After nearly a decade under the leadership of Larry Obrecht, Oakland County is turning to an established law enforcement veteran to run the county's animal control operations.
Robert Gatt, the mayor of Novi, was recently tapped by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to take over for the retired Obrecht, who became the manager of the Oakland County Pet Adoption/Animal Control Shelter in 2003, according to a news release.
Read Obrecht's goodbye piece: For Oakland County Animal Control Manager, Each Day Has Been a Privilege
Gatt was chief of field operations for Oakland County’s Community Corrections Division since 2002. He began his career in law enforcement in 1975 as a patrol officer for the Novi Police Department, and in 1988 was promoted to detective of the crime prevention unit. He attained the rank of sergeant in 1993 and supervised the Novi Police Department’s Patrol Division.
Prior to being elected mayor of Novi in 2011, Gatt served two four-year terms on the Novi City Council beginning in 2003.
“We interviewed 24 people for the manager’s position and Bob was by far the most qualified candidate for the job,” said Mike Zehnder, director of Oakland County Public Services whose department oversees Animal Control Division.
Gatt received his bachelor of science degree in business administration from Wayne State University and his master’s degree in interdisciplinary technology from Eastern Michigan University.
“Larry Obrecht set the bar high as manager of the shelter,” Gatt said. “I hope to continue his standard of excellence and work closely with the talented and dedicated staff at the shelter to build upon the strong foundation Larry has established.”
The Oakland Pet Adoption Center is the largest public shelter in Oakland County with nearly 6,500 animals taken in on an annual basis. Since 1980, it has provided loving care and compassionate treatment for literally thousands of stray dogs and cats. Its mission is to reunite lost pets with their owners and pair adoptable dogs and cats with owners who will provide a warm and nurturing home environment. The Center educates residents about how to be responsible pet owners. For more information, go to OakGov.com/PetAdoption.