Monthly Archives: January 2016

Emails Reveal Grand Traverse County Misleading Public on Significance of Animal Control Service Cuts

dog header

Updated February 7, 2016

Grand Traverse County residents were outraged when they heard that the County Administrator Tom Menzel and the County Commissioners decided to eliminate the Health Department’s Animal Control Division and get rid of the two veteran Animal Control Officers. Since the announcement, the Commissioners and the County staff have mislead the public in press releases, interviews and emails to community members, telling them that Animal Control was simply “moved” and that most services would continue. They even made statements about how the Sheriff’s Office handled the majority of the calls anyway because they are always available and not just working eight hours a day like the two Animal Control Officers.

Over and over again, Menzel and Commissioners Maxbauer, Kroupa, Lathrop, Johnson and Crawford mislead the public and didn’t tell them that the Animal Control Officers are the ones who handled 97% of the animal-related calls. Menzel emailed a community member that “the new structure (moving to the Sheriff’s Office) serves the community much better.” He explained to another, “there will be little noticeable change other than an internal re-alignment from the Health Department to Sheriff Department.” Maxbauer said that the Sheriff’s Department “puts in more Animal Control hours than the (Animal Control) department each and every day of the year and has been doing so for decades…” Kroupa said it was “just a change of department heads and nothing else” – and that services were not only retained but improved. The other Commissioners sent out similar emails, making people believe that it was business as usual.

Those statements couldn’t be further from the truth as most of us in the animal rescue community already knew. Pet Friends Magazine did a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) on Grand Traverse County and received many documents and emails of the Commissioners and staff. Continue reading


Pet Owner Asking for Help with Vet Bill – and Others in Need


Adagio is a happy, friendly four month-old Alaskan Husky puppy, full of rambunctious energy like most young dogs his age. Unfortunately, Adagio was born with a neurological condition that causes his back legs to not work properly, often making it difficult for him to walk and run without falling. Adagio’s neurological disorder can’t be cured, but he is learning to adapt to his disability. He does this by shifting most of his weight to his powerful front legs when his back legs fail and he senses that he is going to fall.

One day last week, while his new mom Susan was watching Adagio play in the back yard, she saw him stumble while he was running. He tried to shift his weight to correct his balance, but he was too close to the back porch of the house, and he fell hard against the corner of the concrete steps. Susan could tell immediately that Adagio had been injured, and she and her children rushed him to the vet. Adagio was diagnosed with a severely fractured right hind leg that would require complex orthopaedic surgery including a plate and pins for the bones to heal properly. A “wobbly” dog like Adagio cannot walk on three legs, and without surgery, he would most likely never have walked again.

The total cost of Adagio’s surgery was over $2500, of which the family still owes slightly over $1000. His owner reached out to HOPE to seek assistance with paying the balance of the bill. Money donated to HOPE for this campaign will be applied toward Adagio’s outstanding veterinary bills. Any funds generated in excess of the amount due on Adagio’s vet bills will be used by HOPE to assist with emergency vet care costs for other needy pets.

For more info. about Adagio and how to donate, please click here.

Mobile Pet Hospital on the Move in Traverse City

mobile pet hospital

Dr. R. Craig Brakeman, DVM, recently announced a different kind of pet care in Traverse City – a mobile pet hospital. The Cherry Capital Mobile Pet Hospital is a full-service mobile veterinary medical facility that will have a separate surgery room, digital X-ray, bloodwork machines & dental machines. They will be offering veterinary care to Traverse City and surrounding areas for cats, dogs, reptiles, rabbits and other small mammals. Their services include dental care, hospice and euthanasia services, lab, nutritional counseling, parasite prevention and control, surgery, wellness exams, fully stocked pharmacy, microchipping, pain management, puppy and kitten care, x-rays, senior care and vaccinations.

The Mobile Pet Hospital allows owner and veterinarian Brakeman to be able to make house calls. Bringing a pet to the veterinarian’s office can be a challenge for pet owners with limited mobility, restricted transportation, or commitments at home that make outside errands and other activities difficult. Pet owners with multiple pets or very large dogs may also have difficulty bringing their pets in for examinations and other veterinary care, and some pets simply don’t do well in a traditional office setting. Pets who are fearful or otherwise stressed by coming to our office can benefit from being examined in their own environment, where they are likely to feel more secure and calm. This permits the veterinarians to better evaluate behavior and overall demeanor in a more relaxed and natural setting. Very young, sick, or elderly pets or those that don’t tolerate transportation well can also benefit from house-call services, as well as pets that don’t get along well with other animals and may become very stressed in our practice’s waiting room.

The Mobile Pet Hospital will be having an open house/open hospital on Saturday, January 30th from 9 am to 5 pm at the Tractor Supply near Chums Corners where you will be able to tour their mobile pet hospital.

45th Parallel Pet Services is Under New Ownership

Ann's dog, Cosmo, the Aussie

Ann’s dog, Cosmo, the Aussie

Pet sitting and dog walking seems like the dream job to many pet lovers. Although there is a lot of scheduling and work involved, the perks are immeasurable – benefits like getting puppy kisses and giving belly rubs to cute kitties. Ann McCain, new owner of 45th Parallel Pet Services, is looking forward to both the challenges and the benefits of the job. Previous owner, Laurie Conney, is moving to New York and McCain will be the new face of the company. Continue reading

Silver Muzzle Cottage Senior Dogs Need Your Help

Simba is up for adoption with Silver Muzzle Cottage.

Simba is up for adoption with Silver Muzzle Cottage.

It takes a village to keep an animal rescue organization going. Silver Muzzle Cottage wrapped up 2015 with 46 rescues and with 38 of the dogs finding new, loving homes. Five old souls passed over to the Rainbow Bridge and three are currently in foster care, awaiting their forever families. The Cottage is near completion with only the connection to the main building being the last piece of the project – and painting needed as well. They could not have accomplished so much last year if not for the efforts and contributions of their volunteers and supporters who gave their time and money.

In order to keep rescuing senior dogs, Silver Muzzle Cottage is reaching out to their supporters and asking for help with the care of their dogs. More volunteers are needed to visit, walk and care for these senior dogs to keep them comfortable and assist with the rescue organization’s work. It is their goal to have each day covered by volunteers like a small business of sorts.

How can you help? Volunteers are needed to sit in the lounge and visit the dogs, cleaning up poop (the glamourous job!), mopping floors, taking dogs to vet appointments, providing time outside of the building on walks or visits. The organization hopes to come up with schedules so that the dogs needs can be taken care of for feeding and exercise. Helping these dogs means so much to them – and allows the rescue organization to keep savings dogs.

Please contact them at (231) 264-8408 or email if you can volunteer some of your time to this great organization. You can also sign up online at this link.

AC PAW Collects Needed Dog Houses for Outdoor Dogs

dog house pic

This year’s 2nd Annual AC PAW Dog House Collection at the end of 2015 was a great success. AC PAW set up shop at the Alden Bar and Grille in Alden on December 30th for seven hours and was able to collect 12 new and used dog houses in addition to other pet donations and about $500 in cash. Due to the publicity of the Dog House Collection, an additional five houses were collected after the event during the last week.

Collecting dog houses for outside dogs in need is a passion of AC PAW founder, Brian Manley. Over the last 20 years of AC PAW’s existence, they have been able to distribute more than 400 new and used dog houses and straw bedding to dogs in need across northern lower Michigan. Giving dogs better protection from the brutal Michigan winter weather is very important to Manley.

Manley says, “I have become all too aware that many dogs suffer, and, some even die, due to inadequate shelter during extreme weather. Although some minority of dogs are equipped to withstand severe cold, most are not. The recent addition of the Dog House Collection right after Christmas is about consciousness raising as well as acquiring houses for use. I can’t think of too many things as unpleasant as being really cold and not being able to do anything about it. Please think about that next time you want to warm up from the cold.” Continue reading

Wexford County Animal Shelter & Missaukee Humane Society Win 1st and 2nd Place in the Michigan Shelter Challenge

Photo is a Missaukee Humane Society cat sleeping on one of the cat beds that the shelter won.

Photo is a Missaukee Humane Society cat sleeping on one of the cat beds that the shelter won.

The voting is over and the winners have been announced for an internet contest called the “Shelter Challenge” and the Missaukee Humane Society won a $1000 grant! The contest winners are the organizations who get the highest amount of votes over a certain time period and these were Michigan’s Happy Hawliday Winners:

1st Place – Missaukee Humane Society – $1000 grant

2nd Place – Wexford County Animal Shelter – 50 pet beds

3rd Place – Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter – 25 pet beds

The contest is ran by and the Animal Rescue Site. They grant over $100,000 through monetary grants and products in support and assistance to select domestic and international rescue and welfare organizations. Looks like our northern Michigan animal shelters have a lot of supporters!

New Director of Detroit Animal Control Promises Change

detroit director

Meet the new boss – Melissa Miller is the new face is in charge at Detroit Animal Control. “I think we have a lot of opportunities here to really put some processes in place that are going to help little guys like this,” she said. Miller, the long-awaited new director of Detroit Animal Control, is hoping to help Detroit Animal Control turn over a new leaf. After two days into the job, she’s already implementing a new holiday transfer program to nearby shelters. For more on the story click here.

Also from Michigan Pet Fund Alliance

As a member of the Animal Welfare Reform and Advisory Committee for Detroit Animal Control, the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is honored to announce that today marks a new day for the people and pets of Detroit. As a result of a long and arduous collaboration between the Detroit Health Department, under the leadership of Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, and a committee of dedicated animal welfare advocates, the city has hired a new director for Detroit Animal Control (DAC). Continue reading

22-Year-Old Otis and Wandering Simone are Found After Months on the Lamb


If only our pets could talk and tell us about their adventures. Otis, a beautiful black kitty, had been missing for nearly two months and his pet parents feared the worse. He was an indoor cat and not equipped for life outside. A friend of theirs saw a post about the cat on the AC PAW Facebook page and told the owners to check it out. It turned out that Otis was their cat! And he was not injured as the veterinarian first thought. He was just old, arthritic, tired, hungry and dehydrated – but he perked right up once he was warmed, fed, rehydrated and back home.


Another cat, named Simone, recently came home after being for almost half a year. Her pet mom, Tracey Hamilton recently posted on the Grand Traverse Lost and Found Pet site, “After 6 months of looking, wondering, worrying, crying, putting up fliers, contacting a pet psychic, hoping and praying for our beautiful Simone to come home, and she has! She showed up late last night, and we have not stopped loving on her since. She seems happy, healthy and her fluffy, lovey self. Thank you to the GTA lost and found for continually posting her picture, and thank you to everyone on here for your support and words of hope and encouragement. For anyone still looking for their lost pet, never give up!” Continue reading

Pit Bull Who Attacked Jogger in Crawford County was Euthanized

A Pit Bull, which attacked a man in Beaver Creek Township, has been put down after his owner relinquished ownership of the animal. Larry Kelley, a 69-year-old Beaver Creek Township man, was mauled by a pit bull while jogging. Crawford County Sheriff Kirk A. Wakefield said Kelley was jogging on South Oak Road near his residence at 10:30 a.m. on Sat., June 6, when he was attacked by a male pit bull. Click here for more on the story.

State of Michigan Revokes Veterinary License of Dr. Bruce Langlois

Dr. Bruce Langlois, shown at left, had his veterinary license officially revoked by the State of Michigan on November 6, 2015. In addition, Langlois was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.

It appears this is the final chapter of the Langlois saga, as the November 6th decision was dubbed by the state as a “final order”. Langlois owned and operated the Animal Hospital of Lowell, Michigan and the Spay Neuter Express, a mobile surgical van that traveled (or used to travel) Michigan. For more on the story click here.

Dogs Doing Good: From War Zones To Courtrooms

If a dog is a (hu)man’s best friend, those canines that work in dangerous situations – or support those during scary times – are among the very best. Read on to find out what is happening locally to help support these “dogs helping people” both near and far.

Military Working Dogs
Last summer, a military dog and its handler in Afghanistan opened a care package and found a treat decorated like a baseball from the D.O.G. Bakery in Traverse City. It was one of some 150 care packs Allison Merrill sent off as part of her volunteer work with the Military Working Dog Support Team Association (MWDSTA). Merrill, who owns and operates Sun Dog Boarding Kennel in Leelanau County, first started as a volunteer a few years ago and now serves on the association’s board. Its main focus is supporting dog handler teams, but it also devotes resources to veteran dog handler causes, retired military dogs, and war dog/dog team memorials. For more on the story, click here.

Update on Mio Puppy Mill Rescue

photo credit: ASPCA

photo credit: ASPCA

In December of 2015, more than 50 dogs were seized in a cruelty investigation in Mio. The ASPCA assisted Oscoda County in the removal of the dogs from the home after finding unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. The dogs were a mix of puppies and adults, some Schnauzers and English Bull Dogs. For more on the story, click here.

A video of scenes from the rescue can be seen here.

The dogs were transported to a temporary shelter at The Roscommon County Animal Shelter in Prudenville released the following statement on their Facebook page.

“Thank you for you continued patience inquiring for the seized Mio dogs; please know these dogs are not ours nor do we know their final destination, however the case is still an on going investigation and no disposition has been decided until due process has taken its course… We can not take names on other people’s property until they are found guilty or they give up their rights to pet ownership. When and if these animals become ours or the ASPCA it will then be announced on our FB page and or the ASPCA Web page. Meanwhile the dogs are not available for public viewing, they are kept in a clean, quiet environment while they are decompressing, learning to socialize & trust humans. Thank you for your consideration, patience & understanding.” – RCAC TEAM Continue reading