Lawsuit Against Benzie County for Unlawful Seizure of Pets Moves Forward

Sheila Dinger’s lawsuit is moving forward against Benzie County, Benzie County Animal Control, Animal Control Officer Kyle Maurer and former Animal Control Officer Jaime Croel. The lawsuit was filed on May 16th and is the result of actions previously documented in an earlier article by Pet Friends Magazine here.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Dinger’s civil rights; fourth amendment violation for illegal search and seizure; and illegally seizing property against state law. The lawsuit is asking for compensatory damages (including mental anguish and suffering), punitive damages and attorney fees.

Click sheila lawsuit for copy of actual complaint.


Six 4-H Ducks Shot in Grand Traverse County, Deputies Searching for Suspect

Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for the person who shot six ducks in Blair Township. According to Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Deputies, between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. Monday someone shot six ducks that were part of a Grawn area youth 4-H project. Dan Davis says the ducks belong to his grandchildren, Maddeline, 6, and Adrian, 5. Click here for more on the story.

43 Pets Seized From Home, Roscommon County Animal Shelter Seeking Donations

The animal shelter says they took 41 cats and two dogs from a home last Thursday. The shelter is asking for donations to help handle the rise in the number of animals they must care for. They are asking for cat litter, disposable plastic paint trays and other items. Click here for more on the story.

Click here for the story about the seizure.

Legislation Introduced in Michigan to Keep Puppy Mills in Business

Puppies are the common denominator in the world of animal welfare. If we can agree on nothing else, there is consensus that the abuse of a puppy is a bottom line for all but the most depraved. This unwritten rule was thrown out the window last week, however, when Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, introduced a pair of bills intended to help an industry that has become synonymous with animal abuse: puppy mills. These two bills are part of a larger strategy by pet store and puppy mill lobbyists to prevent local governments from banning the retail sale of puppies, part of a legislative arms race that has spread across the country. Click here for the rest of the story. Continue reading

Serra Subaru Traverse City Donates $20,000 to Help Veterans, Their Families

All applause at Serra Subaru in Traverse City, as it presented a check that will ultimately help Northern Michigan veterans and disabled individuals. It’s part of the annual “Share the Love” event, which donates to a local nonprofit. Click here for the rest of the story.

You Can Save Orphaned Kittens and Puppies

This article was printed years ago and spring is a great time to re-publish the info. for everyone…

I recently attended an AC Paw seminar that gave valuable information on how to save orphaned puppies and kittens. Orphans are babies who are less than five weeks old and without their mother before they are weaned. AC Paw has taken care of more than 420 orphaned cats since their group was organized and many puppies as well. The information that was provided is something that needs to be passed along to as many animal lovers as possible. You might never be in the circumstances of trying to save the life of a puppy or kitten, but the knowledge to do so might help a family member, friend or even a stranger.

There are five critical points to remember when you are involved in trying to save the lives of orphaned kittens and puppies. It spells out the word “Aspen” as you will see below. The information provided is from the AC Paw seminar and other online research. There are a lot of steps involved but it is worth it to read the information over a few times so that you are familiar with the process. Continue reading

Local Law Enforcement Attends Training Program for Dealing with Animal Calls

photo credit: MHS Facebook page

The Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City in coordination with the Michigan Humane Society hosted a full day of Law Enforcement Training on Friday, May 4th. The training was offered to animal control officers and also to law enforcement personnel who are called on to provide animal control duties. Attendees at the training included Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officers; Traverse City Police; Grand Traverse Tribal Police; Newaygo Police and more. Traverse City is the farthest away that the MHS group has traveled to give the training. Since starting the Law Enforcement Training Program in June of 2015, they have trained 400 officers and continue to do monthly training in Detroit. Continue reading

Your Help is Needed to Stop Puppy Mills from Selling Animals in Michigan Pet Stores

Puppy Mill dog, photo credit:

Re-posted fom Pet Fund Alliance

MICHIGAN RESIDENTS: Your voice is needed TODAY! The puppy mill industry is attempting to pass House Bill 5917 in Michigan to prevent cities and towns from banning retail sales of pets. Currently, a municipality may choose not to support the puppy mill industry. We need it to stay that way!

If enacted, House Bill 5917 will prohibit Michigan cities and counties from passing ordinances that prevent inhumanely bred puppies and kittens from being sold in pet stores, and will overturn all existing retail pet sales ordinances throughout the state. As a result, puppy mills will continue to flourish, and consumers will be deprived of their right to know where the animals sold in pet shops really come from.

View HB 5917 here

View House Bill 5916/5917: Bad for animals and consumers Fact Sheet here

Contact your Representative NOW! The “Petland Bills” (HB 5917) may be voted on as soon as Wednesday, May 9 and they could then quickly move to the house floor the next day!  Continue reading

Benzie County Looking at a Potential Lawsuit for Taking Pets from Owner Without Cause

Sheila Dinger still cries herself to sleep at night after the heartbreaking seizure of her eight pets. On December 12, 2017, Benzie County Animal Control officers Kyle Mauer and Jaime Croel, who is now the Animal Control Supervisor in Grand Traverse County, accompanied Deputy Sheriff Michael Ramsey to Dinger’s house to serve an eviction order that was a result of a family dispute. When asked by Pet Friends Magazine why the animals were seized, the attorney representing Benzie County in this case released the following statement: “Mr. Ramsey requested Animal Control come out and remove the animals from the house. After that it was their call based upon their judgement that the animals were in need of care and pursuant to the Animal Control Ordinance that they took the other animals because they appeared neglected.” 

Pet Friends Magazine conducted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to look through the documentation that Benzie County provided regarding this case and found that Dinger had no current complaints of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect filed against her at the time that her pets were seized; there was no warrant to seize the animals; there was no information on the eviction order about the pets; and there was no paperwork from the county that proves that she was served with an order of eviction before December 12th which would have allowed her the time to relocate her pets. Continue reading

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.

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.