Eastpointe Animal Control adding dog kennels at Police Department

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 8, 2019

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EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe Animal Control is expanding its resources by installing new kennels at the Eastpointe Police Department.

It is part of an ongoing effort by the Eastpointe Department of Public Safety to expand its animal control capabilities, which had become insufficient in the eyes of many residents in recent years.

“When I first came here a year ago, our animal control was upside-down,” said Director of Public Safety George Rouhib. “We hired (Animal Control Officer) Brian Pylar because he had such a great passion for animals, and I think he’s brought us to a point where we’re the No. 1 animal control department in the county. We’ve done a lot of educational programs for the public, and now we want to have our own kennel in our garage.”

Pylar said the addition will mean less cost for the department and more convenience for residents.

“It’s come a long way from where it used to be,” Pylar said. “When residents used to find dogs, the city of Eastpointe never had any holding, and they had to contract with the county. This meant if a dog was found in the middle of the night after hours, all they could do was recommend a shelter. Now the Police Department has designated a whole area of the department, which I have outfitted with kennels and so forth. It’s not a huge space, but it will have a half-dozen or so spaces for dogs we can hold.”

The space is in an unused garage at the department. It was being converted into the new space in early October.

“We just cleaned up the garage after it was filled with 20 years of clutter,” Rouhib said. “We’ll have different areas, including different areas for cats and dogs. It will save us on costs, because we don’t have to pay the county, and it’s more convenient for residents, because they don’t have to leave Eastpointe to claim a lost animal.”

Pylar said that they hope to further improve the space’s capabilities.

“We’re slowly working on upgrading this space,” he said. “Eventually, we will be getting an inspection from the Michigan Department of Agriculture to be registered as an actual shelter. For now, it’s just a holding area until we can transfer them to the county or another agency, but we will have full kennel facilities, hopefully, in the near future.”

The new additions were paid for through grants and donations.

“I was able to obtain funds from grants and donations from the public, and from the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, which is a dog rescue organization I am a part of. This didn’t come out of the city’s police budget at all,” said Pylar. “We also got donations from several residents to provide food, supplies and other things for the dogs.”

“I think it’s a great idea, and we put a lot of time and effort into it, and I think it’s going to make our program better,” added Rouhib. “We’re also taking donations, and we’ve had probably 30 people donate items, so we’re very excited.”

Those who encounter a stray can contact the police or directly call Pylar.

“People should report a stray dog to law enforcement; the state of Michigan says so. They can contact me directly at (586) 445-5100, ext. 1035, in that situation,” Pylar said. “We want residents to continue to do the right thing and work with the department to care for these animals. It’s good for the animal, it’s good for the city and we want to be able to do everything we can to help with that.”

Rouhib and Pylar both said the city wants to be proactive in improving its animal control capabilities and that this new kennel is a big step in accomplishing that.

“Eastpointe has a lot of stray dogs — it’s a problem we are dealing with,” said Pylar. “People in the community want to do the right thing and get them off the street, but can’t hold onto them themselves because they have dogs of their own or don’t have the resources to care for a dog. They shouldn’t have to be told they have to do all this extra work for trying to do what is right for the animals.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.