Who We Are – Original

The Michigan Animal Rescue League (MARL) is one of southeast Michigan’s most established animal shelters, serving the community since 1953. Our shelter has been located on the corner of Featherstone and MLK for over 60 years. We have deep roots in Pontiac, Oakland County and beyond. Our history and experience combined with our constant evaluation of trends in animal welfare and sheltering have made us a necessary presence and respected asset within the community we serve.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Michigan Animal Rescue League is to be the community leader in nonprofit animal welfare, providing the highest quality of life to dogs and cats through rescue, medical care, short-and long-term sanctuary, adoption, education and outreach.

Our Philosophy

At MARL we believe the quality of “the wait” for a forever home can make all the difference in the future of an animal. We don’t just put an animal in a cage and call it good. While at MARL, our animals have exercise time, snuggle time, and most importantly, quality time with people who love them. Our staff know our animals and they know us.

Tough times call for good friends.

The difference between an animal sitting in a cage and an animal playing fetch? Good staff. The difference between a scared cat cowering in his cage and that same cat playfully seeking out attention two weeks later? Good staff. The difference between an animal receiving an immediate medical exam and an animal suffering until someone gets to it? Good staff. When an animal finds itself in an unfamiliar world, the most important thing we can offer is a really skilled team of people who are going to do everything they can to make things better.

At MARL we hire people who love animals, who are dedicated to the mission, and who work their tails off every single day. And don’t even get us started on the volunteers… They are incredible people who make a difference every time they step foot in the shelter. It’s a hard job but we have a team that is focused on providing the best care we can to as many animals we can.

This team knows their stuff and they are exactly the kind of people you want taking care of your future best friend until you get here!

If you were an animal in need, you’d want to end up at MARL. Here’s why:

MARL takes in animals which other shelters might turn away or already have turned away, and that’s a big deal. It means that older animals or those arriving sick or injured are accepted into our care and given a chance. Broken leg? We’ll fix it. Heartworm positive? We’ll treat it. Nice dog but needs some basic manners? Class is in session. Loving cat who needs time to adjust to shelter life? We’ve got time.

MARL provides care to over 1,000 animals each year. These are homeless cats and dogs from right here in southeast Michigan. Some are brought to us as strays while others are surrendered (through no fault of their own) by the only family they have ever known. Some are rescued from situations of cruelty and neglect while others are left on our door step overnight.

No matter how they arrive, we want to see every animal in our care thrive and be adopted into a loving home. But we will not allow an animal to suffer and we will not place a potentially dangerous animal into the community.

When you’re looking for a friend. The best kind.

When you adopt from MARL, we are going to tell you everything we know about your new best friend. If the dog you like has a penchant for chasing cats, we’re going to tell you that. If the cat you are interested in is most likely going to ignore you 22 hours a day, we’re going to tell you that too.

We’re going to tell you how the animal arrived at MARL. We’re going to tell you what we noticed while your best friend was here at the shelter and we’re going to give you our expert opinion on what to expect when you bring your new best friend home.

2021 Board of Directors
Robin Wright, President
Jim Issner, Treasurer
Dan Kelly, Secretary
Laura Fenton | Executive Committee, Member-at-Large
Jody Astrein, Director
Ralph Caplan, Director
Patricia Cox, Director
Beth Davidson, Director
Jenny Heinrich, Director
Jana McNair, Director
Kimberly Whipple, Director
Magee Humes, Executive Director