Monthly Archives: April 2017

Cade is Newest K9 Officer in Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County’s newest K9 Officer, Cade, is a male, American born German Shepherd. He is about 1-1/2 years old, born on November 27, 2015 and started his K9 career in December of 2016. He is a dual purpose K-9 specializing in narcotics and is assigned to K9 handler Deputy Mike Gray. The purchase of Cade was made possible by a donation from the Les and Anne Biederman Foundation. Cade is one of three K9 officers in Grand Traverse County. You can read about the other K9 Officers here.


Readers Shower North Dog Hospice, Silver Muzzle Cottage, with Donations

Since the nonprofit Silver Muzzle Cottage was founded a few years ago, donations came a few dollars at a time, raised through bake sales or donation jars on the front counters at local veterinarian offices. But since it was featured in the Free Press on Sunday, readers touched by the story of Kim Skarritt’s hospice and rescue for senior dogs have given more than $12,000. Skarritt was stunned by the outpouring of generosity. Click here for more on the story.

Funds Needed to Help Rescued Rabbits

From Wonderland Rabbit Rescue

Momma came to Wonderland on March 20, 2017. She was part of a forfeiture from a hoarder. There were 27 rabbits. ALL 27 rabbits were kept in a 4 ft x 4 ft square pen. Oh you read that right. 27!!! One homemade chicken wire and wood square pen. Males and females. When we first saw the 27, we noted not only how emaciated they all were but also all the males had severe injuries, most full of pus and needing antibiotics. All were scared and you could tell they had never been touched. We checked out a few and talked to the Sheriff about coordinating Rescue. We turned around and there was Momma, all alone in her pen with 3 tiny little babies laying on the newpaper. (They threw away her nest when they cleaned her cage). Apparantly she had the litter the day before. There had been 8 babies and only the 3 were left. That is so incredibly sad. We knew they would never live without a nest and with her being so stressed she may not feed. So we brought her and the 3 babies back to the Shelter. Continue reading

Dogs Can Get Lyme Disease Too

Temperatures are warming and it’s getting more fun for people and pets to go outside to hike and play.Which makes this a good time to let dog owners know something they may never have considered: Dogs can get Lyme disease, too. You probably already know that Lyme disease is spread by ticks and is dangerous to human – but they are also dangerous to dogs. Click here for the rest of the story.

More story links on ticks and lyme disease…

Michigan’s Rise In Lyme Disease Linked To Increased Tick Populations

Photos of Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease

Tick Removal Trick 

How You Can Help to Save Kittens from Being Killed in Shelters by Being a Kitten Caregiver

From Alley Cat Allies

Through the innovative Wait Until 8 program, Alley Cat Allies is helping shelters and communities work together to save orphaned kittens from being killed. The program empowers people to become at-home kitten caregivers for neonatal kittens until they reach eight weeks of age and are available for adoption.

“Every year, well-meaning people find thousands of kittens outdoors and bring them to shelters because they want to help, not knowing that most shelters lack the programs to save their lives,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The heartbreaking truth is most kittens brought into shelters are killed. By providing basic resources and know-how, shelters can harness that compassion to save kittens’ lives.” Continue reading

Pageant Runner-Up and Pit Bull Advocate Competing Again

Traverse City’s Jessica Mason Froehlich, First Runner Up in the Ms. America Pageant, will be competing on April 29th and 30th in the Mrs. Michigan Pageant in Jenison, representing Traverse City. Women across our state compete to be Mrs. Michigan, which is the state level pageant for the Mrs. America Pageant. Mrs. America is the premier pageant for married women over the age of 18. Women compete in three categories including interview (50%), physical fitness/swimsuit (25%) and evening gown. Froehlich says, “the interview is the most important piece because that is most reflective of what the year as Mrs. Michigan will look like. The title allows the winner to do just about anything she desires to make a difference in her community.The crown commands the attention necessary to make the biggest impact.”

Froehlich continues her work in bully prevention and that will be her platform again during this pageant. She gives presentations at schools, teaching kids to identify bullying behaviors in themselves and teaches them skills to solve the problem, get help, call out bullying in their friends and also to stand up to those who may be acting out against them. She says, “Teaching kids to act with compassion, rather than just reacting to a situation, helps them become for thoughtful and kind. These are skills that will not only serve them through their lives, but will improve our society as a whole.” Continue reading

Pets Naturally Named a Top Ten Finalist for Small Business of the Year

Professional services firms, contractors, food and beverage makers and entertainment facilities are among the finalists in the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce 2017 Small Business Celebration. The Top 10 SBC finalists in the running to become the Chamber’s 2017 Hagerty Small Business of the Year were announced by Chamber officials Wednesday. Click here for more on the story. 

Pets Naturally website is here.

Petition Drive Started to Get Justice for Ronnie the Cat

photo credit:

In November of 2016, a cat was found duct taped in Grand Traverse County. Mykhaylo Narolskyy, a Ukranian, has been charged with abandonment/cruelty to an animal. He appeared in court for his arraignment on Friday, April 21st and pleaded not guilty through a translator. He will receive a court appointed attorney and an observer in court noted that the trial date will be May 11th. The Judge in the case is Michael S. Stepka who grew up in Traverse City and graduated from Traverse City Central High School and went on to graduate from NMC, Central Michigan University and the University of Detroit School of Law.

Animal advocates in the county, with the help of Jennifer Isbell with Pet Friends Magazine, have put together a petition to present to the Prosecutor and the Judge so that they know that the community takes this crime seriously and wants the maximum sentencing imposed. The signers of the petition are asking for the maximum sentence of 92 days in jail, $1000 fine and 200 hours of community service in addition to Narolskyy not being allowed to own animals and requiring that he cover the cost of the cat’s veterinary care.

You can sign the petition outside the entrance to the Traverse City library this Saturday, April 29th from 10 am to 3 pm. Signatures of Grand Traverse County residents are especially needed on the petition, however anyone who is concerned about the case can sign it.

It has also been learned that Ronnie passed away of cancer a few months ago. As sad as that news is, many animal lovers in Traverse City hope that justice can be served for him in this case. A maximum sentence would also serve as a message to other potential abusers that animal cruelty will be taken seriously in our county.

Liberty Ranch is Recipient of $15,000 Gift Back Award


In 2013, Vietnam veteran, Dennis Bigelow and his wife of 43 years, Becki, poured their life savings into a horse ranch that would change the lives of many. Today, Reining Liberty Ranch serves as an 11-acre home-away-from-home for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Each year, this unique non-profit organization provides healing for dozens of veterans and their families—as well as special-needs kids and at-risk teens—by helping them build powerful relationships with horses. Programs such as natural horsemanship and therapeutic riding are designed to foster improved physical, relational and emotional health. “At the beginning of the program, I was at my worst,” claims one veteran participant who, before learning about the ranch, had been fighting a losing battle with anxiety. “The timing couldn’t have been better. This farm became my sanctuary.” Continue reading

Traverse City Offers Many Classes for Horse Lovers this Spring & Summer

Peace Ranch and NMC’s College for Kids is offering classes in May, June and July for both adults and kids who want to learn more about horses.

Below are some classes that are being offered…

Beginning May 22, 2017
Beyond Basics
Taught by Melissa Edingfield
Who: Anyone 16 or over
What: Must have completed Basics class or equivilant
When : Monday night for 5 weeks
Where: PEACE Ranch
2570 Hoosier Valley Rd., Traverse City
Beyond Basics is a novice class which will help students go to the next level in learning about equine communication and herd dynamics. This class will build and expand on Basics to improve their grasp on the art of conversation with horses using their language with a focus on improving listerning and communication skills. Register Here Cost: $230 Continue reading

Traverse City Police Gets New K9

From the Traverse City Police Department…

We would like to welcome the newest officer to the Traverse City Police Department. K9 Drago who is currently in training with K9 handler Adam Verschaeve. They are training at Northern Michigan K9 in Harrison Michigan. We will keep you posted on the status of Ofc. Verschaeve and K9 Drago

The Importance of an Emergency Contact

Make no mistake. I am dog. I walk on all fours – most of the time. I drool over good food and get away with it – all of the time. When I make noises, I have a huge smile and go on with life. I cannot go everywhere with my human because I am not a certified service dog – though I am a certified dog through and through with no doubt. Barkingly, I have a job to do and it’s being the dog. It is an important role and one vital to my human’s survival. Knowing this, my human has more emergency contacts set up for me, should the need arise, than many humans do for their human children. My human willingly volunteers to do the same for other neighborhood dogs. Not the human children though – woof! Click here for the rest of the story.

Roscommon County Animal Shelter Helps Injured Cat Get Vet Care and Find a New Home

Pirate was found under a trailer in the middle of February. The owners of the trailer called Roscommon Co. Animal Control about an injured cat whose eye was hanging out of the socket. The Animal Control Officer brought the cat to the shelter and it was purring despite the pain it must have been in. They took the cat to a veterinarian where it was immediately taken in for surgery for eye removal. The surgery was successful and Pirate got his stitches removed about two weeks after the surgery. The surgery cost about $800. Pirate returned to being a normal, playful and energetic teenage kitty and the shelter put some weight on him. He was neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and was adopted soon after he was ready for a new home. The Animal Shelter appreciates the generous donations and continued support of the animal lovers in their community so that they can continue to save cats like Pirate. If you are interested in donating towards Pirate’s surgery or future pets at the shelter, please call them at 989-366-0260.

Animal Groups Battle USDA over Missing Documents

Animal rights groups are up in arms over the thousands of animal welfare documents missing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website. The agency is facing two separate lawsuits from activist groups demanding that it restore the records in full — documents that include animal welfare violations at zoos, by breeders and in research labs. The USDA said it removed the records on Feb. 3 because it is involved in litigation, saying “in an abundance of caution” it was “taking additional measures to protect individual privacy.” Click here for more on the story.

If You Foster a Cat or Dog, You Can Claim it on your Taxes!

If you foster a cat (and this includes dogs, too) make sure to save any and all receipts, and, if expenses add up to over $250 for the year, obtain a letter from the charitable organization that confirms your volunteer or foster status. Click here for more information.

New Trial Ordered for Iraq War Veteran’s Dogs on Death Row in Ionia County

The owners of three dogs on death row in Ionia County have been granted a new trial. The animals were found inside a pen with dead goats last summer and were later ordered to be destroyed. A new trial means the dog owners, including an Iraq War veteran who relied on his two dogs to calm and comfort him, will get a chance to present evidence they say exonerates the dogs. That evidence includes an animal control investigation that found the dogs could not have killed the goats. Click here for the rest of the story.

Former Shelter Dog Saves 3-year-old Michigan Girl

A former shelter dog is now a local hero. The Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba, Michigan, posted the story of how this abused shelter dog saved the life of a 3-year-old girl. Here’s what they posted:

Petunia arrived at the shelter last April with 2 broken legs, a belly full of carpet, broken ribs….all injuries happened at different times. Healed, her former owner recently convicted of animal abuse. Petunia has a new name …Peanut and a new chance at life…

Click here for the rest of the story.