Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County pauses services with county


MECOSTA COUNTY — Beginning Oct. 1, Mecosta County Animal Control will no longer being taking its captured dogs to the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County, 18400 220th Ave. in Big Rapids.
In a letter to Mecosta County administrator Paul Bullock, dated Aug. 15, Cate Arroe, director of the ARC of Mecosta County, informed the board of commissioners the organization would “pause its services” effective Oct. 1, 2023, “with the intent of being able to open again by Oct. 1, 2024.”
During its meeting Sept. 7, the county board of commissioners approved a contract with Tammy Livermore of Mama T’s Pet Parlor, 13509 Schofield Rd., Hersey, to rent four dog run kennels for use by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office animal control division at a cost of $4,000 per month for the duration of Oct. 1, 2023, through Oct. 1, 2024.
Per the contract, the county agrees to be responsible for the delivery of animals recovered by the county animal control officer or other law enforcement agencies and reimburse any necessary emergency veterinarian costs.
Mama T’s agrees to provide all facilities, employees, supplies, shelter space, food and any services necessary for the animals housed in the facility; keep an activity log that shows the date, time and nature of receipt of every animal, notification of the owner, current license and tag information, and adoption information if applicable; and to dispose of animals, as deemed necessary, in a humane manner.
The Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County has been providing services to Mecosta County animal control since 2012.
“The old Mecosta County shelter owner decided to retire so they asked people to submit proposals for a new shelter and we ended up winning that proposal,” Arroe told the Pioneer in 2021.
The ARC of Mecosta County proposal stated the site for the shelter would be the 220th Avenue location, and the annual county funding requirement would be $50,000 upfront and an additional $55,000 annually.
In February of that year, the board approved a five-year contract with ARC of Mecosta County.
New five-year contracts for services were approved by the board in 2017 at an annual rate of $70,000 per year, and in 2022 at an annual rate of $80,000 per year, for the period of Oct. 1, 2022, through Oct. 1, 2027.
A supplemental agreement to the contract states that ARC is the owner of the property, and during the term of the contract, grants the county a “right of first refusal,” meaning that if ARC receives a “bona fide” offer for the purchase of the property, the county will have 30 days to elect to purchase the property from ARC on the same terms as the offer.
In May 2023, the parties agreed to an amendment to the contract, which states that due to the potential electric vehicle component manufacturing facility being built in close proximity to the animal shelter and relocation of the shelter potentially being in the parties’ best interest, if ARC determines to relocate the animal shelter, they will have the option to suspend the parties’ obligations under the agreement for up to one year or terminate the agreement upon written notice to the county.
Additionally, the county waived its right of first refusal for any offer received by ARC in 2023.
That same month, the organization issued a news release stating it would stop accepting cats immediately.
Arroe said at the time that they had hoped it would not happen, but it appeared that Gotion, Inc. would be moving forward with its planned facility, and the construction would cause stress to the animals at the shelter and cause the area to be unsafe.
Gotion, Inc., North American Manufacturing vice president Chuck Thelen said at the time that they made an offer to purchase the currently ARC property and had secured an option on a property that was much larger than what Arroe currently has so she could do what she needed to do for her rescue coalition.
Arroe had neither accepted nor declined the offer, he said.
Arroe said in a post on Facebook that Gotion did offer to purchase her property and buy land at another location for the ARC facility, and they were trying to “navigate the changing timeline and changing locations for a few months.”
“We are hoping that it will work out for us to move, but we certainly cannot stay in our current location if the battery plant starts groundbreaking,” she said.
Arroe did not immediately respond to requests to clarify what the pause in services meant for the animals currently housed at the facility at the time of publishing.


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