Macomb County Animal Control: Caring for Macomb’s Furry Friends

The work of the Macomb County Animal Control team never ends. Learn the many ways they care for Macomb County animals.

In the extraordinary early months of the pandemic, many families saw a wonderful opportunity to add a new pet to their households. It was a comfort to welcome a dog or a cat to the mix, especially because we were all at home and had the time to care for our new pets.

But now, as many parents are recalled to the office or workplace, caring for a pet as well as a family is more challenging. Many question whether or not they can continue doing it and are, sadly, even seeking ways to rehome their pets.

Macomb County Animal Control’s Chief Jeff Randazzo encourages Macomb County families who may be struggling to meet the needs of their pets to reach out and ask for help.

“We have a big focus on pet retention,” says Chief Randazzo. “This year, people are struggling. They adopted a dog during COVID and are not working at home now. They’re wondering what they can do. But maybe they need a crate or help with dog training or medical care. So many organizations need to look at things in these terms.”

With the help of many partners, Chief Randazzo and his team provide support to make it easier for families to keep their pets at home. “We always think outside the shelter walls,” he says.

Why adopt a pet from Macomb County Animal Control?

If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your own family, think about adopting from Macomb County Animal Control.

“That’s true rescue,” Chief Randazzo says. “They are homeless. I feel (the animals) rescue us as much as we rescue them, and that’s an important piece. There’s not always that same connection when you are buying a dog.” While some animals come to the shelter because they are strays, others have backstories that you can learn. And, most of the time, the shelter does initial vet work.

While he doesn’t wholesale discourage working with a responsible breeder, Chief Randazzo offers caution because he’s seen many sick dogs imported across state lines by profit-motivated breeders. By contrast, reputable rescues, animal shelters and humane societies are not money-making ventures, he says, and are motivated to get animals to good homes as quickly as possible.

When you do adopt from Macomb County Animal Control, you gain long-term support so that you can retain your pet, even if you encounter challenges. “We’re all about pet retention. You may adopt a dog and three months later the dog is barking and neighbors are getting mad. We might offer some behavior support. We might help provide pet food,” says Chief Randazzo.

Advocating for animals every day

The work of Chief Randazzo and his team includes so much more than caring for dogs and cats so they can be adopted by loving families. On YouTube, you can watch On Patrol With the Macomb County Animal Control to see all the hard work that goes into caring for animals in Macomb County.

“People do think it’s all puppies and kittens, but it’s also alpacas and sheep and livestock,” Chief Randazzo says. “We inspect pet shops to make sure they are following best practices.” The Macomb County Animal Control team is involved in many difficult situations and provides care for animals left behind following evictions, deaths and arrests.

The team knows how to look past the suffering and get the job done, he says, adding that both animals and humans need care and attention during these difficult situations. “Witnessing this is secondary trauma and we undergo counseling every few months,” he says. “We make sure our staff is always in a good mental space.”

Support your community’s shelter

If you’re ready to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30) by adopting a dog or cat, good for you! If not, there are still plenty of ways you can support Macomb County Animal Control.

“We always need people to foster,” says Chief Randazzo, adding that there are many reasons adoptable pets are selected to live with a foster family, including medical reasons and the need for socialization. “There are benefits for families who adopt animals that have been fostered because the foster has worked with the animal and can provide an in-depth snapshot of the animal’s profile,” he says.

Financial support is, of course, always welcome. You can donate items needed for the care of the animals. Or, you can gift enrichment toys or leashes from the shelter’s wish list.

Or, you can volunteer your time and love to support the animals in so many ways.

“This is your county animal control and you are a key component to its success,” Chief Randazzo says. “Help us do laundry so our animals can have clean bedding every day. Come bathe our dogs and puppies or wash their food and water dishes. We have vaccine clinics twice a year when we provide more than 2,000 vaccines and 400-500 microchips and we need people to work the registration tables and hand out pamphlets.”

Macomb County Animal Control is located in Clinton Township. For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Claire Charlton
Claire Charlton
An enthusiastic storyteller, Claire Charlton focuses on delivering top client service as a content editor for Metro Parent. In her 20+ years of experience, she has written extensively on a variety of topics and is keen on new tech and podcast hosting. Claire has two grown kids and loves to read, run, camp, cycle and travel.


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