SAGINAW COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER
Baylee didn’t deserve to die for being old and blind.
Imagine your senior dog gets loose and wanders away from home. He is blind and has a tumor on his belly. You search desperately to find him, looking around the neighborhood and on the internet. You post information about him online on the lost and found sites. Seven hours after the search begins, you see his photo on the internet. Someone has found him and your local county-run animal shelter, the Saginaw County Animal Shelter, has your dog. He is SAFE. Or so you think. You go first thing in the morning to pick up your dog, the little bundle of fur that has lived with your family for 11 years, only to find out that your tax-payer funded animal shelter has killed your dog. In fact, they killed him one hour and twenty-five minutes after picking him up even though there is a stray hold law in Michigan that says they must hold onto stray animals without identification for four days. They have broken the law and broken your heart. This happened to Laurie Lamberth’s Cocker Spaniel, Baylee, in June of this year.
Saginaw County’s excuse for killing the dog can be found in Michigan’s animal law MCL 287.388 Section 8. This law states that there is an exception to the stray hold law if an animal is “sick or injured to the extent that the holding period would cause undue suffering.” But that paragraph was never intended to be used to allow an Animal Control Officer (with no veterinarian’s license) to make a judgement call on whether your pet is too old or disabled or too un-groomed to live. It was meant for pets who have gotten shot, have been in dogfights, gotten hit by cars, have Parvo or are sick or injured to the point of truly suffering. These are instances that humane Michigan animal shelters consider when euthanizing a pet before there is time to find an owner. Continue reading
What’s more fun than a walk with your favorite dog – or two or three? What if there was a way that you could help donate money to your local animal shelter or rescue organization while you are on your walks? There is a a mobile app by Wooftrax called “Walk for a Dog” that does just that. Wooftrax has partnered with 6,000 shelters all over the United States for a combined total of more than 3 million walks.
Walk for a Dog is a mobile app for Android and iPhone. After downloading the app onto your smartphone, take the phone with you when you walk your dog/s and press the “Start Walking” button to keep track of your walk. When your walk is done, that walk is credited to your selected shelter or rescue group. The app will show you how many people are walking for that organization and will also keep track of how far you walk and other information. There are also buttons to keep track of your runs and biking. You can download the name and photos of the dog who will be walking with you and keep track of their walks as well. You will need to be outside for the app to work. Continue reading
Kimberly Wattles-Prud’homme and Trace.
All across the United States, there have been numerous stories about how service dogs are helping veterans cope with PTSD and other issues resulting from their service to our country. Although the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs says that there is not enough research yet to know if dogs actually help treat PTSD and its symptoms, there is flood of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise. More and more organizations are being started all over the country to train dogs so they can be matched with veterans. Now there is hope for veterans living in central and Northern Michigan in the counties of Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Wexford, Otsego, Charlevoix, Antrim, Isabella, Gladwin, Roscommon, Midland, Bay, Clare and Marquette.
A Northern Michigan organization called Dogs in Honor (DIH) pairs and trains veterans with service dogs to create a healthy, mutually beneficial working team. Often these dogs can bring a veteran out of depression and isolation and gives them the ability to function more normally in a public setting. Dogs can be trained to retrieve objects, help with balance, help a veteran to get up, remind them to take medicine, alert them to things such as nightmares, stand guard, snuggle, distract them and relieve their stress and anxiety – in addition to being a constant companion. Continue reading