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MDARD grants will help animal shelters, new pet adopters

The Kent County Animal Shelter, one of the recipients of this grant, helped reunite this missing Howard City dog and his family after rescuing the dog from a hole under a silo in Sand Lake.

Taxpayers: remember to check “Animal Welfare Fund” box on voluntary contributions tax form

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced the recipients of the 2021 Animal Welfare Fund grants last week. This year, MDARD will distribute $137,144 to 24 registered animal shelters throughout the state to support various animal welfare projects.

The Animal Welfare Fund is supported by Michigan residents during tax season when they check the fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule on their state tax returns.

Since 2010, MDARD has distributed more than $1.4 million to over 213 local animal shelters. One hundred percent of the contributions made to this fund go directly to these shelters to support efforts that increase sterilization rates among dogs and cats prior to adoption, provide anti-cruelty training for animal law enforcement agencies, offer proper animal care programs to the public, and assist shelters with the unreimbursed costs of care for animals involved in legal investigations.

“Thanks to the kindness of Michigan taxpayers, MDARD can help to support the growing needs of shelters around the state,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “Over the last three years, we have seen an increase in not only the number of shelters applying for grants but also an increase in the amount of funds being requested. This year in particular, applicants have asked for more funds to educate the public and train staff.”

For this year’s grant cycle, MDARD received 59 applications, totaling more than $511,000 in requests. Projects funded this year include the following:

  • Equipment for the safe and secure transport of animals found in large-scale neglect and hoarding situations.
  • Outreach and educational materials to gain support for community changes that help promote the importance of spay/neuter and proper pet care.
  • Certified anti-cruelty training for animal control officers to aid in their investigations of cruelty and fighting incidents, as well as assist in the cooperation and coordination of local law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, and community relations.
  • Surgical packs for spay/neuter of shelter animals to reduce the backlog of surgeries and reduce the length of stay for shelter animals, helping them make it to new homes sooner without the chance of more unwanted puppies or kittens.

The following animal shelter organizations were awarded 2021 Animal Welfare Fund grants:

  • Alpena County Animal Control – $4,925
  • Al-Van Humane Society Inc. – $9,600
  • Bay County Animal Control Shelter – $5,600
  • BestPals Animal Rescue Center – $2,500
  • Cheboygan County Humane Society – $6,990
  • City of River Rouge Animal Shelter – $9,650
  • City of Romulus Animal Shelter – $4,376
  • Clare County Animal Shelter – $6,480
  • Country Cat Lady – $2,700
  • Friends of Companion Animals – $700
  • Genesee County Animal Control – $9,630
  • Greater Hillsdale Humane Society – $1,570
  • Humane Society of Midland County – $5,302
  • Humane Society of Monroe County – $4,125
  • Isabella County Animal Control – $7,550
  • Kent County Animal Shelter – $5,585
  • Lincoln Park Animal Shelter – $3,000
  • McCloud’s Lake Haven – $7,500
  • Newaygo County Animal Shelter – $891
  • Ontonagon County Animal Protection Inc. – $2,055
  • Otsego County Animal Shelter – $10,000
  • Roscommon County Animal Shelter – $7,215
  • Saginaw County Animal Care and Control – $9,200
  • Taylor Animal Shelter – $10,000

The generosity of Michigan taxpayers makes these grants possible, which helps shelters fill the needs present in their communities. Please continue to protect homeless animals and improve their care by checking the Animal Welfare Fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule on your state tax returns.

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Animal shelters receive state grants


Each year the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Industry Division distributes thousands of donated dollars to animal shelters in Michigan through Animal Welfare Fund grants. This year, the fund will provide approximately $135,000 to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state.

The Kent County Animal Shelter and Montcalm County Animal Shelter both made the list of grant recipients. Kent County will received $2,250 in funding, and Montcalm $6,100.

Since 2010, the Animal Welfare Fund, provided for by tax check-off monies from generous Michigan taxpayers, has distributed more than $967,000 to 131 facilities. The funds go directly to registered shelters to increase the number of adoptions through spay and neuter programs, improve staff knowledge of proper animal care through educational programs and training, and assist shelters with unreimbursed costs of care for animals housed for legal investigations.

“These funds allowed one shelter to increase dog adoptions by 63 percent and cat adoptions by 23 percent, providing more opportunities for animals to be taken into their shelter,” said Dr. James Averill, MDARD’s State Veterinarian. “Thanks to the generous support of Michiganders, local shelters across Michigan have more opportunities to make a positive impact in their community.”

This year MDARD received 68 applications totaling over $580,000 in requests. Some of the innovative projects chosen this year included:

*Public education outreach campaign, in collaboration with a popular local television station and its advertising team, to increase the public’s knowledge of the proper care of pets.

*In-house assembly at the local school with selected shelter pets teaching students about animal care and handling, the importance of spaying and neutering, recognizing and reporting neglect or abuse, among other topics.

*Take home handouts and puzzles for an “in-class fostering” program at a school where a shelter pet is virtually fostered. The shelter pet’s information and photos are kept in the classroom and the students help raise funds and promote the shelter pet’s adoption.

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