The Otsego County Animal Control Department was established in 1974 beginning with the building of the Donald Reece Animal Shelter. The Director of Animal Control oversees the employees and the overall operations of the shelter. The Director reports to the County Administrator.
On January 1, 1999, the Donald Reece Animal Shelter became the first No Kill municipal shelter in Michigan. The Board of Commissioners officially adopted this no kill resolution on May 11, 1999. The shelter is funded by a special millage and also by generous donations from individuals and organizations.
Otsego County Animal Control was successful with a reclaiming and/or adoption rate of 99.5% in 1999 and 98.75% in 2000. Since 1998, we have significantly reduced our number of foster care animals and our number of animals/litters received. This is due largely to our aggressive sterilization program. Our greatest efforts are in educating the public regarding responsible pet ownership which includes spaying/neutering and obeying leash laws. With this education, we hope to significantly reduce the number of unwanted adoptable pets. Due in part to our successful adoption rate and no kill policy, Gaylord Michigan was named one of the top ten dog friendly cities in the U.S. by Dog Fancy magazine.