Animal associations

Animal Welfare Fund grants help local shelters meet community needs

Published on June 02, 2022.

LANSING—The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) recognizes National Pet Month, a month when the important role pets play in the lives of many Michigan residents can be celebrated. Grants from MDARD’s Animal Welfare Fund help registered animal shelters in Michigan care for and support homeless animals who are waiting for the opportunity to impact someone’s life.

According to statistics 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 box for the fund on Form 4642, Schedule of Voluntary Contributions, on their state tax returns.

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

“Thanks to the generosity and kindness of Michigan taxpayers, MDARD can continue to meet the growing needs of our registered animal shelters,” said state veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “These grants help fund spaying/neutering programs, outreach and education efforts, and even training for animal control officers and other shelter staff. This funding is having 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) appreciates the opportunities provided by the Animal Welfare Fund to provide quality, hands-on, ongoing training for our officers,” said DeeDee Mendyk, MAACO Treasurer. “The additional knowledge and skills gained by officers are brought back to their local communities, helping them in their vital role of keeping the public and animals safe.”

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

Three animal shelters in our area were among 23 in Michigan that received grants. Kent County Animal Shelter received $4,145 for public education – neutering/neutering and employee training; Montcalm County Animal Control Shelter received $8,000 for neutering animals at the shelter; and Newaygo County Animal Shelter received $1,086 for employee training.

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

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