The Michigan Department of Agriculture has released their report concerning their latest investigation into the Wexford County Animal Shelter and found several violations committed by the animal shelter. These violations can be found in their complete report here: Dept of Ag report Wexford.
The violations include: not properly reporting correct information to the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture concerning the animals the shelter received, returned to owner, adopted, transfered and euthanized; not properly maintaining records about the description an disposition of the pet and not seeking veterinarian services when needed for a sick or injured pet.
Although the report also stated that the Dept. of Agriculture determined insufficient evidence to move forward regarding the killing of pets before their stray hold was up, Pet Friends found evidence of this happening to 52 animals and will follow up with the State on this part of the investigation. You can see that information here.
The County received fines up to $2,100 for their violations from the MDARD which may be reduced in the future in certain conditions in the report are met by August 23rd. One of these conditions include the Wexford County Animal Shelter establishing a written protocol between a veterinarian and the shelter about health issues. The shelter has also upgraded their software and implemented staff training as well as a review of policies.
The Board of Commissioners voted to accept the report from the Dept. of Agriculture at their last meeting and also appointed members to a committee that will advise on how to move forward with Wexford County’s Animal control program. This committee includes Donna Weaver, Suzanne Slack, Michael MacCready, John Saari and Crystal Johnson (chairwoman). The Committee also includes Tiyi Schippers (Cadillac City Council member) and Gideon Mitchell (Wexford Commissioner).
There will be a public hearing on July 3rd concerning possible changes to the animal control ordinance. These changes include allowing a non-profit to take over the shelter and a controversial change that includes no longer being responsible for the cats in Wexford County. Because the ordinance changes could be approved the same night as the public hearing, those interested in these issues should attend the meeting at the County Courthouse at 437 E. Division St. in Cadillac.