Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cadillac Mayor Bill Barnett Speaks Out About the Wexford County Animal Shelter

With the Wexford County Board of Commissioners not addressing several issues, the future of the Wexford County Animal Shelter seems to be in limbo. The BOC hasn’t publicly addressed the Request for Proposals submitted by four non-profits to run the shelter, although off the record an anonymous source says that one of the BOC members told her they have been rejected. Additionally, the future funding of the shelter has also not been addressed and whether the county will seek another millage – or if they have plans on what to do if that millage is not passed. Since the BOC does have a say in the financial matters of the shelter, it would seem wise to address these issues especially since there will be a vote on their next budget coming up at the beginning of December.

The county’s shelter is actually owned by the City of Cadillac and leased to the County for $1 a year. The city taxpayers receive the services of the county and pay a large amount of their taxes for their county services, which means the City Government has an obligation to its own taxpayers to make sure the shelter is run in an ethical and legal manner as well as being financially sound with transparency and accountability.

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Wounded War Veteran Adopts Rescue Dog Who is Also an Amputee

charlie laying down_MAIN PHOTO

Michele’s Rescue out of Grand Rapids took a call a couple of months ago about a dog who had been found injured in Grand Rapids, probably as a result of being hit by a car. Michele’s Rescue learned that the dog’s leg was fractured and that someone had drawn on the dog’s face a pair of black sunglasses in permanent marker. However, as with most Pit Bulls, he was still in good spirits. Michele’s Rescue stepped up to help the dog and took it to an animal hospital where it would be examined and also neutered, vaccinated, checked for rabies and worms.

The veterinarian said that the dog’s leg would need to be amputated. What to do was left up as the decision of Michele’s Rescue since no owner had stepped forward to claim the stray dog. A lot of rescue groups cannot afford to pay for these types of rescues because one animal would drain their bank account, leaving little to nothing for the rest of the animals who depend on them. The Pit Bull, who who would be named Charlie, had already captured their hearts and they told the veterinarian to go ahead and do the surgery on the dog. Fundraising could come later. The dog needed their help.

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This Year’s Winners of the PAW Awards: Roscommon County Animal Shelter, Little Traverse Bay Humane Society and McCloud’s Lake Haven

Northern Michigan Euthanasia Reports
These from reports released in 2013 for the year 2012.


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.

I have organized the information for you so that you can easily check out the numbers for the animal shelters in your community. The results we have listed are for the 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. There were also some problems with the state’s forms this year and things that were left out, including how many animals 6 mos. old and younger were euthanized. Instead, they added information on how many animals 6 mos. old and younger were admitted.

Because I’d like the numbers to be as accurate as possible, I subtracted the “returned” animals from the intake numbers before figuring out the euthanasia rates. the starting numbers of intake reflect the number of animals put up for adoption without counting those animals that were returned to their owners.

For the purposes of Pet Friend Magazine’s 5th Annual “PAW” Award (Pet Friends Animal Welfare Award), the winners are based on the percentage of the least amount of euthanasias for the year 2012 compared to the intake numbers of cats and dogs.

To be elibible 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 Roscommon County Animal Shelter and the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society tied as winners of the 2012 PAW Award from Pet Friends Magazine in the DOG category for the least amount of euthanasias.

McCloud’s Lake Haven (Newaygo County) won the 2012 PAW Award from Pet Friends Magazine in the CAT category for the least amount of euthanasias. Although the Manistee County Animal Shelter and the AuSable Valley Animal shelter had zero cat euthanasis, they did not qualify for an award because of their low intake numbers.

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! Click on the link to check out the results of this report.

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Proposed Animal Abuser Registry Dropped in Michigan

A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry akin to one that shames and identifies sex offenders has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues. Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check would be waived for shelters under revised bills being drafted.

Judges would have to order defendants convicted of crimes against animals not to own or possess animals for at least five years. Cracking down on those who abuse or neglect animals generally has broad support, though a recent committee hearing on the issue got heated when some dog breeders voiced opposition to the legislation.

For more on the story, click here.


Trusting Bonds – Horses and Soldiers

In bygone days, a soldier and his horse were an inseparable pair. Now through the new program, Equine Assisted Veterans Services (EAVS) offered at Peace Ranch, rescued horses will help bring healing to men and women traumatized in the course of their military service.

Carrie Seward, public affairs officer for the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) said, “On Aug. 2, 2013 PEACE Ranch signed a contract with the Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration (VAVHA) to provide EAGALA Model equine assisted psychotherapy for VA clients in northern Michigan. The contract, spearheaded by Dr. Matthew Miller (of Aleda E. Lutz Veteran’s Medical Center in Saginaw), Jaquelyn Kaschel, PEACE Ranch executive director and Jan Stump-Tharp, MSW from the Traverse City VA Clinic, is the first of its kind nationally.”

For more on the story, click here.

Dumped out of a Truck, Norman Looks for the Road to Happiness

The people who brought Norman to AC PAW in March said they watched a truck drive into their neighborhood, dump Norman out, and leave. It’s hard to imagine someone doing that.

Normie on the comforter

Norm had a badly abscessed tooth that had to be extracted. Since then his appetite has returned, he’s put on weight, and he is much healthier than when he was pushed out of the truck. He has been in a foster home where he gets love and good care, but there are several other cats, both fosters and home pets, which makes the place a little hectic sometimes for Norm. He would be happiest in a home where he is the only adult cat, and he can sit quietly on a lap and be petted. His foster mom says when Norm sits in her lap, he stretches his paw up to her shoulder and tucks his head in near her heart. He also likes to bat a toy around occasionally. Norm has a wonderful, scratchy, rough voice. He doesn’t talk much, but when he does, it’s pretty funny. Norm is a quiet, watchful cat. He has a very soulful, wise expression. It’s like living with Yoda.

Norman has had a bit of a rough time lately. It would sure be nice if he could find a home that he can trust. He’ll be a great companion.

Normie on the hearth 2

Norman has been neutered, tested, and vaccinated. See records from Banfield, Northwood, and Grand Traverse vets. Norman is a five year old male with extra toes. Call (231) 587-0738 if you’re interested in adopting Norman – if if you have a cat-free home and would like to foster him.

New Community Online Resource for Pet Owners!

Pet Sitters Network North is excited to announce its new website that was recently launched at the August 17th H.A.N.D.D.S. to the Rescue Bark in the Park event. The website will be a great community resource for pet owners.


“Since founding the Network in 2006, we realized a website was an important missing link to the community,” notes Marsha Wheaton, Dog Mom At Your Service!. “I am so excited and proud that our newest member, Valeri Dietz of Woofers on the Run, made this dream a reality!” Continue reading

Recycled “Rescue Bags” for Sale to Raise Money for Homeless Animals

Handds to the Rescue has come up with a great new fundraising idea – recycling pet food bags and making them into totes. They call them “Rescue Bags” and they were on display recently at Bark at the Park in Traverse City. You can imagine that Handds always has plenty of dog food bags on hand from feeding their rescue animals. They decided they could use those, as well as kitty food bags and birdfood bags, and turn them into cool totes to sell to benefit their rescue animals!

They are priced based on size and some are lined and others are unlined. They vary from $10 to $18 and the proceeds go to help the animals they take care of in their rescue organization. You can also “special order” a bag if you have your own pet food bag that you want made into a tote. Please contact Dorothy DeCoeur for more information at 409-4833 or

More than Two Dozen Cats Rescued from Abandoned Home in Mio

Information from the Shelley Olree’s Shelter Webpages…

The SOS recieved a call on August 13th desperately asking for help. A home rented to an individual was found abandoned in Northern Michigan with 20-30 cats and kittens left inside. It is known that the renter had vacated the home and left no food or water, for at least three weeks before being discovered.

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Bark at the Park 2013

It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, September 17th for the yearly Bark at the Park in Traverse City. Animal rescue groups had lots of dogs (and cats) up for adoption and there were many other animal-related vendors there as well. Please click here for photos from the event!

Local Pet Rescue Coalition Chosen to Compete in Swingshift and the Stars Charity Dance Competition Along with Five Other Charities

It’s official! No Unwanted Pets (NUP) will be participating in this fall’s Swingshift and the Stars event! NUP is a Spay/Neuter Coalition in the Grand Traverse Area which consists of the animal rescue groups of AC Paws, Handds to the Rescue and UnCats Feline Rescue. Their goal is promote and offer low cost spay/neuter services to reduce the pain and suffering of dogs and cats caused by over-population. When unwanted litters are born, it often results in disease and death when these animals aren’t adopted.

Dancer Danny Brizard, his partner Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Klabunde and June McGrath of AC PAW.

Dancer Danny Brizard, his partner Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Klabunde and June McGrath of AC PAW.

Swingshift and the Stars is a charity dance competition at The Opera House in Traverse City. It’s a series of four dance competitions in which the participants include a dancer who represents a local charity who is paired with a dance professional. The competitions are on September 20th, October 18th, November 15th and the grand finale is on December 20th. You can order tickets here.

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Two Grayling Men Plead Guilty to Animal Cruelty Charges for Beheading of a Pitbull Dog in Grayling

Two Grayling men plead guilty to animal cruelty charges for an incident that involved the beheading of a pitbull dog.

Seven Anthony Stuart, 19, and Daniel Thomas Weiskirch, 28, both plead guilty to one count of animals killing-torturing in Crawford County Circuit Court on July 22. The pair plead guilty to the charges in a plea deal agreement with the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office, which resulted in a second charge of animals killing-torturing and felony firearms being dropped for both defendants.  The felony firearms charge would have resulted in both men serving two years in prison before serving any additional prison sentence. They face up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine, 500 hours of community service and will be prohibited from owning  animals.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Pets offer health benefits

The need for companionship doesn’t dwindle with age.

Researchers have found the most serious ailments affecting seniors is not cancer nor is it heart disease — it’s loneliness.

It is a gap that often can be filled by a pet.

Not only do pets offer companionship, they also improve the health of the owner in other ways. Pets can aid relaxation, reduce anxiety, lower one’s blood pressure, promote physical fitness and mental stimulation, encourage laughter and joy, fulfill the basic human need to touch and prolong life.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Questions Answered by the Four Non-Profit Organizations Who Put in Bids to Run the Wexford County Animal Shelter

On July 31st, Wexford County opened the bids from the non-profit groups who want to run their animal shelter. These groups who submitted proposals include CARE of Clare County, Pine Cone Farm, Our Promise Animal Rescue and Stephanie’s Rescue.

The information below (listed alphabetically) includes the same questions that were given to each group and a few at the end that pertain to the challenges their specific organization might face running the shelter. All answers are in their entirety and unedited. If there are questions unanswered, I will publish an update as new information becomes available.

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Owner of 66 Shelties, Most Pregnant, all Seized: is Facing a Felony Charge in MI

Owner of the 66 dogs seized in Midland, Michigan, many of those were pregnant, is now facing at least one felony charge. According to, “Jean Hansen, 71, was arraigned Monday July 22, and faces one count of cruelty to 10 or more animals, a four-year felony, said Chief Prosecuting Attorney Erik S. H. Wallen.” In addition to charges, Hansen will not be allowed to possess an animal again. While Hansen still is adamant that her dogs were all well-cared for, authorities stated that is just not true as those animals were living in filth, were malnourished, covered in fleas, and needing veterinary care. They reported feces being throughout the house. Most of the dogs appeared scared and not very trusting, due to a lack of handling. And to top it all off, many of them were pregnant. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford County Changes Their Animal Control Ordinance – and Other Updates

A lot has been happening with the Wexford County Animal Shelter in the last month. The animal shelter finally received the new cat cages on July 19th (a mandate by the Michigan Dept. of Agricuture); the Animal Control Advisory Committee had their first meeting; the shelter had a Pet Appreciation Day; the County Commissioners voted to change their animal control ordinance (without any input from the animal control advisory committee) and they received four bids from non-profit organizations who are interested in running the animal shelter.

The vote to approve the animal control ordinance changes passed 5-4 with Hilty, Deveraux, Goodwill, Taylor and Housler voting in favor and Mitchell, Howie, Fuscone and Colvin voting against. Click here for the ordinance changes.

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