Monthly Archives: April 2018

Benzie County Looking at a Potential Lawsuit for Taking Pets from Owner Without Cause

Sheila Dinger still cries herself to sleep at night after the heartbreaking seizure of her eight pets. On December 12, 2017, Benzie County Animal Control officers Kyle Mauer and Jaime Croel, who is now the Animal Control Supervisor in Grand Traverse County, accompanied Deputy Sheriff Michael Ramsey to Dinger’s house to serve an eviction order that was a result of a family dispute. When asked by Pet Friends Magazine why the animals were seized, the attorney representing Benzie County in this case released the following statement: “Mr. Ramsey requested Animal Control come out and remove the animals from the house. After that it was their call based upon their judgement that the animals were in need of care and pursuant to the Animal Control Ordinance that they took the other animals because they appeared neglected.” 

Pet Friends Magazine conducted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to look through the documentation that Benzie County provided regarding this case and found that Dinger had no current complaints of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect filed against her at the time that her pets were seized; there was no warrant to seize the animals; there was no information on the eviction order about the pets; and there was no paperwork from the county that proves that she was served with an order of eviction before December 12th which would have allowed her the time to relocate her pets. Continue reading


Kalkaska County Considers Closing Animal Shelter

The Kalkaska County Animal Control Shelter could be shut down and outsourced because it is becoming too expensive to run.

“It is very aging. We could use new kennels over there, just new facilities to be able to better care for the animals,” said Kalkaska County Sheriff Pat Whiteford. “Rising employee cost with healthcare and other benefits, just put us over top for what we could afford with that current mileage that we have.”

Kalkaska County’s Animal Control Shelter could be re-housed by the end this year because of budget concerns. Click here for the rest of the story.

FAA To Honor Traverse City’s Piper With Plaque

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees will recognize Cherry Capital Airport’s former Wildlife Manager Piper with a recognition plaque that will be presented to the dog’s handler, Brian Edwards, and Cherry Capital Airport staff in a small ceremony at the airport today (Thursday, April 19th). For more on the story, please click here.

House Panel Considers Ban on Killing Dogs and Cats for Meals

An amendment added Wednesday to a farm bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee would bar people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption,” as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat. Dog and cat slaughter is extremely rare in the U.S. and already prohibited in commercial slaughterhouses. But consumption of animals commonly considered as pets and companions in American culture still takes place among some immigrant groups. Only a handful of states, including New York, New Jersey and California, ban such small-scale butchering. For more on the story, click here.

Grand Traverse Animal Control Millage on the Way to Voters

It’s been a long road to get the Grand Traverse County’s Animal Control Division adequately funded after the division was eliminated at the end of 2015.

The spotlight was put on animal control immediately by the media after the division was eliminated without any discussion or input from the public. Animal control advocates kept the issue alive and eventually a new Board of Commissioners led to an Animal Dontrol Ad Hoc Committee being formed, lead by Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette. They studied many issues involving animal control including policies, staffing and funding issues. The discussions from that committee led to funding new animal control truck and funding the Animal Control Division with full staffing for a year.  Continue reading

‘Empty the Shelters’ to Offer Free Pet Adoptions Across Michigan May 5th

The popular “Empty the Shelters” event is returning on May 5, offering free pet adoptions at 111 locations across the United States. It includes dozens of shelters and rescue organizations in Michigan, from the Holland area to Bay City, and from the Upper Peninsula stretching down to South Haven. The Bissell Pet Foundation is covering the adoption costs to encourage people to choose a shelter animal as their next pet. Click here for more on the story.

Shelters offering free pet adoptions in the Northern Lower Michigan Region:

• Charlevoix Area Humane Society

• Cheboygan County Humane Society

• Cherryland Humane Society (Traverse City)

• Clare County Anmal Shelter

• Little Traverse Bay Humane Society

• Missaukee Humane Society

• Newaygo County animal Shelter

• Otsego County Animal Shelter

• AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Michigan

Memorial for Dogs Killed in Michigan Kennel Fire: ‘They’re with friends’

Two weeks after a fire at a dog kennel in Muskegon County killed dozens of pets, a community-wide memorial service was held to help families cope with the sudden and tragic loss. The fire happened on March 30 at Storm’s Ahead Kennels in Fruitport Township, killing 30 dogs. A memorial service to honor those pets was held Thursday at Clock Chapel inside Clock Funeral Home in Muskegon. People filled the pews to hear from funeral director Jodi Clock and kennel owner Janet Rehfus. Click here for the rest of the story.

Looking to Adopt? 70 Homeless Dogs Land in Michigan

Cold temps, warm hearts. That’s what greeted 70 homeless dogs when they landed Saturday at Willow Run Airport, where a team of animal-loving volunteers stood in the cold rainy weather, eagerly awaiting the weary travelers. For the love-starved pups that had been rescued from hoarding conditions and overcrowded kennels in Texas and Oklahoma, the 1,000-mile trip in the heated plane was something of a first-class experience. They were warm. They had food. And they had new families to look forward to. Click here for the rest of the story.

Meet the Police Cat chosen for the Troy Police Department’s Feline Unit

The Troy Police Department has chosen its new crime fighting cat, but will have to wait a couple weeks before the kitty can join the department. Last month, you’ll recall, Troy PD put out a Twitter challenge: “If we get 10,000 followers by April, we want a police cat.” It reached the goal weeks before April. The Michigan Humane Society in Westland brought five kittens and one cat to the Troy Police Department today after narrowing down the choices based on behavior. The officer who the kitty will be living with chose one of the little kittens to be the department’s crime fighting partner. Click here for more on the story.

Michigan Senate Votes Down Breed-Specific Bans Often Aimed at Pit Bulls

No bans on pit bulls allowed, Michigan’s Senate said on Thursday. The chamber voted 22-13 to prohibit local governments from dictating breed-specific regulations on dogs. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. About 30 of Michigan’s local governments have some form of breed-specific regulation, which entail outright bans but also methods such as compulsory neutering, additional liability insurance, muzzle requirements for owners of certain dogs. Click here for the rest of the story.

You can click here to read the legislation and status of the bill.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR MICHIGAN HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE to urge them to vote YES on this bill. You can find out who your representative is by clicking here.

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Millage Moves Forward

At tonight’s Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioner’s meeting, they discussed putting animal control funding on the August ballot for a vote on a millage. This was brought up to the full board again (with the exception of Commissioner Wheelock who was absent tonight) at the recommendation of the Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee that met recently.

Four people spoke up supporting putting the millage on the ballot including Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes who said that both millages under consideration tonight should be put on the ballot to let the voters decide whether they should be funded or not. Another speaker was David Tucker, a retired executive director of the Genessee County Humane Society. While Tucker worked in Flint, he saw the importance of an active and involved animal control in the community and explained how an animal control millage was still able to pass even in a poorer community. Continue reading