As a member of the Animal Welfare Reform and Advisory Committee for Detroit Animal Control, the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is honored to announce that today marks a new day for the people and pets of Detroit. As a result of a long and arduous collaboration between the Detroit Health Department, under the leadership of Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, and a committee of dedicated animal welfare advocates, the city has hired a new director for Detroit Animal Control (DAC).
Months of working together to recruit qualified candidates for the position has resulted in the hiring of a transformational, creative and proactive leader. The road ahead is long and full of challenges, but the committee is confident that this change will bring best practices and standards for humane care to DAC. The current state of animal welfare in Detroit is a result of decades of neglect and it will take time to make the necessary improvements. The committee fully supports the new director and the transformation that is to come, but this monumental change will also require the full support of the animal welfare and rescue community in and around Metro Detroit. It is with great relief, excitement and unending hope that Detroit is now on a path to becoming one of the best and most effective animal care and control organizations in our state. Please join us in welcoming Melissa Miller to the position of Director - Detroit Animal Care and Control, effective Monday, December 21, 2015.
New Detroit Animal Control Director
Prior to this position, Director Miller served as Shelter Operations Manager for The Humane Society of the United States where she set up and managed emergency shelters in challenging circumstances, such as natural disasters and large-scale cruelty situations, including hoarding, puppy mill and dog fighting seizures. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers and speaks nationally on animal behavior and sheltering best practices. A Detroit native, Director Miller co-founded and served as Director of Operations for Dog Aide, a Detroit-based, community outreach non-profit organization that coordinates support and resources for dogs and their owners in need. Director Miller brings to this role a passion and commitment to community engagement and education, as well as animal welfare and humane care standards. We are extremely excited for DAC under Director Miller's leadership.
Since the very first advisory board meeting with the City, our committee has advocated for a transition of this kind. The City has been supportive and throughout our regular advisory meetings, we have together actively planned for this transition for months. Although the climate of anger and mistrust around DAC has increased obstacles in implementing some changes, we are pleased that our efforts alongside City leadership have paid off. The people and the animals of Detroit deserve this change and we hope that from here on, the animal welfare community will work together toward a brighter future for DAC. We look forward to Director Miller's leadership and guidance in helping the community and the department rebuild trust and mutual respect.
This monumental change would not have taken place without the commitment and support of Mayor Duggan, Dr. El-Sayed, and the members of the advisory committee. We know that they, along with Director Miller, care deeply about the well-being of animals and the people in Detroit, and they are working hard to improve the situation.
This transition in leadership is one step down a much longer path. And much more needs to be done. We join together in asking the community for its patience and support as Director Miller begins to improve Animal Care and Control in the City of Detroit.