Monthly Archives: February 2015

Toy Clones of Your Pets – Double the Trouble or More to Love?

Pet Company Offers a Stuffed Animal Version of Your Cherished Pet

Photo credit: Cuddle Clones

Photo credit: Cuddle Clones

What could be better gift to yourself than a stuffed toy of your darling dog, comical cat or chatty guinea pig? Even your bird can be “cloned” by Cuddle Clones. This innovative pet company makes adorable and customized stuffed-animal versions of people’s pets. They do this by taking the pet owner’s photo (several are preferred) and having them choose customization options such as eye color, ear position and tail position. They’ve made cats, dogs, horses, pigs, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits and more. When asked which pets are the toughest to produce, they said Australian Shepherds and birds create a challenge, but still result in satisfied customers.

Everything is 100% handmade and each unique Cuddle Clone takes about four months to produce. This seems well worth the wait if you have a mini version of your favorite furry family member. Dog and cat Cuddle Clones are between 13 and 17 inches in length, depending on the weight of a pet and its breed. Other custom products include figurines and ornaments. They can also produced life-sized versions of your pet as well. Continue reading


Outside Dogs from Midland County Backyard Breeder are Safe with Rescue Groups

Miss Molly was rescued by Westie Rescue of Michigan

Miss Molly was rescued by Westie Rescue of Michigan

Recently, a story about some small breed dogs being housed outside in rabbit hutches sparked outrage in Midland County and all over the country as the photos went viral. Many people contacted Midland County to ask that something be done to protect the dogs but the Sheriff had said that no laws were being broken. On February 6th, Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson met with the family that owns the dogs at this kennel. After a lengthy conversation, the family chose to voluntarily surrender all of the dogs that were being kept in the outside kennels. The animals were transported by the Animal Control Division of the Sheriff’s Department and arrangements were made to turn the animals over to previously contacted animal rescue groups. Continue reading

Two Sides Race Forward In Horse Shows Debate

Two competing equestrian festivals are proceeding down separate tracks in pursuit of the same finish: hosting an annual summer event in northern Michigan. Horse Shows By The Bay (HSBB) – owned and operated here by Alex Rheinheimer since 2004 – is working to establish a new home after a dispute with Flintfields Horse Park owner Karin Flint led to the event’s departure from the Williamsburg site. Click here for the rest of the story.

Pug Reunited with Owner After Being Lost for Five Days

A remarkable reunion in one Northern Michigan community Thursday after the family dog made his way home… After being missing for 5 days! Chubbs the dog went missing last Thursday and search after search — nobody could find him. Read more about the story here.

“Flying” Dogs Entertain Traverse City Audience


The East Bay Calvary Church in Traverse City was the site of the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show on Saturday, February 7th. The event had so much interest that they ended up having two shows that day. I was lucky enough to get a reserved front row seat to see all the action (thanks Pastor Dallas Dix) but I do apologize in advance for the blurry photos. I either need a faster camera, a better camera operator or slower dogs! Continue reading

Horse North Needs a Horse Trailer

horse north trailer

Horse North Rescue is a non profit 501c3 horse rescue. They rescue horses who are abused or neglected as well as taking in horses whose owners are unable to care for them. They are a 100% volunteer run rescue and currently rely on the use of volunteers trucks/horse trailers when there is a need. A trailer is always needed to deliver or pick up horses and when animal control calls to serve a search warrant they must be ready to quickly respond. It is difficult to respond as quickly as they would like when they have to coordinate finding a trailer to use. If they had a trailer of their own they could also use it to haul hay/feed. Please consider contributing to such a great cause. Click here to donate.

Annual Winter Dog Walk to Benefit AC PAW and PEACE Ranch

June McGrath, of AC PAW, accepts funds raised from 2014 Winter Dog Walk. Representing PSNN are members Val Dietz (left) Woofers On The Run-Dog Running, Walking & Pet Sitting & Laurie Conney (right) 45th Parallel Pet Services. Photo credit: Pet Sitters Network North.

June McGrath, of AC PAW, accepts funds raised from 2014 Winter Dog Walk. Representing PSNN are former member Val Dietz (left) Woofers On The Run-Dog Running, Walking & Pet Sitting & Laurie Conney (right) 45th Parallel Pet Services. Photo credit: Pet Sitters Network North.

The first blush of spring is in the air. Take advantage and enjoy the season by participating in Pet Sitters Network North’s (PSNN) third annual Winter Dog Walk. Open to the general public, the walk raises funds and awareness for two local animal rescues, AC PAW, celebrating its 20th year, and PEACE Ranch, a horse (and human) rescue. The walk, in honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week, kicks off on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 pm at the Silver Lake Recreation Area by the Pavilion, 1785 N. East Silver Lake Road, Traverse City. The fun afternoon event includes a goody bag for each participant filled with local dog related special offers and information, plus a doggie treat courtesy of D.O.G. BakeryContinue reading

2015 Michigan Animal Welfare Fund Grant Winners


The state income tax check-off distributed more than $165,000 this year to registered animal shelters to fund qualified programs. You may see your local animal shelter in this year’s list: if so, your community will soon be benefitting from the funds! Please remember to donate to the fund on your state tax return this year, to keep the life-saving improvements at Michigan animal shelters coming! These winning programs were chosen by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The enabling legislation was originally spearheaded by the Michigan Humane Society. Continue reading

Cherryland Humane Society’s Executive Director, Mike Cherry, to Retire in March

Photo credit: Cherryland Humane Society

Photo credit: Cherryland Humane Society


Longtime executive director, Mike Cherry, recently notified the Board of Directors of Cherryland Humane Society that he will retire effective March 31 of this year. The Board has formed a committee to find a replacement Executive Director and has engaged the services of North Sky Nonprofit Network to assist with search process. The Board is also planning a public retirement celebration to recognize Mike’s more than 25 years of leadership with CHS. Applications for the position are not yet being accepted, as the position description, compensation package, etc have yet to be finalized. Once this is accomplished with NorthSky, the position will be posted.

Backyard Dog Breeders in Midland County Spark Outrage – Photos Go Viral

Photo credit: Out of the Box Rescue Efforts

Photo credit: Caitlin Kreutzberg

UPDATE FROM 02-13-15: Outside Dogs Safe with Rescue Groups. Click here.

Below is original story…

When I first saw a photo of dogs in a rotted rabbit cage with wire flooring a few days ago, I knew that it was going to cause a stir in the animal community in Michigan. When my aunt in Ohio contacted me about it to make sure I was aware of the situation, I knew it had ALREADY gone viral. And what happens to the puppies when they are born? Do they stay outside with the mom, are they taken away from the mom or does the mom finally get to go inside when it’s warm for a few weeks? Continue reading

Michigan Humane Society is Adopting Out Cats Before Owners Can Find Them

Sonny can be adopted at the MHS Rochester Hills adoption center.

Sonny can be adopted at the MHS Rochester Hills adoption center.

Since legislation was passed in 1969 concerning stray hold times for cats and dogs, licensed animal shelters in the state of Michigan have been adhering to those rules. Shelters who haven’t adhered to the rules had paid fines levied by the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) and have agreed to comply with the state law, including the Saginaw County Animal Shelter who was fined almost $10,000 in 2014 for many violations, including not following the stray hold laws.

The stray hold laws for cats and dogs were written within the legislation entitled “The Use of Dogs and Cats for Research” in 1969 under Act 224 of 1969. MCL 287.388 Sec. 8. The law allows a pet owner to have the time to find a lost pet at an animal shelter by requiring the shelters to hold onto stray animals without ID for four days and stray animals with ID for seven days.

In a letter dated October 21, 2014 (click here: mhs-volunteer-email), the Michigan Humane Society notified their volunteers about their new cat holding practice. In it they said they would still hold cats with traceable identification for seven days while they attempt to contact the owner. They also said that “untreatable” cats would be held for at least four days. However, if a cat is a candidate for placement and has no ID, they will evaluate that cat and move it up for adoption “immediately – no holding period.” They went on to say that they believe this will decrease the instance of cats getting sick in their care and increase their placement of cats. Their change of policy goes against the state law and numerous letters sent out to animal shelters by the MDARD about stray hold requirements for animal shelters. It means that anyone who loses a friendly and healthy cat who happens to end up at a Michigan Humane Society animal shelter has little chance of getting their cat back because they will go up for adoption immediately. Continue reading

Local Pet Rescuer and Author to Have Book Signing on Valentine’s Day


Ashleigh Rose Bottorff of Interlochen has been rescuing animals for as long as she can remember and now she wants to share her stories with others. Her new self-published book “Amazing Grace, Our Littlest Hero” is 182 pages of heartwarming and inspiring rescue stories as well as resource information for pet owners including spay/neuter information, animal welfare resources, feral cat information, pet friendly travel information and more. Bottorff explains that the book is dedicated to raising awareness and the importance of rescuing and spaying/neutering of animals including feral cats, while also recognizing the plight of homeless animals due to overpopulation.

A pet owner since childhood, Bottorff is a Midwestern farmer’s daughter who was given a horse as a young child in exchange for the promise of cleaning out the stalls by herself, even in the harshest of Michigan winters. She went on to own many animals and to this day, lives in a rescued “zoo.” She has received phone calls from hundreds of miles away about animals in need of rescue and has risked life and limb while trying to save the lives of cats and dogs. She has worked for two veterinarians and an animal shelter and is always on the lookout for dumped animals who need help. To help feed her “zoo” she has also been a self-employed marketing consultant for over 35 years. She has volunteered at her local hospital emergency room and physical therapy department, worked with seniors in adult foster care homes, tutored English and other subjects, volunteered at a local elementary school and all the while continues to rescue critters and works to make the world a better place for everyone. Her motto for life is simple, “kids and critters make the world go ’round. Live, love, hug and pray!” Continue reading