Update: How our community came together to help rescued dogs

Hardly a week has passed since I first received the call from the Sterling Heights Police Department alerting me that dozens of dogs – 52 in total – were on their way to Macomb County Animal Control. The animals, which were removed from what was believed to be a hoarding situation, desperately needed medical attention and immediate sheltering and it was going to be our responsibility to provide that care. My dedicated team sprang into action, but with an already full facility, we knew that we could not accommodate all of the dogs long term. We had to turn to the community for help.

The response was incredible! Over the last few days, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of residents coming in to volunteer their time and to drop off donations. Food, towels, blankets, bleach, detergent – essential items for providing these dogs the care they need. Our community truly came together for an important cause and it’s their compassion that will help us give these animals a second chance at life. I cannot thank you all enough for your generosity.

In addition to the community response, animal rescue organizations from across southeast Michigan responded to our call for assistance by accepting the dogs into their care. These facilities will support the dogs medically and behaviorally until they are ready to be adopted – so please follow their Facebook pages for updates. They include:

  • 3rd Coast Labrador Rescue
  • A ReJoyceful Animal Rescue
  • Brownstown Animal Shelter
  • Furever Tails Animal Rescue
  • I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven
  • The Humane Society of Macomb
  • Michigan Doodle Rescue Connect
  • The Humane Society of Midland County
  • Oakland County Animal Shelter
  • PRO-PET-OTIC
  • Providing for Paws
  • Woodhaven Animal Shelter

According to County Executive Mark Hackel, these placements are very positive. “Their paws are in good hands,” he said. I wholeheartedly agree.

Now I’d like to acknowledge several very important groups that played a behind-the-scenes role in this situation. First, our team of vet tech students from Baker College and Macomb Community College. These individuals provided essential care for the dogs in the form of grooming and medical treatment when they first arrived at the shelter. For that, I am extremely grateful. Second, the veterinarians at Advanced Animal Hospital. There were several dogs that required more serious medical care and the Advanced Animal staff acted quickly to ensure all of the animals returned to good health. What an amazing job. Third, the first responders at the Sterling Heights Police Department. This team initially helped rescue the dogs and bring them safely to our facility and I cannot thank them enough for this action. Finally, Macomb County employees – including the Macomb County Animal Control staff. These individuals graciously gave their time (and weekend!) to organize donations, staff our facility and process the animals. Thank you for your dedication!

In closing, I’d just like to say how proud I am of our community. By coming together in support of these rescued dogs, we turned a negative situation into one that is hopeful.

Jeff Randazzo is chief of Macomb County Animal Control. For more information, visit https://animalcontrol.macombgov.org/AnimalControl-Home.

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