Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gordon Wenk today announced the selection of Dr. Nora Wineland as the department’s new state veterinarian, effective Monday, November 5, 2018. Wineland replaces Dr. James Averill who is now MDARD’s Deputy Director. “MDARD is excited to welcome Dr. Wineland back home. As a native Michigander, not only does Dr. Wineland bring with her a commitment to protecting animal health, but also a deep understanding of federal regulations which is important to Michigan’s farmers and ranchers,” said Wenk. Click here for the rest of the story.
Every year, Traverse City residents get the opportunity to participate in “Shop Your Community” Day. This year, the shopping opportunity occurs on Saturday, November 10th (which is coincidentally the same day as the AC PAW craft show!) When you shop in downtown Traverse City at participating stores, 15% of each sale goes to the non-profit of your choice.
Animal-related non-profits that are able to receive these proceeds include: AC PAW, Cherryland Humane Society, For Animals, PEACE Ranch, Silver Muzzle Cottage Rescue & Hospice. Continue reading
David and Donna Prevo have been wildlife rehabilitators rescuing fawns for more than 10 years. Their licensed and certified wildlife rehabilitation center, Leelanau Wildlife Care has saved and rehabilitated more than 100 fawns over those years on their 132 acres of woodland in Leelanau county. Their all volunteer organization has a licensed veterinarian who is on-call to assist them with injured animals, with their organization specializing in white tail fawns and other small mammals.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has become a problem in southern Michigan. It is a fatal nervous system disease found in deer, moose and elk. It attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions in the brain, which results in death. There is no cure. The first CWD deer was found in Michigan in 2015. The Michigan DNR has created new rules for hunters and the moving of deer carcasses for their management zone which includes the counties of Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hilsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Shiawassee. Although CWD hasn’t been found in the Upper Peninsula, it was discovered about 16 miles from the western Upper Peninsula border in Wisconsin. The transferability to other members of the deer family, other wildlife or pets is not known and ongoing research is being conducted. Continue reading
Two sources have confirmed one or more coyotes running around the Traverse Heights area. One coyote was seen near the intersection of Bates and Centre Street for the past two weeks.
Traverse Heights area
The video here is provided by Maxwell Wolf of a coyote running down his street in the Traverse Heights area and going in neighboring yards. Wolf says that the coyote is “very brazen and doesn’t seem to have such fear of people. Although their main diet is mice, rabbits, squirrels and trash, these animals will eat small dogs, cats. and chickens.”
Wolf continues, “I just watched a documentary about coyotes that says they have even been known to attack little dogs while people are walking them on leash. They also attacked some kids in Vancouver and there’s a video of one attacking a full grown man. Please spread the word about this and take care with your pets and small kids. Take a cane or stick with you when you go walking especially if you have a little dog or baby with you. If you see it in your yard bang some pots and throw things at it. Don’t let it linger around. Don’t let your little dogs out alone unless you have a tall wooden fence. Check the fence for evidence of tunneling under. Note that this coyote is not sticking to nighttime hours. It’s running around in full daylight middle of the day. So far it’s just been running around but we are all concerned about what it might be up to.”
For the last 92 days, Heidi Yates and her staff at the Cherryland Humane Society have taken dogs shaking and paralyzed with fear into their arms and carried them outside just to go to the bathroom. Those 92 days — and the days, weeks and possibly months ahead — have been an attempt to rehabilitate the dogs and cats found living in what 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer described as “hell” at Joseph Plowman’s sentencing hearing Monday.
Plowman, 39, was given the maximum sentence of three months in a county jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to one felony count of animal abandonment or cruelty. Elsenheimer firmly told Plowman that he is not allowed to own an animal during those five years and could face “serious prison time” if he violates those terms.
For the rest of the story, click here.
A recent meeting in Northern Lower Michigan of veterinarians, groomers and boarding kennels is a sign that our local professionals who deal with dogs are taking the Dog Flu seriously as it spreads across the state. The Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) is a viral respiratory disease which can cause secondary infections like pneumonia can be fatal.
On August 3, 2018, there was 49 reported cases of CIV and as of September 23, 2018, it jumped to 154 cases reported. The counties reporting the disease include Allegan, Barry, Genesee, Huron, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. You can keep updated on the counties reporting by clicking here.
There is a vaccine for the influenza which is done in two stages – the initial vaccine and then a booster 2-4 weeks later. The vaccine is not effective until 10-14 days after the booster (second vaccine). Annual re-vaccination with one dose is recommended. Although the vaccine may not prevent infection, trials have shown that it significantly reduces the severity and duration of the illness, including the damage to the lungs. Ask your veterinarian if they have the bivalent vaccine which is for both CIV strains. Continue reading
Sir Alexander is one of the many Royalty dogs (Kingsley hoarding case) that are having an extremely hard time adjusting to their new lives. Alexander would quake, shake, move himself in a corner, tuck his face away, and hide however he could whenever anyone would look at or approach him.
There are a handful of Royalty dogs still exhibiting these behaviors and are being worked with daily. These behaviors stem from not being socialized with people. They are frightened of the unknown. They don’t know what affection or care feels like. Many of these dogs are being exposed to attention and affection for the first time.
Alexander was one of the most fearful Royalty dogs. He needed some serious tender love and care.
That’s when Alexander became Tia’s office buddy. Click here for more of Sir Alexander’s story.
The Ingham County Animal Control was investigated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture after a report was made public alleging that they neglected the pit bulls in their care that they were supposed to be taking care of for a court case involving dogfighting.
Further investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture found that they violated three acts under the Pet Shops, Dog Pounds and Animal Shelter Act which regulates Michigan animal shelters. The shelter was fined $2500 for not properly registering with the state, failing to sanitize primary enclosures for dogs to prevent disease and failing to provide enough employees for proper care of the animals. The shelter has not disputed these allegations. Continue reading
Voting for the Grand Rapids ArtPrize has started and will continue through October 7th. ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded every year including a $200,000 grand prize which is decided by pubic vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids at museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels and more. This year, 1260+ works created by 1400+ artists from 41 states and 40 countries will be exhibited in 165+ venues. ArtPrize is free and open to the public.
Online voting for ArtPrize has started. The following entries were found to have subjects that are dogs, cats, horses or a combination of different pets. Click on the title of the art to vote. Continue reading
Got mice? The Michigan Barn Cat Program has a solution. The organization is looking for barns in St. Clair County that are in need of natural, toxin-free rodent control. The program, which is part of a broader effort to solve the area’s exploding population of feral cats, is designed to serve cats, farmers and the community by placing vaccinated and spayed or neutered cats with residents looking for outdoor cats to keep mice and other rodents out of barns and sheds. Click here for the rest of the story.
60 Second Dogs, an organization that produces documentaries, has nominated Silver Muzzle Cottage for an Eagle Rare Life award.
Stories are submitted in six categories including courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character and heroism. The top five finalists to receive the most votes in each category will be considered for a category prize of $5,000. A panel of judges will then evaluate the top ten nominees across all categories to determine the winner of the Eagle Rare Life Award the winner will receive a $50,000 Grand Prize which will be donated to the charity or cause of the winner’s choice.
Kim Skaritt, founder of Silver Muzzle Cottage is excited and proud that her non-profit organization was nominated to be in the running for these awards. Silver Muzzle Cottage is based out of Rapid city and is a rescue and hospice for senior dogs. To date, they have rescued 138 dogs. If Silver Muzzle was able to win the grand prize, Skaritt says that the money could be used to offer more proactive assistance to help those who wish to keep their senior dogs and more dogs could be rescued by making improvements to the facility. She asks that you vote every day and share the link here.
The owners of a 30-year-old cat in Michigan had to put their beloved pet down this month after he was shot outside of his home with a BB gun. The incident happened over Labor Day Weekend and has shocked the community on the west side of the state. East Grand Rapids Mayor Amna Seibold shared the story on her Facebook, reminding her residents that BB guns are not toys and shooting any kind of gun in the city is not allowed. Click here for the rest of the story.
With Hurricane Florence hitting down south, the Cherryland Humane Society wants to help rescue the animals affected. But after an animal hording situation in Kingsley back in July, the shelter is still full. Animal Control and Cherryland rescued 36 dogs and cats and while many are now in their forever homes, some still need some help. Click here for more info.
Despite its scope, the animal abandonment case discovered in Kingsley in July, in which at least 38 animals were removed from a Voice Road residence and two people were arrested, is not an anomaly according to state and local records. Incidences of animal cruelty reported to the Michigan State Police rose 575 percent statewide between 2016 and 2017, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the MSP’s 2017 Quality Assurance Report. Click here for the rest of the story.
During the last few years, Wexford County has had its share of financial issues. While most of those issues dealt with a lack of funds, recently the county has had to decide what to do with an influx of dollars. These dollars in questions came from a donation and that donation is for the sole purpose to benefit the Wexford County Animal Shelter. Click here for the rest of the story.
The Kent County Animal Shelter euthanized two out of every five animals it took in last year. The state’s average euthanasia rate in 2017 for all open admission shelters was 14 percent, according to non-profit Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. Kent County’s euthanasia rate was 39 percent that year.Those figures don’t include pets euthanized at their owner’s request. Click here for the rest of the story.
The Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine has been ranked one of the top 20 colleges in the nation for best veterinary degree according to College Choice, an online ranking source for students looking for the right fit for their interests and needs. Click here for the rest of the story.
Urge your representative to support SB 741.
From Best Friends Animal Society
We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets in Michigan. Senate Bill 741 would eliminate breed discrimination in municipalities throughout our state. This important legislation has already passed the Senate and is now in the House.
We want our communities protected against dangerous dogs and we want abused dogs to be protected from reckless owners. SB 741 encourages local governments to enhance public safety for people and pets by focusing on the behaviors of the owner and the dog, while preserving property rights. All Michigan residents who follow the right safety rules as responsible dog owners should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose. It’s that simple. Click here for the rest of the story.
Two years and eight months after the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division was eliminated by past administrator Tom Menzel and county commissioners, the taxpayers of Grand Traverse spoke up tonight and voted yes for an animal control millage by an overwhelming majority of 69.58% of the vote with the unofficial results showing 18,146 people voting yes and 7,935 people voting no. Of the three millages voted on, this millage got the most votes and the highest percentage of votes in a millage – showing that the community definitely supports animal control which commissioners have questioned in the past.
The millage will provide funding for a three year period for animal control staff and services, protecting it from being eliminated at the whim of the the current Administrator or any of the county commissioners who will be voted into office in November of 2018.
The passage of the millage was up in the air after the county fired former Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, who has a large support base in the community. Many were upset about how the Health Department has handled her firing and the investigation into her actions while being an animal control officer.
The Animal Control Division currently has an Animal Control Supervisor, Jaime Croel, and an Animal Control Officer, Jon Brown. A third officer to replace Zerafa is being sought after the county posted the job opening recently.
Two people who face charges in an animal abandonment case involving dozens of dogs and cats appeared in court for the first time Friday. Joseph Lewis Plowman, 39, and Lacie Lee Plowman, 37, appeared for a video arraignment in 86th District Court morning before Judge Michael Stepka. They each face one charge of animal abandoning or cruelty, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, according to court documents. Both defendants await an attorney assignment, said Joseph Plowman. He declined further comment. Lacie Plowman did not immediately return calls requesting comment. Click here for the rest of the story.
Protesters wielding signs and animal photographs challenged an animal control officer’s firing over allegations she violated the constitution and falsified documents. Grand Traverse County officials fired animal control Officer Deb Zerafa in June after a local attorney determined she violated pet owner’s Fourth Amendment rights multiple times and lied about time worked. A 10-page report listed numerous accusations of misdeeds, all of which Zerafa denied and her group of supporters challenged during a protest and at a county board of commissioners meeting Wednesday. Click here for more on the story.
In March of 2018, the City of Traverse City repealed their dog ordinance to provide clarity in enforcing State laws. They repealed the city’s dog leash ordinance because it was duplicative of State law. Repealing the City’s ordinance didn’t eliminate leash regulations within the city. It was done so that Grand Traverse County Animal Control becomes the sole enforcer of the leash law.
However, also in March, an ordinance was passed in the city that regulates pets in parks within Traverse City limits. This ordinance means that city police can enforce unleashed dogs in the city parks as well as Grand Traverse County police.
This ordinance 1064.11 Pets in Parks. states that no person shall bring or allow any dog or other pet in any park unless the dog or pet is kept on a leash not over eight feet in length, and under the immediate control of a responsible person. Dogs are (only) permitted to be off-leash in city parkland which has been designated as an off-leash area by resolution of the City Commission subject to compliance with the rules and regulations adopted for the designated off-leash areas (dog parks). Continue reading