It’s been a busy decade in animal welfare and rescue. The same has been true for Pet Friends Magazine. Since Pet Friends Magazine started, more than 650 stories have been posted on the website, having a reach of more than 321,000 views.
During the past ten years, the no-kill movement has been gaining supporters and Michigan Animal Shelters are killing less dogs and cats than in the past. As Nathan Winograd explains, In 2007, Michigan shelters were killing close to 120,000 animals. In 2016, it was 29,591. That’s great progress!
Pet Friends Magazine has been an ongoing resource in lower Northern Michigan and beyond in many different areas – spotlighting adoptable pets, publishing pet-related events and doing investigative stories on animal shelters and others. Editor/Publisher Jennifer Isbell started the website at a time when animal shelters and rescue groups didn’t have much time to showcase their pets to the public and Facebook wasn’t a daily staple for the world. Animal rescuers were too busy saving cats and dogs to do much of anything else.
In the beginning, Pet Friends started out focusing on helping animal rescue organization and animal shelters market their animals. Soon after starting the website, Isbell learned that the Michigan Department of Agriculture compiled a yearly list that documented how many cats and dogs are taken into Michigan animal shelters and how many were killed. The number of euthanasias was appalling. Especially surprising was the number of cats killed at the local animal shelter in Traverse City, the Cherryland Humane Society. Isbell started publishing these euthanasia numbers for the lower Northern MIchigan region every year and also gives out PAW awards to the shelters who do the lowest amount of euthanasias. She also made it known to the public what was going on at the Cherryland Humane Society. In 2007, they killed 541 cats! Luckily things there have changed dramatically and they only euthanized one cat in 2016.
Pet Friends Magazine was the first in the state to publish these euthanasia numbers and others have followed such as Michigan Pet Fund Alliance who compiles the information in a different way, giving out save rate statistics. You can see those rates here.
Isbell is most proud of two stories that were posted that she thinks have made the biggest impact…
1. Exposing the Wexford County Animal Shelter’s operations…
2. The story about using an oxygen crate for sick dogs – a story that is shared all over the world and inquiries are still coming in about it…
Pet Friends Magazine would like to thank everyone for the continued support and tips over the years. Helping to save homeless and abused cats and dogs takes a large village of people in every community and thankfully, there are a lot of people like you out there!