Help the Dogs in Texas at the Hurricane Harvey Benefit Dog Walk in Traverse City

Woofers On The Run invites the public to the Hurricane Harvey Benefit Dog Walk on Sunday, September 17th at 2:00 pm at the Grand Traverse Civic Center in Traverse City. The event starts near the south end basketball courts and Norte club house.

Event day registration is $15.00 with 100% of proceeds being donated to non-profit Corridor Rescue, Inc. a street dog rescue in Houston, TX. After the recent flooding, the group is very busy rescuing street dogs and helping owners in need. Their facility also flooded, so repairs are needed. You can follow the group and their rescues here. Donations can also be made directly at their website here.

The walk will be held rain or shine. Grab the dog, the kids, the neighbors and join them for an afternoon of canine fun including free professional photos in the finish line pet photo booth, beef jerky dog treats from New Braunfels Smokehouse in Texas and lots of great prize drawings! Dogs will also have the opportunity to become members of the Woofers Adventure Club (WAC) hiking and social group. The WAC group hosts year-round active, outdoor adventures for TC pups and peeps. Continue reading


Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa Rescues Seagull from City Opera House Roof on Her Day Off

There was a flurry of Facebook activity starting at around 5:10 p.m. on Sunday, September 3rd regarding a seagull being stuck on the roof of the City Opera House. Calls were made to various places to no avail. It’s hard enough to save animals on a weekday let alone a holiday weekend when no one is around.

Concerned citizen Nick Dalton had tried to contact 911, Animal Control, the Fire Department, Cherryland Humane Society, the media and many others but no help came. The City of Traverse City doesn’t have their own Animal Control Officer. Grand Traverse County Animal Control officers weren’t working because of the holiday and are not on call. Other entities might not have the resources or ability to resolve the situation. Animal lover Suzanne Weiler put out a plea on Facebook on Sunday afternoon, reporting that the bird had been stuck on the roof of the City Opera House for several days because it was impaled by a lightening rod. Disheartened residents and tourists watched the bird struggle, laying down and getting back up and also getting weaker without food, water or shelter. Many times when it stopped moving, onlookers thought it had died.


Weiler’s Facebook post spread fast and many concerned citizens were trying to figure out a way to help the bird before it died. Ggetting on the roof looked impossible because no staff or board members from the City Opera House were able to be contacted and rescuing the bird from the street looked like a daunting and unachievable option. Continue reading

Work Continues To Improve Grand Traverse County Animal Control Department

The Grand Traverse County Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee and the community, working to fix a growing issue. Back in June, the committee was formed to help raise money and make improvements to the Animal Control Department. There are several solutions being considered but it was evident Wednesday night there won’t be a quick fix for Animal Control. Click here for more on the story.

‘McRescued!’ – Cat Rescued from McDonald’s Drain Pipe in Oceana County

A 6-week-old kitten stuck in a drain pipe for 48 hours just outside of the McDonald’s restaurant by the drive-through was rescued thanks to the dedicated volunteers of Oceana County Animal Friends. The male kitten is recovering and is expected to be fine following his harrowing ordeal.

“Everyone could hear him crying who went through the drive-through,” said OCAF President Kathie Babbin. Click here for the rest of the story.

USDA Seeks Public Input on Updates to Animal Welfare Act Licensing Requirements

Marking the 51st anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) this week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today asked for input from the public to help determine potential updates to the law’s licensing requirements.  The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is tasked with upholding and enforcing the AWA.  The AWA was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 24, 1966.

“As a trained veterinarian, humane standards of care for animals are close to my heart and central to my love and concern for our four-legged friends,” Perdue said.  “Administering the AWA is a key USDA mission, and we are always looking for ways to improve.  We welcome comments from the public as APHIS considers changes to the licensing requirements to help us fulfill this important responsibility.”

Each year, USDA issues nearly 6,000 licenses to people who breed, sell, or exhibit animals for commercial purposes.  The department is responsible for ensuring that these licensees comply with the AWA’s humane standards of care, which enables the American public to confidently purchase pets and view animals on public display. Click here for the rest of the story.

Officials Seek Options as Support for Lansing Seized Pit Bulls Swells

Ingham County officials are exploring an arrangement that might allow at least some of the dogs seized in a local dogfighting investigation to escape euthanasia as their fate draws growing nationwide attention. A civil hearing Friday on a county request to euthanize nine of the 53 dogs seized in the probe was adjourned because one of the two owners of the dogs had changed attorneys and the other owner was unrepresented. Click here for the rest of the story.

Animal Charities to Participate in SwingShift and the Stars in Fall 2017

photo credit: Erik Nygren,

The Charlevoix Area Humane Society and Peace Ranch will be charity participants for this year’s SwingShift and the Stars event held at the City Opera House in Traverse City. WQON’s Jerry Coyne will team up with Dance Instructor Julie Wojcik on October 20th for the 2nd competition out of four dates for the Charlevoix Area Humane Society. WTCM’s Colleen Wares will dance with Instructor Mel Kiogima, representing Peace Ranch, on November 17th for the 3rd competition. Both events start with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and audience dance lessons at 6:45 p.m. The show starts at 7:15 p.m. and there is a cash bar.

Peace Ranch provides Professional Equine Assisted Counseling and Education (PEACE) services for all in need regardless of ability to pay.

The Charlevoix Area Humane Society’s mission is to practice and promote the principle that every life is precious. As such, they are committed to the highest principles of humane care and professional treatment of injured, ill, neglected or abused animals at their animal Shelter in Boyne City. Continue reading

Cadillac Police Department Has A New Friend: Hazel The Dog

After the Cadillac Police Department busted a meth lab in downtown Cadillac Wednesday evening, Hazel the dog had no place to go. Hazel, who was rescued from the meth lab bust, has been hanging out with Cadillac officers all night. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wadena Woman Fights to Keep Her Three Basset Hounds – City Council Not Budging

Under the City of Wadena’s kennel ordinance, dog owners are allowed no more than two grown dogs per home. While the mayor says it’s really only enforced when neighbors complain about barking, one woman says the rule has torn her family apart and is asking City Council to compromise.

Tuesday night (Aguust 8th), Amber Block went before the Wadena City Council to fight to keep her three basset hounds: Flash, Comet and Roxy.

“Our dogs are our family,” said Block. Click here for the rest of the story.

If you’d like to contact the council members, their email addresses are here.

New Shelter Manager at UPAWS

The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter has a new face helping to run the place. Ryan Poupore is the shelter manager and has been on the job for a couple of weeks. Poupore comes to UPAWS from NMU, where he holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. Poupore says the shelter manager position at UPAWs interested him because he’s an animal lover himself, the proud owner of cats and dogs. The relationship the shelter has with the community was also a big factor in his decision to take the job. Click here for the rest of the story.

Animal Control Seizes Dozens of Animals from Bitely Home in Newaygo County

A Newaygo County couple arrested for animal cruelty late last week was formally charged today. Police and animal control say they took nearly 60 live cats as well as ten dead ones from the Lilley Township home of Thomas and Julie Bennett last Friday. Click here for the rest of the story.

Cat Stuck in Tree for Nearly a Week Rescued

A cat which had spent the past several days stuck high in a tree is back on the ground safe and sound tonight. After we aired this story on 7&4 News at 6, the response to our newsroom offering help poured in. Just after 8pm tonight, a tree service company was able to use a bucket truck and get the cat to safety.) A stray cat had been stuck in a tree more than 50 feet up for the past six days at an RV campground in Kalkaska. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford County Animal Shelter to Remain Closed Until at Least Aug. 15

The Wexford County Animal Shelter will not be opening two weeks after it was originally closed, but the hope is it will be soon. Wexford County Sheriff Trent Taylor said Wednesday it was recommended the shelter remained closed until at least Aug. 15 after consulting with the county’s contracted veterinarian services, Meyer Vet Clinic. Click here for the rest of the story.

Click here for the original story.

Northport Dog Parade Celebrates 21 Years

Dog owners and dog lovers came out to watch their canine friends walk in the 21st annual Northport Dog Parade on Saturday. The theme this year was Hairy Tales. Click here for the rest of the story.

Mount Clemens Pet Store Closing After Being Accused of Selling Sick Dogs

A pet store in Mount Clemens has been forced to close after being accused of selling sick and dying puppies.

According to attorney Jennifer Measel, Little Dogz formerly known as Pollywood Pets could not afford to pay for damages after 30 customers filed a complaint. They accused the store’s owner Shelly Meyers of selling puppies with parvo. Click here for more on the story.

Muskegon: A Marine’s Loving Sendoff for the Cancer-stricken Dog Who Saved Him

The evening sky was thick with dark gray clouds.There were three volleys of rifle fire. Then silence. A bugler sounded the lonely notes to “Taps.” As friends and fellow patriots saluted, Jeff DeYoung carried his best friend Cena, a hardened Marine combat veteran like his owner, past the crowd of well-wishers as they boarded a decommissioned Navy ship in Muskegon, Mich. It was there on Wednesday where the black lab, lame with bone cancer, was euthanized. He was 10. Click here for more on the story.

Grand Traverse County Man Sentenced in Duct-Taping of Cat

photo credit: Grand Traverse Veterinary Hospital

Mykhaylo Narolskyy was sentenced today in Grand Traverse County District Court after pleading guilty to an offense of cruelty to an animal. He was given two years of probation in which he is not to behave in a violent, threatening, intimidating or harassing manner towards a person or an animal and he is to be respectful to all court employees, service and/or care providers.

In lieu of 20 days in jail, he is sentenced to 10 days of community service. He owes $575 in fines and court costs and is not allowed to own or take care of any pets during his probationary period. He is to obey all court orders including the payment of monies owed to the court during his probation.

Grand Traverse County Holds First Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee Meeting

Pancho is up for adoption at the Cherryland Humane Society

Grand Traverse County Commissioners Dan Lathrop, Cheryl Gore Follett and Bob Johnson held their first animal control ad hoc meeting tonight in front of an interesting mix of citizens and government employees concerned with the animal control issue. The ad hoc committee was formed during a commissioner’s study session on animal control on Wednesday, June 28th.

Attendees at the meeting included Sheriff Tom Bensley, Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, Animal Control Specialist Jaime Croel, Cherryland Humane Society Director Heidi Yates & Shelter Operations Manager Liz Williams, Treasurer Heidi Scheppe, Chief of Police Jeffrey O’Brien, Grand Traverse Police Officer Captain Clark, Environmental Health Coordinator Dan Thorell, Silver Muzzle Cottage founder Kim Skarritt and former County Commissioner Christine Maxbauer.

The ad hoc committee took a refreshing approach to the issue by allowing questions from those in attendance and a back-and-forth discussion between the crowd and the commissioners. Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follett said that she wanted to use the time to gather input from the people who showed up for the meeting. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Approves Ad-Hoc Committee for Animal Control

Emotions ran high on Wednesday during a Commissioner’s Study Session regarding the status of animal control in Grand Traverse County. County Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette gave an impassioned speech about why she requested the study session to be schedule when asked by Commissioner Dan Lathrop why they were having the meeting. She cited an increase in dog bites and the Animal Control Division not being able to deal with all of the issues the county has including abandoned animals. She added that ALL of the animals are being ignored after hours, on weekends and holidays because of the understaffing. She has seen pictures of abandoned and abused animals in the county and said, “if that doesn’t break your heart, shame on you.” She also stated that the animal control truck was a piece of crap and that the animal control budget is a joke. Continue reading

Horse North Rescue Moves Northwest to New Facility

Jessie switched his tail lazily at a fly while munching hay in his pasture, and let Debbie Frost run her fingers through his forelock. The chestnut gelding is a kinder and gentler version of the high-strung quarterhorse that first came to Horse North Rescue, Frost said.

“He was mean,” she said. “He would bite, he would kick. He wouldn’t let anyone near him.”

Jessie is one of five horses undergoing rehabilitation at the rescue organization’s new facility in Lake Ann. The volunteer-run nonprofit recently settled into its leased home after operating out of the Kingsley area for nearly 20 years. The relocation came after Frost made an offer the organization couldn’t refuse: the use of her 10-acre property and three-stall barn off a quiet country road about 10 miles north of Traverse City. Click here for the rest of the story.

This Year’s Winners of the PAW Awards: Roscommon County Animal Shelter, Cherryland Humane Society, AC PAW, Missaukee Humane Society and the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter

Zeus is up for adoption at the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City

Northern Michigan Euthanasia & Intake Reports

These from reports released in 2017 for the year 2016.

Every year, the Michigan Department of Agriculture releases the “Michigan Animal Shelter Activity Reports” for licensed animal shelters in Michigan. Fostering-only groups do not have to report but sometimes they do as well. This report includes, among other things, intake and euthanasia information. This information has been organized for you so that you can easily check out the numbers for the animal shelters in your community. The results we have listed are for the rescues and animal shelters in our area that are on the Pet Friends Magazines shelters & rescues link. Some groups might not have reported last year or didn’t make the deadline to report this year. For the full report of the animal shelters in Michigan click here. Continue reading

Pet Friends Magazine Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

It’s been a busy decade in animal welfare and rescue. The same has been true for Pet Friends Magazine. Since Pet Friends Magazine started, more than 650 stories have been posted on the website, having a reach of more than 321,000 views.

During the past ten years, the no-kill movement has been gaining supporters and Michigan Animal Shelters are killing less dogs and cats than in the past. As Nathan Winograd explains,  In 2007, Michigan shelters were killing close to 120,000 animals. In 2016, it was 29,591. That’s great progress!

Pet Friends Magazine has been an ongoing resource in lower Northern Michigan and beyond in many different areas – spotlighting adoptable pets, publishing pet-related events and doing investigative stories on animal shelters and others. Editor/Publisher Jennifer Isbell started the website at a time when animal shelters and rescue groups didn’t have much time to showcase their pets to the public and Facebook wasn’t a daily staple for the world. Animal rescuers were too busy saving cats and dogs to do much of anything else. Continue reading