Startup Stories: Michigan Pet Alliance
New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. Here, the Michigan Pet Alliance tells us what got them started, how they’re making a difference for pets, and what they plan to do next on the legislative front.
Starting point. The Michigan Pet Alliance (MPA) launched earlier this year, but CEO Joseph Dobesh said the organization has been a long time coming. “This has been a group of individuals who have been leading on these issues for decades,” he said. “They thought it was time to come together and speak with one voice to represent the animal shelter and animal rescue community.”
Early work. MPA’s primary goals are to serve as a resource for local jurisdictions and advocate for the use of best practices in the industry. Chief among the best practices the group advocates for is “the elimination of any medically unnecessary euthanasia of companion animals,” Dobesh said.
In terms of serving as a resource, the group offers best practices to local jurisdictions. “What we’re doing locally is, say a county is trying to redo their community cat ordinances,” Dobesh said. “We’re helping them institute that practice. The counties want to do the right things, but they often don’t know what a good program to help homeless companion animals should look like. We’re there as that resource.”
Additionally, this year, MPA created a grants program for animal shelters in the state.
Next steps. In the near future, MPA is advocating for the state to pass a law that would require lab canines to be released, rather than euthanized. Beyond that, MPA wants to continue to serve as a resource and grow. “We’ve been involved in local issues all over the state,” Dobesh said. “We have worked with individual communities to institute regulations and ordinances that adopt best practices. We’ve been lobbying in Lansing. This is certainly growing, and we want to continue that.”
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