State grant will help shelter reduce stray animal population

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Allen Park Animal Control Officer RuthAnn Kieltyka takes a moment to greet one of the shelter’s adoptable kittens.

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Denizens of the city’s animal shelter soon will be the beneficiaries of a $10,000 state grant.

The funding, which comes from the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Fund, will help the shelter at 16850 Southfield Road sterilize adoptable pets and reduce stray animal population. Shelter officials now will be able to contract with veterinarians to spay and neuter adoptable animals and to buy surgical equipment.

“Previously, it has been the responsibility of the adopter to have the animal sterilized at their own cost within 30 days of adoption, per the adoption agreement,” said Kalin Turri, shelter manager. “Now we will be doing that before the animals are adopted.”

Allen Park’s was one of 11 shelters chosen to receive funding out of 35 total applications received by the state. Eligible shelters had to be registered with the state Department of Agriculture and be in good standing with their inspections and annual reporting requirements.

The fund, supported by tax donations, lets taxpayers donate by checking a box on their state tax form. The Animal Welfare Fund supports spaying and neutering animals, as well as caring for animals that have been subject to cruelty or neglect.

“We have been looking to start up a sterilization program for adoptable animals here at the shelter for quite some time,” Turri said. “The funds received from this grant will help us finally make this dream a reality.”

Dr. John Hermann will serve the animal shelter with his mobile veterinary clinic, which allows him to sterilize animals on site.

“It is our goal to reduce the animal overpopulation problem that currently exists in the Downriver area,” said RuthAnn Kieltyka, animal control officer.

Shelter officials hope to launch the program in a few weeks, as soon as the final documentation is received from the state.

Turri said the grant must be used during the current calendar year.