Greater Lansing animal shelters help homeless animals find homes

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photo by Kaiyue Zhang

Kay, who has been volunteered for 7 years cuts cat's nail on June 25, 2017 at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter in Lansing.

John Dinon, the director of Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter is pictured on June 25, 2017 in the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter.

photo by Kaiyue Zhang

John Dinon, the director of Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter is pictured on June 25, 2017 in the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter.

In 2016, there were around 12,000 animals licensed in and around Lansing. During the same period, 7,381 animals were taken into the two biggest animal shelters in the Greater Lansing Area: 3,139 of the animals went to Ingham County Animal Shelter, and 4,242 of them went to the Capital Area Humane Society.

Some of the animals were abandoned by their owners, who could not care for their pets anymore for different reasons, some of them were rescued from unsafe places, and some of them were stray and became an animal shelter’s property.

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“They are usually just being dropped off at the door like sometimes the leash is tied to the door knob or they’re roaming around,” said Kelsee Horrom, a former volunteer at the animal shelter. “If they’re older the dogs won’t get adopted as quickly as younger ones, sadly. Depending on the shelter if it’s not killed or not you’ll see the older ones look sad and know they aren’t getting a home as quickly as puppies or dogs of a specific breed.”

There always are animals being euthanized due to different reasons.

“We can’t put dangerous into the community. We do medical testing on any animal who come in and they will all be vaccinated,” said John Dinon, the director of Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter. “If the animals are unhealthy, and they are either having a low quality of life, or have inflectional disease, or if they are dangerous. About 20 percent of animals came in here are euthanized, with cats, it’s more because of the disease, with dogs, it’s more about the behavior.”

According to Dinon, in the past five years, all the adoptable animals had found a home or transferred to other shelters.

The animal shelters have good reputations in the Lansing area and especially in some student groups at Michigan State University. The Zoology Student Association (ZSA) constantly organize group volunteer activities to help the shelters.

“They take care of them and spend countless hours trying to find these animals a new home,” said Mariah Faszczewski, the Former President of the ZSA. “Without them, they would either end up on the streets or at a shelter that does kill their animals after a certain length of time. That is also why people should always buy from a shelter and support their local ones with either donations or volunteering.”

Faszczewski also thinks the homeless animals reflect the fact of the homeless people in the United States. “I think that there is an over abundance of breeding going on so that people can make money,” said Faszczewski. “yet shelters are filled with animals constantly. The statistics of homeless animals outdoes the amount of homeless people in the US.”


However, the shelters are not home for most of the animals, some volunteers claim that the animals in shelters don’t get the time they should, they are being kept in the cages for a long period of time and do not get to walk or run a lot.

Not a lot of volunteers stick to the work for a long time, but the shelter’s environment and situation is getting better because of the joint effort of more fresh blood volunteers.

Kay, who has been volunteered for 7 years cuts cat's nail on June 25, 2017 at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter in Lansing.

photo by Kaiyue Zhang

Kay, who has been volunteered for 7 years cuts a cat’s nails on June 25, 2017 at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter in Lansing.