Animal Care Network finds animals in need
By CHARLES CRUMM of The Oakland Press
December 28, 2009
PONTIAC – While shoppers headed back to the malls and stores after Christmas Saturday and Sunday to snap up after-Christmas deals or to exchange presents, others had a different mission.
Volunteers from the Animal Care Network planned to make stops in neighborhoods in Pontiac checking on the welfare of outdoor pets.
“We are going to be delivering food, dog houses, straw, collars and chains,” said Marie Skladd of Farmington Hills.
“We are going to make sure every house we visit is outfitted for the elements,” Skladd said.
The first stop Saturday was at a house on Forest Street in Pontiac, to make sure a German Shepherd named Lady had enough food and straw in her outdoor pen.
It was the first of some 20 stops that day for the volunteers, who provide animal assistance services throughout the week.
Over the course of a year, the volunteers will make between 9,000 and 10,000 house calls, primarily in Pontiac and Inkster.
Saturday’s schedule called for stops in the neighborhoods just north of downtown Pontiac by Skladd and three other volunteers.
While most stops involve delivering food and straw for outdoor pets, some calls are check-ups from tips provided.
At one address, they looked into a report of three dogs outside with no shelter or straw, and where no one is reportedly home.
At another address, they pulled out the materials from the back of their two vans to build a doghouse.
The Animal Care Network spends time seven days a week in low-income areas in Wayne and Oakland counties.
Relief is also provided for indoor pets as well as outdoor pets.
Often, people on pensions or fixed incomes run short of money at the end of the month, and the organization assists with food and other needs.
Animal Care Network’s own statistics show the need to be increasing over the past decade, perhaps as the economy began tanking.
Volunteers made 9,895 calls for assistance in 2009, steadily up from 985 a decade ago.
The Animal Care Network also hosts low-cost shot clinics and spay/neuter clinics.
It estimates that since 1994 over 4,268 cats and dogs have been sterilized within the metro area since 1994, resulting in a decrease in the number of unwanted strays.
Part of the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, more information is available about the Animal Care Network online at www.mi-aan.org or by calling (248) 545-5055.
Contact staff writer Charles Crumm at (248) 745-4649 or email@example.com.