AuSable Valley Animal Shelter is a private no-kill shelter that has saved and improved the lives of thousands of homeless cats and dogs for over three decades! Our volunteers, staff, and directors work tirelessly to support our mission: providing animals with care, compassion, and forever homes.
Our Shelter is licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, which outlines standards of care and space needs for sheltering animals. While we would love to shelter every homeless animal in the world (we truly would), we are often at full capacity. When kennel space is available we accept only cats or dogs under the following scenarios:
- Stray animals brought in by the public and Animal Control – often a quick turnaround
- Animals impounded by court order
- Transfer from another licensed facility
- Owner surrender
Shelter management evaluates all intakes on a case-by-case basis and determines acceptance, appropriate care, and adoptability.
The current shelter opened in 2007 and is located on land deeded to Crawford County by the State of Michigan specifically for public, not-for-profit use. AVAS secured donations and a USDA Rural Development loan, with the help of Crawford County, to build and equip the half-million-dollar facility. Thanks to the support of the community with a millage and donations, the loan has been paid-off, years ahead of schedule!
Other than a minimal cost-share for supporting Crawford County Animal Control stray and impound lodging, AVAS does not received government funding. We rely heavily on individual, organization, and business [donations] and grants to fulfill our mission.
Our Mission: “Providing animals with care, compassion, and forever homes.”
The AuSable Valley Animal Shelter’s dedicated volunteers, staff, and directors work tirelessly to improve the lives of animals in our community. Learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to promote positive change!
- Sheltering – Our primary program for decades, we shelter homeless animals at our facility in Grayling, Michigan. On average daily, we house about 20 dogs and 15 cats on their journey home. This program encompasses our adoption, foster, stray, and emergency sheltering services.
- Pet Pantry – The objective of our Pantry is to keep animals in their homes during economic hardships. Beneficiaries are qualified on a case-by-case basis and may receive the food and supplies they need for basic living and quality of life.
Who We Are
- Our organization is licensed by the State of Michigan – Department of Agriculture and provides refuge for more than 400 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens each year. Our adoption rate has held steady for the last 8 years at an unprecedented 96% for animals that are not claimed by their owners.
- Our shelter is considered an “Adoption Guaranteed” facility (formerly known as “No Kill”). Only animals with severe injuries or medical conditions, and those displaying dangerous, aggressive behavior are humanely euthanized off-site by a licensed veterinarian.
- We regularly network with other rescue organizations to be able to place dogs and cats in homes, allowing us to discontinue completely the practice of euthanasia to reduce shelter overcrowding to meet Michigan Department of Agriculture population standards.
- We house the pets of victims of domestic violence housed at River House Shelter.
- We currently offer a discount program to help place pets with our senior citizens.
- We organize low cost spaying and neutering programs and educate pet owners about the advantages of de-sexing their animals every chance we get to help reduce the unwanted pet population, saving hundreds of lives.
- We provide a place for students to earn community service hours, as well as a place for non-violent offenders to serve out their court-ordered community service.