Jackson County voters can bring back animal control officers there

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 29, 2018

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Voters in a southern Michigan county may approve funding for the return of animal control officers.

The 10-year, 0.25-millage proposal would add three animal control officers in Jackson County beginning next year, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported . The county cut the last of its animal control officers in 2014, leaving police responsible for responding to animal situations.

“Right now, the police are responding and they’re doing a great job, but it’s based on a priority basis,” Assistant County Administrator Debra Kubitskey said. “So if they get a call for a lost dog and they get a call for a drunk driver, they have to make a priority on which one they’re going to respond to first.”

The proposal would have residents owning a property valued at $100,000 pay an extra $12.50 in taxes a year. The millage is expected to generate about $1.1 million in the first year.

Shelter volunteers and community animal advocates recently approached the county Board of Commissioners to urge for the return of animal control officers.

“We want to do things well, we want to do it right,” Kubitskey said. “And we recognized that wasn’t happening.”

The proposal would also provide money toward improvements at the county animal shelter. Work is needed on the roof, parking lot and air conditioning system, Kubitskey said. The proposal would also fund a generator for the shelter, she said.

Voters will consider the proposal on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot.