Detroit council urges more resources for Animal Control

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit’s City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution urging the administration to allocate more resources to the city’s Animal Control office in the wake of a vicious animal attack that killed a 4-year-old.

Xavier Strickland was fatally mauled by several pit bulls on Dec. 2 while walking with his mother, Lucillie Strickland, to an elementary school near the family’s home.

“I would like to thank everyone for supporting us and being there,” Lucillie Strickland said Tuesday as Council President Brenda Jones presented the family with a testimonial resolution honoring Xavier’s memory. “It’s hard. It’s so hard, but I try to be there for the rest of my children.”

The boy’s death, the resolution notes, serves as the latest example of vicious attacks by dogs of this breed and the city’s challenges with enforcement.

Jones on Tuesday vowed to Strickland that the panel is examining Detroit’s dangerous dog ordinance.

The council, in its resolution, is encouraging the administration to implement a comprehensive strategy to prevent such attacks and to enhance public education. The body also wants the administration to direct more funds to Detroit’s animal control budget.

The city’s Animal Control is in the midst of an overhaul and appointed a new director in December.

Detroit’s administration last year transferred management of its overwhelmed animal control office from the Detroit Police Department to the city’s Health Department to improve service delivery.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Detroit’s new executive director of the Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, has said the department is engaging adoption groups to help get animals into permanent homes more quickly, updating its technology and making other critical improvements.