Macomb Co Shelter Staff Cause Four Newborn Kittens to Suffer Needlessly

Macomb Co is a suburb of Detroit where about 10% of the population lives below the poverty level.  The Macomb Co Animal Shelter in MI has 5 dogs and 6 cats listed on its website – none have photos.  They sell dogs for $162 (if they have to neuter) and cats for $94 (if they have to neuter).  The shelter’s mission statement reads, in part:

The Animal Shelter has adopted a no-kill philosophy, and will make every effort to promote pet adoptions of healthy, non-aggressive animals by the general public and by approved animal rescue organizations.

I was skeptical after reading that for several reasons.  Listing so few animals online and posting no photos at all hardly seems like they are making “every effort to promote pet adoptions”.  The high adoption fees are prohibitive to saving lives.  There are no stats posted on the website to verify they are saving at least 90% of their animals.  Then there’s this report which indicates Macomb Co saved only 27% of its animals in 2010.  In 2011, the shelter took in 7337 dogs and cats, killing 5027 of them (a kill rate of approximately 69% for dogs and cats).  And the Detroit Free Press reports that things aren’t getting better for cats:

The shelter’s feline euthanasia rate, as reported to the state, has jumped in two years, from 54% for kittens and cats in 2010 to 83% in 2011[.]

So definitely not no kill.  Not no way, not no how.

Just as disturbing as the needless killing is the account from a rescuer of how 4 newborn kittens suffered due to negligence on the part of the shelter staff last week.  A near term pregnant cat was housed in the same cage with another cat when she gave birth to 4 kittens last Monday.  The shelter staff then removed one of the adult cats.  The neonate kittens suffered and died because the cat they were left with was not the mama cat.  As usual, a local politician has an expluhnashun:

[Assistant County Executive Al] Lorenzo said shelter staff believed they had left the kittens with the right adult, as staffers witnessed the cat cleaning the kittens. He said he was told that the kittens likely died because the mother was stressed.

Oh.  Right.  After giving birth, the shelter staff took the mama cat away from her babies, leaving them to starve to death.  That probably stressed her out.  And the NotMama cat tried to help out by licking the kittens so of course any trained animal professional is going to assume that’s the cat who is full of milk and keeping these babies alive, right?  Yeah but oops.  Anyhoo, it’s all good.  No kill and stuff.

There is a petition for the removal of the shelter director here.

11 thoughts on “Macomb Co Shelter Staff Cause Four Newborn Kittens to Suffer Needlessly

  1. Welcome to the 20th Century Macomb Co. You’ve just been served notice your in the crosshairs.

  2. signed… How could anyone that works with animals be that stupid? Not notice that the babies butts had not been cleaned. OMG… it broke my heart to read how these babies died

  3. Poor kitties :(

    I couldn’t help noticing the adoption prices. Wow, hopefully they don’t go look at what the BC SPCA charges. $299 for a dog, $399 for a “general” puppy / purebred or toy dog, $499 for a purebred / toy puppy. $149 for a cat and $179 for a kitten. Sure have me whipped. I thought nothing of paying that much for our cats. Although the prices for dogs always shocked me.

    1. The problem is that many people, myself included, can not afford to pay those kind of prices. And since the name of the game is DEATH, the prices should be lowered accordingly IMO.

  4. And the folks who work there couldn’t tell the difference between a nursing mom and non-nursing mom? Did anyone look at the cats’ bellies? This is absolutely STUPID at its worst.

    That poor pregnant mom should have at least had a cage of her own, although a foster home would have been best.

    Fail, fail, fail and the cats and kittens (and likely puppies and dogs) pay the price!

  5. I am in no way excusing the practices at this shelter, but the animal control of Macomb County isn’t straightforward. (It’s considerably more complex than I saw when I lived in Indianapolis, Marion County, IN and I think only two of the small cities had their own AC).

    Macomb has 8 to 12 municipalities (some fairly large) that have their own animal control, so it’s hard to make any “poverty line” comparisons unless you get the stats for the areas that are actually served by the MAC. I lived in Macomb for the first 30 years of my life and recently moved back after an 8 year absence. Prior to moving, I called to find out which areas had separate AC and though I can’t remember for sure, it seems like quite a few of the larger (and poorer) municipalities were not serviced by MAC.

    Based on my personal experience, large portions of the northern 2/3 of the county (including areas of Clinton Twp where the facility is located) are filled with subdivisions of homes where a 2,000 sqft house is considered “small” and the population would be considered middle or upper-middle income so I’m not sure that those fees are as prohibitive as one might think based on a “10% poverty” figure. (I’m not endorsing their higher fees. Just wanted to share that my real-life impression of 2/3 to 3/4 of the county is considerably different from the impression I got when reading this blog post.)

    Thank you for posting about this inexcusable mistake at the shelter.

  6. Wow…just awful. NONE of that says “no-kill” to me. Just screams “stupidity”.

  7. Hi – as someone who is very familiar with Macomb county and knows a lot of people living there, I was wondering if you know anything about the current state of the shelter? I can probably pass the info to friends and family in Sterling Heights and Warren.

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