Detroit Animal Control's reputation isn't what you'd call sterling. The government-run program has come to be known as something of a hellhole for stray, abandoned, and abused dogs. Earlier this week Michigan Radio reported that of the nearly 2,500 dogs they took in last year, 2,000 of them died while in their custody, most of them from euthanasia.
Countless news stories extoll the mistreatment dogs receive while in the DAC's care, but after Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the shelter will make the switch from police-run to health department-run, residents and local dog rescues seem hopeful things will improve.
Thus far, the largest improvement is the DAC's new relationship with the city's only no-kill shelter, Detroit Dog Rescue. DDR is now able to take on dogs from the DAC in hope of rehabilitation and eventual adoption. So far, DDR has taken on nearly 20 dogs, according to the rescue's executive director Kristina Rinaldi, and they don't plan on stopping there.
"I'm scheduled to pick up more dogs on Tuesday," Rinaldi says. As of now, she plans on taking three dogs with her to DDR, but she says that number will most likely have grown by the time she's pulling up to animal control.
Between DDR's facilities, some doggy daycares, some veterinary facilities, and fosters, Rinaldi says her organization is currently caring for almost 80 dogs. With such inflated numbers, she says they're trying to figure out how to financially compensate, especially since every dog taken from DAC has some sort of health issue.
The new relationship with the DAC has DDR hoping it can expand its facilities, but that means even more funding is needed. Rinaldi says the public can help by donating cash to through DDR's website. In addition to increasing their capacity, she says she hopes other rescues and municipalities will step up and begin taking on DAC dogs.