Eastpointe hires part-time animal control officer

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 13, 2018

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EASTPOINTE — The city of Eastpointe has hired Brian Pylar to fill the long-vacant position of animal control officer in the community. He will begin work on a part-time basis.

Eastpointe has gone without an animal control officer since June. There has been significant public outcry about the lack of animal control service in the community, and following the recent hiring of Public Safety Director George Rouhib, the city is taking action.

“He has received full training under the Department of Agriculture and worked for the county for animal control and has experience in animal adoption and placement,” said Rouhib. “His knowledge of animals and his experience in the field — he came highly recommended by the animal control chief in Macomb County, and he had impressive qualifications, which makes finding someone for the position very difficult, so getting him was a good catch.”

His available hours will include 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Fridays. Rouhib said Pylar will still offer full animal control services, but only during those limited hours.

“It’s a temporary solution,” said Rouhib. “He will perform every service a full-time officer would. He will answer stray dog issues, animal bite or vicious dog complaints, and give guidance to residents. A lot of residents think it’s our job to pick wild animals, but he can advise people as to who to call. … We have a list of private companies to refer them to in those cases.”

Rouhib said that most communities don’t have 24/7 animal control services, so he doesn’t anticipate the part-time nature of Pylar’s position to be a major stumbling block.

“We’ll do our best to manage the issue. We can’t have an animal control officer 24/7; the county can’t even do that. We’ll look at the hours, and if we decide to go full time, then these hours may be adjusted, but he can only work so many hours.”

After an assessment period, the Eastpointe City Council will make a decision whether to keep Pylar as a full-time animal control officer or look again at other options.

“It’s in the hands of the City Council. We will give them a report about Mr. Pylar and his service here,” Rouhib explained. “If he does well here, I’m confident the council will make this into a full-time position, which it should be. I don’t think it will take long to determine whether he’s comfortable here and if he’s doing a satisfactory job. I’m thinking about 60 days to show us what he can do, but so far, we are impressed. … He is passionate about animals and he has a lot of resources to do this job.”

Many Eastpointe residents are breathing a sigh of relief now that animal control services have been restored to the community.

“I think it was initially the cost, and it was just one of those things where they wanted to look at other options,” Rouhib said. “When you get a price on something, you want to ensure you are getting the best possible deal. Now we are electing to go with this route.”

Many in Eastpointe wished to contract with Macomb County and utilize their animal control services, but the cost proved a sticking point.

“We have been trying to work with the county to get services through them, but for some reason, they want to charge us for services they are providing at no cost in other communities,” said Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley. “We can’t go without any animal control services, so we are looking at (Pylar) to take over animal control in the meantime.”

A message was left with Macomb County Animal Control for comment, but was not returned by press time. 

Those with an animal-related emergency are advised to always call 911. If the reason for the call is non-emergency in nature, Eastpointe residents can call (586) 777-6700.