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City of Detroit animal control announces new foster program;

oversight of agency to move back under Health Department

  • Dogs will be available for fosters pre-approved by Michigan Humane Society
  • New customer service upgrades, including credit card option, coming soon
  • Health Dept. historically had oversight of animal control
Two dogs sitting side by side

Source: Marli / STOCK4B-RF / Getty

DETROIT, Michigan – City of Detroit Animal Control has entered into a partnership with the Michigan Humane Society that will make dozens of dogs a month available for transfer to rescue/foster organizations.

The city will post photos of dogs available for fostering starting today. The website with the dogs’ photos and information is a closed group, and rescue/foster organizations must receive previous approval from the Michigan Humane Society’s Transfer Partners program to participate. For questions about dogs in the program, pre-approved partners are to e-mail rescuedogs@detroitmi.gov, not call animal control.

The change in policy not only respects dogs, but respects the advocates who have been fighting for better options at Detroit animal control. The move will help the city get good dogs, after rehabilitation and training, into good homes.

The new Detroit/MHS partnership also has the support and cooperation of members of PAWS in the D (Providing Animal Welfare Services in the D), a coalition of organizations and individuals who are concerned with issues impacting animals and their families in Detroit.

Only dogs that are reasonably socialized or have hope of becoming reasonably socialized are eligible for the program. Animals involved in dog bite cases, have been requested to be euthanized by owners, aren’t leashable or that have a long history of being a neighborhood nuisance or safety issue will not be available through this program.

“The Michigan Humane Society is proud to play a key supportive role in helping Detroit Animal Control expand the placement opportunities for the animals within its care and in doing so create a means by which the rescue community can further assist in caring for Detroit’s animals,” said Matthew Pepper, President and CEO of the Michigan Humane Society. “This is about creating a healthier pet community within Detroit and broadening the safety net for animals in need.”

In addition, the City will have in place by Nov. 1 an in-house credit card payment system for increased convenience of our customers. In addition, the City hopes to have in place an online licensing option for pets by Jan. 1, another example of how the City is dedicated to making things easier for its residents.

Meanwhile, animal control will be moved from under Police Department oversight to the Health Department, where it historically has belonged. The agency was moved from Health to Police in 2012 during the former department’s downsizing of operations under the previous administration.

Health Department Director Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said, “This move to the health department is an opportunity for us to focus on two important and interrelated aspects of animal welfare in the city: decreasing the harmful public health consequences of stray animals – including dog bites, zoonotic diseases like rabies, and traffic accidents caused by stray animals – while also facilitating the transfer of dogs from our shelter to eventually get into caring homes.”

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