“Since 2010, the Animal Welfare Fund tax check-off has provided, by generous Michigan taxpayers, more than $1 million to 121 facilities. “

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. (This information is updated for the taxes due Tuesday, April 17, 2018. AFA thanks The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust for its support).

Michigan taxpayers contribute when filing state taxes. It’s easy:

Turbo tax:

  • Go to “Other Tax Situations” category
  • Click on “Voluntary Contributions”
  • Animal Welfare Fund is 2nd on the list

Paper filing:

  • Go to line 22 of the Individual Income Tax Return – MI 1040
  • Obtain Schedule 4642, Voluntary Contribution Form, select Option 2 “Animal Welfare Fund” to designate an amount ($5, $10 or more)
  • Attach Schedule 4642 to your individual tax return form


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.)

  • Who Has Benefited?

The simple answer is: many animals have benefited! Since the first grants were distributed in 2010, 121 animal control and animal protection shelters (the “brick and mortar” organizations) have been awarded a combined total of over $1,000,000 in grants.

  • How Does it Work?

Michigan taxpayers can contribute by obtaining and completing a simple form when they file their state income tax forms each year.

  • What does Attorneys for Animals have to do with the AWF?

We believe that the Animal Welfare Fund is a good program that can be better with more participation and more $$$ for the animals. We asked animal advocates if they contributed the the AWF. When many of them said they hadn’t heard of it, we put together a program to promote it during tax season 2016. With the cooperation of the MDARD, who want to expand the program, and support from The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, we are promoting the AWF.