- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Michigan officials are investigating 17 privately and publicly run animal shelters around the state for a variety of compliance issues, officials said.

One of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development investigations involves the Saginaw County Animal Care Center, The Saginaw News reported (https://bit.ly/1euNelD ). Another Saginaw-area shelter is also on the list, along with 15 others from elsewhere in the state.

The department said Saginaw County’s shelter violated state laws and policies, ranging from disposal of dead animals to sanitation. A hearing is March 7 in Lansing.

Elaine Thompson, interim director of the Saginaw County Animal Care Center, said the center is operating amid the investigation.

“The public can come and adopt,” she said. “We have an assortment of cats, dogs, waiting for new forever homes.”

State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill said Michigan officials routinely inspect 194 licensed facilities each year. Averill didn’t discuss specifics of the investigations with the newspaper. He said, however, that a number of reasons might trigger a state probe.

“The infrastructure of the facility, animal health and animal hold times - those are the three things that are most common that would spur investigation,” Averill said.

Averill said he couldn’t disclose the names of other shelters under investigation. They include two each in Genesee, Washtenaw and Wayne counties along with one each in Allegan, Eaton, Kent, Lapeer, Mackinac, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa and Van Buren counties.

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Information from: The Saginaw News, https://www.mlive.com/saginaw

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