Monthly Archives: December 2016

Leelanau K-9 Donation Program Going Well

From the Leelanau Sheriff’s Facebook page


Through the generosity of several citizens, Leelanau County has taken in over $4,200 in donations for the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Program. These funds have been set aside specifically designated for routine expenses incurred caring for “Nico” and for future K-9 Program funding needs. They realize they are extremely fortunate to have such a valuable asset at their disposal. This is made possible by the support they receive from the Board of Commissioners and the citizens of the County. They wish to thank everyone who has donated money in support of their K-9 Program and “Nico” stands ready to serve whenever he is called upon.


Court Rules in Michigan Case: Police Can Shoot Dogs During Drug Raids

When is it constitutional for a police officer to shoot a dog during a raid? Any time it moves or barks, according to a federal appeals court. In a ruling released Monday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found Battle Creek, Mich. police officers were justified in shooting two pit bulls while executing a search warrant for drugs on the home of Mark and Cheryl Brown in 2013. The Brown’s sued the police department in 2015, arguing the killing of their dogs violated their constitutional rights. The ruling creates a similar legal standard in the Sixth Circuit—which includes Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee—that several other federal appeals courts have established, but it also appears to expand when it is acceptable for an officer to shoot a dog. Click here for more on the story.

Peace Ranch to Offer “Landing Zone” for Veterans

It’s an essential part of the Christmas wish — peace on earth. But for some veterans, that can be hard to find, even during the holidays. Jack O’Malley introduces us to two Vietnam veterans creating a haven so those who served can heal in this week’s Jack’s Journal. Our story is about a cabin but begins with Vietnam vets coming to a place called PEACE Ranch to find healing.

 “It’s the type of therapy that is really helpful with people who’ve had traumatic experiences that they really can’t talk about,” says Jackie Kashell.

The term is moral injury, things done in war that the soul has to reconcile with when back in civilian life.  A group of Vietnam vets came to Peace Ranch to work it through. One day they took a walk around the grounds, looking for a place to start on a project.

“We walked around the property and they chose this place, and they were talking together and they formulated a plan for a place for veterans to come and just be at peace,” explains Jackie.

“We had several ideas and we finally decided to build a cabin that can be passed on to the future, other veterans that might need it,” says veteran Larry Lelito. Click here for more on the story.

Clare County Animal Shelter Reacts To Logan’s Law

Michigan Animal Shelters will now have another way keep convicted abusers away from animals. The Governor’s office signed Logan’s Law. The legislation has been in the works for nearly a year after the State Senate passed two bills in early February.  Logan was a husky who got chemically burned and later died from his injuries. A new law in his honor will do more to keep animals out of the hands of convicted abusers.

“To me it’s like child abuse and why shouldn’t someone be punished for abusing animals,” Lisa Walworth said.

Click here for more on the story.

Grand Traverse Co. Animal Control Rescues Dog from Cold in Fife Lake

Please do not leave your animals out in this type of weather.” An important message from Grand Traverse County Animal Control after they rescued a dog from the bitter cold. The Animal Control officer says she got the call Thursday afternoon.

A woman saw a dog chained up, alone in the snow and was concerned. The officers found the dog down Grand Kal Road in Fife Lake. She says he came out growling and shivering. Click here for more on the story.

Logan’s Law Heads to Governor’s Desk

A Michigan bill designed to place animal abusers on a statewide registry list is now headed to the governor’s desk. House Bills 4353 and 4355, also known as Logan’s Law, passed the House and Senate and will now head to Governor Snyder’s desk to be signed into law. Click here for more on the story.

Wexford County Animal Shelter Open with Limited Hours

This cat is up for adoption at the Wexford County Animal Shelter. Photo credit: Wexford County Shelter Shares FB page.

This cat is up for adoption at the Wexford County Animal Shelter. Photo credit: Wexford County Shelter Shares FB page.

Following the embezzlement charge against Animal Control Officer Michelle Smith in September, the Wexford County Animal Shelter has been operating with limited hours. Currently, the shelter staff consists of full-time Animal Control Officer Jessica Williams and a part-time shelter attendant. Williams is often called out of the shelter to handle dog-related issues, leaving the part-time attendant and volunteers to attend to the shelter and the visitors as well as the dogs and cats.

Smith was arrested on embezzlement charges and was arraigned in October. Lieutenant Denison, who oversees operations at the Shelter, did not return calls to Pet Friends Magazine concerning the status of when they’ll be hiring an officer to replace Smith. There is no current job posting for an Animal Control position on the county’s website; however, there is an Animal Control millage in place that covers the cost of staff, supplies and the operation of the shelter. Continue reading

Rescue Road: Read About The “Village” it Takes to Save Dogs in America

Diesel recently got adopted. Lucky dog! Photo credit: Rescue Road Trips Facebook page

Diesel recently got adopted. Lucky dog! Photo credit: Rescue Road Trips Facebook page

People all over the country are learning about rescue dogs and what great pets they can be. More than seven million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year and approximately 1.2 million dogs are killed according to the ASPCA. The worse geographical area for a dog to make it out of a shelter alive is in the south. Greg Mahle, who runs an animal rescue transport business called Rescue Road Trips Inc. is trying to make a difference. On his website, he describes his business as providing loving, humane road trips for homeless, unwanted, unloved dogs facing assured immediate death from southern kill shelters. They help move dogs to loving “forever homes” and a second chance at life in New England and surrounding areas.

There are many challenges in the south that lead to 80 to 90% of their dogs being killed in shelters and two of those things are  overcrowding and a lack of resources. Other challenges include southerners not believing in spay/neuter and also treating their dogs as property and not pets. Their dogs live outside and serve a “purpose” such as being a hunting dog or a breeder in a backyard breeding operation. They are treated more like livestock and when their purpose ends or when the owner can’t sell them, they are abandoned. The dogs that make it to an animal shelter often stay there in unsanitary and disease-ridden conditions while they are awaiting their death. Many shelters have no inside kennels or on-site staff to watch them. If the dogs are owner-surrendered, they can be killed immediately. The stray dogs are held longer to give their owners a chance to find them, but many are unclaimed. Most don’t even get the luxury of a blanket or a toy in the shelter during their short time there. Many animal rescuers feel that conditions in the south could change with education about responsible pet ownership but they are so busy saving lives, there is often little time to do this important task. Continue reading

Part-Time Afternoon Hours Currently Offered by the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division


The current Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa, was hired as a Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer in October of this year. he position is part-time and she works 25 hours a week, five hours a day, Monday through Friday. The service time for this position is 1 to 6 pm. If the public needs to talk with the officer, they can leave a message any time of day on the Animal Control telephone at 231-995-6080 and their call will be returned when the officer is on duty. The County’s website is now updated to reflect this new information here.

In emergency situations, the public should call 911 or Central Dispatch telephone number of 231-922-4450. The County will continue to track and monitor calls for Animal Control and shift hours if needed to accommodate the highest call volume times, particularly when the season Animal Control Specialist works in the late spring to summer months. 

Take a Look at Michigan’s Save Rate Progression on the Road to be a No-Kill State

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance creates an annual Michigan Shelters by Save and Live Release Rate report and corresponding Live Release Rate by County map using the annual shelter reports submitted by licensed shelters to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). More detail is here.

View Michigan’s year-by-year progression toward a No Kill state here.

Wexford County K9 Retires, Rewarded for ‘Outstanding Service’

A K9 officer is getting time to just be a dog. The Wexford County Sheriff’s Office is retiring 9-year-old K9 officer Dzeki. Dzeski served alongside his handler Deputy Paul Fowler from March of 2009 to December of 2016. Click here for more on the story.

Kalkaska Pet Pantry Needs Holiday Donations

A local pet pantry that helps animals in need is looking for help as the holidays creep closer. The Northwoods Pet Pantry in Kalkaska helps rescue animals in need of love, and helps pet owners who are having trouble making ends meet get pet food. That’s why they’re asking the community to pitch in and help out with purchasing animal food over the holidays. Click here for the rest of the story.