Kalkaska County Considers Closing Animal Shelter

The Kalkaska County Animal Control Shelter could be shut down and outsourced because it is becoming too expensive to run.

“It is very aging. We could use new kennels over there, just new facilities to be able to better care for the animals,” said Kalkaska County Sheriff Pat Whiteford. “Rising employee cost with healthcare and other benefits, just put us over top for what we could afford with that current mileage that we have.”

Kalkaska County’s Animal Control Shelter could be re-housed by the end this year because of budget concerns. Click here for the rest of the story.

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FAA To Honor Traverse City’s Piper With Plaque

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees will recognize Cherry Capital Airport’s former Wildlife Manager Piper with a recognition plaque that will be presented to the dog’s handler, Brian Edwards, and Cherry Capital Airport staff in a small ceremony at the airport today (Thursday, April 19th). For more on the story, please click here.

House Panel Considers Ban on Killing Dogs and Cats for Meals

An amendment added Wednesday to a farm bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee would bar people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption,” as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat. Dog and cat slaughter is extremely rare in the U.S. and already prohibited in commercial slaughterhouses. But consumption of animals commonly considered as pets and companions in American culture still takes place among some immigrant groups. Only a handful of states, including New York, New Jersey and California, ban such small-scale butchering. For more on the story, click here.

Grand Traverse Animal Control Millage on the Way to Voters

It’s been a long road to get the Grand Traverse County’s Animal Control Division adequately funded after the division was eliminated at the end of 2015.

The spotlight was put on animal control immediately by the media after the division was eliminated without any discussion or input from the public. Animal control advocates kept the issue alive and eventually a new Board of Commissioners led to an Animal Dontrol Ad Hoc Committee being formed, lead by Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette. They studied many issues involving animal control including policies, staffing and funding issues. The discussions from that committee led to funding new animal control truck and funding the Animal Control Division with full staffing for a year.  Continue reading

‘Empty the Shelters’ to Offer Free Pet Adoptions Across Michigan May 5th

The popular “Empty the Shelters” event is returning on May 5, offering free pet adoptions at 111 locations across the United States. It includes dozens of shelters and rescue organizations in Michigan, from the Holland area to Bay City, and from the Upper Peninsula stretching down to South Haven. The Bissell Pet Foundation is covering the adoption costs to encourage people to choose a shelter animal as their next pet. Click here for more on the story.

Shelters offering free pet adoptions in the Northern Lower Michigan Region:

• Charlevoix Area Humane Society

• Cheboygan County Humane Society

• Cherryland Humane Society (Traverse City)

• Clare County Anmal Shelter

• Little Traverse Bay Humane Society

• Missaukee Humane Society

• Newaygo County animal Shelter

• Otsego County Animal Shelter

• AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Michigan

Memorial for Dogs Killed in Michigan Kennel Fire: ‘They’re with friends’

Two weeks after a fire at a dog kennel in Muskegon County killed dozens of pets, a community-wide memorial service was held to help families cope with the sudden and tragic loss. The fire happened on March 30 at Storm’s Ahead Kennels in Fruitport Township, killing 30 dogs. A memorial service to honor those pets was held Thursday at Clock Chapel inside Clock Funeral Home in Muskegon. People filled the pews to hear from funeral director Jodi Clock and kennel owner Janet Rehfus. Click here for the rest of the story.

Looking to Adopt? 70 Homeless Dogs Land in Michigan

Cold temps, warm hearts. That’s what greeted 70 homeless dogs when they landed Saturday at Willow Run Airport, where a team of animal-loving volunteers stood in the cold rainy weather, eagerly awaiting the weary travelers. For the love-starved pups that had been rescued from hoarding conditions and overcrowded kennels in Texas and Oklahoma, the 1,000-mile trip in the heated plane was something of a first-class experience. They were warm. They had food. And they had new families to look forward to. Click here for the rest of the story.

Meet the Police Cat chosen for the Troy Police Department’s Feline Unit

The Troy Police Department has chosen its new crime fighting cat, but will have to wait a couple weeks before the kitty can join the department. Last month, you’ll recall, Troy PD put out a Twitter challenge: “If we get 10,000 followers by April, we want a police cat.” It reached the goal weeks before April. The Michigan Humane Society in Westland brought five kittens and one cat to the Troy Police Department today after narrowing down the choices based on behavior. The officer who the kitty will be living with chose one of the little kittens to be the department’s crime fighting partner. Click here for more on the story.

Michigan Senate Votes Down Breed-Specific Bans Often Aimed at Pit Bulls

No bans on pit bulls allowed, Michigan’s Senate said on Thursday. The chamber voted 22-13 to prohibit local governments from dictating breed-specific regulations on dogs. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. About 30 of Michigan’s local governments have some form of breed-specific regulation, which entail outright bans but also methods such as compulsory neutering, additional liability insurance, muzzle requirements for owners of certain dogs. Click here for the rest of the story.


You can click here to read the legislation and status of the bill.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR MICHIGAN HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE to urge them to vote YES on this bill. You can find out who your representative is by clicking here.

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Millage Moves Forward

At tonight’s Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioner’s meeting, they discussed putting animal control funding on the August ballot for a vote on a millage. This was brought up to the full board again (with the exception of Commissioner Wheelock who was absent tonight) at the recommendation of the Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee that met recently.

Four people spoke up supporting putting the millage on the ballot including Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes who said that both millages under consideration tonight should be put on the ballot to let the voters decide whether they should be funded or not. Another speaker was David Tucker, a retired executive director of the Genessee County Humane Society. While Tucker worked in Flint, he saw the importance of an active and involved animal control in the community and explained how an animal control millage was still able to pass even in a poorer community. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Now Enforcing Dog Leash Law Within City of Traverse City

At a recent Traverse City Commission meeting, a dog ordinance was repealed in order to provide clarity in enforcing State regulations. The city repealed the city’s dog leash ordinance (610.05) because it’s duplicative of State law. This will allow Grand Traverse County to provide enforcement of the law instead of the City. Repealing the ordinance doesn’t eliminate leash regulations within the City. The leash regulation required by the State of Michigan law is still in effect and can be found here.

The county will continue to assist the Traverse City Police Department with their animal ordinance enforcement under the state law and the Traverse City Police offered a liaison to work out operational plans for each department. The City’s other animal ordinances can be found here under Chapter 610 – Animals here.

Commissioners Approve New Animal Control Truck for Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of a new Animal Control Truck during today’s meeting to add to the other two older trucks that they already have. They will acquire a 2018 Ram 1500 ST 4X4 Quad cab and aluminum kennel box for approximately $30,000. The money being spent was represented as being “budget neutral” and coming from several sources. These sources include an approximate $3,000 grant, money from not filling animal control positions for the first three months of this year and money from a contingency fund which was a result of in-direct costs that were budgeted but not spent for 2016 when there were no animal control services. The Animal Control Division will need three trucks as they currently have two Animal Control Officers, one who started last week. A new Supervisor of the Division will start April 9th.

Leelanau Co. Nonprofit Vows To Help Feral Cats, Community

“We’re helping the less fortunate. This is our job.”

To Andrea Slater, they are the less-fortunate in the animal world. One local woman has taken it upon herself to save feral cats, while helping her community battle an ongoing problem. An out-of-the-ordinary idea sparked when Slater rescued a group of stray kittens and their mother from an old barn. Click here for the rest of the story.

Congress on the Verge of Allowing Wild Horses to Be Slaughtered

The Bureau of Land Management is having a public meeting of their advisory board on Wednesday, March 28th in Salt Lake City, Utah. This advisory board advises the Secretary of the Interior, the BLM Director, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service on matters pertaining to the management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on our public lands.

At stake is the possible change of policy regarding the slaughter of wild horses. The upcoming budget bill could allow the BLM to sell the horses they are managing “without limitation” including to international companies looking to buy the horses for slaughter. These horses can’t currently be sold by the BLM to people who want to turn the horses into horse meat. This would allow removing over 46,000 wild horses over a three year period, including destroying “excess” horses and burros or selling them for slaughter in order to phase out the long-term holding pastures.

The American Wild Horse Campaign and The Cloud Foundation sent a formal letter on March 14th to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and others advising them of their statutory legal violations relating to the recent public notice of this meeting and their failure to follow the legal requirements of a 30-day advanced public notice of a meeting. “The BLM must give proper notice so that the public can have a voice on this issue that so many citizens care about,” said William A. Miller,  attorney for the groups. If the BLM fails to take action to correct this violation, the groups say they are prepared to take legal action to compel the agency to do so and seek injunctive relief. Continue reading

How to Get Sleep With Your Pets

Many of us allow our pets to sleep with us, but is it healthy? Are there health risks to letting your dog or cat share the bed with you? How does it affect your relationship with your pet? Below we’ll cover the trends and facts about sleeping with your pet, the benefits and risks, and tips for establishing bedroom boundaries with your furry family members. Click here for the rest of the story.

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society Re-opens After Treating Puppies

A northern Michigan humane society is re-opening after being closed for nearly two months. The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society closed after a group of puppies tested positive for the Canine Distemper Virus. The shelter received the group of 70 puppies from Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Click here for the rest of the story.

A Mother in San Diego Finds a Way to Give Back to Animals in Need

Amie Brenner knew she needed to do more to help animals in need. After volunteering at the Helen Woodward Animal Center for over a year, and having three rescue animals of her own, she decided to start a company designing and selling rescue themed phone cases. Her company, PhoneCasesToTheRescue donates 15% back to the rescues and shelters and has already seen the positive impact the proceeds have made, which is her entire goal. “Sending out the proceeds checks is by far my favorite part. I know that the money is helping to get these homeless pets into their forever homes and give them much needed medical care and that warms my heart. We fed over 600 shelter dogs with the proceeds last year!” Amie Brenner, Founder of PhoneCasesToTheRescue. Continue reading

Heartbroken College Student Looking for a New Home for Her Best Friend

Jessica has been with Kaiah, the German Shepherd, since her parents brought the nine-week-old puppy home to be their family dog. Kaiah is now four years old and Jessica is a 19-year-old college student in Traverse City, studying biology and working part-time at a hotel. In July of 2017, Jessica’s parents got divorced and her mom got sick in the fall of that year, ending up going in and out of the hospital. Her mom could no longer care for Kaiah so Jessica brought the dog home with her, intending do her best to find a new home for the dog. Continue reading

How to Ride a Horse

Re-posted with permission of jenreviews.com

Horses are beautiful, majestic creatures. They have an air of elegance about them that is hard to beat in the animal kingdom. So why isn’t everyone buying a horse and taking horseback riding lessons?!

Horseback riding isn’t a hobby you pick up over a weekend. It requires grit (riding will harden muscles you didn’t know you had). It demands patience (horses can get moody). And it involves an emotional, nearly spiritual connection between human and beast that goes beyond just learning technique. Ready?

Click here for the rest of the story.

Traverse City School System Dissecting Cats in Science Classes

The Anatomy and Physiology advanced science courses taught at both Traverse City  High Schools are dissecting dead cats in their classrooms. They have been doing this for at least 15 years according to Traverse City Principal Jessie Houghton and district science administrator Charles Kolbusz who responded to questions from Pet Friends Magazine.

TCAPS acquires approximately 50 dead cats each year from Carolina Biological in North Carolina. The company gets their already euthanized cats from government operated or regulated humane societies who would otherwise have disposed of the cats in a landfill or used an incinerator. Houghton says that Carolina diverts the euthanized cats for use in education rather than simply being wasted. Continue reading

Carol’s Ferals Proposed to Lead Feral Cat Program at Sandy Pines

From the Carol’s Ferals Website:

As you know in late January of this year, a cat was found on the property at Sandy Pines Resort that had apparently frozen to death in an unattended trap.  Carol’s Ferals reached out to Sandy Pines with hope of changing ideas and policies about feral and stray cats in the park. On February 8th, Carol met with Gene (Park President), Mel (Head of Security) and Josh (Marketing and Member Service Manager) to discuss a program going forward that would ensure that no more animals are harmed on Sandy Pines property. The meeting went very well.  Carol shared her knowledge about TNR and explained The Vacuum Effect.  Plans were discussed about how things being done differently going forward would be beneficial not only to the cats and wildlife, but to the public perception of Sandy Pines as well. Click here for the rest of the story.


Additionally, no charges were filed in this case. Click here for more info.

Clare County Animal Control Seeks Stronger Dog Ordinance

At the January meeting of the Clare County Board of Commissioners, two representatives of the Clare County Animal Shelter addressed the Board regarding the safety and welfare of dogs held outside during severely cold weather. Animal Control Director Rudi Hicks and Animal Control Officer Bob Dodson sought the Board’s support by rescinding the old ordinance for pet shelter and adopting a new one that Hicks and staff had written up.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble this year, when the temperatures dropped, with people who just absolutely will not take care of their animals,” Hicks said. “Specifically, we’re speaking of dogs right now, not livestock.”

Click here for the rest of the story.