Animal Welfare and Enforcement


AC Trucks - Copy

Report suspected animal cruelty or neglect:
Animal Cruelty Tip Line
(517) 676-8376
or email us at

Ingham County has a team of six full-time Animal Control Officers who are dedicated to protecting the citizens and animals of Ingham County.


What laws to Ingham County Animal Control Officers enforce?

  • Animal cruelty and neglect
  • Dog fighting
  • Dogs and livestock running at large
  • Dog bites and attacks
  • Vicious animal complaints
  • Dog licensing

 What laws can Animal Control not enforce?

  • Barking dogs – Barking dogs are considered noise violations and are not covered under Michigan animal protection laws or Ingham County ordinances.  Contact your local police department to report issues with barking dogs.
  • Leash laws – Ingham County does not have an ordinance governing animal leashes.  Leash laws are adopted by local municipalities. 
  • Wildlife – Wildlife is regulated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  Contact your local Michigan DNR office for questions or issues related to wildlife.

 What is criminal animal neglect?

  • Failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, and veterinary care.
  • Allowing any animal to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture, or pain.
  • Tethering a dog with a rope or chain that’s too short.
  • Abandoning an animal.

I have filed a complaint about animal neglect, but Animal Control didn’t take the animal.

Animal Control investigates every animal welfare complaint it receives.  As this is a criminal matter, individuals accused of animal neglect or cruelty are entitled to legal due process and animals must be seized through lawful means.  Animal Control Officers are prohibited from seizing animal unless criminal violations are plainly evident. 

Is keeping a dog outside animal neglect?

We prefer pet owners keep their animals inside, however owners are not legally required to do so in Michigan.  If you make the choice to keep your animal outside, you must provide it with adequate shelter and access to water at all times.  Food must be provided regularly.  Failure to provide these basic items is a crime.  Shelter for a dog can be any of the following:

  • The residence of the dog's owner or other individual.
  • A doghouse that is an enclosed structure with a roof and of appropriate dimensions for the breed and size of the dog. The doghouse must have dry bedding when the outdoor temperature is or is predicted to drop below freezing.
  • A structure, including a garage, barn, or shed, that is sufficiently insulated and ventilated to protect the dog from exposure to extreme temperatures or, if not sufficiently insulated and ventilated, contains a doghouse.