Monthly Archives: October 2014

A Day Set Aside to Celebrate and Raise Awareness About Feral Cats

feral cat day

Many people in the animal rescue world know about feral cats but we forget about the “normal” people out there who don’t know much about them. Maybe some people think it means a “wild” cat, but that is pretty much all they’ve heard. They don’t understand that there are people taking care of them and looking out for their health – and doing what they can to make sure they don’t end up in animal shelters which is not where they belong.

Feral cats are not homeless. They live outside. According to Alley Cat Allies, outdoor cats have existed alongside humans for 10,000 years and can thrive in the inner city or rural farmland environment. They are not adoptable and not considered to be “pets” but they are protected under state anti-cruelty laws. Feral cats should never be taken to pounds and shelters because unadoptable cats are usually killed. However, feral kittens can often be adopted into homes if socialized at an early age. Continue reading

Millage Proposal for Wexford County Animal Control on the Ballot November 4th

5-cat-with-scratcher

It’s been almost two years since allegations surfaced about the Wexford County Animal Shelter’s Animal Control Officers being involved in heart sticking. Along the way, the shelter has also paid fines to the State for not holding stray animals long enough and not getting animals properly vetted among other violations. Since that time, there has been tremendous community support to save the lives of the cats and dogs in the shelter. Volunteers have shown their support for the animals in many ways – attending county commissioners meetings; volunteering at the shelter; networking the animals and more. Many Wexford County residents now understand that the only way to keep County shelters accountable is to be involved in the politics and the care of the animas. Otherwise, like many County shelters in our state, fiscal mismanagement, bad shelter policies, ignorance and apathy will result in a high death count of cats and dogs that are taken in by the shelter.

In 2011, before there was a spotlight on the shelter, Wexford County killed 723 pets. In 2012, they killed 294. In 2013, they killed 77. Because there are no obvious County policies to point to in order to explain the lower kill rates, the logical conclusion to reach is that the community, in addition to the fines and mandates by the State, are the reasons that more cats and dogs are currently being kept alive and adopted out by the animal shelter. This is why many people are conflicted on whether to vote for the upcoming Animal Control Millage in Wexford County. Although Animal Control services and animal care are needed by the County, many are unhappy that the care of the animals and the policy decisions have remained under the Sheriff’s Department. And because the amount asked for in the millage ($185,500) is less than the current budget (approximately $225,000), many are also concerned that this result in less care, less staffing or not housing stray cats all together, a policy that will go into effect in 2015. Continue reading

Exceptional Riders Program Seeks Volunteers

The Exceptional Riders Program at the Bay Harbor Equestrian Club needs volunteers. It’s a therapy program for children who struggle with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities.Organizers say it’s a great way for kids to get the help they need, while also learning a new sport. Click here for the rest of the story.

Genesee County Animal Lovers Jump Into Politics and Ask Voters to Help Save the Lives of the Cats and Dogs at the Animal Shelter

Current stray in cages 226-228

Current stray in cages 226-228

When working within the system doesn’t work to save the lives of shelter pets, many animal advocates have realized that they have to get into something they never thought they’d have to deal with – politics. Unhappy with the current Animal Shelter Director, Stepheni Lazar, and the policies at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, animal advocates are publicly supporting three animal-friendly Genesee County Commissions on the ballot on November 4th who also believe that changes at the animal shelter are needed. Voting in Commissioners who want to make changes at the shelter is the quickest way to save more animals – and allow them to be held in better conditions by implementing better policies because the Commissioners set the policy and they have the power to hire and fire the Director. Continue reading

Kitty Connection Deluxe Kit Product Review: 3 PAWS out of 5

three paws

I was contacted by Innovation Pet and asked I’d be interested in receiving any products to review. Of the two products offered, I chose to have them send me the Kitty Connection Deluxe Kit for kitty testing purposes.

Although my cats don’t have front claws, I thought this product would interest them because of all the toys that are attached to it. Although there were several parts to put together, it was pretty easy and I didn’t even need to read the directions. After about five minutes of assembly (with cat supervison), Ali approached the product first. I was surprised she was the first to approach the product because my other cat, Neelix, is usually the one who is interested in new things that have been brought into the house.

ali and mouse toys

Continue reading

Animal Shelter Bonds Millage Proposal on the Ballot for Crawford County Voters

Crawford County taxpayers are being asked to vote for a millage request to help pay off bonds that were used to build the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter in Grayling.

The Board of Commissioners got over $300,000 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in the form of a loan so that the shelter could be built. According to the Crawford County Avalanche, another $400,000 in bonds were issued for construction costs, which the shelter board agreed to pay off over a 20-year period and $340,000 in bonds were still due in March of 2014. You can read more about this here.

This new millage will be used to pay off the present mortgage and allow the shelter to use it’s funds for day-to-day operating expenses. This is a one-year non-renewable millage.

Here is the ballot language:

Shall the limitation upon the total amount of general ad valorem taxes imposed upon real and tangible personal property for all

pm-poses in any one year under the Michigan Constitution be increased in the County of Crawford, Michigan by 0.63 mills (which is equal to $0.63 per $1,000 of taxable value of all such property) for a period of 1 (one) year, 2014, for the purpose of paying upon redemption the principal of and interest on the County’s outstanding Capital Improvement Bonds, Series 2007 originally issued on February 2, 2007, for the purpose of paying costs of acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping a new county animal shelter and making related site improvements? The amount of revenue the County will collect if that millage is approved and levied is estimated to be $346,587. The proposed millage is a new additional millage, the revenue from which will be disbursed to the County of Crawford for the purpose of paying off the outstanding bonds.

HSUS Michigan Legislative Update…

On September 30, SB 990 to allow for the adoption of dogs seized from Michigan dogfighting operations passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a unanimous vote, and now heads to the Senate floor. The HSUS provided testimony in support of the bill, as did HSUS District Leader and Animal Rescue Volunteer Bonnie Charles (pictured here), who described her work with our Dogfighting Rescue Coalition and the dogs rescued from two dogfighting operations in Kalamazoo in 2012.

Grant’s Bill, SB 354 to end gas chamber use in Michigan shelters is still sitting in the House Committee on Local Government. If your Representative is a member of that committee (which includes Reps. Amanda Price, Dave Pagel, Kevin Daley, Ray Franz, Peter Pettalia, Pat Somerville, Bruce Rendon, Joseph Graves, Woodrow Stanley, Brian Banks, Alberta Talabi, and Robert Kosowski) please call her or his office to politely request that they support SB 354 when it is heard again in their committee. You can find your Representatives and their contact info at http://house.mi.gov/MHRPublic/, and more info about Grant’s Bill is at http://michigandersforshelterpets.org/grants-bill/.

Woman Battling Illness Needs a New Home for Her Horses

From when they were ponies, to the horses they are now, Dawn Miller’s four horses have been a big part of her life.

“These animals, they give you love, they show you love, and they appreciate you. And that’s what it’s all about,” Miller said.

But because of trying times she’s facing health-wise and personally, she is forced to make her toughest decision ever. She needs to find her horses a new home.

“It’s the right thing for my animals. Not for me, because I don’t want to do it, but it’s the right thing for them,” Miller said.

Click here for the rest of the story.