ALPENA – Alpena County Animal Control Officer Michelle Reid dedicates much of her life to protecting and advocating for animals so they can live safe and healthy lives.
On Monday, Reid was named the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers’ 2022 Officer of the Year.
She received the Darrian Young Award, named after the former Monroe County Sheriff’s Office animal control officer who was involved in an accident and died in 2020.
Reid was nominated for the award by some of her peers statewide, but she was unable to attend the ceremony in Lansing. She said she learned about receiving the award on Monday night and was moved by it.
“It’s surreal and totally unexpected,” Reid said. “It is an honor to be recognized by your peers, many of whom were equally deserving. This is an area that is misunderstood by many, so it’s an honor and a pleasant surprise.
Reid has worked in the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office for six years and has helped animals who have been victimized in numerous cases of hoarding and works with the public to teach them proper care for their pets and the importance of sterilization and sterilization of animals.
She said she loves her job, but it can take an emotional toll due to the number of homeless animals in the county as well as the neglect some of them endure.
“During the incident you turn professional, but it affects you afterwards,” she said. “There are things you can never ignore and never really get over. There are a lot of tears that come from this work.
Reid said she would not have won the award without the hard work and dedication of those she works with every day. She said she was blessed to have other people around her who also care about the welfare of animals, especially those who are being abused.
“There’s no way I can do what I’m able to do without my staff, my volunteers, a prosecutor and judges on the bench who are generally very good at enforcing the welfare laws of animals,” she said. “They all make my job much easier.”
Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.