Cass County Animal Shelter gets boost from MDARD grant

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Animal Welfare Fund grants. This year, MDARD will distribute $127,240 to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state to support the spaying and neutering of shelter dogs and cats to help them be more adoptable. Grants also help support many anti-cruelty and proper care programs and training around the state. Registered shelters also can receive assistance through the grant program for the unrecovered costs of care for animals involved in legal investigations. Among the grant recipients was the Cass County Animal Shelter.

The Animal Welfare Fund is supported by Michiganders during tax season when they check the fund’s box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule, with their state tax returns. Since 2010, MDARD has distributed more than $1.3 million to more than 185 local animal shelters. One hundred percent of the contributions made to this fund are used for Michigan animal welfare programs.

“Throughout Michigan, small towns and big cities alike struggle to find resources they need to provide care to the animals they rescue,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “What is unique about the Animal Welfare Fund is that every penny we collect goes directly to the programs that protect and provide care for neglected animals or homeless dogs and cats in our state — which ultimately helps get them into a safe place.”

This year, MDARD received 47 applications totaling more than $402,274 in requests. Some of the innovative projects chosen this year included the following:

• Assisting the setup of shelter surgical suites where local veterinarians have agreed to provide free or low cost sterilization surgeries, to reduce the stress on the animals that currently must be transported off site and reduce the length of stay for shelter animals.

• Advertising a program that promotes and educates the public regarding the benefits of adopting cats that are already spayed or neutered.

• Sterilizing shelter cats and dogs that are adopted by military veterans, a program connecting rescued animals and veterans with second chances and new beginnings.

• Supporting training courses for animal control and animal law enforcement officers, enhancing expertise on new methods, emerging animal welfare issues, updated laws, and specific training on the care and protection of animals.

The following animal shelter organizations were awarded 2020 Animal Welfare Fund grants:

• Addison Veterinary Clinic PC — $5,120

• BestPals Animal Rescue Center — $5,000

• Capital Area Humane Society — $1,190

• Cass County Animal Shelter — $10,000

• Charlevoix County Humane Society Inc.  — $10,000

• Friends of Companion Animals — $5,000

• Gratiot County Animal Shelter — $5,000

• Humane Society of Genesee County — $670

• Kalkaska County Animal Shelter — $2,940

• Macomb County Animal Shelter — $1,490

• Madison Heights Animal Shelter — $4,640

• Manistee County Humane Society’s Homeward Bound Animal Shelter — $6,129

• Newaygo County Animal Shelter — $874

• Pet Angel Adoption and Rescue Inc. — $7,500

• Roscommon County Animal Shelter — $10,000

• Saginaw County Animal Care Center — $8,000

• Sanilac County Humane Society Inc. — $7,000

• St. Clair County Animal Control Shelter — $6,000

• St. Joseph County Animal Shelter — $7,520

• The Ferndale Cat Shelter — $5,000

• The Michigan Humane Society — $9,000

• The Ogemaw County Humane Society — $4,583

• Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter Inc.  — $4,584

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