From Carrie L McGowan, Wolverine Lake:
We are a small group of fellow rescuers and people with interest in (a) policy change at Oakland County Animal Control/Oakland Pet Adoption Center (OCAC). We have been trying to get the folks at OCAC to make a few small changes regarding their practices of posting pictures online of lost/stray/adoptable animals; working to reunite lost/stray animals with owners using social media; having a welcoming and helpful front desk staff when folks looking for their lost animals come into the shelter; using their staff and software to be more aware of the animals actually in their shelter; and finally, evaluating dogs based on personality, not physical characteristics.
The OCAC (management) has been fighting us, basically falling back to referring to positive changes made in the past 10 (years) as if this is enough to carry them forward (without) future improvements. This small group has been attending almost every Board of Commissioners meeting for the last four months or so — many during the daytime, during working hours, so only one or two can attend at a time — and have been met with limited, placating responses. The shelter director is great pals with many on the board, as he is a prior
commissioner; he is also retiring the end of this year, so if you know of a good candidate to run OCAC, let them know about the position.
Our small group would now like to get public support, and quite honestly, inundate the (Board of Commissioners) meetings with citizens, since we have gone through all of the “correct” channels and are being thwarted, toyed with, ignored, and seemingly treated as inconsequential. The people in this group are smart, well-spoken, have facts and multiple anecdotes of the people and animals that have been impacted by the OCAC’s poor practices (as they relate to the above mentioned changes this group is asking for) and have tried to play the game with the (Board of Commissioners) respectfully and within the boundaries they have been told exist (that the shelter doesn’t have the means to make changes, it’s the Board of Commissioners that does; vice versa, the Board of Commissioners keep referring to the shelter for their “answers” and “input” and nothing moves forward.).
We would like to have (Oakland County) citizens, the animal rescue community, and animal owning people, to step forward with this group and get on board to have the (Board of Commissioners) understand this isn’t just two or three animal loving women complaining about OCAC, but a plea for changes that make sense, save lives, and save money. We are not out to get OCAC at all, but have found that rather than being receptive to volunteers and citizens working with them to improve processes, OCAC is very resistant to change, and its employees/(management) have been putting more energy into counter arguments than it would take to implement the changes being asked of them. This includes banning specific volunteers and
photographers from volunteering (because) they had asked to post animals to social media for OCAC.
If anyone is interested in helping or would just like to know more about this project, please feel free to respond at this e-mail address: OCAC_concerned_citizens@yahoo.com… Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in seeing save rates and return to owner rates increased at the Oakland County Shelter.