Monthly Archives: July 2016

Kingsley Kitten Adopted From Yard Sale then Returned Dead

When we have suspected animal cruelty or abuse type of complaints, we take them very serious,” says Lt. Chris Barsheff with the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department. A six week old kitten given away…Then returned, dead. The woman who adopted it has come forward. It’s not clear who killed the kitten. It was found dead Saturday in a shoebox just hours after it had been given away. Click here for more on the story.

July 28th update here.

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20th Anniversary of the Northport Dog Parade Coming Soon

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The 20th Anniversary Northport Dog Parade will soon be here. This year’s theme is “Bark Wars” and the proceeds will benefit Black Sheep Crossing, Cherryland Humane Society and Silver Muzzle Cottage. Pre-registration is $5 per dog and can be done at Dog Ears Books, Pennington Collection or Tucker’s of Northport. Registration on the day of the parade is $10 per dog. Parade Day is Saturday, August 13th. Judging is from 9:30 am to 10:45 am at Mill Pond and the parade is at 11 am. Awards/prizes will be after the parade at Marina Park.

Cat Hoarding Situation with More Than 100 Cats Leads to Request for Community’s Help

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A good samaritan reached out to animal rescue group Shelly Olree’s Shelter after she became concerned about the welfare of her neighbor’s 100+ cats at a Wexford County home. With the help of AC PAW, the rescue groups was able to pull about 28 of the sickest cats on their first visit, including Peanut. Poor little Peanut had to be humanely euthanized because she was so sick but they are hoping to save as many of the others as they can and save more of the cats. They pulled 14 more on Saturday the 23rd. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Plans to Hire Two Part-Time Animal Control Employees

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Grand Traverse County plans to post two part-time positions for the Animal Control Division. The first will be an Animal Control Officer and the second will be a temporary Animal Control Specialist position. The temporary position is expected to be utilized during times of higher call-volume.

Jennifer DeHaan, Deputy County Administrator, says, “We expect that the positions will be able to provide services after-normal business hours, which historically had never been available and we see as a service enhancement. In the past, as you know, if the call was after 5PM, the caller would have to wait until the next day or multiple days if the call was on a weekend or Holiday for assistance.”

The positions will be funded through the current dog-license fees for 2016. They do not anticipate any increase to the 2016 fees, but as they evaluate the need for services going into 2017, they may request an increase to those fees for 2017. 

Thursday Fursday Spotlights Hard to Adopt Pets

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Ms. Michigan State America Jessica Mason Froehlich appears every Thursday on 104.5 BobFM at 8:15 am with Finster to profile an adoptable animal from the Cherryland Humane Society and talk about rescue events and volunteer opportunities. Froehlich profiles hard to adopt animals like seniors, Pit Bulls and animals who are older or overweight. Their profile and picture also appears on her Facebook page here. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Primary Challengers to the Commissioners Speak Up About Animal Control

At the end of 2015, the Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted to eliminate the Animal Control Division from the Health Department and two Animal Control Officers were laid off. The incumbent Commissioners involved in this vote were Christine Maxbauer, Alisa Kroupa, Dan Lathrop, Ron Clous, Carol Crawford, Bob Johnson, and Sonny Wheelock Jr.. Some of these candidates have no primary challengers on August 2nd nor do they face opposition to their candidacy in November.

pug in commission room

The current Commissioners who have primary challengers in the upcoming August 2nd election were contacted along with their opponents for statements on what happened in the past, the current state of affairs and their opinions on the future of the Animal Control Division. Below are the statements of those candidates who chose to respond about the issue and a listing of those who didn’t.

COMMISSIONER – District 1 (Republicans)

Dan Lathrop – no response

Ross Childs

What do you think about how the Animal Control issue was handled, surprising the public and eliminating the Animal Control Officers and most of the Division’s services without any public input?

The transfer of the Animal Control operation was faulty from the beginning. It was done with little forethought and without any discussion with the parties involved. Animal Control was part of the Sheriff’s operation when I arrived in 1975. It was primarily used as a disciplinary action for deputies who had not performed well.

The Deputy was assigned to Animal Control for a period of time, the deputy did not appreciate the assignment, and neither did the animals or their owners. There was a complete lack of understanding what the rights of the Sheriff were with regards to the transfer.

Do you agree with the County’s current idea of only funding the Animal Control Division with current revenue (i.e. licensing fees) and not adding any addition funding to staff the division with two Animal Control Officers as it was in the past?

I believe that the primary funding for the operation should be license fees, and this should be subject to public input and analysis of the ability to pay. I also do not believe the operation requires 2 fully trained officers with coverage 7 days per week.

In 2015, two full-time Animal Control Officers responded to 636 calls. What do you think the County should do if one full-time or two part-time officers can not handle the number of calls the Animal Control Division gets?

My position would be that 1 full time or 2 part time officers would not provide the level of service desired. More important is the is the requirement for proper training and hiring individuals who have care and feeling for animals, and have good skills in dealing with the public.

Do you have any ideas on how you’d like the Animal Control Division to move forward in the future?

I believe that the Animal Control belongs under the Health Department, works closely with the Cherryland Humane Society, local veterinarians and local law enforcement agencies.

Do you support forming an Animal Control Advisory Committee made up of qualified community members?

A local Advisory Committee could be considered with composition to include representation from veterinarians, law enforcement, Cherryland Humane Society, and local concerned animal activist groups.

COMMISSIONER – District 3 (Republicans)

Alisa Kroupa – no response

Cheryl Gore Follett
When asked about what transpired in December of 2015 with the defunding of the Animal Control Division, Follett responded, “The County Commissioner’s initial response of moving animal control to law enforcement was obviously not well thought out. They reversed the decision several months after implementing it. Law enforcement is too busy protecting life and property to also take on the task of responding to issues involving animals.

However, animals, be they pets or animals in nature, need to be protected.  A county animal control officer needs to be available 24/7 to respond to safety issues involving animals.  As a pet lover I would be devastated if something happened to my dog and there was no one to respond to my concern because it was a Friday night. Finding the right funding model needs to be explored. There may be some natural partnerships within the community that would support this endeavor. I think most citizens would agree that our pets need to be protected.” Continue reading

Michigan Animal Legislative Update

From HSUS Michigan

Michigan puppy mills: HB 4898 to license and regulate large-scale dog breeding facilities, sponsored by Rep. Mike McCready with co-sponsors Reps. Kurt Heise, Harvey Santana, Christine Greig, Klint Kesto, Ken Yonker, Ed Canfield, John Kivela, Gary Glenn, Mike Callton, Al Psholka, and Earl Poleski, passed the House on March 2, 2016 by a vote of 83 to 20 and now awaits a hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Michigan gas chamber ban: SB 403, “Grant’s Bill” to require the use of the more humane and economical euthanasia by injection in Michigan shelters, sponsored by Sen. Marty Knollenberg with co-sponsors Rick Jones, Ken Horn, Tonya Schuitmaker, John Proos, Curtis Hertel, Jr., Jim Marleau, and Steve Bieda, has passed the Senate Agriculture Committee, now awaiting a vote in the full Senate!  While there are currently NO operating carbon monoxide gas chambers operating in Michigan animal shelters, there is nothing stopping a shelter from using gas to kill its animals at any time. The Michigan legislature must pass SB 403 to prohibit any further use of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide gas on shelter pets from now on.

Dog adoption: HB 4765 to allow the adoption of dogs seized from fighting cases in Michigan, sponsored by Rep. Mike McCready with co-sponsors Klint Kesto, Michael Webber, Joseph Graves, Ben Glardon, Gary Glenn, Jason Sheppard, Al Pscholka, Ed McBroom, Harvey Santana, and Kurt Heise, has passed the House Criminal Justice Committee and now awaits a vote on the House floor before moving to the Senate.

Cherryland Humane Society Takes in Dogs From Downstate Hoarding Case

An animal control office in southwest Michigan recently rescued more than 100 dogs in a hoarding case. Some have been brought to shelters in Northern Michigan. 9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Harrison Light show us how the Cherryland Humane Society in Grand Traverse County is lending a helping hand. Last week Cherryland Humane Society got a call from an animal control office downstate. They pulled more than 100 dogs from one home and needed help. Click here for the rest of the story.

Isabella County Veterinarian, Dr. Pol, Cleared of Any Misconduct

An Isabella County veterinarian is now cleared of any misconduct after someone complained about the way he saved an animal’s life. Jan Pol has a TV show on Nat Geo WILD called “The Incredible Dr. Pol.” It’s filmed at his clinic near Mount Pleasant. Click here for the rest of the story.

Michigan Legislators Considering Loosening the Leash on Pets at Cafes

Should dogs be allowed at Traverse City’s outdoor restaurant patios? Though restaurants are not allowed to admit pets (other than service animals), that could change if a bill co-sponsored by TC’s State Senator Wayne Schmidt passes the legislature. The bill would allow local units of government the flexibility to allow dogs at outdoor patios. If approved by the authorities, the final decision would still rest with individual restaurant owners. That’s a key, according to Schmidt. Click here for the rest of the story.

Traverse City Rent-A-Chicken Connects Kids, Agriculture

Grab a pair of boots and get ready for a taste of farm life. The Traverse City business Rent-A-Chicken is connecting people nationwide with the local agriculture scene. Each spring, Rent-A-Chicken Founders Leslie and Mark Suitor start delivering chickens to kids and adults who will take care of them for the summer. “This has been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” Leslie says. “When we show up to drop off the chickens, we’re like Santa Claus. I don’t know who is more excited, the kids or the adults.” Click here for the rest of the story.

Help Silver Muzzle Complete Their Building for the Senior Dog Cottage

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The Silver Muzzle Cottage continues to rescue homeless senior dogs – but their financial resources are limited due to their project of renovating the Cottage building. Once completed, the Cottage (which was once a warehouse garage) will be a beautiful home for dogs who are in transition from shelter to adoptive homes, or for those who need hospice care. The Cottage facility is nearly complete – 75% of the major work is done, but the remaining 25% still needs to be completed before it can be fully utilized by the seniors in need.

SMC has offered the ‘$10 Challenge’ to it’s over 5000 Facebook followers. If just half of their followers donate $10, SMC would have enough to complete their building AND get back on track of saving homeless seniors in need of their forever homes. They have rescued and found new homes for all but 3 of the 58 dogs they’ve rescued since inception. With basic veterinary care, updates on vaccines and dental care, as well as medications for pain management, the average cost per rescue is $350 -$1000 just to get them on the road to good health before being adopted out.

Old Mission Congregational Church Helps Dogs and Cats in Need

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A special thank you to the parishioners at Old Mission Congregational Church, near Traverse City, for their continued support in helping dogs and cats in need in our community. Over the past decade or so, this animal-loving congregation has donated thousands of dollars to help our local rescue groups. While the church is small in size, those who attend have huge hearts! According to Pastor Peter Shumar, “We care about the plight of homeless dogs and cats and want to support the rescue groups who are so dedicated. This is a way that we can help care for God’s creatures.”