Clinton Township, Macomb CountyAugust 28, 2013
Macomb County receives more than $200,000 in pet grants
By Nick Mordowanec
C & G Staff Writer
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Macomb County is giving its residents more options when it comes to the wellness of their pets.
The Macomb County Animal Control and All About Animals are the recipients of three grants that are being used to spay and neuter cats and dogs. The grants total almost $230,000 in funds.
“These grants provide a tremendous opportunity for animal control to lead the way in making sure many of our dogs and cats in Macomb County are spayed or neutered,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel in a press release.
Two of the grants, funded via PetSmart, were focused mainly on Mount Clemens due to studies showing that the area has one of the highest rates of pets not being spayed or neutered.
One grant, worth $100,000, is to allow Macomb County Animal Control to conduct 2,200 feline surgeries to all cats that are owned or stray that live in Mount Clemens or northeast Clinton Township.
The two-year grant requires that a certain amount of surgeries be conducted in order for the grant to be continued. A deadline of Aug. 1, 2014, is set for the first round of 1,100 surgeries, and if that is accomplished, then another 1,100 surgeries must be performed by Aug. 1, 2015.
The second grant, worth $99,800, will be given to the Macomb County Animal Control to conduct 1,210 total spay and neuter surgeries on dogs that also reside in Mount Clemens and northeast Clinton Township.
This grant also has provisions — 605 surgeries must be performed by July 21, 2014, and 605 additional surgeries must be performed by July 21, 2015.
To determine the high rates of animals not spayed or neutered in Mount Clemens, the Macomb County Animal Shelter used a type of survey mapping that identified where animals were located based on a geographic scale. It was then time to move forward and make changes so the problem wouldn’t persist.
“There are too many stray animals,” said Jeff Randazzo, animal care and control manager of the Macomb County Animal Shelter. “We are counting down the number of euthanasia happening at shelter and reaching out to residents.
“People are saying they can’t afford it, and now they can afford it.”
PetSmart’s aid in funding helped spur the process.
“(PetSmart) wanted to see the number of euthanized animals decreased,” Randazzo said. “If you want to change things in Macomb County, you need to get involved. We are the largest shelter in Michigan, and PetSmart agreed to give funding.”
The third grant, totaling $30,000, was given to animal control by a private foundation for the Shelter, Neuter, Return program. The program’s intentions involve saving healthy cats in the community that would otherwise be euthanized.
“Community cats are any stray cat that meets an ideal body score, and healthy cats,” Randazzo said. “We tried euthanizing them for 20 years and looked around the country and what other shelters were doing and utilized their processes. We started thinking outside the box and wanted to try a new approach.”
The three grants are the first step toward creating a better community where animals are being taken care of and residents are offered the available care they need.
If the grant stipulations are met, Randazzo expects the county to extend the program if possible and re-evaluate the focus on what worked and what did not.