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Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development and Companion Animals
MDA's Regulatory Responsibilities
Various state programs have been established to help regulate the welfare and health of companion animals in Michigan, as well as to protect the health of people in Michigan . These include regulating and licensing animal shelters, investigating cases of reportable diseases, and monitoring the importation of companion animals to ensure that only healthy animals are brought into Michigan. Dr. Michele Schalow, a veterinarian with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is the manager for these areas. Below are summaries of some of the state programs related to companion animals.
Authority for the Dog Law is listed under Public Act 339 of 1919, as amended. The program involves the partnership of local animal control officers and other local law enforcement officials. It allows for various program duties that are enforced and managed by local authorities. These responsibilities range from rabies vaccinations to the enforcement of leash restraint regulations.
Animal Shelter Regulation
This important companion animal program operates under the jurisdiction of Public Act 287 of 1969 and Regulation 151.
In Michigan there are about:
82 animal control shelters (dog pounds)
110 animal protection shelters (e.g., humane society shelters)
The MDARD's Animal Shelter regulatory program is responsible for oversight of various animal holding facilities. The MDARD does not have regulatory oversight over amphibians, birds, rodents, fish and reptiles. Animal facility inspections include the following aspects:
- Waste Management
- Space Allotment
- Air Quality
- Environmental Temperature
- Food Storage
- Cleaning Agent Storage
- Rodent and Vermin Control
- Physical Facility Maintenance
- Vehicles (if applicable)
- Adequate Veterinary Care
- AdequateFood and Water
- Compatible Animal Housing
For more information about animal shelter issues contact MDARD at: (517) 373-1077.