Saturday, March 8, 2008

Macomb County Animal Control – Spin or Lies?

Apparently, Macomb County decided to ignore the easy solutions to the problems of its animal shelter and instead chose to attack the author of the article The Story of How Macomb County Animal Control is Failing Animals and Humans Since I'm the author I will respond.

The article was written by a left wing animal rights group.
The first claim of certain Macomb County officials is that the article was written by a left wing animal rights group. Not true. I am a freelance journalist who concentrates on animal issues, clearly from an animal rights perspective. My personal politics are not a subject of either the blog or the article, but I am a proud liberal. I also am a proud animal rights activist. While it appears that the officials using this language think it's insulting, I'm not insulted. However, I am not writing on behalf of any organization.
I decided to start Michigan Animal News to get animal issues before the public. I'm glad I did. Animals are voiceless. The only way to protect them from human cruelty is to speak out. I will continue to write on their behalf and urge change in the way government, nonprofits and corporations care for and treat animals.

Justine DePalma's Article about Macomb County Animal Control Shelter is a Lie.
I take exception to the statement made by Macomb County officials.
Short version, the article is factually accurate. In fact, the basis of the article is cited and linked to – Macomb County's own documents. Two of the items, the state of Michigan Shelter Activity Reports are not on the web (but will be on Tuesday, March 11). Calling the article lies is clearly a malicious act, since the article is meticulously fact checked. I cannot help it if Macomb County officials do not like the story the facts tell. The truth is, Macomb County Animal Control Shelter is not meeting even a minimal standard of programming. It's the place animals go to be killed, not the place where animals go for a second chance.

How to Stop the Killing
One of the sections of the article was How to Stop the Killing. Again, the article is being called a lie by officials. Judge for yourself. Visit http://www.petfinder.com/ or http://www.pets911.org/. Look up Macomb County Animal Control Shelter in Mt. Clemens. What you cannot find them? Of course not, because they are not there. Macomb County animals do not get the benefit from free resources like petfinder.com or pets911. Dogs and cats in City of Detroit, Oakland County and most other animal control shelters are on petfinder.com or pets911. They have a chance at finding a new home because someone cares enough to make an effort on their behalf.
Another suggestion was making use of volunteers. Since the original article was published I have been contacted by many people who volunteered to help at Macomb County Animal Control Shelter. Each was told no. This incredible resource of dedicated people who can help change the fate of animals at that shelter were dismissed as if they were useless gadflies.
Another suggestion was changing shelter hours, making the shelter more accessible by the public. Remaining open a few days a week until 8 pm would allow people to adopt animals and reclaim strays. It's not rocket science, it's common sense.
The saddest truth
Since I published the article 600 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens were killed at Macomb County Animal Control Shelter. Instead of running for cover and creating spin, maybe it would make more sense to take some pictures and put some dogs and cats on petfinder instead. My hope is that shining the light of truth on the fate of animals in Macomb County will cause compassionate people to act and make the changes necessary to make Macomb County citizens proud of the animal shelter. Or instead, they can merely think of it as a horrible pound. For the sake of the animals, please choose to change.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every one write to Carey Torrice at carey@careytorrice.com. Ask what changes are in the process of being implemented. When will the shelter allow volunteers? When will all the animals be put on Petfinder with a name and not a #? Provide proof with records of how many animals are being sent to other shelters. Provide details of the number of animals that are destroyed and why? Where are the vet techs, where are donations coming from? We all have to meet together at the shelter and bring along a TV crew. ONLY WE, CAN SPEAK AND SAVE THE ANIMALS.....

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Anonymous said...

This is a great story and oh so true... SPIN & LIES... I have watched since 1994 how things are swept under the carpet. Its all about who you know or politics, cause we all know their certification didn't help. Lets start with how long Sue Jerome was allowed to get away with the things she did(didn't)do...and how "Animal Control Officers and Volunteers and the public have been ignored...but who truly suffered were the animals in their care. The point we are at is that change needs to start at the top!!! Our state needs to update and change laws...our cities and judges need to stop looking the other way and stop giving slaps on the wrist. We need a few job openings created for someone to go around to all Macomb county pet shops and "really" do inspections on a reg. basis. (Surprise! inspections I might add!!!)Let's look at how long "Greenwoods" nursery was allowed to operate, he had a baby pig out in the front with nothing to sleep on but the cement, cause the chickens were in the dog house, and by the way it was snowing! Lets hope "Pollywoods" is next! We need to try and implement a "no animals sold at pet stores law"...or as a community pull together and not support the ones that do. We are the biggest voice and we matter...REMEMBER these animals they sell at pet stores are from MILLS of some sort! Lets ask American Kennel Club to limit breeders to one litter per female a year for 5 years. Without paperwork from the AKC they can not ask top dollar, thus weeding out the bad breeders in it for money, who supply the pet stores with the misfits(they need love too.) and in turn mark up 1000 percent and just keep over populating our world. Keep in mind I believe myself and most people would rather come to see the parents of the puppy or kitten they are choosing and would like to make sure their animal is coming from a clean and respectable breeder. Tougher laws and fines for back yard breeders!!! Cities should implement programs to attract foster homes and rescues to work within their own city they are located in, and if needed from other cities upon request. I might add they could charge a fee for a 3 hr. class on being a foster/rescue for the city and a certificate and a sticker to put on the house so animal control officers know their involved and this is revenue for the city! Animal Control Officers are not the "Bad Guys" if it weren't for them think of what things would really be like, get to know them find out why they do what they do...and what rules do they have to adhere too, you would be surprised. When they have rescues just taking in dogs and cats and they are not notifying the animal control, how can they help to locate the animals owner. The rescues are important to the animal control because they can let them know the condition or if they think it has been abused, believe me they will listen and take action on how the case should be handled...they don't want to see a animal put back into a bad situation either!!! Lets talk about what they have to deal with on a daily basis...some real winners let me tell you. They have groups calling themselves a rescue and pulling animals from other states, with this comes diseases and then your bringing it here. This should not be allowed we have enough within our own state to take care of. Believe it or not they would welcome working with rescues. As I could keep going with ideas for change and revenue ideas,I will just say... Now we have Jeff Randazzo as our new "CHIEF" of Macomb County Animal Control" as he might be a very nice human being I have yet to see any great changes going on. Still hearing same stuff in a different voice. So as with all new things comes change, and we are in need of REAL CHANGE!!!