Animal Welfare Groups Unite to Form Coalition in Northern Michigan

Multiple nonprofits and animal welfare advocates across the Northern Michigan area have united to form a new organization called “ARC – Animal Rescue Coalition” whose mission is to advocate for the well being of animals in Northern Michigan. Participants in this organization include Cherryland Humane Society, AC PAW, H.A.N.D.D.S. to the Rescue, Silver Muzzle Cottage, Pet Friends Magazine, Community Cats of Benzie County, Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, The Munchkins Mission, the Midwest Regional Director of Best Friends Animal Society and others.

ARC will be focusing on responsible pet ownership, the importance of spay & neuter, public awareness of laws & licensing, and improve government and community cooperation. To help facilitate these goals, they will improve communication between advocacy groups, offer emotional support, share ideas and help build volunteer bases.

The coalition has met monthly for the past few months and also communicates online. ARC is not currently a non-profit organization but will re-visit the idea in the future if circumstances warrant becoming more of a formal organization.

ARC is currently working on two very important projects. One project is working towards their goals to get more pets spayed and neutered by finding more spay and neuter resources in Northern Michigan. The second project is working with the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Ad-Hoc committee to do a marketing push to get more dog owners to purchase dog licenses. Currently, the only funding for the Animal Control Division is through the revenue generated from dog licenses. The Animal Control subcommittee of ARC will be filming a PSA commercial next week and are looking forward to getting the campaign out to the public.

Sometime in the beginning of 2018, ARC hopes to have a public Facebook page so that the community can interact with the organization and they can make everyone aware of the issues and events that the organization is working on.

Cherryland Humane Society Executive Director Heidi Yates, Gail Maison of AC PAW and Valparaiso University Humane Education Graduate Student Petra Pepellashiwere were the original ones who decided to organize the group. Pepellashi says, ”It is very evident that many people in our community love animals! It certainly makes sense that animal advocates come together to make a positive impact on the well-being of animals in our community. I look forward to participating with this group of amazing people.”

The coalition strongly encourages community members who are looking to volunteer with animals, adopt a pet or donate to reach out to one of ARC’s participating animal welfare groups at the links above.


photo credit: Greenacres Animal Rescue

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