Macomb Animals VictoriousCarey Torrice
The Story of How Macomb County Animal Control is Failing Animals and Humans
UPDATE MARCH 20 2008
Macomb Animals Victorious
by: Justine DePalma
Published on www.michanimalnews.com on March 20, 2008
Mt.Clemens, Michigan. By a unanimous voice vote the Macomb County Board of Commissioners ushered in a new era for companion animals in Macomb County. Rescue groups will be allowed to take animals from the shelter after a resolution offered by Commissioner Lund passed. The Macomb County Animal Control Shelter has been ordered to allow 501(c)(3) rescue organizations take animals without paying the $80 adoption fee currently required. Also, the resolution offered by Commissioner Carey Torrice to study making Macomb a no-kill county passed without dissent.
The stunned audience listened to animal control officers from across the county beg for change at the shelter. The Roseville Animal Control Officer spoke of animals wrongly killed by Macomb County Animal Control Shelter. Animals that had families and were expected to go back to their homes killed for no reason and illegally. He advocated major change at the shelter. Officers for the City of Warren Animal Control Department, spoke of advances like using rescue groups, the internet and spay/neuter clinics to make things better for county animals. Other animal control officers spoke asking the commissioners to immediately implement change on behalf of the animals at the shelter.
Current and former shelter employees spoke eloquently of their attempts to help animals that were rejected by current shelter management. Rescue groups offered their assistance, from supplying volunteers to helping with low cost spay/neuter. The commissioners appeared to be shocked by the outpouring of offers of assistance and even more shocked to learn that this assistance has been offered repeatedly and rejected.
Commissioner Carey Torrice was criticized by a number of her colleques for bypassing the Commission’s Health Services Committee in offering her resolution. Commissioner Torrice worked tirelessly on this issue, speaking to many people, even going to neighboring Oakland County Animal Control Shelter to find out what is so different about the Oakland County operation. Torrice’s refusal to accept the status quo or the promise of future changes, evidenced courage and actually political saavy that forced this issue to the attention of the commission.
There are still many things that must change in order to make a difference for the animals at Macomb Animal Control Shelter. First, we have to make certain that petfinder.com is utilized to publicize the shelter animals. When I interviewed Sue Jeroue in early February, she claimed that she was being trained on software. It’s been 7 weeks, how much training is needed? Last night we heard that the county IT department has to make changes to allow for the posting of animals. How much longer will this simple change take? Even the sad City of Detroit shelter posts pets on petfinder. Can’t Macomb County at least match the effort put forth by the City of Detroit?
Rescue groups and animal lovers are excited that things are finally changing. We’ll keep watching and make certain that promises are kept and animals are finally given a chance by Macomb County Animal Control Shelter.