MDARD grants will help animal shelters, new pet adopters

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has announced the recipients of the 2021 Animal Welfare Fund grants.

Genesee County Animal Control will receive $9,630 through this grant program.

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 generous Michiganders 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.

MDARD asks that you 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. — G.G.