Oakland County Animal Control makes changes

Oakland County Animal Control will no longer pick up stray and owner-relinquished cats in the communities it serves beginning Friday, April 1. The Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills, however, will continue to accept cats brought in by residents.

An exception will be made in the case of a cat biting a human. An Oakland County animal control officer will respond in order to investigate a biting incident and impound the feline if necessary.

"We have offered this service in the past as a courtesy to our residents," said Lawrence Obrecht, Animal Control Division manager. "However, we are realigning our services in order to accommodate additional communities receiving state-mandated Dog Law services from the county."

Michigan's Dog Law of 1919 mandates county government provide dog control services (including dog licensing, kennel licensing, impounding dogs, and investigating cases of dog cruelty, among others) to local communities that have neither an animal control ordinance nor animal control officer. An increasing number of Oakland County communities are rescinding animal control ordinances and cutting animal control officers from their budgets in order to cope with declining revenues. Oakland County currently provides dog control services in 39 cities, villages and townships.

The Oakland Pet Adoption Center houses more than 9,000 animals per year; cats outnumber dogs 2 to 1 at the shelter.

"With this change in services we anticipate the shelter's cat population will decrease and we are working on several programs to help stem the cat population out in the field as well," said Joanie Toole, Animal Control Division administrative supervisor. "One of these programs will be a trap, neuter and release program for cats."

The Oakland Pet Adoption Center is located at 1700 Brown Road in Auburn Hills. Its mission is to "provide a temporary haven for animals until we can find them permanent homes." Center hours are:

* 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday and Friday.

* 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

* 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays.

For additional information, visit www.oakgov.com/petadoption or call (248) 391-4100.

Published: Wed, Mar 30, 2011