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MDARD Celebrates National Pet Month and the Role of Michigan’s Registered Animal Shelters

Animal Welfare Fund grants help local shelters meet community needs

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is recognizing National Pet Month—a month where the important role pet’s play in the lives of many Michiganders can be celebrated. Grants through MDARD’s Animal Welfare Fund help Michigan’s registered animal shelters care for and support homeless animals who are waiting for the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life.

According to statistics derived from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan is home to approximately 2.4 million dogs and 1.8 million cats; and some of these animals are in one of Michigan's 201 registered animal shelters, waiting to become someone's beloved pet.

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

This year, MDARD will distribute $150,000 to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state to support their various animal welfare projects.

“Thanks to the generosity and kindness of Michigan taxpayers, MDARD can continue to support the increasing needs of our registered animal shelters," said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. "These grants help fund spay/neuter programs, outreach and education efforts, and even training for animal control officers and other shelter staff. This funding has a real impact on pets and the people who care for them by helping shelters meet the needs of their communities."

“The Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers (MAACO) is grateful for the opportunities the Animal Welfare Fund provides for bringing quality, hands-on training and continuing education to our officers,” said DeeDee Mendyk, MAACO Treasurer. “The additional knowledge and skills officers learn are brought back to their local communities, helping them in their critical role to ensure public and animal safety.”

One hundred percent of the contributions made to this fund go directly to registered Michigan animal shelters to help them better care for local animals and support their broader community. Since 2010, MDARD has distributed more than $1.4 million to over 213 animal shelters.

The following animal shelter organizations were awarded 2022 Animal Welfare Fund grants: 

  1. Bay County Animal Control Shelter - $6,440
  2. Berrien County Animal Shelter - $8,348
  3. BestPals Animal Rescue Center - $3,500
  4. City of River Rouge Animal Shelter - $6,755
  5. City of Romulus Animal Shelter - $6,468
  6. Clare County Animal Shelter - $7,000
  7. Country Cat Lady - $3,150
  8. Detroit Animal Care and Control - $10,000
  9. Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit - $6,200
  10. Friends of Companion Animals - $7,484
  11. Gladwin County Animal Control Shelter - $6,140
  12. Harbor Humane Society - $9,000
  13. Homeward Bound Animal Shelter (Manistee Humane Society) - $10,000
  14. Isabella County Animal Control / HATS - $5,237
  15. Kent County Animal Shelter - $4,145
  16. Michigan Association for Animal Control Officers - $3,000
  17. McClouds Lake Haven - $7,000
  18. The Michigan Humane Society - $6,000
  19. Montcalm County Animal Control Shelter - $8,000
  20. Newaygo County Animal Shelter - $1,086
  21. Paradise Animal Rescue, Inc. - $10,000
  22. Roscommon County Animal Shelter - $5,047
  23. Saved by Zade (Wilcox Road location) - $10,000 

In recognition of National Pet Month, you can support your local shelters and pets by directly volunteering or donating to your chosen organization. Or, if you filed an extension on your state taxes, consider protecting homeless animals and improving their care by checking the Animal Welfare Fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule on your state tax returns.

For more information on the Animal Welfare Fund and how to contribute, please visit