MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – As temperatures in Mid-Michigan warm up, more deer, raccoons and other animals are out and about on the roads.
Friday the Ingham County Sheriff’s office announced the start of the 2016 DART Program, which stands for the Dead Animal Recovery Team, saving the county money and jail space at the same time.
DART started five years ago when Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth noticed all kinds of dead animals on the road. Due to budget cuts, no one was picking up the animals, and at the same time, there was also an overcrowding in the jail.
Instead of going to jail for a night or weekend, first time, non-violent probationers from the 55th District Court have the option to volunteer with the DART program.
Along with probationers, the program is operated by volunteer deputies with the Sheriff’s Office.
DART cleans up the roads every Saturday morning through the fall. Last week, they picked- up thirty-five animals along county roads.
Lieutenant Dennis Hull says it’s a savings for the county since it doesn’t cost anything for the labor, and it also helps with jail overcrowding.
“A lot of these people are more than happy to go out and do their community service if you will, instead of going to jail for the whole weekend,” Hull said.
Lieutenant Hull says the program receives anywhere from 20 to 40 calls a week from people in the county.
If you see a dead animal on the road in Ingham County, you’re asked to call 517-676-8273.