By Mary Meldrum
Photos by Bernie Laframboise and from the HPAC

IN ONE OF THE BUILDINGS OWNED BY THE CITY OF HAZEL PARK AT 24211 COUZENS AVE., HAZEL PARK ANIMAL CONTROL has a small office – it really consists of just a desk amidst the cages in the cinder block room. From this modest headquarters, Hazel Park’s Animal Control Officer, Justin Holland, and his small dedicated band of volunteers manage a myriad of animal-related issues for the city of Hazel Park.

The Hazel Park Animal Shelter cares for local strays, feral cats and dogs, animals abandoned by their owners, animals seized from owners due to improper care, surrendered animals, and house bite cases. They are just starting to do direct adoptions, and they also sometimes work with local rescues to find the right homes for the animals at the shelter. Adoption applications are available for those interested in animals at the shelter. They currently have a 90 per cent return and placement rate through their Facebook postings. Lost pets and animals looking for a new home tend to find one quickly.

The Hazel Park Animal Control Shelter Facebook page was designed to get the word out about the shelter, as well as provide residents a way to spread the news about lost/found pets in and around the city. The page has a healthy turnover of pictures and information on the dogs and cats that are being kept and then reunited with their owners through the shelter. Additionally, adoptable pets from the Hazel Park Animal Shelter are posted on PetFinder.com.

There are 21 cages for cats and eight kennels for dogs (with two outdoor dog runs that can be used in weather above 40 degrees). Volunteers are at the shelter two or three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to make sure the animals are fed and cared for as well as to help the public with other animal-related problems.

While larger cities have more resources and more open land, the city of Hazel Park is just under two square miles, making the capture and release of wild animal pests impossible for the small crew at animal control. The City Code Department handles any rat infestation issues, while the raccoons and opossum complaints are farmed out to the proper third-party organizations.

While there are some open and available cages now, there are times where the shelter has an increase in resident cats and/or dogs. Late fall tends to be a big time for cats being reported and brought to the shelter. Well-meaning citizens are under the impression that the cat might not survive the approaching cold weather and call the Shelter to come pick up the cat. Stray animals, bite cases, domestic and wild road kills and lost animals at large are the responsibility of the Animal Control department. The biggest part of Justin’s day is split between care for the animals in the shelter and keeping his paperwork up to date. Other than a designated part-time Shelter Manager who is paid for two hours a day, Justin is the only employee of Animal Control. He has been the Animal Control Officer for a year-and-a-half, after spending four years in the Code Department for the city.

The shelter is experiencing good times. The Facebook page is more active than ever and the shelter has put a few policies in place that help dogs and cats get recovered and get them home faster. At least once a year the Hazel Park Animal Control Shelter hosts a low-cost vaccination clinic. It is a great opportunity for pet owners; for $30 you can get complete immunization for your dog or cat. They have also just instituted policies recently where police officers can bring dogs and cats into the shelter after hours and call one of the shelter volunteers to meet them most hours of the night. This has greatly reduced the “returned home” turnaround time for many dogs and cats who end up at the shelter from days to mere hours. Lost animals are posted on the “For the Love of Louie” Facebook page, as well as other local forums that help to reunite pets with their owners.

Justin was very clear about thanking the City Council of Hazel Park for keeping the Animal Control Department in its budget planning. With so many responsibilities, Hazel Park chooses to be a small city with a big heart for animals and the people who regard them as family members.

ESTABLISHED IN 2016, THE HAZEL PARK GROWERS & MAKERS MARKET is dedicated to providing a welcoming and comfortable outdoor environment for our community to gather and have weekly access to healthy, fresh, and high-quality produce and cottage food products. Our market is focused on presenting our local agricultural entrepreneurs and vendors a stable avenue and space for their business’s growth. We intend to celebrate our community’s cultural and economic diversity through the offerings of nutritious seasonal food, social and educational activities and events, and partnering with other charitable organizations to improve the overall quality of life for our residents. We will always strive to make the Hazel Park Growers & Makers Market an appealing destination for our local families and neighboring communities to visit and enjoy our charming hospitality.

FOUNDERS: Jennifer Jackson and Leigh McLaughlin. Began discussing the market in August of 2015. They met with Ed Klobucher and Jeffrey Campbell from the City of HP, who were extremely supportive. The market is structured as a volunteer organization under the City’s umbrella. It is operated by volunteers only. There are no paid staff.
ASSOCIATIONS: The market is a member of the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA). Both Jennifer and Leigh became certified market managers through MIFMA, after attending courses at the Michigan State Extension in Jackson, MI, as well as participating in many online courses.
MARKET DAYS: Sunday, from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., from June 19 through September 4, 2016

WHERE: The market is held along the walking path, near the pavilions at Green Acres Park, in Hazel Park. The park is located behind the Hazel Park Department of Recreation.

VENDORS: The market had 3 farmers, 3 cottage food vendors with baked goods, and 1 natural cosmetics vendor during the 2016 season.

COMMUNITY GARDEN. Hazel Park currently has two community gardens. The first was established by the Neighborhood Enrichment Commit-tee in 2005 at Kennedy Park. It has 19 plots available for rent every year. The rental fee is $25 per plot, per season. For more information please call 248.547.5535. The Merrill Street Garden Club features 17 4’x8’ raised garden beds. Rental fee is $25 per box, per season. Information on renting the plots is available through the Parks and Recreation Department. 248.547.5535.
HAZEL PARK ANIMAL CONTROL (HPAC) shelter cares for strays, animals abandoned by their owners, animals seized from owners due to improper care, surrendered animals and house bite cases. “The City has been gracious enough to approve direct adoption,” Justin Holland explains, which reduces the time in which animals find new homes. Visit www.facebook.com/hpacshelter or email HPAC48030@gmail.com.
HAZEL PARK ARTS COUNCIL “makes art happen” through its resources and connections, advises the city on acceptance, purchases and integration of art into public and private development, and participates in and subscribes to arts organizations within the state to continually develop strategic relationships with art professionals. Contact: thehazelparkartscouncil@gmail.com or visit
HAZEL PARK ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB is an organization whose sole purpose is to enhance the athletic experience of all Hazel Park athletes by furnishing athletic needs above and beyond the basics, which are supplied by the School District.
Contact 248.658-5150 or hphs. athleticboosters@hazel.parkschools.org, or visit www.facebook.com/hazelpark.boosters.
HAZEL PARK COMMUNI-D BBQ takes place the second Saturday of every month, year-round. CommuniD BBQs start at 1:00pm and go until the party’s over. Call 313.444.0463 or email contact@elevatedetroit.com.
HAZEL PARK CREATIVE ARTS is a recognized nonprofit, charitable organization. Its mission is to promote, enhance and maintain an enthusiastic interest in the arts in the Hazel Park Michigan community through fundraising and assistance as necessary. Visit the organization’s Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/pg/hpcreative arts, its website at www.hpcreativearts.org or email info@hpcreativearts.org.

HAZEL PARK EAGLES #2449 is a non-profit organization that helps several different charities in our community, such as cancers and the Max Baer Heart Fund. We are a private club that loves helping our community. For information on volunteering or membership, please contact Tom Clark at 248-548-7547.
HAZEL PARK LAND CURE is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the housing and transforming vacant spaces in Hazel Park, as well as improving the City’s overall economic development. The organization is located at 111 E. Nine Mile Rd. for more information, contact Executive Director Jeff Campbell at 248.546.4060 or jeffreycam@gmail.com.

HAZEL PARK LIBRARY FRIENDS is a volunteer group dedicated to enhancing library services at the Hazel Park District Library. Their fund-raising efforts help support library programming, collections, and technology upgrades. Meetings are the 4th Thursday monthly at the Library. Email hplfriends1@gmail.com or call 248.546.4095.
THE PURPOSE OF THE LIONS CLUB International Foundation is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. The Hazel Park Club is located at 23109 Harding. For more information, call 248.548.7547.

HAZEL PARK’S NEIGHBORHOOD ENRICHMENT founded the community garden at Kennedy Park, gives out curb appeal awards and decorates city hall for the holidays. The program built raised garden beds at Jardon school and planted the flowers at City Hall. For more information, visit the Facebook page at (search Hazel-Park-Neighborhood-Enrichment) or call 248.525-7193.

HAZEL PARK PROMISE ZONE guarantees all resident graduates of Hazel Park Schools a tuition-free path to an associate’s degree, often through pre-existing scholarships. This opportunity can be used at any accredited trade school, community college, college or university in the state of Michigan. A Promise Zone scholarship is paid directly to a student’s institution to cover tuition and fees only. Contact Executive Director Kayla Roney-Smith at 248. 658.5107 or kaylaroney@hazelparkschools.org.
HAZEL PARK WILD WINGS, a fully stocked bird infirmary and nursery, is dedicated to caring for the area’s injured birds and abandoned baby birds. Wild Wings accepts songbirds, as well as crows, pigeons, and mourning doves. Those inquiring about any others can contact the Michigan DNR office. For more information, please contact founder and owner Marg Sapp at 248.701.2523 or WWbirdrehab@comcast.net, or visit the organization’s website at wildwingsbirdrehab.org.
THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS is the world’s largest organization of Catholic men and their families. Today the Knights have grown to nearly 11,000 councils. The Hazel Park Chapter is located at 50 E. Annabelle. To get involved, email hazelparkkofc@live.com or call 248.542.8060.

THE SOUTH EAST OAKLAND DEMOCRATIC CLUB covers the cities of Hazel Park and Madison Heights, Michigan, to promote and elect Democrats to public office. Our club meets the second Thursday of the month. To get on our mailing list, email us at seoaklanddemocraticclub@gmail.com or see our event schedule: https://ocdp.org/clubs/southeast-oakland.