Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Closes Case Pertaining to Improper Euthanasia at Cherryland Humane Society

In a letter dated May 13th to Pet Friends Magazine, Prosecutor Robert Cooney, stated that his office will not be requesting any further investigation nor will Mr. Sperlbaum be prosecuted for the events that occurred at Cherryland Humane Society in August of 2014. You can read the story about the incident here.

After reviewing the case again, Cooney stated that Michigan’s law MCL 750.50(2)(f) does make it a crime for a person to “negligently allow an animal to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture or pain” however the term “negligent” is defined as “fail to properly care for an animal to the extent that the animal’s health is jeopardized” (MCL 750.50(h). Cooney says “the plain and ordinary reading of these statutory sections means that the violation in (2)(f) refers in part to the proper care for an animal – providing food, shelter and water for the animal – and not administering proper euthanasia.”

He continues that the only potential criminal charge would be killing or torturing an animal, which under MCL 750.50b requires that a person “knowingly” kill or torture an animal. With respect to Halleck’s statement in the police report, there was found to be no proof that Mr. Sperlbaum intentionally harmed the animal.


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