What is the Animal Welfare Fund?

Created by the Michigan legislature, the Animal Welfare Fund (AWF) established an interest-bearing fund in the State Treasury that supports animal shelters throughout Michigan via grants. The AWF is funded by Michigan taxpayers who donate by completing a voluntary contribution tax form when filing their taxes. Since 2010, the AWF has awarded 132 grants totalling $995,526.  

As a tax preparer or CPAs, you are in a unique position to let your clients know about the Voluntary Contributions schedule. While there are other worthy organizations and causes represented, we believe that a large proportion of people (and therefore, taxpsayers!) like animals and would be interested in an easy way to help our state’s homeless animals. That’s why our motto is: “Saving Animals, One Tax Return at a Time.”

Since 2010, the AWF has awarded

132 grants totalling $995,526

Read about Bella, Haze and Princess, just a few of the many animals (and people!) helped by the AWF.

(The information on this information is updated for the taxes due April 18, 2017. AFA thanks The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust for its support).


How to Contribute

If using turbo tax:

  • Go to “Other Tax Situations” category
  • Click on “Voluntary Contributions”
  • Animal Welfare Fund is 4th on the list

If “paper filing”:

  • Line 22 of MI 1040 refers to Schedule 4642, Voluntary Contribution Form; select Option 4 “Animal Welfare Fund” to designate an amount ($5, $10 or more)


“Saving Animals, One Tax Return at a Time”


We’re on Social Media!

Your animal advocate clients may be interested in following us on social media. We promote the AWF and have lots of up-to-date news on animal law and animal advocacy. Check us out on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


More Information about the Animal Welfare Fund

  • Who Administers the AWF?

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) administers the program and awards the grants. Money contributed to the AWF cannot be used for any other purpose.

  • What can Shelters Use the Grants  for?
    • According the the law, grants can provide funds to:
      • promote sterilization and adoption of dogs and cats
      • improve knowledge of the proper care of animals pursuant to state animal anticruelty laws by educating the public and training personnel authorized by law to enforce state animal anticruelty laws
      • support and enhance programs that provide for the care and protection of animals pursuant to state anticruelty laws
      • allow the purchase of equipment and supplies for programs that receive grants under this act.

(Source: Section 5(3) of the Animal Welfare Fund Act, Public Act 132 of 2007. The full text of the law is available here.)