Ingham County asking for new animal shelter

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 07:36:27-04

 Built in 1971, John Dinon, Ingham County Animal Control Director, says the shelter is in desperate need of an upgrade.

"This room, kitty high rise, was actually a janitor closet," Dinon said during a tour with Fox 47 News. "We converted into a cat room and you can actually see the kittens sleeping in the sink in the corner."

After years of holding the place together with tape Dinon says they need to overhaul it and make permanent fixes.

"The state of art in animal sheltering and animal control operations has changed a lot in 35 years," Dinon said.

He wants Ingham county voters to support the August 2nd millage that would allow them to build a new facility for $6.2 million dollars.

"If the millage passes and we have a new facility we will no long have to put cats in janitor closets," said Dinon.

Homeowners with a property value of $75,000 or more would have to pay almost $13 more on property taxes for the next 10 years to fund a new shelter.

Not everyone thinks a new shelter should be at the top of a priority list.

"Fixing roads, taking care of seniors, we have police and fire issues going on," Steve Japinga said.

With four millage proposals on the ballot Japinga and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce don't believe a new shelter is a priority.

"I don't think people necessarily have a problem paying taxes," Japinga said. "It's just a matter is it going to the right places, are they duplicating efforts, are we getting a bang on our buck?"

And he doesn't think a vote for the millage is money well spent.

Something the shelter disagrees with.

If the millage passes, the shelter would almost double in size and add more staff members.

The shelter would add an addition day open, with a schedule of Tuesday to Sunday, adding the Sunday.

"We're working with what we have." Dinon said.