Benzie County Leaders Discuss Future for Animal Control and Shelter

Benzie County leaders and the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County are discussing the future of the county’s shelter and animal control.

CatIt’s part of the ongoing fallout after the county missed a deadline to put funding for the Animal Control and Shelter on the November ballot.

“We’re just going over some of the ideas of how we can move forward between the two groups,” said Doreen Carter, President of the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County.

While the County Commissioners discussed the matter during their Sept. 14 meeting, the Animal Control Advisory Committee held a meeting to discuss the changes in further detail.

“It’s an opportunity for management to take a step back and look at where can we improve,” said Kyle Maurer, Benzie County Animal Control’s Department Head.

One of those topics was the potential $100,000 donation that the Animal Welfare League would have given the county to fund employees’ salaries.

The county decided to turn down the donation and pull from the Delinquent Tax Relief Fund.

“As we’ve stated as the county, we realize the mistake,” said Benzie County Administrator Katelyn Zeits. “We want to fix the mistake. We shouldn’t have to have others shoulder that mistake.”

The county is also looking at restructuring the shelter’s employee tasks and creating a formal agreement between Animal Control and the Animal Welfare League.

“We don’t have anything at this point we just want to make sure we have open communication between the county, Animal Control, and the Animal Welfare League,” said Carter.

One of the people who spoke against restructuring the shelter was Animal Control Officer Dillon Rosa.

He spoke at the last commissioner meeting, and he says since then, he’s had his patrol vehicle privileges revoked, and his ability toPeople answer calls is being reduced.

Now – rosa says he’s afraid to make any further comment saying he’s in fear of retaliation by the Animal Control Department Head and County Administrator, and feels his job is in jeopardy.

But county leaders say those cuts are not retaliation – that the moves have more to do with cutting money from the budget, and one of the patrol cars is out of commission.

Rosa now has a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Friday.

“I’m not going to comment on disciplinary action,” said Maurer.

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Categories: November 2021 Election