When Director Jamie McAloon Lampman invited me to tour the Ingham County Animal Control Shelter in Mason, I cringed. I have calculatedly stayed away since my last haunting trip more than 20 years ago. Back then, you saw row after row of desperate animals in dirty, noisy, smelly cages, as well as guards in uniform who clearly didn’t care. My animal lover sister asked, “Are you sure you can do this?”
As the video below shows, the “new” facility is a warm and welcoming place where people who love animals are working hard to give unwanted, stray and sick and injured animals a new lease on life and new homes.
During one of my previous visits, a guard barked at me when I headed toward a door marked employees only. This time, Jamie not only gave me a tour, but she let me roam on my own – no hidden horrors.
Admittedly, I passed on the chance to see where the injured and sick dogs are treated, but the facility is now a place to be proud of.
The new philosophy embraces the concept that shelters should only be places of last resort. Through the work of volunteers and community contributions, Animal Control supports a number of efforts that can keep dogs and cats in their homes during tough times:
- Feline Neutering -Only $20 for male cats and $25 for females for low-income pet owners.
- Pet Food Bank – Friends of the shelter can drop off dog and cat food that others who are having trouble finding the money for pet food can pick up.
- Affordable ID Chips – The shelter offers pet owned a chance to have a chip placed in their dogs or cats for only $20 each. As Jamie says, “This is really the only way most people will be able to find a lost cat unless they come to the shelter each day for weeks.”
- Neighborhood Vaccination Programs – Upcoming dates include:
- Cristo Rey Community Center – 1717 N High St, Lansing – May 12th, 2010 – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Lansing Police Department – North Precinct – September 10th, 2010, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Mason Farm and Family – Mason – November 12, 2010 – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The shelter offers a full range of services: a confidential hotline for people to report dog fighting and other forms of animal cruelty or abuse (517-676-8376), the sale of dog licenses and an ambitious mobile outreach where they take pets out into the community for easy adoptions.
To aid in their effort to find good homes for these wonderful furry friends, Lansing Online News will publish photos of dogs and cats for free each week. The shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday. Again, call 517-676-8370 for hours and costs. This week, please meet: