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Tag Archive | "Kent County Animal Shelter"

Kent County Animal Shelter remains closed for new adoptions 

The Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) closed to the public on February 22 and remains closed to the public for the time being. The decision was made after additional tests were consistent with the presence of Leptospirosis in a dog housed at the shelter. 

Animal Control will operate as usual. Phone calls and emails will be returned as usual. For questions regarding pending adoptions, stray animals, animal surrender or other services please call (616) 632-7300. 

“The shelter is being disinfected for the protection of the other animals,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer with the Kent County Health Department. “Thankfully, we do not see any symptoms of the illness in any of the other animals housed here.” 

Leptospirosis is a rare illness which can spread to other dogs if not handled appropriately. The disease is readily controlled with antibiotics, thorough sanitation, and limited exposure to other pets. 

It is very rare that the disease is transmitted to humans. 

The dog in this case was infected prior to arriving at KCAS. It was isolated as a precaution last week when the KCAS veterinarian began to suspect Leptospirosis. At that time the dog was placed on the appropriate antibiotic and shelter staff immediately began to disinfect the shelter. The animal’s prognosis is good. 

More information about leptospirosis in dogs is available at https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Leptospirosis.aspx 


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Animal Shelter staff heads to stable for some horse sense 


When you think of the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) you may think of dogs and cats but Animal Control Officers (ACOs) often respond to calls regarding horses. Successful outcomes in these incidents are not possible without proper training. Animal professionals may be working to ascertain the health of multiple animals or they may need to help round up, corral and transport horses that have managed to escape their enclosures. In all cases, the safety of the public, the animal and first responders may hinge on proper training.

Kent County Animal Shelter staff got some training with horses last week. Photos courtesy of the Kent County Health Department.

Kent County Animal Shelter staff got some training with horses last week. Photos courtesy of the Kent County Health Department.

On Thursday February 16, 2017, KCAS staff got the opportunity to expand their skills by working with live horses. Staff learned more about capturing and securing horses and how to make better judgements regarding a horse’s health based on its physical appearance.

Members of the executive committee working to form an Equine Response Team (ERT) also participated in the training. The ERT will be a group of volunteers who are equine professionals in Kent County. The ERT will act as a liaison between KCAS staff and individuals or groups who, for example, may have access to care, boarding facilities or trailers to move horses. KCAS staff can contact the ERT as situations warrant.

“Once the ERT is finalized, it will allow our staff to concentrate on securing a scene,” says Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at the Kent County Animal Shelter. “Animal Control Supervisors and Officers will have the peace of mind that a volunteer is contacting and securing the necessary resources while they take care of more immediate concerns.”

The Kent County Animal Shelter continues to work to finalize the formation of the Equine Response Team and hopes to have all volunteers, resources and procedures established by mid-summer of 2017.



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Free cats at Animal Shelter


ENT-Free-cats1Spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ready for a new home! 

Beginning Wednesday July 20, 2016, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is offering free adult cats (over four months old) for adoption. Kittens under four months are available for adoption at half price. Qualified adopters will only pay $20 compared to the normal price of $40 for kittens. This offer is good through close of business Friday July 22. To apply, potential adopters simply need to come the Kent County Animal Shelter, provide photo identification with a current address, and fill out an adoption form. Normal KCAS adoption guidelines will remain in place. Shelter personnel will verify with landlords of those adopters who rent that pets are accepted in their homes.

ENT-Free-cats2All of the cats currently available for adoption have already been spayed or neutered. Shelter staff test all adoptable cats for Feline Leukemia and FIV. Every cat is also up to date on all vaccinations, has been microchipped and has received a flea treatment. “These are good and loving pets,” says Dr. Christopher Buckley DVM, staff veterinarian at KCAS. “For whatever reason, we just have too many of them right now, and we want them to find good homes.”

The Kent County Health Department reminds people that the health benefits of pet ownership are well known. According to a University of Minnesota study, cat owners were 30 – 40 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease than non-cat owners. The study also found benefits from lower stress, lower blood pressure and increased life span.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller N.E. in Grand Rapids. The shelter is open Monday through Friday 9:30-1 and 2-6:30. Interested media can call for b-roll and interview appointments.

The pictures attached are of cats that were actually available for adoption as of Tuesday. Feel free to use the photos with courtesy to the Kent County Animal Shelter in any way you see fit.

The offer for free cats expires when the shelter closes on Friday July 22. More about our adoption program can be found at www.accesskent.com/Health/AnimalControl/animal_adoption_program.htm

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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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New Partnership gives cats a second chance


A new partnership between the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan will give cats like Zee a better chance of being adopted. Zee is a 2-year-old black and white neutered male at the Kent County Animal Shelter, who was surrendered by his family when they moved.

A new partnership between the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan will give cats like Zee a better chance of being adopted. Zee is a 2-year-old black and white neutered male at the Kent County Animal Shelter, who was surrendered by his family when they moved.

Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) and Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) will have changed the way they take in stray and/or unwanted cats, giving them a better opportunity at getting a second chance.

Starting Monday, August 17, KCAS (our government-funded, open admission shelter) will only accept stray cats; and HSWM will only accept owner-surrendered cats. HSWM and KCAS expect this change will positively affect the live release rates of Kent County and continue to collaborate to improve the outcome for all animals brought to them.

In the last few months, KCAS and HSWM, the two largest shelters in Kent County, discussed community statistics on feline euthanasia and feline intake into both facilities. HSWM has been successful with placement of owner-surrendered cats, but does not have the kennel space and set up for holding stray cats. Often, KCAS is near- or at- capacity for cats, due to a mandated stray hold. If space is limited, owner-surrendered cats aren’t placed for adoption; they are euthanized. Historically, the majority of KCAS’s cat intake has been stray cats and HSWM’s cat intake has been owner surrendered.

“Communities that have a municipal and non-profit shelter working side by side sometimes find it beneficial to enact policies and procedures to direct all owner surrender cats to the non-profit shelter while the municipal shelter only takes in strays,” said Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at KCAS. “We are hopeful that by implementing this strategy, we will see a higher success rate for placement of adoptable owner-surrender cats at HSWM and a high success rate for placement of adoptable stray cats and more successful return to owners of stray cats at KCAS. It also makes sense for the public to just have one place to go looking for their lost cats.”

With the new BISSELL Cattery Enrichment Center, HSWM has seen an increase in the amount of owner surrendered cats who are able to be adopted. “Typically cats coming into a shelter situation need some time to adjust,” said Namiko Ota-Noveskey, Director of Animal Behavior and Care. “We have been successfully able to place cats that are a bit shyer and just need some time to get used to their new surroundings.”

HSWM manages their admission and asks the public to schedule an appointment before bringing any animal. Appointments can be made by contacting via phone at 616-453-8900 or via email, admitting@hswestmi.org. Hours of intake are Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. For more information on intake policies, visit www.hswestmi.org.

KCAS accepts animals during open hours, Monday-Friday 9:30am-1pm and 2pm-6:30 pm. For more information on intake policies, please visit www.accesskent.com/kcas or call 616-632-7300.

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Dogs removed from home ready for adoption

Thirty-seven dogs removed from custody of owner

N-Dogs2N-Dogs1The Kent County Animal Shelter received a judgment in Kent County Circuit Court last week, permanently taking 37 dogs from their previous owner. The dogs were being kept at a home in Grand Rapids since late 2013. Kimberly Savino, the previous owner of the dogs, is currently facing a felony charge animal cruelty/neglect. The civil court ruling means some of the healthier, well-adjusted dogs will be made available for adoption to the general public, starting on Friday, August 22. Some will continue to be held and treated medically until healthy enough for adoption or transfer to other rescues/shelters.

These particular dogs will need ongoing medical care at the adopter’s expense, for concerns such as dental care and eye issues.

“This was a lengthy investigation, with Animal Control Officers remaining diligent in their efforts to make sure these dogs were healthy physically and mentally,” said Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Once we could confirm that the situation had deteriorated, we requested a warrant, and found the dogs in various states of neglect and illness. Some were discolored from sitting in their own waste.” Two additional dogs taken from the home belong to the owners of the house; they continue to be held pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

The Kent County Animal Shelter received a warrant in late June to enter the home to check the welfare of the dogs at the home on Oakwood NE in Grand Rapids. The dogs were taken to the Kent County Animal Shelter, where they were evaluated by the shelter veterinarian and each dog provided vaccinations. The findings of Animal Control Officers were sent to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for review, which resulted in the felony charge. The dogs have been on hold pending the outcome of the case and review of a request by the shelter to forfeit the animals. Costs for boarding, feeding and medical care of the 37 dogs at KCAS are $629 a day; the dogs have been at the shelter for 50 days as of August 15 (total cost of over $30,000). The order to turn the dogs over to KCAS does not indicate any judgment in the criminal charges against the defendant; the criminal case is still ongoing.

“Some of the dogs have severe behavioral and medical issues that require treatment,” said Kent County Animal Shelter Supervisor Carly Luttmann. “We are working with partner agencies to help transfer these dogs to places that can best meet their needs. As dogs are treated and deemed ready for adoption, they will be moved from KCAS on-hold status to adoption kennels.”

The application to adopt from the Kent County Animal Shelter can be found at www.accesskent.com/KCAS. Dog adoption fees are only $62, due to generous funding from the Bissell Pet Foundation. Spay/neuter and all age appropriate vaccinations are included in the adoption price and adopters are counseled on making an appointment at their personal veterinarian 2-3 weeks after adoption for a check-up and any needed vaccine boosters.

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Cold temps tough on pets, too

Just because your pet has a fur coat, doesn’t mean he or she can handle the cold temperatures. The Kent County Animal Shelter wants pet owners to take some precautions this time of year to keep pets safe.

Try to keep pets indoors as much as possible when temperatures and wind chill factors are in the teens, single digits, or less. Make sure you keep your pet on a leash or in a fenced in area when they need to relieve themselves.

“The smaller the pet, the quicker the cold impacts them,” says Carly Luttmann, Shelter Supervisor for the Kent County Animal Shelter. “Puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to the cold, as are older pets. Be sure you minimize the amount of time they are outdoors.” Also make sure they are sleeping in a warm place, away from drafty doors or windows.

Luttmann also says watch out for community cats that might crawl under the hood of your car to keep warm. “Bang loudly on the hood before starting the car,” she says. “If a cat is under the hood when you turn on the car, it could be injured or killed by the fan belt.”

Never leave pets in a car during the winter. Temperatures can be just as cold inside the car as they are outdoors.

If you or your neighbors use salt on sidewalks or driveways, be sure to wipe off your pets paws and stomach. Salt can cause a pet’s paws to become very dry and brittle. If they groom by licking it off, they can get sick from the chemicals. Also beware of antifreeze. Even a small amount can be lethal in pets.

The Kent County Animal Shelter recommends residents who see a pet being neglected or left in a dangerous situation call Animal Control at 616.632.7300. For more cold weather tips, check out the American Veterinary Medical Association website at:


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Don’t forget to license your dog!

They are man’s best friend, furry and loyal, so they deserve your best attention.  Don’t let your four-legged friend go without a license!  Michigan law requires all dogs four months of age or older be licensed on an annual basis.  Getting a license is faster and easier than ever, now that you can get a new license or renew online at https://www.accesskent.com/DogLicense/.  Licenses may also be purchased at the Kent County Animal Shelter, the Kent County Treasurer’s Office, the Kent County Humane Society, or numerous city and township offices.

Regular Fees through March 1, 2012 are $12.00 for a spayed or neutered dog, and $26.00 for one that is not. The fee doubles after March 1.

Senior Citizens get a 50 percent discount. For them it is $6.00 for a spayed or neutered dog until March 1, and $13.00 for one that is not. The fee doubles after March 1.

You must present a valid certificate of rabies vaccination and proof of spay/neuter for your dog(s) in order to receive a license.  If you order online, you must scan the documents needed. You will be billed at the higher rate until the clerk verifies the documents. If you purchase a new dog, you have 30 days to get a license without paying a penalty, but you must show a dated proof-of-purchase.  A license tag on your dog will help get it home safely if lost, reduce the chance of theft, show that your dog is vaccinated against rabies, AND spare you from a $50 violation.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller NE, in Grand Rapids.  Licenses can be obtained M-F from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.– noon. Pet adoptions are available until one hour before the shelter closes. Call the Kent County Animal Shelter more information: 616.632.7300.

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Adopt one- get one free kitten promotion

(Grand Rapids, MI) – For the entire month of May, the Kent County Animal Shelter is hosting an “Adopt One, Get One Free” kitten event.
This program is a partnership between Vicky’s Pet Connection (VPC) and the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS).  VPC and KCAS have been teaming up and providing services to help find homes for adoptable pets since 2000.  Vicky’s Pet Connection is a non-profit animal rescue group, established in 1998, that has agreed to pay the spay/neuter fee and adoption fees for one of every two kittens adopted as a pair.  Typically, a male kitten neutering fee is $55, a female kitten spay fee is $70 and the adoption fee is $50. This savings is valued up to $120.  Fees include a feline leukemia/FIV test, RCPC vaccination and a microchip ID implant.
The promotion for kitten adoptions runs from May 1- May 31.  The event will take place at the Kent County Animal Shelter, located at 740 Fuller Ave., NE.  Adoption hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
To search adoptable cats at the Kent County Animal Shelter please visit Petfinder.com.  For more information about Vicky’s Pet Connection, please visit: www.vickyspetconnection.org.

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Low-cost vaccine and dog licensing clinic

(Grand Rapids, MI) — The Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan are teaming up to host a low-cost vaccination and dog licensing clinic on Saturday February 19 from noon to 3 pm at the Kent County Animal Shelter, 740 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI. This clinic is open to all dogs in the West Michigan area.
At the clinic the Humane Society will offer distemper vaccinations for $10, microchipping for $10, and rabies vaccinations for $15. This clinic is for dogs only and will only be offered to those purchasing or renewing their dog license. No appointment is necessary.
Dog licenses are $11 for altered dogs and $24 for unaltered dogs. For senior owners (62+), licenses are $6 for altered dogs and $12 for unaltered dogs. All prices double after March 1 and owners are subject to citation and/or misdemeanor charges. All licenses require proof of current rabies vaccine and spay/neuter status. Licenses are also available at the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan.
For more information on the dog licensing vaccination clinic, please call Humane Society of West Michigan at (616) 453-8900 extension 210 or the Kent County Animal Shelter at (616) 632-7300.

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