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.