to save another pet's life.

â??Iâ??d like to see more enforcement of the laws in place and stricter penalties on animal abusers,â?? adds Wackerly.

The state House of Representatives is expected to vote on this bill before the end of the month.

Representative Muxlow says the bill has bi-partisan support.

As for Bellor and Keyes, sentencing dates are set for February 21st.