Welcome to the Ingham County Animal Shelter!
600 Curtis Street, Mason MI 48854
If you are looking to adopt a pet, volunteer, or help the animals with a donation, you are in the right place. We have over a hundred animals available for adoption, numerous volunteer opportunities, and many donation ideas. You can also find information on dog licenses, search for a lost pet or find out what our very own Animal Cops are doing to save lives.
June 20, 2018
FIGHTING DOGS AT INGHAM COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL AND SHELTER
MASON, MI- In the spring and summer of 2017, Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter (ICACS) conducted a large scale dog fighting investigation and seized 47 dogs as evidence in the fighting cases. The dogs were very challenging to care for due to their backgrounds and athletic nature and - because they were evidence in complex criminal cases - had to be held much longer than most animals that come to ICACS.
Two of the dogs had to be euthanized for medical reasons – one because of an intestinal blockage from a toy he had swallowed and the other due to internal bleeding of unknown origin. The dog that had the intestinal blockage was not a candidate for surgery due to his fractious nature, so ICACS opted for conservative care hoping that he would pass the obstruction. The obstruction did not pass and his condition declined and he was euthanized. The dog with internal bleeding had a full necropsy at Michigan State University, but no cause of the bleeding was determined.
Later, two of the fighting dogs contracted whipworms which, combined with their high activity levels, caused them to become very thin. Although the dogs were being treated for the whipworm infestation and were on high calorie food, a staff member felt they were in imminent danger and sent them to an outside veterinarian for evaluation; the ICACS Staff veterinarian was not on duty when this happened. The outside vet, who did not know that the dogs had been in the care of ICACS and that they were being treated for whipworms, stated that she felt the dogs were victims of neglect. A third dog from a different cruelty case also contracted whipworms and, despite treatment, also became very thin and was seen by a second outside vet. This was another high energy dog that did not adjust well to being in the shelter.
Because a licensed veterinarian had stated that dogs under ICACS care were victims of neglect, ICACS invited Michigan Humane Society (MHS) to investigate the neglect allegation. Deborah MacDonald, MHS’s Chief Investigator and Director of Statewide Response, conducted a thorough investigation of the care of the thin and euthanized dogs - examining records and interviewing ICACS staff and the outside veterinarians. Officer MacDonald’s report details the care of these dogs and suggests procedures for managing animals held as evidence. ICACS is implementing several new procedures to address the concerns raised by the MHS report.
The two thin fighting dogs made full recoveries and were rehomed. In total, 30 of the 47 fighting dogs were transferred to rescues and are now living as pets in loving homes. The third dog that became thin due to whipworms has also recovered and has also been transferred to a rescue for rehoming.
As a result of the ICACS investigation, six individuals were charged by the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for dog fighting and other crimes. Two of those defendants have been found guilty of dog fighting and animal cruelty crimes, and another has felony charges pending before the Ingham County Circuit Court. The cases involving the three remaining defendants are currently pending trial in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan on multiple felony counts. Federal prosecutions for animal fighting are rare, but these cases are extraordinary in their complexity and the depths of animal fighting and cruelty that our investigators uncovered. ICACS continues to work with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office, and federal and local law enforcement agencies to bring these individuals to justice.
Groundbreaking for Ingham County Animal Control’s new shelter has begun! Now is a critical time to make sure the facility will have everything needed for the animals and the community. Although the new shelter is primarily funded by the Animal Control Millage that Ingham County voters overwhelmingly approved in 2016, the project has always included a private funding component to pay for equipment not funded by the millage. With construction beginning in May and completion of the project expected in less than a year, fundraising is in high gear!
The Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund (ASF) has a fundraising goal of $300,000 to contribute toward the new shelter. ASF has been quietly raising money for the project for several years. On March 24, 2018, ASF kicked off the public – and final – phase of the capital campaign. ASF proudly announced that the $125,000 mark of the campaign has been reached!
We are asking the community to help in getting the rest of the way to our goal of $300,000 to ensure the best shelter for the animals and people of Ingham County.
Private donations to the Animal Shelter Fund will go primarily towards enhancing medical facilities in the new shelter; funding surgical and exam lights, anesthesia equipment, x-ray facilities and other veterinary equipment to enhance the Shelter’s ability to provide high quality medical care for the animals. If enough money is raised, funds could also go towards other features including installing dog friendly artificial turf in some outdoor yards and purchasing new tables and chairs for the shelter’s community rooms. Grant money will supplement donations towards this equipment.
The new shelter will be located near the current ICAC facility at the north end of the Ingham County Sheriff/County Justice Complex near the 55th District Court. At approximately 16,000 square feet, the new building will be roughly one and a half times the size of the current shelter. Besides being larger and having increased animal capacity, the new shelter will have a number of features that will make it healthier for animals, more user friendly for County residents and more efficient for staff.
The Animal Control Department and Animal Shelter Fund thank the citizens of Ingham County for their great support including passing the animal control millage and donations already made to the project. We hope and encourage local animal lovers to contribute now during this last and critically important fund drive. Donations over $500 will be acknowledged in the new shelter.
To donate to the new Ingham County Animal Shelter, Click HERE to be taken to the donation website, or contact ICACS at (517) 676-8370. For questions about the new shelter project, please contact shelter director, John Dinon, at (517)-676-8362.
Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund has gratefully received a $25,000 matching grant opportunity. The next $25,000 raised will be matched 1:1 by a donor through The Community Foundation. Now is a great time to donate knowing your contribution will go twice as far to help the animals in need.