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      Saginaw County updating animal control policies amid controversy

      Saginaw County leaders are addressing the nearly 300 violations cited at its animal shelter.

      The county's Animal Care Advisory Council met Wednesday night to work on updating policies and procedures at the shelter after commissioners fired its former director amid the allegations.

      The council reviewed a new policies manual and suggested changes. Saginaw County leaders say this is the final step in addressing the violations.

      â??The last time a policy, procedures manual was written in the Animal Care Center was in the late 90s,â?? said Saginaw County Controller Robert Belleman.

      The advisory council says it has addressed the more than 284 violations. The report cited more than 80 instances of dogs and cats being put down before a waiting period required by the state.

      â??The intake procedures was one thing that they addressedâ?|we look at how we're gonna feed them. How we look at them for medical care. When we contact a veterinarian for care, how we clean the facility,â?? said Belleman.

      The changes also include updates to safety procedures like ensuring cages are in good working order and are the appropriate size for an animal.

      The Animal Control Director will also report to the controller instead of directly to the Board of Commissioners with the hope that simplified oversight will prevent violations from happening again.

      Once the county completes the manual and it is approved, the fines will be cut in half to around 9,000 dollars.

      The document then moves to the Courts and Public Safety Committee followed by the board for final approval.