A new bill signed into law this week aims to increase animal safety in Michigan.

Freep.com reports that on December 28, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed a bill into law which will allow animal shelters to conduct criminal background checks on potential animal adopters. Calley signed the bill as Governor Rick Snyder was out of state.

The law allows shelters to use Michigan's Internet Criminal History Access Tool to see if the individual adopting has a history of animal abuse.

House Bill 4353 (Animal Adoption Protection Act) says adoption centers may not allow an individual convicted of an animal abuse offense to adopt unless at least five years has passed since the conviction.