Monthly Archives: March 2017

Former Wexford Co. Animal Control Officer Sentenced To Jail

A former animal control officer will spend a month in jail after using county money to pay for her own gas. Michelle Smith was sentenced to 30 days in the Wexford County Jail after pleading no contest to illegally using public funds last year. Click here for the rest of the story.


State High Court Hands Wexford County Legal Setback in Whistleblower Case

The Michigan Supreme Court denied a leave to appeal request from Wexford County regarding a whistleblower case involving the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office and Wexford County Animal Shelter.

In the order dated March 7, the court said it denied the request because it was “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court prior to the completion of proceedings ordered by the Court of Appeals.”

As a result, the appeals court’s June 7 decision regarding the lawsuit filed by a former animal shelter employee Kathy Dennis reversing part of a previous judgment made by the trial court stands. It now will return to 13th Circuit Court after the stay that was placed on the case in September is removed. Click here for more on the story.

Animal Advocate Group in Wexford County to FOIA County for Shelter Operation Info

While a group of animal advocates is still interested in potentially taking over operations of the Wexford County Animal Shelter, they are first going to do some due diligence.

That will come in the form of a Freedom of Information Act request to find out things such as three years of detailed expenses, agreements with vendors and any contracts the shelter might have. When that information will be requested and what, if anything, will be done in the future by the group known as the Animal Advocates of Wexford are unknown.

What is known, however, is some members of the Wexford County Human Resources and Public Safety Committee, as well as Wexford County Sheriff Trent Taylor, believe the volunteer group that works at the shelter is doing a great job. Click here for more on the story.

Grand Traverse County Police Shoot Aggressive Dog While Arresting Owner

After a man was accidentally released from jail, police shot an aggressive dog when they went to re-arrest him. Yuriy Alekseykov was arrested and awaiting arraignment for retail fraud charges in Grand Traverse County. Click here for more on the story.

Letter to the Editor Concerning Grand Traverse County Animal Control

from the Record Eagle 


from David P. Agee
Peninsula Township

I recently met Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa. I found her to be pleasant, intelligent, competent person and professional. She also seemed discouraged on her way to disillusioned. She is the only officer, works part time and handles serious, even dangerous, situations.

When I met her, she was investigating a puppy mill. Her department is underfunded, poorly equipped and she is poorly paid.

She wears hand-me-down uniforms and a protective vest. She is unable to access LEIN or do background checks before going into potentially dangerous situations alone to see who may have prior felonies, firearms or histories of violence.

Meanwhile, our county commissioners play kick-the-can with the Sheriff’s department over the Animal Control Division.

While it is not a mandated service, communities have always recognized animal control as a need and basic service.

If we can find money for endless studies on bridges, dams, traffic circles and Eighth Street, we should be able to find money for animal control.

We are talking about living, sentient beings here.

Most of us love our animals. We should care about the safety of our public servants. This situation is appalling.

Donations Matched for Benzie County Cats

From Community Cats of Benzie County

2016 – our first year – over 230 cats of Benzie County received free (or nominal cost) neutering, vaccines and medical treatment. 52 homeless kittens were taken off of the streets and placed into loving homes. We want to continue until there are no more homeless cats wondering the streets of our community. We have received a wonderful opportunity to match dollar-for-dollar any contributions up to $2000. That means that $2000 in community donations becomes $4000 through a generous grant from CommunityCatsPodcast and a $1000 matching pledge from our board members. We are a total volunteer organization but we need money for drugs, vaccines, flea treatment, food, and traps. The matching offer expires on May 31, so please donate now! Click here to donate.

AC PAW in Search of a Central Location

If you’re looking for the Antrim County Pet and Animal Watch, better known as AC PAW, you can find them in many places, such as the home of treasurer Gail Maison, who houses upwards of 9 cats at a time, and also uses her barn as the main storage area. “Pardon the mess,” Maison said as she walked through her barn, filled to the ceiling with pet supplies. “We’re overflowing, and that’s why we need a building so badly.”

Another AC PAW location is Petsmart in Traverse City, where volunteers run the adoption center.

“Were spread over I don’t know how many buildings,” said volunteer Jan Ross, as she stood in front of the small adoption center inside of Petsmart. “You know stuff here, stuff there, there’s really not very much room for stuff here.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Click here to donate to the building fund.

What the USDA Purge of Animal Welfare Records Means to One Michigan Group: An Interview with Puppy Mill Awareness Founder

For the past eight years, members of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan (PMA) have stood outside with picket signs and flyers. They have commissioned sculptures at the Plymouth Ice Festival and set up shop at art fairs and public jubilees. You may have seen them at the state capital lobbying for stricter breeding laws, or at your city council meeting contesting the ethics of selling sick dogs for profit. Last Friday, however, an action by the United States Department of Agriculture put PMA, and many other advocacy organizations, at a huge disadvantage. Without warning, all reports of animal welfare, including animal abuse, were purged from the USDA website, leaving many activists questioning how to effectively continue their work. Click here for the rest of the story.

Michigan Native says Airline at Fault for Death of Her Dog

A Michigan native says United Airlines is at fault for the death of her beloved dog. Kathleen Considine, a Dearborn native and current Oregon resident according to her Facebook page, was attempting to fly her dog from Detroit to Portland, with a layover in Chicago. The dog was to travel a total of 10 hours, but somehow it took more than 24 hours for her dog to get home. When the golden retriever arrived, he was weak and later died. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more on the story.

New Numbers Reveal Great Progress Being Made Toward No-Kill


When Best Friends started the Sanctuary in southern Utah in 1984, the number of pets killed in American shelters was estimated to be 17 million a year — a number that is, quite frankly, unimaginably large. Since that time, thanks to the efforts of millions of pet lovers, rescue groups, humane societies and municipal shelters, the number has decreased significantly. But we truly haven’t known precisely how many animals are being killed. That’s due to many factors, but mostly because the information available has been limited. Click here for more on the story.

AuSable Valley Animal Shelter Asking for Donations

It’s been a busy winter for the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter, located in a small town in Northern Michigan. Grayling and Crawford County has a total of 14,000 residents, and is an economically challenged area. The shelter is really struggling to pay their bills. They are a non-profit, no-kill shelter, and not county-funded. Through aggressive spay and neuter programs, they have reduced the number of homeless animals in their community by approximately two thirds in the last fifteen years. However, they still care for a large number of animals, most of which need vet care. They are reaching out to animal lovers in the hopes that you will find it in your hearts to help them continue their good works. Click here to donate.

Lowell-based Veterinarian Bruce Langlois Charged with Practicing Without a License

A veterinarian who owns a clinic in Lowell has been charged with allegedly practicing without a license in Michigan’s Thumb region. Bruce Langlois, 57, was in a Bad Axe courtroom on Wednesday to be arraigned on three charges of unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine — a five-year felony — in Huron County, according to a release from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. He’s also charged with being a third-time habitual offender. Langlois’ license was revoked in November 2015 after he ignored multiple suspensions and kept practicing, the AG’s Office says. An appeals court upheld the revocation last month. Click here for more on the story.