Livingston County’s Animal Control department is looking to place their two animal control officers under the supervision of the Livingston County Sheriffs Office and also change the department’s name to better clarify their duties.

During Monday night’s Public Safety and Infrastructure and Development Committee meeting, County Administrator Ken Hinton addressed current duties that the two animal control officers face. He says both the Animal Control department and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office feel as though the duties would be better suited under the direction and order of the sheriff’s office. Hinton expressed that when Animal Control is called onto a scene, more often than not it is due to a law enforcement issue. Hinton feels as though placing the officers under the sheriff’s control will allow easier law enforcement.

Hinton says the process to separate animal welfare and shelter operations will take longer than originally thought, as it will now likely need to be done via ordinance revision versus resolution. The original plan was to have the change in place before current Director Andy Seltz departs, which might present some challenges in the hiring process. Seltz is resigning after accepting a job with the Michigan Humane Society, although he will remain in his current role until September 15th.

A department name change is also proposed from Animal Control to the Livingston County Animal Shelter so that there is a better understanding of the shelter’s duties. Those include housing animals, operating spaying and neutering clinics, and running adoption programs.

Hinton noted they have a great staff and volunteer group at the shelter, adding there’s been good progress over the last several years that they look to continue. (DF/JM)