Animal Control

Animal Shelter Services

Kent County Animal Shelter Review and Report

KCAS Review and Report by Best Friends Society and the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance

For last decade the Kent County Animal Shelter, an open admission shelter, has worked to improve animal care and live release rates. We do this while balancing our core function - public health and safety. As part of our ongoing commitment to continue to improve, we sought the expertise of the Best Friends Society and the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance in the fall of 2018. We invited these agencies to review and prepare a report on the operations of the K...ent County Animal Shelter. As we work to digest the findings of this report, we will be deciding which suggestions best suit the Kent County Animal Shelter and our ongoing mission. In the meantime, we are sharing their findings with you through the link below. As we move forward, we will continue to pursue innovative, progressive animal welfare strategies and continuous quality improvement. In 2019, we will be adding Saturday hours. We are currently engaged in the interview process for an Animal Shelter Supervisor and several staff vacancies. We are excited about the future and will continue to keep you updated as changes as are rolled out.

Thank you for supporting the KCAS!

Sincerely -
Sara Simmonds – Environmental Health Division Director

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General Information

The Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS), a division of the Kent County Health Department, is the public safety and law enforcement agency responsible for animal control in Kent County. Effective animal control protects the domestic animal population from abuse and other health risks associated with humans, and protects the human population from disease and injury associated with animals.

The Animal Shelter provides a variety of enforcement, educational, and animal disposition services including dog licensing, cruelty and complaint investigation, pet care presentations, and animal adoption.

The Animal Shelter is Kent County's animal control authority and is an excellent source of information about animal care, animal control regulations, and other animal-related community resources. KCAS staff can also answer your questions about exotic pets, rabies in non-domestic animals, or refer you to agencies that deal with livestock, wild animals, and breeding. Call the Animal Shelter at (616) 632-7300.

Dog Bite Prevention Starts with You

In Kent County, more than 1,000 animal bites are reported and investigated every year. In 1998, there were 1168 dog bite investigations in Kent County. Over 40% of dog bite victims locally are age 14 and under, mirroring national trends. In addition, Animal Shelter records show that nearly 70% of bites in Kent County last year were from dogs that had not been neutered.


Commercially Captured Animal Surrender Fee

Animals that are trapped by private pest control companies may be dropped off at the Animal Shelter during normal business hours. The fee for this service is $20.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Processing Fee

The processing fee assessed for FOIA request of copies of Animal Shelter Records is $8. If significant time or resources is spent processing the request, additional fees may be assessed upon release of information.

Lost & Found Pet Services

At the Kent County Animal Shelter we work very hard to reunite lost pets with their owners. We admit stray animals at the shelter and hold them while trying to locate their owners. KCAS keeps a log of reported stray animals being held in people’s homes. We also maintain a lost pet logbook allowing pet owners to post their pet’s information for Shelter visitors to view. Since new animals arrive every day, we recommend owners searching for a lost pet visit the Shelter every couple of days. Unclaimed animals are evaluated and placed up for adoption as long as they are found to be healthy and behaviorally acceptable.

Pet Euthanasia Services

The Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) offers low cost euthanasia for pets. This service is a drop-off service only. Pet owners are not able to be in the room during the procedure. KCAS uses intravenous injection of a sedative as its means of euthanasia and the cost is $40 per pet. Please arrive no later than one hour before closing time for this service.


If you find your lost pet at the Shelter, you must provide proof of ownership such as (a photo) and copy of the animal's current rabies vaccination certificate. (Assessed fees must be paid in full and required licensing must be obtained before an animal is released.) KCAS accepts cash, check, Discover, Visa or MasterCard.

Surrenders for Dogs and Unowned Cats and Small Animals

If you need to surrender your dog to the shelter, or wish to drop off an unowned/stray cat or other small animal, you may do so during regular business hours. A fee of $25 is required to leave your pet at the shelter and you must provide a state issued personal identification card or driver’s license. We do not accept owner surrendered cats unless they are for owner requested euthanasia (see above “Pet Euthanasia Services”). If you have a cat that you must find another home for, please contact the Humane Society of West Michigan or another local animal welfare organization to assist you in the best possible outcome for your cat.

Surrendering your pet is a permanent decision. Please take time to consider your decision before surrendering your pet.