Walk, Bike or Run to Help Michigan Pets in Local Animal Shelters


What’s more fun than a walk with your favorite dog – or two or three? What if there was a way that you could help donate money to your local animal shelter or rescue organization while you are on your walks? There is a a mobile app by Wooftrax called “Walk for a Dog” that does just that. Wooftrax has partnered with 6,000 shelters all over the United States for a combined total of more than 3 million walks.

Walk for a Dog is a mobile app for Android and iPhone. After downloading the app onto your smartphone, take the phone with you when you walk your dog/s and press the “Start Walking” button to keep track of your walk. When your walk is done, that walk is credited to your selected shelter or rescue group. The app will show you how many people are walking for that organization and will also keep track of how far you walk and other information. There are also buttons to keep track of your runs and biking. You can download the name and photos of the dog who will be walking with you and keep track of their walks as well. You will need to be outside for the app to work. Continue reading

Service Dogs Being Trained for Northern Michigan Veterans

Kimberly Wattles-Prud'homme and Trace.

Kimberly Wattles-Prud’homme and Trace.

All across the United States, there have been numerous stories about how service dogs are helping veterans cope with PTSD and other issues resulting from their service to our country. Although the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs says that there is not enough research yet to know if dogs actually help treat PTSD and its symptoms, there is flood of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise. More and more organizations are being started all over the country to train dogs so they can be matched with veterans. Now there is hope for veterans living in central and Northern Michigan in the counties of Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Wexford, Otsego, Charlevoix, Antrim, Isabella, Gladwin, Roscommon, Midland, Bay, Clare and Marquette.

A Northern Michigan organization called Dogs in Honor (DIH) pairs and trains veterans with service dogs to create a healthy, mutually beneficial working team. Often these dogs can bring a veteran out of depression and isolation and gives them the ability to function more normally in a public setting. Dogs can be trained to retrieve objects, help with balance, help a veteran to get up, remind them to take medicine, alert them to things such as nightmares, stand guard, snuggle, distract them and relieve their stress and anxiety – in addition to being a constant companion. Continue reading

Will the Berrien County Commissioners Finally Stop Gassing Dogs and Cats to Death? Debate Set for Thursday.

photo credit: animallawcoalition.com

photo credit: animallawcoalition.com

UPDATE: Berrien County Commissioners vote unanimously on August 27th to discontinue using the gas chamber to kill their shelter pets. They will stop using the gas chamber within 90 days. Read more about it here.

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is meeting on Thursday, August 27th, to discuss keeping the carbon monoxide gas chamber at the animal shelter and its continued use in a new facility. Although the debate on animal euthanasia is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. those who wish to make a public comment about the issue need to be there at 8:30 a.m. when the Board meeting begins. The public will be allowed two minutes for each person to make a comment just after roll call and minutes approval. The meeting, which will be held at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St. in St. Joseph, will include a presentation given to the BOC. While there may be discussion amongst the Board of Commissioners, it is not anticipated that any formal action will be taken during this meeting.

Animal Control Director Val Grimes, who will attend Thursday’s meeting, has endorsed the gas chamber, arguing that it’s safer for staff and less painful for animals. Although other news articles have said that at least six commissioners have stated their willingness to get rid of the gas chamber, none of these commissioners have been named and none of them responded with their position to go on record when emailed by Pet Friends Magazine.

Consider a dog named Sam who sits in a cage in a Berrien County Animal Shelter and sadly waits for its owner to come find him. He wonders, “where are mom and dad?” He had gotten loose from his tie out in the yard and decided to explore. He kept exploring for almost a month. He even ended up in another county after running a lot and hitching a ride with a few passing cars. Then someone found him and brought him to the Berrien County Animal Shelter. His mom and dad didn’t know where he is – they aren’t even searching for him in the right county. Continue reading

Traverse City Area Public Schools to Bring Dogs to ‘Sniff’ Out’ Safety Hazards

Traverse City Area Public Schools are being proactive by starting a safety dog pilot program that will ‘sniff out’ items banned on school grounds. TCAPS says they are partnering with Interquest Detection Canines that will bring safety dogs into TCAPS middle schools and high schools during the 2015/2016 school year.

“A key goal for the program is to minimize the disruption that prohibited items can cause to the school day,” said Sander Scott, associate superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools. The dogs are Labrador retrievers and have been trained to sniff out items that are prohibited on school grounds. Click here for the rest of the story.

More than 80 Horribly Neglected and Abused Animals Seized in Alpena County

Photo credit: Huron Humane Society of Alpena's FB page

Photo credit: Huron Humane Society of Alpena’s FB page

In Alpena County, Michigan, deputies with the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 80 animals from horrific conditions, reports the news release here.

Deputies were assisted by Alpena County Animal Control, Huron Humane Society, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture in the seizure of dogs, pigs, donkeys, birds and other livestock. One animal control officer described 30 cocker spaniels running free inside of the home with matted coats and covered in feces. According to MLive, their paw pads were encrusted with dried feces, making it difficult for the dogs to even walk. Horses and donkeys were kept inside of a barn with pigs; the only light coming in from beneath the doors. Officer Lexee Cronk, stated, “It was by far one of the worst neglect cases we’ve seen. They (the horses) never got to move into the pasture.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Attorney Calls Saginaw County-Run Shelter a ‘Death Camp’ for Animals

A Saginaw attorney and animal activist has labeled the community’s county-run animal shelter a “death camp” and is calling on county leaders to take action. The attorney, Stephen Seman, spoke to the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18. The Goard oversees animal control operations and the Saginaw County Animal Care Center, 1312 Gratiot in Saginaw.

Seman, a proponent for Saginaw to become a “no kill” shelter, also spoke with MLive before Tuesday’s meeting. He pointed to recent and past controversial incidents in which dogs and cats were euthanized, sometimes improperly.

“It has to change,” Seman said. “And I have some constructive proposals for it to change.” For the rest of the story, click here.

Donations Being Sent from Traverse City to Military Working Dogs & Their Handlers Overseas in October


SunDog Kennel is hosting another care pack day for Military Working Dog Team Support Association (MWDTSA) this Fall. The Kong Squeezz Stick Dog Toy is the toy they are looking for to go along with their Michigan Music & Mayhem Theme. They will need 150 of these fun toys in Size Large. If you would like to donate or are a business who would like to do a collection for this toy please contact Allison Merrill at allison@sundog-kennel.com. The packing date is October 3rd but the items are needed by September 21st. In April, 139 boxes were packed up by volunteers.

Online Fundraiser Started for Traverse City Animal Rescuer

bev pic

Beverly Gravlin has been a quiet and unsung hero of the Traverse City animal rescue community for years. She’s taken in many animals over the years who have needed special attention including the blind, deaf, old, cats, dogs, birds and more…She has helped out many other animal rescuers who didn’t have room at the time for an animal with special needs or to care for an urgent animal who was sick or injured. She has saved many critters over the past 60 years.

She never asks for anything in return. She has a heart of gold and uses her own money and time to nurse these animals back to health and care for them. She is currently having financial difficulties in keeping up with the repairs of her house and a Go Fund me campaign has been started here.

Stolen Dog from California Found in Missaukee Co.

from TV9&10 News

A dog reported stolen in California has been found here in Northern Michigan. Back in March, Santiago the chihuahua was reported stolen from his owner in from Los Angeles, but was dropped off at the Missaukee County Humane Society.

stolen chi

The Humane society Sirector says he was able to identify the owner because the dog was micro-chipped. Santiago’s owner is now raising the money she needs to bring her dog home on a GoFundMe page.

Saving the Life of a Blind Dog or Puppy Brings Challenges and a Lot of Joy

By Kathy Wallace at Almosthomeohio.org

charlie golf main

I’d like to introduce you to a young dog named Charlie. Charlie charms everyone he meets. He races around the yard with his doggie siblings. He travels to the pet store, plays ball, and goes up and down the steps. None of this sounds extraordinary until you learn that Charlie is blind.

Charlie almost did not have a chance at life. A breeder in another state brought a litter of puppies to the veterinarian for their checkup. Upon finding that one of the puppies was blind, the breeder requested he be euthanized. A vet technician knew a woman named Cheryl and the mission of Almost Home and ran to make the call that saved this little puppy’s life. Cheryl worked with a volunteer pilot, Bob Born, to bring him to Ohio and sent an email requesting a foster for the puppy she named Charlie.

One of those emails landed in Laura Johnson’s inbox. She had fostered senior dogs who were blind or who had gradually become deaf or blind and she and her husband, Hal, decided they would foster this blind puppy. But, after two weeks they knew that Charlie had found his forever home. They cannot imagine life without him. Continue reading

Dog Hospice Program Offers Unique Volunteer Opportunity to Eat Ice Cream

Charlie, a Hospice Dog, enjoys a cone with a friend.

Charlie, a Hospice Dog, enjoys a cone with a friend.

How many times can you say that an organization in need of volunteers has asked you to eat and share ice cream as part of your community service? That’s one of many things that the Silver Muzzle Cottage Rescue & Hospice Program (SMC) has deemed as “medicine” for their dogs in and out of hospice. SMC is a non-profit organization that provides homeless senior, disabled and hospice dogs the chance to live out their remaining life with love and dignity. The dogs who are in the SMC Hospice Program might only have a few months to live – or maybe even few weeks or a few days. To make their last days full of joy and love, SMC asks their volunteers to sign up to visit with these dogs so that they can know that they are special and very loved. Other methods of “treatment” during these visits include long walks on the beach, cheeseburgers, swimming, playing with toys, snuggling, kisses and paw massages. Because it’s such a popular volunteer program, they are also letting volunteers visit with other dogs in the SMC organization. Continue reading

Overlooked and in Need of Homes – These Great Pets Deserve to Be Noticed

Many times, adoptable cats and dogs get overlooked because they have special needs, are older, are shy at adoptions, or adopters just find other pets who fit their families better. The pets below are great finds and deserve a little extra “advertising” so that they don’t have to wait at the shelter or in a foster home any longer. They deserve a family to love them. Here they are, in their own words, telling you how wonderful they are…


ARIEL – Adoptable at Cherryland Humane Society
Female – Domestic medium hair cat – 1 yr. old – 8 lbs. – Spayed

Hi everyone! I’m Ariel and I love to give hugs and kisses! I can get a little cranky about being in my cage (who wouldn’t?!) and it takes me a while to feel comfortable with a new person but if you give me time and are patient with me, I’ll learn to trust you and will bring you endless joy. I have a cloudy left eye but the vet says I’m fine. I have a beautiful coat, am very talkative and have lots of energy. Are you the forever home I’m waiting for? Please stop by and take me for a walk. We can talk about how great we would be together! Click here for my link. Continue reading


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