Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Montcalm County Animal Shelter- The Saga Continues

This shelter, located in Stanton, Michigan, has been a train wreck for years. It has been cited numerous times by the Department of Agriculture for violations in the past and has long been the focus of great controversy. Many of the violations have not been corrected by the shelter. Further, an independent evaluation of the shelter in 2009 revealed numerous areas of concern, including: failure to properly account for animals coming in to the shelter (there were allegedly 37 unaccounted for animals in one month alone), cleaning kennels with a bleach solution without removing the animals from the kennel, and other easily remedied issues. To date, many of the issues raised in the evaluation have not been corrected.

Last year, the County ended its long-standing contract with a USDA Class B dealer, which allowed the dealer to take animals from the shelter for sale into medical research in exchange for his company disposing of carcasses of animals killed at the shelter. Since the termination of the contract, the County Commissioners and their various sub-committees have done very little to decide the future direction of the shelter, let alone set a course which would allow this shelter to succeed in the future. This is the most polite way I could think to describe the county's actions, or lack thereof, since the termination of the Class B Dealer contract. Unfortunately, the the ones suffering at the hands of the County's lack of action are the animals and the people who care about them.

The simple issue of installing a ventilation system in the shelter to allow the shelter to comply with Michigan law, recently led to a disagreement between board of commissioner members. Again, this system would allow the shelter to provide the proper ventilation in the building according to Michigan law. Here is a link to a recent article in the Greenville Daily News regarding the issues still facing the shelter today. http://www.thedailynews.cc/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=32423&SectionID=2&SubSectionID=11&S=1

I have personally met a number of truly committed, wonderful people trying to make this shelter a place for which the county no longer has to be ashamed. Unfortunately, their efforts have constantly met opposition from various county officials for reasons that often defy logic.

Visit http://www.cccmontcalm.org/ for some of the background information on the issues facing the animal shelter. The group is also on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=e90b61d954bb3e88da140a6a90496b8a&#/pages/CCCMontcalm/282168059816), and some really good information regarding the latest issues facing the shelter is available there.

A joint meeting of the Animal Advisory Board and the Law and Courts Committee of the county commissioners will be held February 10, 2010 at 2 pm for those that can attend. Issues regarding a ventilation system for the shelter, installation of a crematorium and other issues may be discussed. Citizens of Montcalm County and others with a vested interest in the shelter should surely attend.


  1. The "saga continues" is the unfortunate truth. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners should win a prize for the most creative ways of dragging their feet and dodging their responsibilities. They have more excuses than I have (Montcalm) cats.