Monthly Archives: June 2013

Parvo Dog Confirmed to Have Been at the Traverse City Dog Park

It has been confirmed by a local veterinarian that a dog with Parvo was at the Traverse City Dog Park on Wednesday, June 26th. Parvo (Canine Parvovirus) is a highly contagious disease of dogs that has a tendency to attack very quickly. The virus is shed in large amounts of stools of infected dogs for up to several weeks following infection. According to Web MD, the disease is transmitted by oral contact with infected feces. Parvo can be carried on the dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated crates, shoes and other objects. When the dog licks the fecal material off hair, feet or anything that came in contact with infected feces, he or she acquires the disease. You can read more about Parvo here.

Parvo affects dogs of all ages, but most cases it occurs in puppies from six to 20 weeks old. Symptoms include lethargy, no appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. The typical incubation period is three to seven days between initial infection and the onset of the first symptoms. Some dogs have a high fever. If you suspect your dog may be sick with Parvo, please see your veterinarian immediately. Humans cannot contract the virus.

The virus is very hardy and resistant to nearly every household cleaning product. Despite its resistance to most cleaning agents, Parvo can be eliminated by bleach – one part bleach mixed with approximately 30 parts water for any indoor area. Because it’s difficult to bleach an outside area, thoroughly watering down an area will at least dilute any present virus.

Because the Parvo virus can live on the ground for at least six months to a year (even through the winter), having a diseased dog at a public dog park is a big deal.

Although the Traverse City Dog Park has guidelines, it is a self-regulated park that does not require dogs to be vaccinated or for pet owners to prove their dogs are healthy before bringing them into the park. The website states that dogs need to be up to date on their vaccinations. However, it also states that users of the park enter at their own and their dog’s risk of enjoyment and injury.

Vaccinated adult dogs are at low risk of getting the disease but pups who have not reached maturity or completed their vaccinations, dogs with compromised immune systems or any dogs with an unknown vaccination history shouldn’t visit the park. As the rules at the dog park state, you are entering at your own risk and that of your dog. Once again, if you have any questions at all about the safety of taking your dog to a public dog park that has had a Parvo dog present, please contact your veterinarian.

UPDATE: Pet Friends Magazine was contacted by the Traverse City Parks & Recreation Department. As a precaution, they closed the dog park for the day on Monday, July 1st and irrigated the entire park to dilute the possible exposure for other dogs. They will re-open sometime tomorrow morning, on Tuesday, July 2nd.



Cherryland Cats Enjoying Their New Cat Scratchers

An anonymous donor purchased 25 “Stretch and Scratch” boxes for the cats at the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City and the cats are busy using them. These scratchers are used by animal shelters all over the country to reduce stress in caged cats and to give the cats something in their cage that they can “own” with their scent on it. It also gives the cats an activity to participate in and encourages their natural behavior of scratching. These scratchers are easy to install and are very strongly made even for the toughest cats.

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Report In: State of Michigan Finds Several Violations of the Wexford County Animal Shelter including Not Vetting Animals Properly

The Michigan Department of Agriculture has released their report concerning their latest investigation into the Wexford County Animal Shelter and found several violations committed by the animal shelter. These violations can be found in their complete report here: Dept of Ag report Wexford.

The violations include: not properly reporting correct information to the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture concerning the animals the shelter received, returned to owner, adopted, transfered and euthanized; not properly maintaining records about the description an disposition of the pet and not seeking veterinarian services when needed for a sick or injured pet.

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Communities Now Have More Control over Fireworks

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley recently signed legislation that allows local governments to prohibit the use of consumer fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m. on the day before, day of, and day after national holidays. “This is a common-sense bill that respects the preferences of communities by letting local authorities decide when fireworks can and cannot be used,” Calley said. A local unit with a population of 50,000 or more, or a local unit in a county with a population of 750,000 or more may have a fireworks deadline of 1 a.m. only on New Year’s Day. A local unit with a population of less than 50,000, or a local unit in a county with a population of less than 750,000 may have 1 a.m. fireworks deadlines on any national holiday and the days before and after. Fines of up to $500 could be imposed for individuals who do not comply.  Click here for more on the story. Pet owners should contact their localities about legislation in their counties, cities and townships.


Donations Needed for Shelter Dog

Ritz is a stray at the Wexford County Animal Shelter. She is a female Chow/Golden Retriever mix who was hit by a car. She came in with a fractured tibia and a tumor in her mammary gland. East Bay Animal Hospital is doing surgery on the dog’s leg at a reduced rate and volunteers of the Wexford shelter are asking for donations for this sweetheart. The surgery is Monday and everyone is hoping the leg can be saved if it’s able to be pinned.


Donations can be made by phone at 231-938-8098 or mailed to P.O. Box 295 Acme Mi 49610. Any amount will help. Please put “Ritz” on your checks or let them know when you call that your donation should go to Ritz.

Rescue Groups Invited to Day Long Seminars During Michigan Animal Control Officers Conference

MAACO (Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers) has a conference every year and on May 8th, they invited MPAWS to join their annual conference for something called an “MPAW” Track. MPAW stands for “Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare” and is a Michigan Humane Society group that was formed as a comprehensive partnership for animal welfare organizations and animal advocates. Their mission is to build strong organizations and networks in Michigan to better serve animals. You can read more about that here.

The MAACO conference, as well as the MPAW event, was held at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.

The MPAW track was a day-long event which was open to anyone in the animal welfare industry, not just members of MAACO. Many groups took advantage of this offer so that they could participate in this kind of continuing education including a group of volunteers from AC PAW.


The speakers were talking about many important things. The seminars included: Contagious Diseases in Shelters and Rescue Groups (Shirene Cece, DVM, Director of Shelter Medicine, MHS); Waging War Against Disease (Cece); Dog Behavior Evaluations 101 (CJ Bentley, Senior Director of Ooperations, MHS): Starting off on the Right Paw and Recognizing Animal Cruelty and Knowing What to Do About it (Linda Reider, Director of Statewide Initiatives, MHS).

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Recognizing Animal Cruelty and Knowing What to Do About It

Animal neglect and cruelty don’t seem to be issues that are going away anytime soon, especially in Northern Lower Michigan. Because many people in the community are uncertain about how to deal with this issue and how it is investigated, I recently attended day-long event that was offered through the MAACO (Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers) annual conference. They invited MPAW (Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare) to participate in the conference for a set of seminars in Thompsonville on May 8th.

Photo credit: Michigan Humane Society (photo of Julie)

Photo credit: Michigan Humane Society (photo of Julie)

I wanted to find out more information for my readers about what they can do when they suspect animal cruelty, neglect or dog fighting. Most of this information was learned from the seminar they offered on this topic, which was my main reason for attending. Other information was gained through other sources and my reporting about this topic over the years.

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The Wexford County Animal Shelter: 4 Months Later…The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

County/City Meeting, Animal Control Advisory Committee and a Request for Proposals to Run the Shelter

With the uncertainty of the future of the Wexford County Animal Shelter in the air, the county and the city decided to have a joint public meeting at The Wex on May 7th. This was a result of the concerns from Wexford County residents about the Sheriff’s oversight of the shelter. The shelter has come under fire with allegations of inhumane euthanasia, records of proven stray hold violations, and an uneasiness about the county’s policies and procedures.

This is Akure, one of the many cats and kittens who were killed at the Wexford County Animal Shelter on May 24, 2013.

This is Akure, one of the many cats and kittens who were killed at the Wexford County Animal Shelter on May 24, 2013.

At this meeting, it was discovered that an animal rescue group named CARE (Consider Adoption Reduce Euthanasia) is interested in making an offer to run the shelter. Some of CARE’s plans include longer & weekend hours so the shelter is more accessible to the public; making the shelter no-kill; stopping the pit bull ban; getting more community involvement; having fundraisers & off-site adoptions; working with teens and schools and starting a spay/neuter program.

Other speakers included Camille Kocsis, a Board Member from the Manistee County Humane Society who described their no-kill shelter and the kind of policies they have. She explained how they work with their local animal control, how they are able to recruit volunteers and how they are able to financially support their shelter. It is a shining example of how to operate a compassion no-kill shelter that serves the needs of both the animals and the community.

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