By SHEILA SCHIMPF
Capital News Service
LANSING – About $135,000 in funds donated by taxpayers who ticked a box on their state income tax forms will go to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state.
The Animal Welfare Fund grants range from $175 to $10,000, and many will be used for spay and neuter programs, staff education and to cover the cost of housing animals involved in legal cases, according to Jennifer Holton, a communications representative for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
But, she said, some of the money will go to innovative programs that teach children how to take care of animals.
Grants for three such programs will finance public education on pet care on local television, a visit to a school with shelter pets to talk about animal care and a virtual fostering program that allows a classroom to follow the course of a shelter pet’s experience.
Gladwin County Animal Shelter in Beaverton will get $10,000, its first grant from the Animal Welfare Fund, said Krystal Moore, one of its officers. It will use the money for spay and neuter programs, mostly for cats, she said.
“We take in more cats,” she said, “and dogs are more adoptable. “
The idea is to spay or neuter the cat before putting it up for adoption, making it more attractive to some, she said.
But the $10,000 won’t last the year, she said. “We’ll run out.”
The same is true at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter in Stanton, according to Director Angela Hollinshead. The shelter will also get its first Animal Welfare Fund grant — $8,800.
It will pay for spaying and neutering 80 canines and 80 cats, she said. It will last four to six months.
The fund has provided tax check-off grants since 2010 totaling $967,000, according to the state. Shelters submitted 68 applications asking for $580,000.
Holton said all the money is distributed to shelters every year.
Some shelters winning grants:
• Capital Area Humane Society–$5,116
• Chippewa County Animal Control Shelter–$2,000
• Gladwin County Animal Shelter–$10,000
• Ionia County Animal Shelter– $6,750
• Montcalm County Animal Shelter– $8,800
• St. Joseph County Animal Shelter –$175
• Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Society –$2,100.
For more information on grants, go to www.michigan.gov/animalshelter