Detroit Dog Rescue battling to keep strays from animal control

FOX 2 first told you about the Detroit Dog Rescue's attempt to stop animal control from taking their dogs earlier this week.

On Friday several non-profit animal rescue groups joined Detroit Dog Rescue demanding a meeting with Mayor Mike Duggan and city officials to keep surrendered and stray dogs - instead of turning them over to the city.

Wednesday Michigan department of agriculture informed Detroit Animal Control that DDR, which is still awaiting its license, didn't have documentation on many of their dogs. And that dogs must remain with animal control for four business days to allow the owner time to claim the dog. 

Without paperwork, the city can take those dogs.

"I have no problem reporting a dog," said Kristin Rinaldo of the DDR. "I have a problem with a broken system."

Giving DDR until Monday to show their paperwork, Assistant Detroit Police Chief James White on behalf of Detroit Animal Control said city ordinance and state law requires this process.  It helps the city to keep organizations regulated.

But the folks with Detroit Dog Rescue say turning over animals to the city, is a death sentence.

"Detroit Animal Control has a 98 to 100 percent euthanasia rate," said Kelley LaBonty of the Detroit Animal Welfare Group. "So every dog they take in not returned to owner are euthanized."

These non-profits say they're saving the city money, roughly $780 per dog, by using volunteers and donations to operate. 

The organization members say Detroiters and even police officers, desperately come to them with a weak response from the city's animal control.

"They say sorry we don't have the resources, it will be three days," said Courtney Protz-Sanders, Michigan Political Action Committee for Animals. "What are they supposed to do."

Members of the nonprofits say their fear isn't only that the city will stop them from rescuing animals.

"They are going to stop us from providing a service at no cost for the city," said Rinaldi. "That's not fair. That's not good for the citizens, not good for the dogs. It's not helping anybody."

After Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's office learned of Detroit Dog Rescue's plea, they say Duggan is willing to sit down with DDR and come up with a solution that works with everyone.
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