Urge Oakland County Animal Control to Adopt and Implement Improved, Modern Practices and Procedures

Over the past six months, a small group of citizens involved in making Michigan a better place for animals - rescue volunteers, folks involved in animal welfare policy for the state of MI and concerned Oakland County taxpayers - have been making suggestions to Oakland County Animal Control (a.k.a. Oakland Pet Adoption Center or OCAC) for process improvement regarding “return to owner (stray animals)” policies, in-house computer system / tracking of animals in the Shelter, social media use, and the implementation of non-breed discriminatory policies.

Currently, OCAC is not in line with modern practices to help return to owner the stray dogs they take in. 

Although animals are photographed upon intake, these photos are not immediately available to folks looking for their lost pets, nor are those photos posted to the Internet on lost pet websites or social media.  Additionally, the lack of available photos is part of the OCAC’s overall poor system of operation in which employees are not able to keep track of or find animals within the system.  Also, front desk staff is not accommodating or helpful to owners who contact or come to the Shelter in search of their lost pet.  Staffers routinely tell searching owners that their pet is not in the Shelter when in fact the pet is currently in the Shelter, or has already been through the Shelter and has been adopted into a new home.

OCAC does not allow any dog they deem to be a “Pit Bull” or similar (extra large or “bully” breeds) – based solely on physical characteristics and often misidentified - to be adopted out to the public or walked by their volunteers.  Instead these often healthy, happy and perfectly adoptable dogs are held indefinitely in cages before being euthanized.

We would like to see changes implemented within the Shelter; changes that have been documented as both money and life savers at other shelters in Michigan and beyond.  OCAC and the Board of Commissioners of Oakland County are aware of our efforts and have been working with us to understand our position.  The OCAC response has been, in short, to refer over and again to the positive changes made within the organization over the past ten years – almost as if to suggest that the progress that has been made is “enough.”  We strongly disagree that enough progress has been made and seek to see the organization transition fully into the 21st Century.  Other area Shelters have made many of the changes we seek to see implemented at the OCAC with great success; these Shelters have far better save rate (number of animals reunited with their home or adopted into new home) number than OCAC thanks to the progressive policies.

Please help us pressure the OCAC to continue to move forward by implementing more modern practices to improve the lives of the animals they take in – as well as help the local taxpayers who support the Shelter in their hour of need when they lose their pet.  Sign on to our petition for change and add your personal comments to further urge management to listen to concerned citizens of Oakland County.

Specific Suggestions for Improvement:

* Retrain staff to present as welcoming and helpful to citizens searching at the Shelter for their lost pet.

* Train staff utilizing modern software to ensure all staff members have full access to up to date information for every animal in the Shelter.

* Train staff to work to reunite lost/stray animals with their owners using all available methods – including social media.

* Utilize staff to maintain an Internet presence (pet adoption websites, social media) and post photos and information about all stray animals brought into the Shelter.

* Utilize staff to maintain an Internet presence (pet adoption websites, social media) and post photos and information about adoptable animals in the Shelter.

* Evaluate dogs for personality / temperament, instead of physical characteristics.

The policies we strongly suggest be adopted by Oakland County Animal Control follow the practices held up by our very own Michigan PetFund Alliance, Nathan Winograd of the No Kill Nation, as well as other local animal control offices -  many of whom have wonderful return rates for their communities, such as The Humane Society of Huron Valley. Through careful research, we have assembled a strong database of experience (including many individual, personal stories) and strong data which illuminates the need for change within this taxpayer funded organization.

Signatures will be presented to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners at a future Board Meeting.  We urge concerned Oakland County taxpayers to join us in this fight and attend future meetings along with us, to show that support is not only consistent but growing as the public becomes more aware of the problems within the OCAC.

The next board meeting will be held on November 28 at 7:00 p.m. at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341. 

A Facebook Event has been created, which you can find here:  https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/365071056908837/ 

And if you would like more information about our efforts please e-mail OCAC_concerned_citizens@yahoo.com

Dear Oakland County Board of Commissioners:


Over the past six months, a small group of citizens involved in making Michigan a better place for animals - rescue volunteers, folks involved in animal welfare policy for the state of MI and concerned Oakland County taxpayers - have been making suggestions to Oakland County Animal Control (a.k.a. Oakland Pet Adoption Center or OCAC) for process improvement regarding “return to owner (stray animals)” policies, in-house computer system / tracking of animals in the Shelter, social media use, and the implementation of non-breed discriminatory policies.  Specifically:


* Retrain staff to present as welcoming and helpful to citizens searching at the Shelter for their lost pet.


* Train staff utilizing modern software to ensure all staff members have full access to up to date information for every animal in the Shelter.


* Train staff to work to reunite lost/stray animals with their owners using all available methods – including social media.


* Utilize staff to maintain an Internet presence (pet adoption websites, social media) and post photos and information about all stray animals brought into the Shelter.


* Utilize staff to maintain an Internet presence (pet adoption websites, social media) and post photos and information about adoptable animals in the Shelter.


* Evaluate dogs for personality / temperament, instead of physical characteristics.


The policies we strongly suggest be adopted by Oakland County Animal Control follow the practices held up by our very own Michigan PetFund Alliance, Nathan Winograd of the No Kill Nation, as well as other local animal control offices -  many of whom have wonderful return rates for their communities, such as The Humane Society of Huron Valley.


I strongly urge the Board to pressure the Oakland County Animal Control to adopt these changes to improve the quality of care it provides to the animals and taxpayers of Oakland County.

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