Detroit’s animal shelter over-capacity, seeking more adoptions
Detroit Animal Care and Control officials are working to deal with an abundance of potential pets in their facility.
City police discovered on Facebook this week that the room was overcrowded.
The adoption fees have been waived as the shelter tries to address the issue, and that could “ideally take until the end of the month,” director Mark Kumpf told The Detroit News on Friday.
The location on Chrysler Drive, which has been serviced by the Detroit Department of Health since fall 2015, has 84 kennels. But on Thursday there were more than 170 animals, said Kumpf.
“In order for us to put animals up for adoption, people have to visit the shelter, and the weather recently has certainly not been very hospitable and has been restricting pedestrian traffic,” he said. “The rain doesn’t stop, the animals come in. So, the old cliché of a rain of cats and dogs: well, they’re pouring into the shelter. And we have to place somewhere between 15 and 30 animals a day just to keep up with the number of animals that are coming in. “
A planned upgrade of the shelter was due to start last year, but has been pushed ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The city has plans to expand this, but that won’t happen overnight, so we almost always try to put (animals) up for adoption,” said Kumpf, who entered the city’s animal control department in September 2019 as the fourth director in four Years.
Animal rights activists have criticized the DACC operations in recent years, citing overcrowding, insufficient staffing and changing management.
In late June, Detroit Dog Rescue director Kristina Rinaldi hosted a press conference to urge city officials to immediately find an alternative location for dogs, cats, and other animals at the shelter, a former Michigan Humane Society building.
The rescue group has argued that the conditions there are poor and a breeding ground for serious illnesses.
Detroit’s Chief Operating Officer, Hakim Berry, countered that there was no serious problem with the shelter, saying, “We have no complaints” from those who have adopted animals from Detroit Animal Control.
Kumpf on Friday attributed the spiking cases plaguing the facility in part to more strays, including 26 brought in in a single day over the past week.
“These are animals that belonged to someone who has not been reclaimed and because they have not been licensed or microchipped we cannot find the owners,” he said.
On Friday, 16 dogs and nine cats were sent home to their owners, five to foster families and 22 through partners, the director said.
Michigan Humane has also taken in eight dogs since the group was seated, Kumpf added. “It’s really a collective effort.”
In the meantime, an adoption event with the Bissell Pet Foundation is planned for next month. Kumpf said his team is “looking for ways to work with our partners, work with our sponsors, work with organizations that help us house animals.”
DACC is located at 7401 Chrysler Drive in Detroit. It is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Foster or adoption seekers are asked to ring the doorbell at the back door.
Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control post pictures for adoptable dogs on Facebook.