Monthly Archives: December 2013

Law That Rarely Gets Enforced Could Cost You Money

photo credit: 50 plus Marketplace

photo credit: 50 plus Marketplace

Did you know that if you bring a pet into Michigan or even if your relatives do, you need documentation to cross state lines? Well that’s actually the law and many people don’t even know it. The state wants you buy a certificate through a private veterinarian before you bring a pet into Michigan, yet it’s almost certain that you will never get asked for proof that your animal is certified. Click here for more info.


No Unwanted Pets Completes Successful Swingshift and the Stars Event


AC PAW and Handds to the Rescue came together to form No Unwanted Pets, a spay/neuter coalition to prevent unwanted litters of cats and dogs. Over the past four months, they have participated in a local event called “Swingshift and the Stars” where charities compete against each other in a dancing competition. At the December finale, No Unwanted Pets ended up with a total of $49,367.97 to fund future spaying and neutering efforts. More information will be available about these efforts soon.

Michigan Animal Shelters to Receive a Record $184,772 through State Income Tax Donations

From the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill today announced that 22 facilities have been awarded $184,772 from the Michigan Animal Welfare fund.

The Michigan Animal Welfare fund was established under Public Act 132 of 2007 as a tax check-off to support animal shelters statewide. This year’s awards will go to the spaying and neutering of animals, fund registration fees and speakers for large animal anti-cruelty training conferences, and help cover costs for protecting and caring for Michigan animals subjected to cruelty or neglect.  Continue reading

Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter in Fremont Temporarily Closes

The following statement was posted to the Bellwether Harbor Facebook site on December 10th, 2013…

Hello Friends,

I need to let you all know we are experiencing a problem at our animal shelter that has made it necessary to close our doors until further notice for the protection of you, your pets, and the community we serve. We have a few animals and 2 staff members that have been diagnosed with Ringworm. We are in the process of determining the extent of this problem with the animals in our care and in our building. As you can imagine, we are all in major cleaning mode right now. Please be patient with us as we work through this problem.

Diagnosing and treating this problem will be costly. If you would like to help us during this time and after, there are numerous ways you can help. Financial support is at the top of our list! Your monetary donations would be greatly appreciated in order to purchase diagnostic materials and treatment medications. If you would prefer to donate material goods, we are working on setting up a gift registry with Walmart and The Container Store. Gift cards from Walmart, Petco and Tractor Supply would be greatly appreciated to help us replenish material goods we have needed to remove due to our inability to disinfect them. You also might consider giving gift certificates from our area restaurants to sustain our staff that are working diligently and need nourishment. Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated!!!

When we have more information, we will let you know. Thank you so much for your understanding, patience and support during this time.


Danielle Merrill

Bellwether Harbor Founder and Shelter Director

Wexford County Will No Longer Allow Trial Periods for Adopters

Trial periods: It’s something that every other local animal shelter that I contacted offers to pet adopters because it’s common sense that animals act differently in a home than in a shelter. If you have kids or other pets, there can be additional problems and the animal may feel threatened or be uncomfortable. Animal shelters and rescue groups offer trial periods where an adopter is allowed to take the animal into their home to make sure it’s a good match for their household. If it doesn’t work out, they are allowed to bring the animal back to the shelter within a certain time period to get a refund. The goal of any good shelter or rescue group is to make a good match so that the animal stays in that home forever and trial periods are the way to get things started off on the right foot. Continue reading

AC PAW Voted to be a Favorite Charity

"Bill Marsh" was found alone and injured on the side of the road by a nice man who worked at the Bill Marsh dealership. Bill Marsh had a ruptured eye from some sort of trauma. He had emergency surgery to remove his eye and our vet realized he is also blind in his "good" eye. Bill is a lucky little guy! He healed up quickly. His foster mom said Bill is full of love and absolutely loves life! He has several ways of compensating for his blindness including bumping into things and then backing up and going another way. He plays, cuddles, purrs, and snuggles up with other cats in his foster home. Bill Marsh is now ready for adoption.

“Bill Marsh” was found alone and injured on the side of the road by a nice man who worked at the Bill Marsh dealership. Bill Marsh had a ruptured eye from some sort of trauma. He had emergency surgery to remove his eye and our vet realized he is also blind in his “good” eye. Bill is a lucky little guy! He healed up quickly. His foster mom said Bill is full of love and absolutely loves life! He has several ways of compensating for his blindness including bumping into things and then backing up and going another way. He plays, cuddles, purrs, and snuggles up with other cats in his foster home. Bill Marsh is now ready for adoption.

TV9&10 had a poll question in which they asked Northern Michigan which charities are their favorite. The top five answers were: The Salvation Army, Father Fred Traverse City, Angels of Action Big Rapids, Love Inc. and AC PAW!

All Natural Pet Store Opens in Traverse City

There’s a new pet store in Traverse City and it’s all natural. Pets Naturally, owned by dog lover Kathy Hyland, is a premiere health food store for your pets. They sell only foods, treats and toys that are 100% safe, made lovingly in the United States and Canada, chosen specifically by their knowledgeable staff. Their mission is to guide pet owners into making the right decisions when it comes to feeding their four-legged friends.

Andrea Margelis, Jessie Mack and owner, Kathy Hyland

Jessie Mack, Owner Kathy Hyland and Manager Andrea Margelis

When Hyland’s Boston Terrier, Lucy, became sick with intestinal and skin problems, (PHOTO OF KATHY WITH LUCY & BEN) she decided to find out for herself what was going on with Lucy. She spent time researching pet foods and was shocked to find out some of the truths about the pet food industry. Many of the major commercial brands are owned by corporate giants and the quality of pet food has been compromised to make way for profits. Lucy’s diet was changed to a healthy, whole food kibble containing real meat and no corn. Her issues subsided. This is where Hyland’s passion to help other pets was born. Lucy is now a healthy and active 12-year-old.  Continue reading

Maple Grove Township in Kaleva Discussing Passing an Ordinance to Prohibit the Feeding of Stray Cats

Mary Lasko, a Manistee County woman, is facing a possible new ordinance in Maple Grove Township that would stop her from feeding stray cats on her property. Lasko uses her own money to feed the cats and also have them fixed so they won’t continue to have litters of kittens. For years, people have left unwanted cats on her property and she has been doing what she can to keep them alive and to keep their numbers down.

The township will have a meeting on Monday, December 16th at 7 pm. If you are a resident of this township and have a comment to make on this issue, please attend the meeting. You can also call the township office to voice your opinion on the proposed ordinance at (231) 362-3825.

Olympic Animal Sanctuary Police Report and Photos Released


Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs safe and settled in Arizona

Animal lovers have been watching closely the past week as the sad tale of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary began to unfold. The sanctuary in Forks, Washington came under fire by animal advocates for the alleged inhumane treatment of the dogs. While the story started to unfold, the dogs and sanctuary owner Steve Markwell disappeared. Click here for updated info. on the story.


I have been following protests going on in Washington involving an animal sanctuary called Olympic Animal Sanctuary in the City of Forks. On their website, the Sanctuary says, “The Olympic Animal Sanctuary takes care of dogs that have been turned down by all other shelters and organizations because they were deemed dangerous. Dogs that have severely injured people or killed other animals, feral dogs, wolf hybrids, and coyote hybrids – animals that simply aren’t welcome in our society anymore are welcomed at Olympic Animal Sanctuary.”


I have read numerous articles and have been following the Facebook page of Dogs Deserve Better who are involved in protesting the fact that this shelter isn’t being shut down by the City because of the suspected animal abuse going on inside. You can read one of the many stories here. They jumped into helping the situation about a month ago.

It was a Facebook page called OAS – Life inside the Sanctuary who first brought this situation to the attention of the public in April of this year. They also have a website here.

No, this isn’t happening in Grand Traverse County – or even in Michigan. But dogs and cats don’t know what boundaries are. And neither does animal cruelty. Continue reading

Parrot Rescue Group Starts in Traverse City

Often when you think of animal rescue groups, most people think of dogs, cats and horses. However, there are many other animals that people get involved with rescuing as well including birds. Husband and wife team, Jake & Tara Hurlin, decided that they wanted to start a parrot rescue and have named it Hurlin’s Hospitality and Parrot Rescue which is operated out of their house in Traverse City.

Hurlin’s Hospitality and Parrot Rescue specializes in urgent and severe rescue  including life or death situations and birds in a state of emergency such as abandonment. They also offer a boarding service to help fund their rescue. They just started their rescue group although they have been rescuing parrots for several years.

The birds have a nice, comfortable room to hang out in.

The birds have a nice, comfortable room to hang out in.

Parrots are often in need of rescue because their owners have to give them up for a behavior issue or a life change in which the person no longer has time for the bid. Because some larger parrots can outlive their owners, they are a huge commitment to make as a pet. Owners should think about what would happen to their Parrot if something would happen to them and the bird would need to be re-homed. For more information about the life spans of Parrots, please click here.   Continue reading

NorthWoods Animal Coalition Raises More Money for Kalkaska Animal Shelter’s Building Fund

On November 2nd, NorthWoods Animal Coalition volunteers served about 60 KEGS of Bell’s Beer at the Iceman Cometh Race at Timber Ridge Resort. In return, NAC received a $1000 donation for Kalkaska Animal Shelter’s New Building Fund for the shelter’s new outdoor runs. There is over $12,500 in the account now.

Plans for a Cadillac Dog Park Continue to Move Forward

Mr. Bill Allen has been working hard trying to get a dog park in Cadillac. He found a location that the City is already maintaining and spoke with the City about what’s needed to move ahead with the idea. He has put together an Advisory Committee for this project and recently had a meeting at the Cadillac Municipal Complex with interested Cadillac residents, including Mayor Bill Barnett. The dog park group is called the “Diggins Hill Committee” but the area for the park would be off Chestnut Street in the grassy area behind the Cadillac Tree Zoo.

Concerned about the safety and health of the dogs visiting the park, Allen feels that a good way to deal with that issue is having a pass system. Unlike the Traverse City dog park (which had a puppy enter with the Parvo virus), a pass system would allow more control over who enters the dog park. A pass system could require a dog owner to prove their dog is vaccinated and healthy before they are given a pass and allowed to enter. A pass system would also allow the City to make money to help maintain the park as well as know how many users are going to the park. Without requiring dog owners to enter with only healthy and vaccinated pets, they are opening up the park to diseases and in the case of Parvo, that virus can live on the ground for anywhere from six months to a year before it is gone.

The next meeting about the dog park will be on January 8th and Allen is also hoping that people are willing to speak to the City Council on January 6th at their meeting to show their support for the park.

If you are interested in joining the efforts of having a dog park in Cadillac, you can email Mr. Allen here: 

PEACE Ranch Enjoying the Spotlight on Swingshift and the Stars to Fundraise for their Organization

Excited about being invited to apply to be a participating organization with this year’s Swingshift and the Stars event, PEACE Ranch went on a “field trip” to a Swingshift show in November of 2012 to see what it was all about. Jacquelyn Kaschel, the Executive Director of PEACE Ranch says, “The Board felt this would be a good match for our organization to raise community awareness and for fundraising so we applied. We were very excited to be chosen this year.”

horse 2

PEACE Ranch is a faith based equine assisted therapy center founded on the belief that there is great potential for healing in the parallel process of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Restoration between horses and humans. They use rescued and unwanted horses which have been rehabilitated through natural, relationship based training for use in therapy and educational programs. People are involved in all phases of this process thereby providing a multitude of restorative opportunities for horses and humans alike.  Continue reading

Holiday Fundraisers for Homeless Pets

During the month of December, there are many events and fundraisers which can benefit your local homeless pets, rescue organizations and animal shelters. Many groups have holiday photos with Santa and open houses to attend. In addition, these groups need financial donations as well as donations of food and other items to keep them going, especially during the winter-time when donations and adoptions are harder to come by. Please check with your local organization to see what they are up to. You can also click on the Pet Friends calendar page for a list of many events. In addition, three organizations are selling 2014 calendars to help fund their rescue work:


Sold at: The D.O.G. Bakery, Animal Medical Center, The Copy Shop (cat calendars only) and at Petsmart during adoptions. Please call ahead to ask about availability.


Cat calendars – $12 each


Dog calendars – $20 each (larger)


Can be ordered online at


$10 each plus $5 shipping/handling


Contact or call 231-645-4674 for more information about their 2014 calendars.

12 Michigan State Police Canine Units Graduate Basic Canine School

New police canine teams graduated from school Friday. Michigan State Police announced 12 canine teams graduated the 14-week Basic Canine School. That means there are now 49 teams across the state — a record high.  All the dogs are German shepherds because of the breed’s ability to handle various functions and have high work drive. For more on the story, click here.

Animal Shelter Celebrates History-Making Year

For the first time in the shelter’s history, Ingham County Animal Control didn’t put down a single animal this year because of overcrowding.

Just last year, saving all adoptable shelter animals from euthanization seemed like a distant dream to Ingham County Animal Control Director Jamie McAloon Lampman.

For the rest of the story, please click here.

Michigan Animal Legislation Update

SB 354, “Grant’s Bill” to end the use of gas chambers in Michigan shelters, has passed the Senate by a vote of 37 to 0 and now awaits a hearing in the House Committee on Local Government. Please make a call to the committee’s chair, Rep. Amanda Price, at (517) 373-0838 to politely request that she schedule a hearing soon for SB 354 to end the gassing of Michigan’s shelter pets. Learn more at

SB 285 and SB 286 to increase penalties for animal cruelty passed the Senate by a unanimous vote of 38-0 on November 13. The bills amend the Michigan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to add definitions for “breeder” and “pet shop” and to increase penalties for cruelty involving domestic violence and companion animals and cases with large numbers of animals. The bills now await a hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition Assists with Removal of Animals from Suspected Neglect on Wayne County Farm


horsewelfareOn November 27 the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition joined equine rescue groups in assisting the Sumpter Township Police Department in the removal of more than a dozen horses, mules, and dogs from suspected neglect at a farm in southwest Wayne County. Conditions allegedly included a stallion contained in a pen with four feet of manure and horses with swollen legs, broken teeth, and low body scores indicating possible malnourishment or illness. The owner of the property has been charged with animal neglect and abandonment.

Most of the animals were transported to Starry Skies Equine Rescue, and two went to Loving Arm Rescue Ranch, where they will be provided with veterinary treatment, rehabilitation, and foster care. Donations are urgently needed to provide for the care of the animals and can be made directly to those non-profit rescue groups at and All donations are tax-deductible. Learn more about the work of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition at

Gaylord to Have New Dog Park in 2014

From Friends For Life of Otsego County Inc. Facebook page…

For dog owners who are not aware…Gaylord will be sporting a brand new Dog Park next year!! Now you & your pooch can run and romp in a safe, enclosed area that is designed and built by dog lovers understanding the needs of pet owners.

photo credit:

photo credit:

The site, a 1.4-acre space located at 540 S. Illinois Ave., was formerly owned by the Department of Natural Resources. However, the park’s opening is dependent upon funding which has been coming in in many forms ~ one of which is through volunteers willing to donate their time, efforts, funding and volunteering on site once the warmer spring weather allows it. Continue reading