By Matthew Pizzo
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
From chickens to roosters to alligators, the Ingham County Animal Shelter has seen it all when it comes to animals.
Since Jamie McAllon Lampman became the director of the Ingham County Animal Shelter, 9 years ago, there has been a dramatic decline in number of animals impounded at the shelter.
Lampman said that in 2004 the shelter took in upwards of 6,000 dogs and cats.
“In 2012, we took in 3,469 dogs and cats,” Lampman said. “A lot of things have changed over the years.”
Lampman said the number has been cut nearly in half by programs the shelter has initiated over the years.
Programs include a spaying and neutering program that helps families dealing with financial needs afford these services.
According to Lampman, overpopulation is the main cause of animals being impounded, and the neutering program keeps the number down.
In addition to overpopulation, animal behavior issues are another cause of animals entering shelters.
Lampman said the shelter offers the county a retention program that educates and aims to help families keep their pets.
Lampman said that all of the programs are funded by community donations.
“It’s really a community supported entity which is pretty outstanding and rewarding,” Lampman said.
“Our officers are multifaceted,” Lampman said. “From a social worker, to a humanitarian, to an educator, to a law enforcement agent — they wear a lot of hats.”
John Good, deputy animal control officer, said concern for animals safety is of highest importance.
“Taking animals out of a bad situation and getting them the help they need is fulfilling,” Good said. “Also educating animal owners — a lot of them just don’t understand or don’t so you can help the animals and the owners.”
Good said he deals with a variety of different cases while covering Ingham County.
“You got Lansing, which is mostly dogs and cats but when you get out the rural setting you have all the livestock there is to possibly deal with,” Good said.
The shelter strongly advocates adoption and aims to find homes for the animals.
Anne Burns, deputy director, said that when a families wants to adopt from the shelter they want to make sure its a right fit for the both the pet and family.
Burns said that in 2012 1,530 animals were adopted from the shelter and 95 percent were dogs and cats.
“The most fulfilling part of my job is reuniting pets with families and finding animals new homes.”