Michigan Humane Society to back up Inkster police

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Inkster — The Inkster Police Department is turning to an unusual source for help with emergency calls.

It's enlisting the Michigan Humane Society to help with an increase in emergency animal calls. Last year, residents called Inkster police more than 19,000 times. Of those calls, 40 percent or about 8,000 involved animals, according to the Society. 

The department announced the partnership with the nonprofit, saying starting Tuesday, the humane society will help handle cases of animal abandonment, abuse, cruelty, fighting, injuries, hoarding and neglect.

“Our field agents routinely assist law-enforcement agencies across Michigan with investigations involving horrific animal cruelty,” said Matthew Pepper, president and CEO of Michigan Humane Society. “Yet, most of the time, they serve as educators whose goal is to keep families together.”

The Inkster Police Department is turning to an unusual source for help with emergency calls - the Michigan Humane Society.

The nonprofit also will train Inkster's newly hired animal control officer, officials said. 

The Michigan Humane Society has spent months preparing for the partnership with police. They plan to hire two statewide investigators; one will be dedicated to Inkster’s nearly 25,000 residents.

“We are excited to give a voice to the animals of Inkster,” said William Riley, Inkster police chief. “Animal lovers can rest easy knowing the Michigan Humane Society is looking out for Inkster’s pets, and their help means officers can now respond faster, longer and more often to others’ needs.”

In preparation for winter, the humane society has employed 14 first-responders. Nine respond to the 8,000 calls a year in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. Three employees assist with about 100 investigations a year elsewhere across Michigan, often calling on their colleagues for assistance. 

In December 2017, the humane society responded to 1,890 incidents of no food, water or shelter. In 2016, they responded to 2,293 incidents.

Residents should call the Inkster Police Department at (313) 563-9869 to report animal abuse, cruelty and neglect in Inkster, officials said. Inkster emergency dispatchers will then refer complaints to Michigan Humane Society for follow up.

Callers in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park should call the Michigan Humane Society at (313) 872-3401.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_