TV5 talks with new director at Saginaw Co. Animal Care Center
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
Following a search that took several months, the Saginaw County commissioners have found a new director for their controversial animal care center.
The new director comes from a facility in Milwaukee, WI. WNEM TV5 talked with Kevin Wilken on Wednesday about the position he takes over this November.
Dogs, cats and other critters will soon have a man from Milwaukee looking over them at the Saginaw County Animal Care Center. The county commission offered the position to Wilken. He says the top priority is to lower the rate of animals being put down.
"Saginaw County Animal Control had a euthanasia rate in the high 60th percentile," said Wilken. "That's extremely high, especially when compared to shelters across the country. Ideally, you want to get that to a percentage where it is only the animals being euthanized that are aggressive or have some type of serious medical problem."
Valerie McCullough resigned as director in August after the commission received dozens of complaints from residents. They were concerned about the general condition of the facility and policy changes.
The use of volunteers at the facility has been a big issue during the past year or so. TV5 asked Wilken what his thoughts are on the use of volunteers.
"[They're] extremely important," said Wilken. "It's not a one-man show, it's a community-wide effort. It's going to depend on what the employees in Saginaw County do, what the volunteers do and what the community does."
Wilken says he wants to come in to work effectively to adopt out as many animals as possible.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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