Detroit animal control working to increase live release rate

Associated Press

Detroit – The city of Detroit’s Animal Care & Control office wants a live release rate next year of at least 90% for animals coming through its shelter.

Live release rates include adoptions, animal transfers and returning stray dogs to owners. The average monthly rate by the end of last year was 77%, according to the city.

Detroit animal control officer Markas Cunningham holds one of the many shelter dog's needing a home.

Changes to how the office operates were announced last year. Animal care, under the city’s Health Department, handles sheltering, treatment licensing and adoptions. Animal control is under the General Services Division and responds to citizen complaints, strays, and ticketing owners violating city ordinances.

Animal Care has hired two new veterinarians for its shelter. The city also is investing $3 million to expand the shelter to help house 250 dogs. Currently, it can house 150 dogs.

The average stay of animals in the shelter dropped from 45 days to 26 days, partly due to increased adoptions. The shelter only is required to keep dogs for three days.

Ten officers and three trucks have been added. Service hours also have been extended.

Officers responded to 9,610 requests in 2019. That’s up from 6,261 the year before. Animal Control officers issued 740 tickets last year to pet owners in violation of city ordinances. Only 184 tickets were issued in 2018.