Monthly Archives: January 2015

Local Story on Dog’s Oxygen Crate Makes Global Impact

Basil in the Bubble, the homemade oxygen crate

Basil in the Bubble, the homemade oxygen crate

By Suzanne Weiler

When something hurtful happens, I look for a way to soothe myself. When our little Baxter (aka “The Baz”) died of congestive heart failure due to an enlarging heart in December 2011, I wondered why we lost him so young at the age of only nine years old. What was the silver lining to this hurtful experience? It didn’t take long and an opportunity popped up that caused me to pause…

In May of 2012, Pet Friends Magazine ran an article about families with pets that had significant/terminal diagnoses; our Basil was part of that article. As Baz’s heart continued to enlarge, he had significant breathing problems. He was on a no salt diet and prescriptions but the heart and breathing episodes became more frequent. At the vet, Baz would stay in the oxygen tent until stronger then often come home the same day. I got to thinking…could we help boost his increasing need for oxygen? Could we do this at home to augment what the vet could do?

With help from my veterinarian and the medical supply stores, I set into motion the making of an “oxygen tent” made from a dog crate. Covering a crate with clear plastic (so Baz could see out) and inserting the tube from the side of the crate, I coordinated efforts to get oxygen pumped into the crate. My vet provided a prescription for oxygen and the medical supply store helped determine amount of oxygen based on size of crate and size of dog. Viola! Basil had his own personalized oxygen tent in our living room! Continue reading


Michigan State Senate Will Take Up Animal Abuse Legislation

According to Michigan Senator Steve Bieda, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported out SB 28 (Bieda) and SB 29 (Jones), a bipartisan bill package that would address problems with cases that involve a large volume of neglected or cruelly treated animals, as well as address issues of domestic violence cases in which a perpetrator is using threatening or harming a companion animal to further terrorize their human victim in domestic violence cases. The bills passed committee 5-0 and now go to the Senate Floor. These bills are re-introductions of bills that Bieda sponsored last session that passed the Senate 38-0 but died in the House.

These laws would also include breeders and pet shop operators and the really bad offenders who have three or more prior convictions or abuse 25 or more animals would face felony charges under this bill and up to seven years in prison. Many organizations agree that there is a link between domestic violence and animal abuse.

To keep updated on animal legislation in Michigan, you can become a fan of the MI-PACA (Michigan’s Political Action Committee for Animals) Facebook page or Michigan’s Humane Society of the United States page.

Community Comes Together to Help Woman Who Lost Pets in House Fire and is Now Homeless

Thumbs, an AC PAW foster kitty, was one of many lost in the fire.

Thumbs, an AC PAW foster kitty, was one of many lost in the fire.

On Tuesday, January 13th, Thirteen AC PAWfoster cats died in a house fire in Wexford County, a fire believed to be started from a dryer. Kendra Steeby also lost four of her own dogs and nine cats in the blaze. Steeby and her brother Mark (as well as his girlfriend, Iola Christensen) tried to put out the fire and save the pets inside but were unable to due to the smoke. The one dog and cat they were able to get out of the house had already died from smoke inhalation. Only one dog survived who was outside at the time.

The house was destroyed and ACPAW has set up an emergency fund for Steeby to help her with expenses of rebuilding her life. She had no insurance on the contents of the house and lost everything. Tragedy also struck Steeby in August of 2014 when her only son, Tyler, died as the result of a car accident. Steeby and her boyfriend are currently living with her mother as the house was a total loss. Continue reading

Fawns Find a Safe Haven in Leelanau County

main_deer drinking from bottles

Donna and David Prevo of Leelanau Wildlife Care have been rescuing fawns for about six years and recently received their non-profit status for their organization in September of 2014. They are licensed and certified rehabilitators who specialize in rescuing and releasing white tail fawns and other small mammals. In 2014, they rescued 20 fawns. They are located on 132 acres of woodland in Leelanau County and work with a licensed veterinarian who is on call to assist with injured animals. Although they live in Leelanau County, they take in animals from many different northern lower Michigan counties.

They started rescuing after the Traverse City Zoo dissolved. Their neighbor was the zookeeper and gave the Prevos some fawns to release. They were hooked right away. They studied up and went to Ann Arbor for the lab part of getting certified and then passed the required tests. They are now IWRC Certified (International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council) and licensed by the Michigan DNR. Continue reading

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society Celebrates Another Record Breaking Year

from their website:

In 2013, Little Traverse Bay Humane Society (LTBHS) had a phenomenal year — their best to date, as they surpassed all of our previous adoption records. They were thrilled when they totaled their year-end numbers to discover they had managed to find homes for 620 animals!

It was hard to believe they would be able to do better than that. They decided to push the envelope anyway — their goal was to adopt out 650 animals in 2014, no matter how lofty that sounded (without adding any additional kennels). They knew this might be a challenge, but it was something they strongly believed could be done.

As it turns out, they were right. In fact, they were more than right — they exceeded their goal by 50 adoptions and ended up finding homes for 700 animals this year! This is a 13-percent increase in adoptions from last year. Their returns were lower, as well, they believe due to the continuation of Mutts With Manners and Ruff to Ready behavioral programs. They are incredibly proud of these numbers and thrilled that they not only reached their goal, but significantly surpassed it! Continue reading

Michigan Legislature Fails to Pass Important Animal Protection Bills

The Michigan legislature adjourned at the end of December, 2014, failing to pass critical animal protection legislation. Grant’s Bill, SB 354 to end gas chamber use in Michigan shelters, had passed the Senate unanimously but died when the House Committee on Local Government failed to take it up. SB 285 and SB 286, which also passed the Senate unanimously and would have increased penalties for acts of cruelty to more than 25 animals, for knowingly harming a companion animal, for chronic violations of Michigan’s “Pet Shops, Dog Pounds, and Animal Shelters” law, and for domestic violence-related animal cruelty, died when the House failed to take them up for a final vote. And HB 5095, which would have enacted registration and modest standards for large-scale dog breeding facilities, passed the House but died when the Senate Agriculture Committee refused to hear it.

The 2015-2016 Michigan legislative session will begin on January 14. YOUR help is needed to make sure that these bills are passed this time! If you have not yet, please visit and fill out the “Sign Up” section on the right side of the page to receive action alerts on these and other legislative issues.

AC PAW Celebrates 20 Years of Saving Cats and Dogs


Twenty years is a long time for any non-profit organization to continue to be successful, but it’s even more special for an animal rescue group to be able to do it. These groups have many things working against them – the constant & dire need for financial resources, attrition of volunteers, trusted and important members leaving to form new groups and the biggest hurdle of all – the fact that it’s both physically and emotionally draining to run and participate in an animal rescue group. Yet, AC PAW has not only beat the odds, they have thrived. For the backstory on how AC PAW started, you can click here

Twenty years of helping homeless, abandoned and abused animals in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties has amounted to more than 9000 lives rescued, saved and placed into new homes with all animals being health screened, vaccinated and spayed or neutered before being adopted. Because this is a hard number to imagine, Pet Friends has done a pictorial representation of those animals here.

Co-founders June McGrath and Brian Manley, along with their hard-working and dedicated volunteers, continue to keep the group fresh and active with new programs and social media networking. Continue reading

AC PAW – 20 Years & 9000 Lives Saved

It’s hard to wrap your head around the number of 9000 lives saved and what that means to the community – to the animals themselves and the families whose lives have changed because of adding a new family member. Here is a visual representation on what 9000 lives looks like… Continue reading

New Dog Rescue Group & Sanctuary in Elk Rapids Caters to the Seniors

photo credit:

photo credit:

Sometimes the saddest face that you see at an animal shelter is that of the senior dog. This dog has had a family to share his or her life with for ten or more years, a warm bed, lots of treats and possibly a few canine or feline best friends to hang out with. These dogs lose their homes for many reasons that often have nothing to do with the dog’s behavior. Sometimes the family can no longer afford their care, they move, they want a younger dog, there are changes in work schedules, the owner dies… there are all sorts of reasons. The dog paces and paces, wondering where their owner is and when they are coming back. They never forget their past lives. You know this is true when you watch a reunion with a dog and a returning soldier after a year or more and the dog goes crazy happy upon it’s return. Senior dogs always wait for their owners to come back and get depressed in a noisy, shelter environment when that doesn’t happen.

Silver Muzzle Cottage (SMC) in Elk Rapids was started because of the passion and compassion for homeless senior dogs felt by founders Kim Nelson (of Bowsers by the Bay) and Daryl Dew. All too often, these dogs are dumped in area shelters and quickly euthanized because their age and disabilities make them less likely to be adopted. For them, euthanasia is inevitable. SMC recognizes that these dogs once gave their lives to someone – or perhaps a family – and, for a variety of reasons, were disposed of in a strange, scary shelter environment or set free and eventually found as a stray. SMC feels they deserve more – that they shouldn’t die alone in a cage. These seniors deserve love and dignity in their final days, months and years. SMC is a 501©3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, adoption and lifelong care of these senior dogs. Continue reading

Pets Need Extra Care as Temperatures Drop

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Roscommon County Animal Control Director Terry MacKillop advises animals need extra care in extreme cold. This post was originally on the Roscommon Animal Shelter Facebook page.

Cat owners should not let their indoor cats outside in cold weather. MacKillop cautions that cats will seek warmth from the heat car engines generate & suggests tapping the hood of vehicles before starting.

When it comes to dogs, Officer MacKillop advises they should be taken in the house or garage in extreme cold. If a dog does stay outside, fresh water should be provided every two hours. Dogs cannot survive on snow or frozen water; a five gallon bucket of snow will only melt to about a quarter of an inch of water and dogs that chew on snow are depleting energy that they should be conserving. Continue reading

2014 – Achievements in the No-Kill Movement

by Nathan Winograd

The following post is from Nathan Winograd’s FB page. Please like his page and keep up with the no-kill movement.

nathan kitty pic

2014 was a very good year for the No Kill movement. Here are five of some of the most significant achievements this past year:

—We’re here to save animals. And so the most important achievement is the fact that they are being saved. How far has the movement come? My walk through an airport a couple of months ago on the way to New York tells the story. On layover, I noticed one of the gate monitors for a flight going to Marquette, MI, a community with a 97% save rate. At the next gate was a flight going to Duluth, MN, a community with a 95% save rate. Then I passed another: Saulte Ste. Marie, MI, with a 97% save rate. From my arrival gate to my departure gate, I walked by five gates of flights traveling to communities with save rates of 90% or better, with Ithaca, NY and St. Paul, MN, at 90%, rounding them out. (If you also include Cortland, that is six.) A couple of decades ago, that number would have essentially been zero. Today, there are hundreds, with over seven million people living in those communities. Continue reading

Marketing Class of TC Central High School Selling Blankets that Raise Money for Cherryland Humane Society

Every semester, students at Traverse City Central High School have the opportunity to earn money while learning the basics of entrepreneurship. This semester Pat Rutt’s “Marketing: How to Start a Business” class created Bay Blankets, a company providing “super-plush” microfleece blankets to the community while raising funds for Cherryland Humane Society. Rutt has been teaching business and technology classes at Central for 16 years. One of her most popular offerings is the marketing class. For the past seven years, her students have not only created businesses, they’ve had the opportunities to profit from them. For the rest of the story, please click here.