Skip to main content

PHOTO RELEASE: MDARD Director Gary McDowell Visits Ingham County Animal Control and Allen Neighborhood Center

Lansing, MI – Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell visited the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter and the Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing. Director McDowell has been traveling across the state to meet with food and agricultural businesses as they advance during Michigan’s economic recovery.

“Animal shelters like Ingham County play a critical role in public safety, protecting public health, and animal welfare, and I’m proud to see the work they’re doing,” said McDowell. “MDARD supports our animal shelters in part through the Animal Welfare Fund. One hundred percent of the contributions made to this fund go directly to these shelters to support efforts to 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.”

The Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter serves their community by providing compassionate treatment and care and a safe place for animals looking for their forever home.. The Ingham County shelter provides care for approximately 3,500 animals per year and enforces animal laws in Ingham County.

MDARD registers and inspects around 200 shelters in Michigan through its Animal Shelter Program, is committed to working with animal control agencies to provide education, guidance, and support on animal health issues and state regulations.

Additionally, the department supports the state’s animal shelters through the Animal Welfare Fund. Created by Public Act 132 of 2007, the fund allows Michigan taxpayers to voluntarily support the growing needs of shelters by checking the Animal Welfare Fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule, on their state tax returns.

In 2021, MDARD distributed $137,144 to 24 registered animal shelters in Michigan to assist with animal welfare projects, helping them to meet the needs of their local communities. The department has distributed $1.4 million to more than 200 animal shelters since 2010.

McDowell also visited the Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing to see firsthand the work supporting Lansing and the greater Lansing community. 

“Resources like the Allen Neighborhood Center are critical within the Lansing community to help grow and expand Michigan’s food and agriculture-based entrepreneurs. These budding small business owners will be vital to Michigan’s economic rejuvenation,” said McDowell. “This center serves as a place where residents can access resources to improve their health, grow their business, and expand their career opportunities while focusing on nutritious food. MDARD is a proud supporter of the Allen Neighborhood Center and its work.”

Since 1999, the Allen Neighborhood Center has pioneered health education and outreach programs, housing improvement, food security and nutrition education, youth development, commercial corridor revitalization, and social capital building. 


Director McDowell holding cat at Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter

Director McDowell at Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter

Director McDowell at Allen Neighborhood Center