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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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DNR urban and community forestry grants now available

Grant applications for community forestry activities are available from the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program. These grants are funded through the USDA Forest Service, State, and Private Forestry Program.

“Trees provide many benefits to communities, including shade, oxygen, and beautifully landscaped streets,” said Kevin Sayers, DNR UCF program coordinator.  “These grants will help enhance the livability of our communities through tree planting and improve the management of our valuable natural resources.”

Local units of government, nonprofit organizations, and schools are eligible to apply.  All projects must be performed on non-federal public land or land open to the public.  Community forestry projects considered for funding include:

• community tree management and planning activities
• training and education activities
• purchase of trees, and
• Arbor Day celebrations

Grant applications must be received by Sept. 16, 2011, to be given funding consideration for this grant cycle.  Projects must be completed by Sept. 1, 2012.

This year up to $100,000 may be awarded statewide for approved projects.  All grants require a one-to-one match of funds.  The match may be made up of cash contributions or in-kind services, but may not include federal funds. Depending on the category, grants up to $20,000 may be requested.

For a grant application or more information, visit the DNR website at http://www.mi.gov/ucf or contact Kevin Sayers at 517-241-4632, via email at sayersk@mi.gov, or in writing at DNR, Forest Management Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

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