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

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

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

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

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