JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. — The job of animal control has been falling on the shoulders of law enforcement for the past few years in Jackson, but this month, Jackson County Animal Control officers finally hit the streets.
Jackson County Animal Control officers are picking up strays, educating the public, and issuing citations.
They are now fully functional after an $11 million millage passed last year to bring them back.
"We want to keep the animals safe and keep pet owners informed on what they should be doing to properly care for that animal," said Shawn Lutz, an Animal Control officer.
There are currently two Animal Control officers and the shelter is looking for a third.
"Cruelty training, animal fighting, neglect ... Animal Control really takes the burden off law enforcement by being able to respond to calls that they have specialized training to handle," said Lydia Sattler, the Jackson County Animal Shelter director.
The shelter says officers have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the public since hitting the streets.
One group especially happy to see them is Saving Innocent Souls, a nonprofit that provides resources and education to pet owners and animals.
Before Animal Control came back, the group often took on the role of patrolling the streets for strays.
"Before Animal Control came, if we could not get the owners to allow us to help them, there was nothing that could be done, so we just would just watch from afar and would see the animal suffering and couldn't do anything about it," said Jody Brown of Saving Innocent Souls.
The organization says having them back is helpful to keep pet owners in check.
If you need the help of Animal Control, contact the Jackson County Animal Shelter.