Register today for upcoming roundtable discussion:

What: Protect MI Pet: Michigan Animal Abuse Registry & Automatic Forfeiture Process

When: March 20, 2023, 6 – 7 p.m. Eastern

Get ready for an exhilarating conversation with Citizens for the Animal Abuse Registry as they discuss a statewide initiative to take on animal abusers in Michigan. Discover how you and your organization can play a role. Michigan Pet Alliance is hosting a panel discussion to explore a 2024 ballot initiative that will create an animal abuse registry and establish timeframes for an automatic forfeiture process. 

Research shows that those who mistreat animals will do so habitually and are likely to escalate their violence to include children, teens and adults. The panel will answer live questions from the audience. All shelters, rescues, animal welfare advocates and animal lovers are invited and encouraged to participate.

Who: Everyone is welcome. Admission is free.

Where: Live on Zoom. Can’t attend? Register anyway and we will send you a link to the recording.

Our Experts


  • Christopher R. Swanson, Sheriff, Genesee County
  • William Miller, Oakland County Commissioner, 16th District
  • Alena M. Clark, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Genesee County
  • Tanya Hilgendorf, President and CEO – Humane Society of Huron Valley and Vice-chair – Michigan Pet Alliance
  • Richard Angelo, Legislative Attorney – Best Friends Animal Society and Board Member – Michigan Pet Alliance


  • Jim Kiertzner, Retired Investigative Reporter, WXYZ-TV

Meet the Panel

Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson, Genesee County

Sheriff Swanson is a career police officer with experience spanning three decades. He has served in a variety of positions, including corrections, patrol, narcotics, criminal investigation, death investigation, human trafficking investigation, animal abuse and command operations. As sheriff, Swanson oversees the fifth largest sheriff’s office in Michigan. His career has led him to witness some of the most heinous crimes and acts of violence that one can imagine. He shares these experiences with audiences across the country to make a positive impact on their lives, using lessons from the living and the dead.

William Miller, Oakland County Commissioner, 16th District

William Miller serves as Oakland County commissioner for the 16th District, director at-large for the Michigan Association of Counties, commissioner on the Governor’s Traffic Safety Commission and chair of SEMCOG’s Traffic Safety Task Force where he fights and advocate’s for the underserved and those who need a voice.

Alena M. Clark, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Genesee County

Alena Clark serves as a trial specialist in the Felony Trial Division where she handles major crimes, including homicide, criminal sexual conduct and animal abuse. She is a member of the Genesee County Bar Association and the American Indian Law, Appellate Practice, Criminal Law and LGBTQA sections of the State Bar of Michigan. Alena is a board member for the Genesee County Humane Society and an active member of the Flint Women’s Forum.   

Tanya Hilgendorf, Vice-chair – Michigan Pet Alliance and President and CEO – Humane Society of Huron Valley

Tanya Hilgendorf has led the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) for 17 years. With a Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of Michigan-Dearborn, a Master of Science in social work administration and public policy from Wayne State University and having served as executive director of Ozone House, Tanya’s passion centers on protecting the vulnerable (human and non-human) and transformational leadership that helps failing nonprofit organizations achieve mission success.

Richard Angelo, Jr., Esq., Board Member – Michigan Pet Alliance and Legislative Attorney – Best Friends Animal Society

Richard Angelo is a legislative attorney for Best Friends. His primary focus is to promote state and local legislation that will humanely and directly reduce the killing of cats and dogs in shelters across the country. Richard has spoken on community cat issues, dangerous dog laws and breed discrimination at numerous national, regional and local events across the country. He has been a member of the animal law section of the State Bar of Michigan since 2001 and has served as a council member of that section since 2009. He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Animal Law Committee, the international law section of the animal law committee and the National Animal Care and Control Association. 

Sheriff Swanson and German Sheppard dog
William Miller with dog

Meet the Moderator

Jim Kiertzner, Retired Investigative Reporter, WXYZ-TV

Jim Kiertzner is a 50-year veteran investigative reporter, including 40 years of work in Michigan. Before semi-retiring from WXYZ-TV in Detroit in September 2022, Kiertzner’s work over the years changed state law, freed a man wrongfully convicted, ousted elected officials involved in wrongdoing, and covered many major stories in Michigan going back to 1983. Kiertzner is now working as a news and communications advisor to Protect MI Pet.

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