Saginaw Co. Animal Care Center policies scrutinized, some say n - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw Co. Animal Care Center policies scrutinized, some say nearly animal abuse

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(08/08/12) - An organization that's supposed to help stray animals is being accused of doing more harm than good.

Wednesdays, residents flooded into the county commission chambers, saying the Saginaw County animal shelter's new policies could nearly be considered animal abuse.

All chairs were quickly snatched up Wednesday afternoon, as crowds gathered to speak on the behalf of dogs and cats at the Saginaw County Animal Care Center.

New policies put in place by the shelter director said volunteers were no longer allowed in the building on weekends.

Volunteers say that means dogs were alone and locked up all weekend with no exercise or human attention.

"It actually causes a lot of stress in a kennel environment, it causes behavioral issues, a lot of times it can cause them to go kennel crazy," said Carrie Part low, a shelter volunteer.

That's not the only change either. New policies also meant volunteers couldn't take pictures of dogs and post them online for potential adopters to see.

And if animals got sick, they'd have 48 hours to find a rescue or be adopted; otherwise, they'd be euthanized.

The shelter director was supposed to be at this meeting to answer questions.

But the chair says she called in sick, so the courts and public safety committee decided to reverse these controversial policies.

"I think that's the best first step it takes to improve our animal shelter, you saw by the impassioned volunteers that came here tonight, we need to allow them the freedom they need to do their job there," said Cheryl Hadsall, Courts and Public Safety Committee Chair.

The Saginaw County Sheriff is also investigating the shelter on two different complaints.

One is for animal neglect, he couldn't comment on the second investigation.

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