Monthly Archives: August 2018

Grand Traverse Animal Control Millage Passes

Two years and eight months after the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division was eliminated by past administrator Tom Menzel and county commissioners, the taxpayers of Grand Traverse spoke up tonight and voted yes for an animal control millage by an overwhelming majority of 69.58% of the vote with the unofficial results showing 18,146 people voting yes and 7,935 people voting no. Of the three millages voted on, this millage got the most votes and the highest percentage of votes in a millage – showing that the community definitely supports animal control which commissioners have questioned in the past.

The millage will provide funding for a three year period for animal control staff and services, protecting it from being eliminated at the whim of the the current Administrator or any of the county commissioners who will be voted into office in November of 2018.

The passage of the millage was up in the air after the county fired former Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, who has a large support base in the community. Many were upset about how the Health Department has handled her firing and the investigation into her actions while being an animal control officer.

The Animal Control Division currently has an Animal Control Supervisor, Jaime Croel, and an Animal Control Officer, Jon Brown. A third officer to replace Zerafa is being sought after the county posted the job opening recently.


Couple Charged in Animal Abandonment Case in Kingsley

Two people who face charges in an animal abandonment case involving dozens of dogs and cats appeared in court for the first time Friday. Joseph Lewis Plowman, 39, and Lacie Lee Plowman, 37, appeared for a video arraignment in 86th District Court morning before Judge Michael Stepka. They each face one charge of animal abandoning or cruelty, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, according to court documents. Both defendants await an attorney assignment, said Joseph Plowman. He declined further comment. Lacie Plowman did not immediately return calls requesting comment. Click here for the rest of the story.

Grand Traverse County Animal Control Firing Draws Challenge

Protesters wielding signs and animal photographs challenged an animal control officer’s firing over allegations she violated the constitution and falsified documents. Grand Traverse County officials fired animal control Officer Deb Zerafa in June after a local attorney determined she violated pet owner’s Fourth Amendment rights multiple times and lied about time worked. A 10-page report listed numerous accusations of misdeeds, all of which Zerafa denied and her group of supporters challenged during a protest and at a county board of commissioners meeting Wednesday. Click here for more on the story.