Michael Perkins is hoping to leave a mark as he starts the process of bringing Madison County Animal Control toward becoming a “no-kill” facility.
“It’s not something that will happen overnight,” Perkins said. “It will take time, but there has also been a lot of miscommunication about the plan and it needs to change.”
Perkins assumed the role as the new Animal Control manager on Jan. 16. He replaced the former office manager who resigned in early December and his role will be to work with the County Administration and Public Safety Committee in moving the county toward no-kill.
The Animal Control and Care center is located at 8501 State Route 143 in Edwardsville.
The Personnel Committee approved an updated job description for the manager position last month to include more duties and responsibilities. Perkins will oversee the staff of eight, which includes two office clerks and six animal control officers.
Chairman Kurt Prenzler said he is pleased with the decision to hire Perkins.
“He has experience working with animals and in management,” Prenzler said. “I think he will be an asset as we move toward becoming no-kill.”
Perkins’ background is in law enforcement. He served 20 years on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to include time as detective, K-9 officer and K-9 trainer before retiring in 2009.
Following his retirement, he worked three years as a part-time police officer with the Sparta Police Department and in security with the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. In 2011, he took on the role of director of the Animal Cruelty Task Force with the Humane Society of Missouri.
Since last fall, Perkins has worked as a special project manager for the county helping put together a comprehensive plan to move the county toward its “no-kill” status.
The Public Safety Committee approved the plan on Dec. 11 and then presented it to the County Board. In April 2017, the County Board passed a resolution to bring the county into no-kill status by Dec. 31, 2021.
“I will be working with the Public Safety Committee on the approved plan and changes can be made at any time,” Perkins said. “There are communities all across the country that have gone to no-kill with success. I believe the county can do better in taking care of the animals that are brought in and we can and should save healthy and adoptable animals.”
The plan includes everything from developing a mission statement, clarifying policies and procedures and restructuring fee schedule to utilizing local resources and community involvement, which includes humane education programs presented to schools and community groups and having a presence at adoptions events and gatherings.
“It’s exciting all the things we are planning to do,” Perkins said.
Perkins holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Missouri. He is also a master trainer with the North American Police Work Dog Association and continues to train dogs during his spare time.
— Madison Co. hires new Animal Control manager —-