Minneapolis Animal Care and Control gets boost from city funds for staff, space

A woman smiles as she scratches the hind quarters of a rescue dog
Volunteer dog runner Amanda Christiansen gives some scratches to Jude, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control Center. The city's animal shelter is getting more than $600,000 expand the shelter's hours and hire more staff.
Ben Hovland | MPR News 2023

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control got a funding boost this year that will help to expand the shelter's hours and hire more staff.

The city-run shelter and animal control unit is getting more than $600,000 from the city — more than half of which is for hiring animal care technicians and staff.

More than $365,000 of the funds will cover hiring two animal care technicians, one customer service representative and increasing the shelter’s food, materials and supply budget by $90,000. Another $250,000 will be used to help renovate the shelter.

“We have seen an increase in cruelty cases and neglect cases and abuse and it's taking a toll. We have to be able to respond,” said Enrique Velazquez, the city’s regulatory services director. “We have to respond with our staff, with our hours, with how we do our work. That also takes money and investment.”

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey visited the shelter Tuesday to talk about the additional funding. He said during the pandemic, a lot of people got pets. Now, some of those pets are being abandoned or turned in.

“What's happening increasingly is that Minneapolis Animal Care and Control is at capacity and even sometimes overwhelmed,” Frey said. “And so these incredible people behind me are doing amazing work to make sure that all of these loving animals back there get adopted.”

The shelter has been running at capacity for much of the year so far. The city is cutting fees for Minneapolis residents looking to adopt animals — the fee for adopting a dog or cat is now free. Non-Minneapolis residents who want to adopt either a cat or dog will see reduced adoption fees, and all exotic birds or small animals at the shelter will have reduced fees to adopt as well.

For more information on the shelter and the adoption process, visit their website. You can also visit the shelter at 212 17th Ave. N, between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

A collection of people stand nearby a microphone.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (left) and Enrique Velazquez, the city’s regulatory services director speak at a press conference about increasing funds for the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control Tuesday.
Peter Cox | MPR News