“ Animal Cops Detroit is a television reality programme on Animal Planet. It takes place in Detroit, Michigan, home of the Michigan Humane Society, and focuses on the exploits of five animal cruelty field agents and the staff physicians and animal evaluators at the MHS. The series is one of Animal Planet's top-rated shows; it is part of an "umbrella rotation" of shows known collectively as "Animal Planet Heroes", along with shows set in New York, New York (Animal Precinct), Houston, Texas (Animal Cops Houston), Miami, Florida (Miami Animal Police), San Francisco, California (Animal Cops San Francisco), and Phoenix, Arizona (Animal Planet Heroes: Phoenix). „
Animal cops is a program shown on animal planet.
It is filmed in america, the film crew follow the people in america who rescue animals like our rspca officers do in england.
This program is very different to any of the english animal rescue programs i have seen, in america the animal rescur teams go in after hurricanes and earthquakes to rescue animals left behind by there owners when they had to evacuate, these animals are rescued and kept at an animal center untill there owners come to collect them.
This is not the only rescuing they have to do though, americans are just as bad as us for leaving there animals neglected and uncared for or some of the cases you see them dealing with is just sheer stupidness like when they lock animals up in cars on sweltering hot days, without air or water.
I like this program and it seems better to me than most of the english rescue programs as the animal cops seem to have more power than our rspca in seizing animals that are not looked after properly and prosecuting there owners.
Just a warning before you read any further if you are particularly sensitive to animal cruelty you may not want to read any further as I have described some instances shown in this programme.
I have managed to catch this series numerous times now, as my son loves anything animal related so we frequently have the Animal Planet channel on the TV. Animal Cops is more a favourite of mine than his though as it can be quite harrowing at times and will often show cases of neglected animals which can be upsetting.
It centers around three areas that cover animal cruelty cases. The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) who are a non-profit making organisation and do not receive any government help or other funding to facilitate them doing their jobs. They rely on charitable donations and have been around since 1877. The MHS covers the Detroit area.
The HSPCA, which covers Houston, is again a private, non-profit charity, which receives no funding. They receive over 40,000 animals each year, primarily cats and dogs but they take in any animal that needs care and help.
Finally the ACC (Animal Care & Control) cover San Francisco and work in hand with San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The programme follows field officers for all three, Detroit, Houston and San Francisco and allows us to watch them go about their daily routines of visiting and rescuing animals, as well as teaching people how to care for their animals and looking to re-home others.
The cases they deal with vary in intensity depending upon the situation. For instance in the episode tonight I have been particularly choked because they have followed two cases of severe neglect, both dogs, who have really been put through the mill.
A German Shepherd was just left, tied up outside a house. The owner was inside but she did not let her dogs in. She left them rotten, mouldy rubbish to eat and no water. What made it really shocking was that it was the middle of winter and the snow was at least three inches deep. The dogs were lying on the driveway, with no shelter or cover. One of them was so weak, he could only lie there wagging his tail as the officer approached. Occasionally he would grab a mouthful of snow as he had no other water to consume. Not being able to get up and having no food anyway, the dog had become emaciated and the officers believed he would not have made it through another night.
The other dog at a separate incident was a Rottweiler whose owner was too scared of him, so left him tied up outside. The collar he was wearing had never been changed since he was a puppy and had therefore become so tight around his neck it had broken the skin and was slowly getting deeper and deeper.
The dogs were removed from the care (or non-care) of their owners and taken to the headquarters of the MHS, where they have qualified veterinarians waiting to evaluate the animals brought in. They are on hand 24 hours a day to give emergency treatment if needed and house the sick and injured animals that end up in their care. Both dogs mentioned above were nursed back to health and happiness and eventually re-homed with loving owners where they will be happy for the rest of their lives.
However not all cases end up like this and a number of the abused animals will have to be put to sleep as there is nothing else the rescue shelters can do for them. Occasionally, even if the animal can be nursed back to health, their experiences will make them too temperamental to re-home and they will be put to sleep anyway. This is so sad and pointless and if the owners had relinquished responsibility to the re-homing centres before the abuse happened the dogs temperament may not have altered and they could have been re-homed easily.
The three groups that I mentioned above dont just deal with neglect cases but they cover stray animals as well and any animal that needs their help and attention. They really dont discriminate and cats stuck up trees and so on will get the same amount of attention as a dying dog in a driveway.
For me the programme holds a morbid fascination. I am appalled and disgusted by the way some of the animals are treated by the people they have to rely on for life and at times it is extremely disturbing. Animal Cops do spare you some of the grosser points by putting fuzzy areas over the more explicit scenes, like operations and so on but it is not really the blood and guts that upset me, it is the thought that the animal in question deserved so much better.
I am not sure why I still watch, when it upsets me, but as I said before morbid curiosity is probably a big part of it. Same reason I read A Child Called It and other books of that vain. It is compelling watching and when there is a happy ending for a particular animal it does seem to make it worthwhile.
The animal officers that are filmed doing their jobs are amazing. You can see the devotion and passion they have for their chosen careers and every one of them has an amazing love for the animals they take charge of. You can see the anger burning in their eyes when they rescue an animal and then cannot prosecute the owner for some reason or another. It is surprising about the amount of evidence they need to make a prosecution stick and it seems that even if they do get a result and the owner is banned from having animals, they simply ignore these restrictions and get more!
It always amazes me that a lot of these cases can get as bad as they are. For instance the dog I mentioned earlier with the chain link collar embedded in his neck, was kept outside because the owner was scared of him. They did not live on a deserted street and people must have seen this poor dog suffering before the phone call was made reporting the situation. I refuse to believe that no-one noticed what was happening over the weeks or months it must have taken for that collar to become as embedded as it was. Why do people choose to turn the other cheek? If I saw something like that I would be on the phone like a shot, even if there were to be repercussions. Although to be honest these things can be done anonymously and there would be no need to be concerned about knock on effects from the owners. The safety and health of the animal should take precedence, yet over and over again the animal rescue centres are seeing the same kind of neglect cases.
Animal Cops is only on for half an hour per episode and is shown on Animal Planet, so not everyone will see it unless you have Sky/Digital/Cable TV. However if you do have access to this channel and can manage to watch the sensitive nature of this programme without getting too upset yourself, I would recommend it. It does make you feel like you owe your pet that extra walk, even though it is raining and I always end up in the pet treat cupboard when it finishes. My dog certainly enjoys the result of me watching this programme!