Monthly Archives: April 2015

How to Design Your Pet-Friendly Living Room

In most cases, pet owners feel that their pet is part of the family. When relaxing in the main living area, they are happy to share their space with their pet, and consider this natural and right. It is important, therefore, that your living room is designed, or modified, to accommodate pets and their bedding so that you are both comfortable, and your home is hygienic. Continue reading


Do You Have Some Time to Spend with Dusty??

dusty shaking

Dusty is a gorgeous 11-year-old Lab mix who is staying at the Silver Muzzle Cottage in Elk as their first hospice dog. He was pulled from the Macomb County Animal Shelter after not being reclaimed as a stray. His owners were found but they didn’t want him back as they had gotten a new puppy and the dogs didn’t get along. In preparation to make him ready for adoption, the shelter took Dusty to the veterinarian to get neutered however after placing him under anesthesia, it was discovered that he has an aggressive form of Melanoma that is inoperable. He was given about six months to live. The Silver Muzzle Cottage made plans to bring him to their location after finding out about him. He arrived at the Silver Muzzle Cottage on April 20th and is a big hit with everyone.

Everyone wants to make Dusty’s last days filled with love, playtime and hugs. He delights in seeing visitors and is interested in going to the beach, swimming, taking walks, eating ice cream, going on car rides and snuggling with anyone who has a little time to spend with him. He gets along with other dogs and is still pretty active. He also minds well and walks great on a leash. Continue reading

Grand Traverse K9s Get Extra Protection for Patrols

Two special members of the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office now have better protection while walking the beat. K9 Janke and K9 Jax received bullet and stab resistant vest thanks to the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9’s. Another organization, Friends of Grand Traverse K9’s, also helped by providing $2,023 for the vests. Click here for the rest of the story

Enjoy a Fun Run or Walk With Your Canine Friend at the Tails to Trails Event

Photo credit: Pets and Peeps Photography

Photo credit: Pets and Peeps Photography

Mark your calendars for the sixth annual Tails to Trails on Saturday, May 16th, at 9 a.m on the Vasa Pathway. This four-paw 5K is a great opportunity to mingle with other dog lovers and enjoy a fun run or walk with your canine friend.

This annual event is a great way for both people and their dogs to get some exercise and have some fun. Valeri Dietz with Woofers on the Run, an event sponsor and advocate for raising healthy pets, explains, “Regular exercise is a must for dogs.  It keeps them at a healthy weight, can decrease anxiety and other unwanted behaviors and most of all will help dogs lead a longer, happier life!  Our community is so fortunate to have the beautiful TART Trail system to help us stay active & have fun with our dogs!  So grab a leash and come join the fun as a way to say thank you, TART Trails!” Continue reading

Military Veterans – and Their Service Dogs – Would Get New Protections Under Michigan Bills

When Tom Jones took his family on a summer vacation to Higgins Lake, the hotel nearly turned him away when he tried to check in with a service dog. Staff tried to switch his room, he said, and told him he couldn’t take the animal outside. Jones, a U.S. Army veteran from Livonia who served in Iraq with a field artillery unit, doesn’t have any physical disabilities that visibly explain his need for a service dog. Click here for the rest of the story.

MSU’s IRONDOG Fund Helps Pay Vet Bills for Dogs

Last May, Lansing resident Matt Jones was faced with a choice: Pay $5,000 outright for his dog to have surgery, take out a loan or have his 3-year-old patterdale terrier, Reggin, put down. Jones had left Reggin with a friend while he traveled to Pittsburgh to propose to his girlfriend. When he got home, his dog started acting funny. Reggin was vigorously scratching himself. He threw up and he wouldn’t leave Jones’ or his fianceé’s side.

Jones took Reggin to the emergency room at the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The dog wasn’t having an allergic reaction as Jones had suspected — he had eaten several feminine hygiene products and his digestive system was blocked.

Jones said he didn’t have $5,000 and his credit wasn’t good enough to qualify for the financing options offered through MSU. He couldn’t imagine life without Reggin. Click here for the rest of the story.

Benzie Brings Dogs to Deter Drugs in Schools

Benzie Central Middle and High Schools had a visitor Thursday, April 16th. He was a Golden Retriever, his name was Tyson, and he was working. Tyson is trained to find drugs, alcohol, even over the counter medicines and the rain didn’t seem to bother him one bit. He still looked forward to a toy each time he hit on something.

“My point for bringing him in was not to catch kids,” said Larry Haughn, Principal at Benzie Central High School. “If we were going to bring in dogs to catch kids, I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid of changing the culture of the school to the negative.” Click here for the rest of the story.

Clare County Animal Shelter Gets Spay-Neuter Grant

On a typical day, there aren’t a lot of dogs and cats living at the Clare County Animal Shelter. A happy, energetic young labrador arrived a few days ago, an owner surrender because the man had to relocate and could not take his dog. A sweet-natured cat was in Animal Control Director Rudi Hicks’ office because she wouldn’t eat when she was in a cage in the cat room. A few dogs romped in pens outside, and a few wagged their takes seeking attention inside, but many of the shelter’s pens and cages housing cats and dogs were empty.

Since being awarded a $9,700 grant from the Michigan Companion Animal Welfare Fund in February, 51 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered at the shelter. Click here for the rest of the story.

No Evidence of Canine Influenza in Michigan

The MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health has evidence that at least two diagnostic laboratories have confirmed influenza virus in Chicago dogs. Individual dogs or small groups of dogs may have been infected occasionally, but we have no evidence that we have had a sustained infection here in Michigan. While canine influenza typically does not affect humans, the H3N2 strain that has been identified in this outbreak can cause illness in cats. For the rest of the story click here.

Missaukee Humane Society Takes in Dogs from Man Who Died, Including Two Who are Blind

On Sunday, March 29, 2015, the Missaukee Humane Society went to Norwich Township to rescue the dogs of a man who had died. Missaukee County doesn’t have an animal control officer or vehicles to transport animals so it was up to Shelter Manager Kyle Musselman at he Missaukee Humane Society to provide a personal vehicle on his day off to do what needed be done. With the help of a Missaukee County Sheriff’s deputy, Musselman went to the shelter to get carriers and leashes and they both went to the man’s residence to pick up the dogs.

Many of the dogs were in rough shape. The dogs rescued that day include…



Jack, a small senior terrier who was blind and terrified and sitting on the front seat of his owners truck. Continue reading

Don’t Forget the Animals at Tax Time!

The Companion Animal Welfare Fund is an Easy Way to Help 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.  Michigan taxpayers can donate to the fund through Schedule 4642, a Michigan voluntary contribution tax form. All donations will be distributed through grants to organizations throughout Michigan, providing financial support for spay/neuter and animal cruelty investigation programs. Click here for more information.

Meet Piper, the Bird-Chasing Dog Who Keeps the Traverse City Airport Safer

Cherry Capital Airport staff know the dangers birds can pose to aircraft. Just last May, a loon struck an incoming plane 10 miles out and crashed through into the cockpit . The pilot, flying at about 3,500 feet, managed to land safety at Traverse City airport, but the plane was left severely damaged, said Dan Sal, the airport’s operations director. Birds of all sorts congregate around the runway at Cherry Capital, as they do at other airports. In the winter, the issue is with snowy owls. The summer brings gulls, loons, ducks and geese. Airport staff use sirens, pyrotechnics and more to keep the birds away and prevent trouble for planes flying in and out.

But late last year, they added a secret weapon named Piper. The 6-year-old border collie may be their best chance at keeping their runways bird-free. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford County Animal Shelter 2014 Update


Another year has passed and it’s time for an update on how the Wexford County Animal Shelter is doing with the pets in their care and problems that need to be addressed. Ever since reporting on the shelter in January of 2013, I have kept an eye on their intake and euthanasia numbers and also looked at their stray dog information and how long they are being held. In the past, they have gotten fined for numerous things including stray hold violations, poor record keeping and not vetting pets. While the volunteers are doing a great job socializing the pets and networking them to help with high adoption rates which results in much lower euthanasia rates, there is still a problem with poor record keeping as I found out with a recent FOIA. There is missing information, duplicate information, animals reported as killed but no record of intake, missing information on how animals got to the shelter, etc. There are also still violations regarding holding periods. The state requires animal shelters to hold onto stray animals for a certain amount of time. There are three definite violations and one possible (not confirmed due to poor record keeping) and three quarantine violations.

There were 34 dogs killed at the shelter in 2014 (27 owner surrenders and 7 strays) and 16 cats killed (9 owner surrenders and 7 strays). The longest hold time for any animal killed was 51 days. The two main breeds of dogs that are killed at the shelter are Pit Bulls & Pit Mixes (16) and also Labs & Lab Mixes (7). Of the cats killed, 13 of them were short haired cats. Listed as reasoning for why animals were euthanized at the shelter, being aggressive was the main reason (19) whether towards people or other pets.

There were many reasons given why people surrendered their pets. For dogs, the main reasons were not liking their owner or kids or other pets in their household – and also being destructive in the house. Another reason that was stated often for giving up their cat or dog was it not being housetrained. Additionally, several animals were abandoned, due to the owner going to jail or for other reasons.