Work Continues To Improve Grand Traverse County Animal Control Department

The Grand Traverse County Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee and the community, working to fix a growing issue.

Back in June, the committee was formed to help raise money and make improvements to the Animal Control Department.

There are several solutions being considered but it was evident Wednesday night there won’t be a quick fix for Animal Control.

There were several updates from different departments at the meeting, but the problem is still how to fund the Animal Control Department.

“We have to come up with the funding source, if we’re going to increase the animal control, it basically comes down to money,” said Bob Johnson, Grand Traverse County Commissioner and Ad Hoc Committee member.

It’s a department with an important role.

“Animal control is important not just for the animal’s sake but to protect the people,” said Craig Brakeman, of the Cherry Capital Mobile Pet Hospital.

Animal control has been under the Health Department, Sheriff’s Department, and direct county control; a changing status that hasn’t helped them do the job.

“the Undersheriff sent out a request to all other sheriff’s offices in the state asking them questions about animal control, what’s the county population, how’s it funded, who supervises animal control,” said Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley.

The citizen volunteer board is working to come up with the funds but it comes down to one thing.

“I think this is something that needs to be handled, people need to know, why do I get a license, well you get a license one is because it is the law and we all want to do that but two is how else are we going to fund animal control,” said Brakeman.

“It’s not a mandated service so if people want this service, they really need to start licensing their dogs,” said Johnson. “I mean simple thing is doubling our amount of dog licensing right now would take care of this.”

The committee and community members will continue working to get more information to make these improvements.