Rescue shelters pick up dogs from Detroit Animal Control

- The fallout continues over allegations of neglect, abuse and deadly conditions inside Detroit Animal Control.

Now dog rescue groups from all over the area are trying to save the animals. Today Detroit began a new fostering program for the dogs.

Warning: Some of the images in this story are graphic and may be offensive.

Tears and hugs were shared by animal rights advocates who have waited years for this moment.

"We hope that this means better things to come and a better working relationship," said Jen Clarkson, executive director of Dog Aid.

The Detroit Dog Rescue, metro Detroit's only no-kill dog shelter collected 10 dogs Tuesday. Members say they attempted  to create a partnership with the DAC for about five years.

"Now this is only the first step," said Kristina Rinaldi, the DDR executive director. "We're not done, I know people are going to say there are still dogs in there. Absolutely. As I was taking 10 out, 25 more are going in."

The Detroit Animal Welfare Group picked up 3 dogs.

"We've been hoping to save dogs here at Detroit Animal Control for many years," said Kelly LaBonty, founder of DAWG. "And today is the first day that it's happened. We can't tell you how excited we are for these animals."

Also stopping by was Taylor Animal Control picked up three.

These organizations and others now have the option to rescue and rehabilitate the dogs being held in the center.

"We're looking at doing dozens of dogs a month, through this program," said Dan Austin, Detroit deputy communications director. "I mean that's more than 100 dogs a year."

The DAC is being accused of abuse of dogs, power, and taxpayer dollars.

An employee fired by the DAC is filing a whistleblower lawsuit along with these images she took on the job. FOX 2's cameras have also uncovered tiny cages, where dogs eat food off the floor next to feces.

"Do we do ground feeding, throwing the food on the ground,"  said DAC Director Henry Ward. "That's a question for the state."

Many are calling for Ward to resign.

"I would say I would leave that up to the people who employ me every day to run this facility," Ward said.

When a reporter asked if he thinks he does a good job, he said "Yes, I do."

Ward is also under fire for his pet Peaches, a 6-year-old Mastiff he keeps in one of the larger, cleaner cages in the center.

"Peaches is not taking up a place for any dog," he said.

Vaccines, food, and room and board for peaches are all paid for by taxpayer dollars, and donations.

"It helps your spirits coming into a very difficult work situation every day," Ward said. "And then it starts to implant in your mind that you want to run this operation the way you would want your dog to live in it."

Ward says he will not try to have Peaches adopted out. She will remain in this cage, as a pet for Ward while he's at work.

These animal shelters and organizations have very likely saved the lives of these dogs today, but all of them are now asking for your help to pay for some of their medical care.

If you are a shelter looking to get involved, a GoFundMe page has been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/ddrmedicalfund

Those interested in helped should also follow the Michigan Humane Society Facebook page where they will be given access to a Facebook group that will post pictures of animals that can be adopted from the DAC.
 

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