Monthly Archives: March 2014

A 95-year-old Dog Law that Required Michigan Sheriffs to Kill Unlicensed Dogs is Finally Repealed

The Michigan House and Senate unanimously voted to put an end to the 1919 dog law requiring Michigan Sheriffs to kill unlicensed dogs. The law was unenforced, meaning public safety officers were technically guilty of “nonfeasance of office” (failure to do a job that one has a duty to perform) The law required county sheriffs to kill unlicensed canines and was originally written to deal with widespread problems with rabies. Click here for more on the story.


Michigan Dog Case Goes to Appeals – Monroe County Judge Issues Temporary Stay of Execution


A judge in Monroe County Circuit Court on Tuesday issued a temporary stay of execution for two Sylvania Township dogs that were found guilty of killing pigs. The action allows their owners to take the case to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Judge Michael LaBeau issued the ruling during a brief hearing. The dogs, owned by Janni Juhasz, 49, and her daughter, Katalin, 22, originally had been scheduled to be put to death Friday in accordance with a 1919 Michigan law. Click here for the rest of the story.

Click here for the Facebook page set up to save Bugger and Nala and to inform the public of the antiquated 1919 Michigan Dog Law, and encourage MI Legislature to revise the law.

Spring Cleaning for Pet Parents

Spring arrives, and there’s something in the air. Is it the scent of flowers and freshly mown grass that has you sniffing — or is it pet hair and dander that has you sniffling? If it’s the latter, open the windows wide, let in the fresh air, and start spring cleaning. Click here for the rest of the article.

Help Michigan’s Homeless Animals During Tax Time


As you are prepare your tax return for 2013, don’t forget about Michigan’s homeless animals. Passage of the Companion Animal Welfare Fund created a new, interest-bearing fund in the State Treasury that supports animal welfare organizations and rescue groups throughout Michigan. Form 4642 allows you to donate a portion of your refund to Michigan’s Animal Welfare Fund, providing financial support for spay/neuter and animal cruelty investigation programs. Click here for more information.

Dozens Of Dead Dogs Exposed By Melting Snow At Sprawling Detroit Park

A man walking through a park on Detroit’s west side came upon unspeakable horror: dozens of dead, frozen dogs.

Dead dogs curled into fetal positions, covered in scars and lacerations. Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) board member Nicole Litzelman said at least 28 large dogs, mostly pit bulls and Mastiff mixes, were found only when the snow started to thaw.

“Because of the heavy snowfall in the month of January, a lot of these deceased bodies were discarded there because it was easier to cover them up. Also, it was an unusually cold month where a lot of dogs froze outside or were left to starve to death,” Litzelman told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson. “This is just a small tip of the iceberg. Right now, since the snow is melting, I’m sure we’re going to find quite a few more bodies in the park.” Click here for the rest of the story.

Grand Traverse County Looking to Welcome a New Police Department K9

This story was written with permission from Bill Froehlick. Much of the information was taken from an interview he did on “The Afternoon Drive” on WTCM NewsTalk 580 with Deputy Derek Morton.

After the sudden death of the Grand Traverse County K9, Janusz, in late January from a fatal twisted intestine, the County was able to utilize other dogs available in the area including the K9 officers from Traverse City. Those K9s are one of 12 to 14 K9 teams in the area including some from Benzie and Kalkaska counties. Grand Traverse County K9 units are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to serve the needs of the citizens and visitors of Grand Traverse county and are in high demand.

K9 Officer Janusz

K9 Officer Janusz

K9 Officer Janusz was a German Shepherd born in February of 2008 and he was partnered with Deputy Derek Morton for a little over four years, starting his service in August of 2009. Janusz function within the police department was to track missing people, explosives detection, criminal apprehensions, recovery of evidence and handler protection. As well as being a valued member of the police force and the community, Janusz was also very loved by Morton’s family at home, including his three children who Janusz liked to herd and keep a watchful eye on. Although Morton has three kids running around the house, he still noted that it is “quiet” without Janusz there. Continue reading

Wexford County Prosecutor: No Criminal Charges at This Time Following Animal Shelter Investigations

After more than a year of meetings, investigations, hearings, changes and review the local Animal Shelter remains open and viable. The Shelter was subject to investigations by the Sherriff’s Department, the Department of Michigan State Police, and the State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Drug Enforcement Agency declined to investigate the matter when given the opportunity. Ultimately the Shelter paid some fines for improper statistical data management, record keeping and veterinarian accessibility. The record keeping, empirical data compilation and recording have all been brought into compliance with State mandates. Similarly, updates to cages, inventory, and accessibility to veterinary care have been undertaken.

This is Akure, one of the many cats and kittens who were killed at the Wexford County Animal Shelter on May 24, 2013 during their mass cat killing even though an extra adoption day was added to bring in more people to the shelter.

This is Akure, one of the many cats and kittens who were killed at the Wexford County Animal Shelter on May 24, 2013 during their mass cat killing even though an extra adoption day was added to bring in more people to the shelter.

Wexford County Prosecutor, Anthony Badovinac, does not plan to issue charges against anyone involved with the Shelter as of this date because according to him; “there is no documentable proof of intentional criminal culpability by any one individual or multiple individuals ; neither is there anything to suggest that criminal activity, as currently defined by state law, occurred. While a few of the past practices concerning the entity could be couched as “less than optimal”, there is nothing blatantly suggesting criminal activity and nothing after multiple investigations and the attendant scrutiny that would allow criminal charges to be pursued in good faith, given the burden of proof, which would have to be sustained. The concerns brought forth by the multiple investigations revealed no verifiable criminal activity and have been addressed and brought into compliance with current mandates. All issues from the prosecutorial viewpoint, are at this time, closed to further review.”

Concerns were reviewed involving the Shelter’s long-time practice of occasionally waiving adoption fees because it was viewed as commonsense to take the costs off the public dole if an individual was willing to adopt a pet, or recording the transfer of an animal to a rescue individual or Shelter as an adoption. While that practice, in hindsight, was not subject to strict scrutiny, it nevertheless continued for a long period of time and added to the potentiality of statistical and empirical inaccuracy and the conjecture of misuse or under-reporting of receipted funds. That issue is again, at this time not verifiable as to amount, personage or duration. The issue has been addressed and new procedures have been implemented to insure proper record-keeping, fund ascertainment, and even adoptions at no charge if certain parameters are met, just like the old days. The investigation did lead to many improvements, including but not limited to public awareness, more volunteer involvement, additional training for staff, and safeguards for both animals and workers.

PEACE Ranch Receives $5k Schmuckal Gift

PEACE Ranch in Traverse City has received a $5,000 contribution from the Art and Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation toward the purchase and installation of roll down shades for the ranch’s new outdoor covered arena. Click here to read more on the story.

State Launches Investigation into 17 Animal Shelters in Michigan for Alleged Violations

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed today that the shelters are in 12 counties throughout the state, including two in Wayne County and one in Oakland County. The investigation involves both publicly and privately run shelters. Officials declined to identity the shelters or the allegations, citing an ongoing investigation. Click here for the rest of the story.

Adoptable, Incredible Gideon – A Big Guy with a Big Heart

gideon main

Gideon is a six year old short haired orange cat. As big as he is (at 23 lbs!) he is an even bigger lover! He gets along well with other cats and friendly dogs when introduced slowly. He is not an aggressive cat. He is very gentle and should be in a home where other cats will not be aggressive towards him. Continue reading

Saginaw County Animal Care Center’s Future Remains in Doubt

Community Waits for County’s Solution to Running a Compliant Animal Shelter That Doesn’t Kill More than 80% of their Cats and 41% of the Dogs that Come in their Doors

Will Oscar make it out alive? He only has a 20% of Surviving at Saginaw County Animal Care Center.

Will Oscar make it out alive? He only has a 20% of Surviving at Saginaw County Animal Care Center.

In January of 2014, seven rescue groups stepped in and took more than 50 cats from the Saginaw County Animal Care Center due to an outbreak of an upper respiratory virus at the shelter. The largest number of animals ever released by the shelter, they were trying to control the outbreak of the disease and the rescue groups didn’t want the shelter to have a mass euthanization. Their worries are justified when you read the statistics of the shelter and that 80% or more of the cats that come in their facility are killed whether they are sick or not. (see below)

This episode follows an outbreak of kennel cough with dogs in November of 2013. You can read more about the story here 

Right now the shelter doesn’t have a permanent director as Director Kevin Wilken is on paid administration leave. There is currently an investigation underway into his conduct as well as conditions at the shelter. The State is investigation poor sanitation at the shelter as well as improper disposal of dead animals and other issues. Their compliance hearing is set for Friday, March 7th in Lansing. The investigation into Wilken’s conduct includes an internal review by the county which is tied to the investigation being done by the Dept. of Agriculture and the Michigan State Police. You can find more information about the investigation here. Continue reading

Pets Naturally Grand Opening Raises Money for Animals


The recent grand opening of Pets Naturally in Traverse City was a great success raising much needed funds for two animal welfare groups. $445.00 in donations was raised for AC PAW and $311.00 was raised for Cherryland Humane Society. Pets Naturally is a new health food store for pets, carrying all healthy and 100% safe foods, treats, toys and health products for cats and dogs.

boy and treats


Pets Naturally is located at 1420 S. Airport Road and Traverse City and their phone number is 231-944-1944. Click here for their Facebook page. Photos from Pets Naturally Facebook page.