Coalition of Businesses and Animal Welfare Organizations Get Together to Protection Companion Animals

puppy mill pic



The Michigan Friends of Companion Animals is a coalition and network of businesses and animal welfare organizations supporting stronger laws and ordinances to protect animals in breeding facilities and families from irresponsible pet retailers. Michigan Friends of Companion Animals is building a coalition of businesses, animal welfare organizations, foster-based rescues, shelters, veterinarians, dog groomers and boarding facilities to:

1. Pass the Large Scale Commercial Dog Breeder Act SB 339, which will help to curb puppy mills in the state.

2. Pass the Humane Pet Acquisition Ordinance in local communities, which will protect families from irresponsible pet retailers.

3. Sign-on pet supply stores to the Puppy Friendly Pet Store program to make an official policy not to sell puppies or kittens.

You can read more about the coalition and how to join by going to their website here or go their Facebook page here.

This Year’s Winners of the PAW Awards: The Missaukee Humane Society and The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society

Dogs Stevie and Mac are adoptable at the Missaukee Humane Society. Cats Daisy and Joss are awaiting a new home at the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society.

Dogs Stevie and Mac are adoptable at the Missaukee Humane Society. Cats Daisy and Joss are awaiting a new home at the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society.

Northern Michigan Euthanasia & Intake Reports

These from reports released in 2015 for the year 2014

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 in this post 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: animal shelter report 2014

My reports are different than others who do “save rates” because I think they are more accurate. I think the true measure of how a shelter is doing is what their euthanasia rate is. Obviously, there are those times when euthanasia is the only choice when a pet is sick or aggressive and even the best shelters and rescues have higher numbers in different years based on the kind of animals they rescue or accept into their system.

I also think that a shelter should be judged on the animals that it has a responsible to house and adopt. Because of this, I subtract the owner requested euthanasias and the returned-to-owner animals from the intake amount – which leaves a more accurate number of animals that the shelter is responsible for.

For the purposes of Pet Friend Magazine’s 7th Annual “PAW” Award (Pet Friends Animal Welfare Award), the winners are based on the percentage of the least amount of euthanasias for the year 2014 compared to the intake numbers of cats and dogs after I have made the subtractions to their intake numbers as mentioned above.

To be eligible for the award, a rescue group or shelter must take in at least 50 animals to make them comparable to other shelters in deciding who wins the awards.

The Missaukee Humane Society in Lake City is the winner of the 2014 PAW Award from Pet Friends Magazine in the DOG category for the least amount of euthanasias.

The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in Harbor Springs is the winner of the 2014 PAW Award from Pet Friends Magazine in the CAT category for the least amount of euthanasias.

Congratulations to our winners – and to those of you who are doing a great job to reduce the number of animals killed in your care! All in all, over the years, our area seems to be headed in the right direction with less animals killed in many of the previous years. If your shelter has too many animals killed, please get involved in volunteering and get involved in the the local politics of your county (most Sheriff’s Departments run county animal control departments – and county commissioners are responsible for the budgets and other aspects of the animal shelter). Go to your county or city commissioners meetings and voice your concerns. Taxpayer money should be used to house and adopt your community cats and dogs – not kill them. Continue reading

Online Petition Seeks to Repeal Michigan’s 2011 Fireworks Law

An online petition to repeal Michigan’s 2011 law allowing the purchase and use of consumer aerial fireworks is underway here.

As of Wednesday afternoon more than 18,000 residents have signed the petition, which calls for Michigan’s legislature to repeal the Fireworks Safety Act 256 of 2011. The law allows communities to enact local ordinances defining hours and days (aside from the day prior to, day of and day following national holidays) that residents can set off fireworks.

It runs parallel to legislation introduced by State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) in June to repeal the law and reintroduce restrictions on consumer fireworks in Michigan. Click here for the rest of the story.

More pets go missing over the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car on a Hot Day in Grand Traverse County?

photo credit:

photo credit:

Pets can suffer and die when left inside a parked car even on a mildly warm day. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can still reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. Animals left in a vehicle even with the windows cracked open can succumb to heatstroke in 15 minutes. Dogs and cats cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws. The air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves.

Lieutenant Barsheff of the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office recently discussed this issue in the latest Garfield Charter Township newsletter. He said, “The average trip inside a store to grab a few things – about 15 to 20 minutes or so – can leave your pets vulnerable to the intense heat inside your parked car. According to weather experts, the temperature inside your car can rise almost 30 degrees while you are inside shopping. A parked car can quickly turn into an oven, in the sun or the shade.” Continue reading

Logan’s Law Revisited By Michigan State House Of Reps To Prevent Animal Abusers From Adopting Pets

The state of Michigan is taking a second look at Logan’s Law, which if approved could prevent animal abusers from adopting pets from state-run shelters. Supporters of Logan’s Law are pushing for approval because it would require animal shelters to run a criminal background check on potential adopters to see if they have a history of abusing animals. If a person abused animals in the past the shelter would reserve the right to refuse to let the person adopt an animal from them, according to the law’s Facebook page. The law was inspired by a Siberian husky named Logan who was attacked in his own backyard with acid that eventually led to his death. The attacker was an anonymous intruder who was never identified. Click here for the rest of the article.

Old Cat: Litter Box Problems

Old cat litter box issues develop whether your cat learned faithful toilet etiquette as a kitten or developed hit-or-miss potty problems as an adult. While many senior citizen felines never have problems, it’s a good idea to be aware of potential toilet challenges and help your old fogy cat retain “old faithful” status. Click here to learn about seven tips for solving old cat litter box problems.


Cherryland Humane Society Heads in New Direction with Progressive Leader

Heidi Yates pulled a chair out from under her office table and discovered new “shelter cat” Christine curled up on its seat. “A shelter has to have a shelter cat,” said Yates, as she pulled out another chair for herself. The new executive director of Cherryland Humane Society has been on the job fewer than four weeks but already it’s clear that changes — big changes — are in store for the nonprofit that has received increasing criticism for its resistance to just that.

“I’m pretty aggressive about change,” said Yates, who already “tweaked” the adoption application, started “pet partnerships” for off-site adoptions at places like Pets Naturally and PetSmart, and reached out to area vets and animal rescue groups to establish new relationships.

One of Yates’ main goals is to test incoming animals for certain viruses and diseases and to micro-chip and sterilize outgoing animals before they’re adopted.

“Those are what I feel is standard. I feel they’re important not only for the adopter but for the animal. A goal is to help stop pet over-population,” said Yates, who also plans to organize a foster program and work toward a no-kill policy.

Click here for the rest of the story in the Record-Eagle.

Downtown Construction Takes a Bite out of D.O.G. Bakery Sales

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Chances are, no matter what direction you drive in Traverse City, you are seeing detour signs and orange cones. The D.O.G. Bakery at 535 West Front Street sits in the middle of one of those construction projects. Started at the end of April, the project is scheduled to be completed by the middle of July, a little earlier than anticipated because the construction will be going on through the Cherry Festival – a decision that has the support of the West End business owners.

Because of the construction, the D.O.G. Bakery’s sales are down about 10%, which is less than they expected so they are grateful for that. To help customers have a stress-free visit to their store, they are suggesting that you use this construction map to get to the store easier. The suggested routes go through the residential area and brings you to the store through the alley, where you can park behind the store.

The D.O.G. Bakery has been in Traverse City for more than 11 years and is a visible supporter of community events and organizations including the animal rescue groups in town. They bake healthy dog treats, sell commercial dog and cat food, dog toys, dog fashions and accessories, leashes and much more. Customers can also bring their dogs to the store to pick out their own merchandise – and often end up featured on their Facebook page. The D.O.G. Bakery also has a kiosk in the Grand Traverse Mall located in front of the GAP store to help customer have more access to their treats during the construction. This temporary “store” will close on Tuesday, June 30th.

Don’t let a little construction stop you from treating your pooch to some yummy treats. You know you’ll be in the dog house with your furry family members if you don’t stop by!

T.C. Patriot Game to Give Funds to “Dogs in Honor”

Proceeds from this year’s Traverse City Patriot Game will go to an organization that trains service dogs for combat veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Mike Kent, students from Traverse City Central and West High Schools selected Dogs in Honor to get the money made through the sale of commemorative shirts. The TC Patriot Game is the annual football clash between the two rival schools. Active duty military and veterans are honored at a ceremony before the game. This year the contest will take place on the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11. First responders will also be asked to take the field and be honored. Click here for the rest of the story.

Farmington Hills State Rep Introduces Puppy Mill Bill

State Representatives Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) have introduced two pieces of legislation that would crack down on inhumane puppy mills and protect dogs against animal abuse.

“Pets have become such an important part of many families, and the joy of bringing home a new puppy is a moment to be treasured,” Greig said. “I want to make sure, however, that they are bred in a safe and humane environment. A small handful of unscrupulous breeders are trying to maximize their profits by breeding large numbers of puppies in unhealthy conditions. This legislation will ensure that dogs aren’t abused in large-scale puppy mills and will hold abusers accountable if they harm dogs. Click here for the rest of the story.

The Michigan War Dog Memorial Needs Your Help

Photo credit: Allison Merill

Photo credit: Allison Merill

In the summer of 2010, Army Veteran Phil Weitlauf went to look for an abandoned war dog monument he had heard about at the corner of Milford Rd. and 11 Mile in Lyon Township, about 11 miles southeast of Brighton. He took his dog Cody, a German Shepherd with him. When they arrived at the corner, Weitlauf only saw a heavily wooded area. After parking the car and going for a walk, he saw a large granite monument with the words “The War Dog.” Behind that were several headstones buried in foliage and brush. The site was in horrible shape.

At the next monthly meeting with the Huron Valley AmVets-Post 2006 in Milford, Weitlauf reported the abandoned site and requested a detail to clean it up. Several members volunteered and several other Veteran Service Organizations, Dog Club members were contacted. A notice was also printed in the local newspaper.

On August 14, 2010 many people came for a common cause, to stop the degradation and restore the site to it’s original grandeur. To understand the origin of this site a committee was formed to investigate. They found through the South Lyon Newspaper and Lyon Twp. archives, the site was set up by the Elkow family in 1936 known as “Happy Hunting Grounds Pet Cemetery.” In 1946 when the news of how many lives were saved by War Dogs during WWII the local residents raised the money to install a monument to show their respect to their heroic K-9’s. In the mid ’80’s, interment had stopped and the maintenance declined and over the next 25 years, nature had taken over. By that time, 2158 pets and two service dogs had been interred at the cemetery. As research continued, they found that there were approximately 36 war dog memorial monuments throughout the United States, however only a few offered interment for these four-legged veterans. Continue reading

Local Boarding Kennel Participating in Grant Contest

pretty dog running main pic

SunDog Boarding Kennel in Traverse City is participating in an online grant contest to grow their business and help more dogs and their owners. The Mission Main Street Grants are awarded by Chase with LinkedIn as a Premier Sponsor. In September, they will be awarding 20 businesses with $100,000 in grants each. Right now is the first round of voting. Competing businesses need to gather 250 votes to move into the next round. Currently, SunDog has 261 votes and voting ends on June 19th. More votes would show enthusiastic community support for their grant application. You can vote for them at the link here.

The SunDog kennel is a safe, fun and relaxed environment to board your dogs when you are away. There is 1500 sq. foot addition to the home of owner, Allison Merrill, designed for the dogs who stay with them. The dogs are not “kenneled” during the course of the day and are allowed to socialize with other dogs if they desire. The space is fully air conditioned and has in-floor heat for the winter months. Each dog has its own private laminate and tempered glass suite where they have their comfy beds, personal items and food-related items. There is plenty of room to play inside with couches, rugs and toys and also room in the office to lounge or spend time with staff. There is a 900 sq. ft. yard on the south side of the building where dogs can enjoy the sun and tape a nap. The side play yard is 20,000 sq. ft. and is surrounded by a 6′ high wood privacy fence. Within the play yard is a lot of grass, shade trees, large pine trees and space to play with a tennis ball or Frisbee.

dog outside

Continue reading


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