Archived stories will be stored here so that you can look up information that you may have missed.
Cherryland Humane Society No Longer Allowing Members to Vote for Board of Directors
In a recent letter to their members, the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City outlined several amendments to the by-laws that their board of directors have made.
The amendment states “an amendment providing that members of the Board of Directors will be elected by the Board of Directors. The by-laws previously provided that directors be elected by the members of the Cherryland Humane Society present at its annual meeting.”
No longer is the membership involved in choosing who runs the shelter. It looks like the policies will stay put, as there will be no way for the members to vote on who sits on the board.
There is also a story in the Record-Eagle about the change in the CHS bylaws.
Michigan Group Joins National Campaign to End Petland Puppy Sales (November)
A group of Michigan citizens have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Petland to stop selling pets and support pet adoption instead. Pam Sordyl, founder of the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan, started a campaign on Change.org demanding that the Petland branch in Novi, MI stop selling puppies purchased from commercial breeding facilities known as “puppy mills” and support pet adoption.
Wayne State University’s Inhumane Dog Experiments: Queenie’s Story (November)
PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) obtained shelter and veterinary records through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act for Queenie, a Dalmatian mix who was used in one of the experiments conducted by Donal O’Leary, Ph.D. These records show that Queenie suffered immensely at the hands of O’Leary and his staff at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Queenie was found stray in early 2009 by residents of Gratiot County, Mich., who kept her for weeks before surrendering her to the Gratiot County Animal Shelter on June 15, 2009. After 10 days at the shelter, she was transferred to R&R Research, a Class B “random source” animal dealer.
Queenie was sold to Wayne State University, and veterinary staff noted that she was “curious, gentle, [and] friendly” when she arrived on Sept. 16, 2009. Lab personnel renamed her “Lafayette,” and she was assigned to the experiment “Integrative Cardiovascular Control During Exercise in Hypertension.” She began treadmill training on Sept. 23, when she was noted to be “distressed.
Queenie remained “spooky” during her presurgery treadmill training, even jumping off the treadmill when one of the experimenters entered the room. She had to be given a bath on Oct. 15 because she had “fecal material all down [her] left side.” Her training continued until Dec. 1, when she had a left thoracotomy—a major surgery in which her chest was opened to implant devices in her heart.
After surgery, Queenie had to wear a jacket, t-shirt, and cervical collar so she would not pull at her stitches or at the foreign objects now in her body. Her face and paws were swollen, she was “whining [and] vocalizing a bit,” and she vomited immediately after being placed in her cage. By Dec. 8, she was back on the treadmill.
As Queenie healed from her first surgery, she experienced irritation, scabbing, leaking fluids, and other ill effects. She seemed “agitated,” “intent on cleaning feces from [her] rear,” and was “whining for attention.” On Dec. 15, she underwent another procedure—this time, experimenters placed catheters in Queenie’s neck and behind her abdomen.
Queenie’s incisions constantly seeped large amounts of fluids. After relentless licking, sores appeared on her paws and right hip. She was forced to wear an even larger Elizabethan collar to stop her from further aggravating the sores.
By March 2010, Queenie was hypertensive. In April, she was noted by one lab technician to be “acting very timid – like she can’t get [up]…shakes while getting up (back legs)… won’t get up for me.” That same day, she underwent treadmill experiments again. Two days later, Queenie’s leg became caught in the treadmill and she stumbled. For the next two weeks, Queenie was seen “tip-toeing” and limping, but she was still forced to run.
Queenie was used until June 2010, when experimenters accidentally cracked one of the devices implanted in her while “packing up probes” after a treadmill training session. They attempted to fix the device, but it broke again, retracting into Queenie’s body. On June 29, 2010, more than one year after she arrived at the Gratiot County Animal Shelter and more than nine months after she arrived at O’Leary’s laboratory, Queenie was killed.
Queenie was just one of the hundreds of dogs used in O’Leary’s experiments at Wayne State University.
Wayne State University: 20 Years of Inhumane Dog Experiments
Forced treadmill exercise. Major surgeries. Constant pain and distress. Queenie, a friendly Dalmatian mix, could have gone to a loving home after arriving at the Gratiot County Animal Shelter, but she was sent to a Class B dealer and sold to suffer in a cruel Wayne State University experiment instead.
At Wayne State University, Donal O’Leary, Ph.D., has been performing inhumane heart experiments on dogs for more than 20 years. Dogs are trained to run on a treadmill, undergo two or more major surgeries during which they are implanted with medical devices, and are then forced to run on the treadmill again with experimentally induced heart failure or hypertension.
O’Leary has received millions of dollars in National Institutes of Health funding for this research that has not led to human heart health breakthroughs, but he is not the only one who has profited from these experiments. R&R Research, a Class B dealer that purchases dogs and cats from animal shelters and has been cited for illegally obtaining animals eight times since 2007, makes thousands of dollars selling dogs to O’Leary.
Here is the link for you to take action.
Getting to No Kill by 2015
Saving all of our healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats by 2015 is not only possible, it’s probable. Today, U.S. shelters are killing 3.7 million dogs and cats. Click here for more information brought to you by Maddie’s Fund.
Options on the Table to Prevent Euthanasia of Local Pit Bulls
Two options still remain on the table regarding a pair of pit bulls that have been caged at the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter for the last two and a half years while the prospect of death has been removed from the picture. For more on the story, click here.
UPDATE: The judge ruled that the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter will be keeping the dogs. Click here for the story.
Dog’s Body Left on Animal Control’s Trash Bin for Days in Traverse City
A recent Record-Eagle story about a dead dog left on top of a trash bin at the Grand Traverse County Animal Control prompted me to contact the county office for more information. I will update the website when I have updated info. on the incident and how the county will proceed to dispose of their animals in the future.
The Dog that Ended Up in the Dumpster at the Grand Traverse Animal Control – a Follow-Up to the Record-Eagle story…
Back in January, the Record-Eagle ran a story about a dog’s body being left on top of a trash bin for days. I contacted the Grand Traverse County office for more clarification on the story and the events that led to this. Here is the information that I have received after the County did an in-house investigation and after talking to Tom Buss in the Environmental Health Division and Health Officer, Fred Keeslar.
The story starts out with a Beagle having gotten loose from its owner on Thursday, January 6th. The owner was driving her car with her children and noticed that the dog was loose around the area of Wendy’s on US-31. Instead of trying to catch the dog, she left the area and phoned the animal control office on Friday, January 7th to inquire about her dog. She was told that a Beagle was reported hit in the roadway near Wendy’s (a citizen had contacted AC on the 6th to say they witnessed the dog being hit and that it was deceased). The Beagle’s owner called later in the day to say she wanted the dog’s collar. AC was not in possession of the dog at that time.
On January 7th, a different person called Animal Control that they had picked up a deceased Beagle near Wendy’s. He asked if he could bring it to animal control and they said yes even though this is not something that is a common practice of the animal control department. The freezer at Animal Control was full and since the AC officer thought the owner was coming soon, they told the good samaritan to leave the dog “in” the dumpster. The trash bin is in the back, on the south side of the building, not in an easily-seen area and is often blocked by the vehicles that are parked near the bin. The man who had the Beagle said he would be coming by after work, not during Animal Control hours. It was unclear exactly when the dog was left on the dumpster. It was “on” the dumpster only because the owner was supposed to stop by that evening to get the collar and it would be easier to retrieve it that way.
The weekend passed, with a fair amount of snow falling, as well as early in the week. On Tuesday, January 11th, it was the first time that AC officers were aware that the dog had been placed “on” the dumpster and was still there. They had assumed that the owner came to get the dog’s collar.
The pet owner did finally came to retrieve the dog on Thursday, January 13th for the collar of the dog but the dog was not wearing a collar. The animal control officers were unaware if there was ever a collar on the dog from the time it was dropped off. It’s possible that the dog didn’t have a collar or that it came off when it was hit by a car. With the help of Ed, an animal control officer, the Beagle’s owner decided to take the dog with her, instead of it going to the landfill.
Long ago, when the decision was made to send the animals to the landfill, Grand Traverse County was told that the animals were to be buried in a separate area and not with the rest of the trash that was taken there. Years have passed, and now that there are other alternatives available (cremation by a local pet business), the county is considering a change in their disposal practices. We’ll check in with the county again in a few months and see if any decisions have been made.
Family Dog Shot While Wandering on Neighbor’s Yard
It was a long, painful day for a family dog that police say wandered into its neighbors yard, and then got shot because of it. The Rottweiler-Labrador mix is expected to recover, and police say the neighbor who shot her will likely face charges. The shooting happened around eight o’clock Thursday morning outside a home on Wallaker Road near King Road in Benzonia in Benzie County. Click here for the story.
AC Paw – A History of Success
After just celebrating their 16th anniversary, AC Paw (Antrim County Pet & Animal Watch) is approaching the milestone of having saved 6,000 cats and dogs. It’s quite an accomplishment for what started out to be just two people in the beginning. Please click here for the rest of the story…
Kalkaska Citizens for Animals will soon be NorthWoods Animal Coalition
The reasons for the KCA name change are two-fold…They chose ‘NorthWoods’ because KCA’s scope and service extend much farther than just Kalkaska. They specifically chose ‘Coalition’ because it represents a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, joining forces together for a common cause.
They hope to appeal to all groups and people in this area to combine efforts to provide education on the humane treatment of all animals – to the end that we begin to eradicate the suffering of so many area animals. No animal should have to endure abuse, neglect, abandonment, indiscriminate breeding and overpopulation, puppy mills, and unnecessary and unwarranted euthanasia.
In essence – together with you – they hope to accomplish what could never be achieved separately.
Their new FaceBook page is here.
Socially Savvy Northern Michigan by Erin Monigold
How do people use social media? Check out Erin’s story which includes Pet Friends Magazine. Click here to read her blog.
New Coalition Started to Help Michigan Shelter Pets
You are invited to be a part of an exciting new humane coalition called “Michiganders for Shelter Pets.”
It was created in January of 2011 by animal advocates around the state to help bring together Michigan voters, animal shelters, animal protection organizations, businesses, and professionals in a coordinated effort to advance the welfare of Michigan shelter pets.
For 2011, two important goals include assisting with legislative efforts to ban pound seizure by Class B dealers and gas chamber euthanasia in Michigan shelters:
Ending Pound Seizure by Class B dealers
Pound Seizure is the practice of shelters selling or giving cats and dogs to research facilities, universities or U.S.D.A. Class B dealers for purposes of experimentation and research. Shelters should not be open to the research industry and, instead, should be a safe temporary sanctuary for animals.
Ending Gas Chamber Euthanasia
Gas Chamber euthanasia involves euthanizing shelter pets with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Veterinary clinics in Michigan do not euthanize family pets with gas. Shelter pets deserve the same care.
You can join Michiganders for Shelter Pets and our 2011 efforts by signing on in one of two ways:
1. Join as a citizen advocate to show your endorsement as a voting constituent and to help reach out to legislators when needed; or
2. Or, if you are part of a Michigan animal shelter, animal protection organization, or business, or if you’re a veterinarian or veterinary clinic, join as a professional advocate to add your name to the list of Michigan animal care professionals who support our goals.
Once you join, you will be updated with progress on this important humane legislation and how you can help.
Beware of Selling Pets on Craigs List
There are dogfighting rings in Michigan and there are people who buy dogs on Craigslist to use as fighting dogs or bait dogs. This is going on right now. If you list your pet, do a THOROUGH check of the people who are buying your pet. Get personal and vet records. Don’t give your pets away for free. Ask to check up on the adoption in a few weeks or so. Please be aware that there are bad people out there who might put your pets in harm’s way.
by Dee Blair
Joe and I often visit our close friends and their strapping sons, who share their home with Emma, a beautiful two-and-a-half year old rotweiler/shepherd mix. Though delighted to see me she approaches quietly, breathes in my scent, then licks my hand, just once. Her tail wags gently. This beautiful chocolate and black dog has been terribly abused, but has managed to begin again.
Click here for her story.
The summer season brings gardeners, beach-combers, hikers, and picnickers outside to play. With that, however, comes summer toxins that are poisonous to your pets! As you prepare for summer to roll in, make sure you have your house, yard, pool, and garden pet-proofed to avoid any potential poisonings! Pet Poison Helpline is inundated with phone calls during this time of the year. Click here for more info.
Man who Kicked Puppy Heads to Prison
A Mount Pleasant man charged with kicking and killing a puppy in Leelanau County will spend up to five years in prison. Click here for more info.
Make a Pet Bed for $12
Please think about building a bed for a shelter in your area so that their doggies can be comfortable and off the floor. Here is the info.
Area Veterinarian Chosen as President of Regional Veterinary Medical Association
The Northern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association (NMVMA) is proud to announce Dr. Jennifer Klabunde, DVM, CVCP, of Northwood Animal Hospital in Grawn as their new president.
Since accepting her new position in November 2010, Dr. Klabunde has been working to further the goals of the organization, which encourages and promotes continued education for supporting area veterinarians and their staff. Michigan is one of the few states that does not require continued education for veterinarians, but the NMVMA takes pride in offering these opportunities to members.
“I’m excited and grateful to promote the organization and learn more about the outstanding veterinarians throughout Northern Michigan,” states Dr. Klabunde.
Meetings are held in the Grand Traverse area with members traveling as far as the Upper Peninsula, Lansing, Grayling, Manistee, Muskegon, Ludington, Houghton Lake and Gaylord. Each meeting is planned around a continued education topic with a guest speaker. Recent meetings have focused on oncology, internal medicine, behavioral issues, cardiology and client compassion. The speakers are recognized as experts in their field and come from specialty hospitals throughout Michigan and other states.
“We discuss a range of topics that many veterinarians and their staff can relate to. Topics are chosen based on current events, trends and general interest by members,” states Dr. Klabunde.
“Such a wide and diverse group of veterinarians allows us to learn the needs of many areas and provide vital support to these communities,” states Dr. Klabunde.
Dr. Klabunde was asked to step into this position because of her experience as a community leader, dedication to educating the community and commitment to continuing education. She speaks to local elementary school classes on a regular basis, has written many articles for the Grand Traverse Woman Magazine and the Interlochen Chamber of Commerce newsletter “The Voice”, appears on the weekly TV 7&4 “Pet Talk” segment, participates in local charity events, provides services at reduced rates for area humane societies and regularly attends veterinary conferences each year throughout the U.S.
To learn more about the NVMVA, Dr. Klabunde or Northwood Animal Hospital, please visit www.northwoodpet.com
The HSUS recognizes Michigan State Police Trooper with 2010 Humane Civil Servant Award
On February 28, The HSUS announced the recipients of the inaugural Humane Civil Servant Award. This annual award recognizes public employees and their departments whose actions rose above the day to day expectations of their jobs to rescue an animal in critical need. Trooper Deanne Oswald-DeBottis of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Brighton Post was among the recipients.
On October 11, Trooper Oswald-DeBottis rescued and stabilized a dog who was putting both himself and motorists at grave risk as he dodged traffic on Interstate 96 in Brighton Township. And this wasn’t her first heroic effort; in May of 2010, Trooper Oswald-DeBottis received the MSP Lifesaving Award for working with another officer to provide vital aid in a medical emergency involving a toddler.
Other 2010 Humane Civil Servant Award recipients included law enforcement and fire department officers from New Jersey, Florida, Kentucky, California, New York, Maryland, Illinois, and Oregon. Congratulations and thank you to all of them!
No More Business As Usual: Pam Sordyl Hits Puppy Mills Where It Hurts
In a city famous for heavy hitters like Henry Ford, Joe Louis, and the Detroit Tigers, the name Pam Sordyl may not get instant recognition. But among animal advocates, she’s known for delivering knockouts to a formidable opponent: puppy mills. Click here for more info.
Michigan’s Best Homeless Pet Shelters, Volunteers and Legislative Friend Awarded
Four Michigan animal shelters are among those who have proved that landing in a shelter doesn’t have to be a death sentence for homeless cats and dogs.
For the first time, shelters are being recognized for their efforts to save homeless pets, rather than destroy them. The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, at its first statewide No Kill Conference held March 25 in Ann Arbor, gave Outstanding Shelter Awards to three open admission shelters with the best 2009 save rates. An open admission shelter takes in all stray animals and those given up by their owners.
For their complete list of 2009 Michigan Shelters by Save Rate, please click here.
In the small shelter category of 1,000 or fewer animals, Helping Orphaned Pets Everywhere (HOPE) of Gogebic County saved 100 percent of the adoptable animals that came to their shelter. The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter in Marquette County was recognized for its save rate of 91.33 percent in the medium shelter category of 1,000 to 5,000 animals.
The large shelter award went to the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HVHS) in Washtenaw County with a 75% save rate in 2009. HSHV is the only animal shelter in Washtenaw County that takes in all unwanted, injured, lost, stray, abandoned and abused animals, helping over 10,000 dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals every year.
In the category of limited admission shelters, which refuse animals when there is no room, the award went to Cascades Humane Society, with a 96.7 percent save rate and 842 adoptions in 2009.
Conference participants toured the new state-of-the-art HSHV-WC facility which opened in October 2009. Shelter Executive Director Tanya Hilgendorf, who brought her experience from a human services agency, told the attendees, “It is all about the mission. Do it right or don’t bother. Be effective, accountable and transparent, you work for the community. Finally be bold, take risks on behalf of the animals you serve.”
Joe Sowerby of (Chesterfield Township) created two of the largest animal adoption events in the country: Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo and Pet-a-Palooza. He took home the Best Friend Award for helping tens of thousands of cats and dogs find new homes since 1993. Sowerby also led a successful effort to remove gas chambers from several southeast Michigan shelters and has worked to introduce legislation to ban gassing in all Michigan shelters which still use this barbaric practice.
Senator John Pappageorge, whose district includes Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Troy, Clawson, Berkley, Royal Oak and Madison Heights, was recognized with the Homeless Animals Legislative Friend Award for championing the Animal Welfare Fund Act of 2007, creating a fund for taxpayer contributions which has generated over $200,000 to assist shelters with spay and neutering prior to adoption.
The final award, recognizing an Exceptional Volunteer, was given in memory of Adele “Del” Harvey, who died October 5, 2010 at the age of 84. In 1994, after a life spent rescuing cats and dogs, Harvey founded Best of Friends Humane Society in her home and when she ran out of space, her husband and sons built the shelter where she cleaned cages starting at 5 a.m. until the end of her life. Volunteers now carry on her legacy. Julia Funds, vice chairwoman of Basil’s Buddies (Romulus), and Kathy Bambach, adoptions director and medical coordinator of Paws for Life Rescue, (Troy) took home Honorable Mention awards. Honorable Mentions also went to open admission shelters which met the no-kill definition of a 90 percent save rate: Grosse Isle Animal Shelter, Greater Hillsdale Humane Society and Copper County Humane Society.
Animal Shelter Site Plan Approved in Otsego County
Plans for a new Otsego County Animal Control facility cleared another hurdle Monday after the Otsego County Planning Commission approved the site plan for the 6,000-square-foot animal shelter. Click here for more info.
You Are What You Eat, Even if You’re a Dog
by Linda Park
With the focus on obesity, proper eating and healthier choices for your family, it is natural that this same approach has extended to what we feed our pets. Like many of us who grew up with pets, Purina was the most popular choice, followed by Chuck Wagon and Alpo. Today, there are as many brands of pet food as there are species of birds, including foods endorsed by well known people like Paul Newman, Rachael Ray and Dick Van Patten who started Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989 with his brother Jimmy Van Patten.
As someone who has recently been completely enlightened into the ins and outs of choosing a dog food that is healthy and appropriate, I am totally excited while at the same time being saddened by my previous ignorance. Because of this, I would like to share with whomever will listen what I have learned and how I got to the place I am today.
To do this, I must tell you a little about my two Rat Terriers. Izzy is almost four years old and suffers from winter allergies that have gotten progressively worse each year. She will itch uncontrollably and looses hair, especially around her eyes. We first began controlling this with Benadryl and an Omega supplement to her diet. The second year was worse so we had to add Prednisone to her treatment plan. This winter she took a Benadryl every morning and a Prednisone every night along with her Omega supplements. That sufficiently controlled the itching and kept the hair loss to a minimum. Long term use of the steroid Prednisone is not recommended as it has been linked to other health problems occurring later in life.
Abby is a year and a half old and has always been healthy until she suffered from a bladder infection this winter. After three rounds of antibiotics, we discovered that the infection had cleared, but her pH levels were very high which would cause discomfort when urinating. The remedy for this was 250 mg of Vitamin C daily with a suggestion by my vet that we may have to think about changing her food.
So the research began. My vet told me when reading a dog food label, the first thing listed should be meat such as chicken, fish or lamb. There should be NO by products of any kind or dyes of any color. Solid Gold, Wellness, Merrick, Nutro’s Ultra and Natural Balance were suggested as possible choices. I had also heard a lot of great things about Blue Buffalo. With each brand, there are several choices to be made. There are different food sizes such as large breed and small breed. There are several different flavor choices like lamb, chicken or fish mixed with oatmeal or rice. There are different age choices such as puppy, adult or senior. And finally there are several different bag size choices ranging from 6 pounds to 40 pounds. I wish I could tell you exactly which one to buy and save you the time and effort, but only you can make the right choice for your pet(s) based on their size, age and health. All of these foods can be found easily on the internet. Some companies, such as Blue Buffalo, will send you a $5.00 coupon towards the purchase of their food.
For those of you who have pets with allergies, I would like to make these suggestions. I have been told that although Omega 6 is important, Omega 3 is even more important in the war against allergies. The higher Omegas are found in the fish formulas. I know you are probably thinking (as did I) that you didn’t really want your dog smelling like fish or your house smelling like fish either. Rest assured that is not the case. My dogs have been eating the Blue Buffalo fish and brown rice formula for about three weeks now and they (nor my house) smell like fish! The good news is that in that three week period, Izzy is off the Benadryl completely and I am weaning her off the Prednisone. Izzy’s hair is coming in thicker, her energy level is almost back to normal, Abby is off the Vitamin C and both dogs’ coats are noticeably softer. This after only three weeks! I have high hopes of being drug free next winter.
The only fact about these healthier foods which may cause you to hesitate is the cost. Yes, they do cost more than your bag of Purina or Iams that you can pick up at any grocery store, however, if you can eliminate any medications, supplements or vet visits, you are going to be much further ahead with the healthier dog food. I can honestly tell you that is the case with us. Even more important than the cost issue is the fact that you have a happier, healthier pet and I don’t know about you, but when my girls are healthy and happy, all is right in my world. It’s the least I can give to them considering everything they give to me.
Northern Michigan Euthanasia Reports and Local PAW Awards ’09
Click here to find out about your local shelter and how it compares to other groups in the area.
Northern Michigan Euthanasia Reports for 2009 – Updated with Benzie Animal Control Correction
Every year, the Michigan Department of Agriculture releases the “Michigan Animal Shelter Activity Reports” for licensed animal shelters in Michigan. This report includes many things, including intake numbers and euthanasia statistics.
The winners for the Pet Friend Magazine’s Paw Awards for the least amount of euthanasias are…
Homeward Bound Animal Shelter and AC Paw in the dog category.
Homeward Bound Animal Shelter and Leaning Oaks Cat Haven in the cat category.
Legislation introduced to Ban Gas Chambers and to Prevent Antifreeze Poisoning in Michigan
Thank you to Senators Rick Jones and Steve Bieda, who have introduced important legislation in Michigan. SB 423 and SB 424 will end the use of gas chambers in Michigan animal shelters and by Class B dealers. These have been dubbed “Grant’s Bills,” named for a friendly dog who did not meet an adoption deadline and was killed in a Michigan animal control facility’s gas chamber.
Please contact your legislators and ask that they support SB 423 and SB 424 to protect Michigan’s shelter pets! You can find your legislators here (be sure to click on You can find your state lawmakers here).
For more information about Grant’s Bills and how you can help pass this legislation, please visit Michiganders for Shelter Pets here.
Also this week, Senator Bieda introduced SB 421 to stop the poisoning of children and animals from ingesting antifreeze. Most antifreeze contains 90-95 percent ethylene glycol, a substance that is attractive to children and pets because it has a sweet smell and taste.
Ethylene glycol can cause nausea and vomiting, depress the central nervous system, cause fluid build-up in the lungs, heart failure, kidney failure, seizures, coma, and death. Less than a teaspoon can be fatal. SB 421 would require engine coolant/antifreeze that is more than 10 percent ethylene glycol to contain denatonium benzoate, the world’s bitterest known substance, to render it unpalatable.
This legislation will help reduce the number of childhood emergencies and save countless animal lives at the cost of only 2-3 cents per gallon. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Veterinary Medical Association, The Pet Food Institute, The American Association of Poison Control Centers, the American Medical Association, the National Safety Council, and the American Journal of Public Health all recommend adding an aversive agent to antifreeze and/or support legislation. Similar legislation has already been passed in 15 other states.
Thinking of Giving Up Your Pet? Don’t…
There are many harsh realities involved with what happens to your pet when they end up in a shelter. There are of course, great shelters out there who are doing the right things for the animals in their care, but there are even more who are not. Be informed before you make a life and death decision about your pet. Click here for more info.
State police Confirm Investigation of Wexford County Animal Control Fund
A detective with the Michigan State Police has confirmed an investigation into possible misuse of funds related to Wexford County’s animal control fund has begun. Det. 1st Lt. Richard Simpson of the 7th District Headquarters in Williamsburg confirmed an investigation by Det. Sgt. Mark Henschell has been under way since the last week of January. Click here for more info.
Pet Talk on TV 7&4
Northwood Animal Hospital’s Dr. Klabunde will be hosting “Pet Talk” on on TV 7&4 News with Melissa Smith.
This LIVE TV segment will air every Wednesday morning at 6:25 am starting February 2nd and will discuss your pet’s health.
Special thanks for the kitty photo to: Holly Granken, MoonDragon Art and Photography
Wexford Board of Commissioners has History of Tapping Animal Control Fund
A closer look at accounting practices in Wexford County reveals the Board of Commissioners itself is not without fault when it comes to possible misuse of the Animal Control Fund. The current BOC has called Wexford County Sheriff Gary Finstrom to attend a special meeting today regarding oversight of funds related to the Wexford County Sheriff’s Department. Click here for the rest of the story.
UPDATE: Finstrom tells BOC he was following their lead on use of animal control funds – CLICK HERE
NOTE FROM EDITOR: I implore all of my Cadillac readers to email the new Board of Commissioners about your concerns and also to attend any public meetings on this matter. Unfortunately, sometimes the government doesn’t do the right thing unless they know they are being watched. Make sure that your voice is heard.
A Study of Michigan’s Puppy Pipeline
The Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan has completed a study of puppy-selling pet stores in Michigan. The primary goal of the study was to determine breeder information to help protect conscientious customers from unknowingly contributing to animal neglect and abuse in distant states.
Summary of the findings:
• There are approximately 50 puppy-selling pet stores in Michigan. Over half of the stores are located in the southeast Michigan. Wayne County has the most puppy-selling stores (10) followed by Macomb County (8).
• From 2009 to 2010, 17 pet stores imported approximately 5,000 puppies from other states according to interstate health certificates. On average 213 puppies are legally imported per month to pet stores.
• The Family Puppy/Family of Pets store is the largest chain, with five stores in the southeast Michigan area importing on average 118 puppies per month. V.I.P Pets is the second largest chain with four stores in west Michigan.
• A puppy may travel 1,200 miles before reaching a Detroit area pet store. Transportation from distant states causes stress in dogs and increases the risk of disease transmission.
• Many stores are operating without a prior pet store license.
• A variety of puppy peddling operations have increased with the lack of regulation. As families are losing their jobs they may be turning to the pet trade as an easy way to make extra money without experience or knowledge of canines, disease control or breeding standards.
These other forms of puppy-peddling were discovered:
– Puppy Garage Sales
Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness by going to their website here.
Michigan Dept. of Agriculture Grant Recipients
From Michigan Pet Fund
On January 24th the Michigan Department of Agriculture announced the new round of grant recipients from the Animal Welfare Fund. The funds are collected when Michigan residents file their tax returns and check the box to designate a contribution to the fund.
1. Eaton County Humane Society, $9,855
Total awarded $118,327. All the awards are for spay/neuter efforts.
Please Help Get a Bill Introduced into Legislature That Will STOP Lifetime Tethering of Dogs
It is a very sad sight to see a dog chained to a dog house day after day without any love or attention. Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained (or tethered), can become very aggressive. A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain. Click here to join the petition. Many states are passing this law. This petition is to show your support to Legislators. This is not a legal petition.
Michigan Citizen Takes on Dog Tethering
Many people are bothered by seeing dogs in their neighborhood stuck living their lives on a chain, but few know how to go about accomplishing the much-needed change. That’s how Annie Carlson of Michigan started out.
After frequently witnessing a dog chained to a doghouse and given little attention, Annie couldn’t stop thinking about the dog. Her husband suggested she start an online petition, where the focus was on educating the public. Now, less than a year later, Annie’s mission has grown into introducing a bill in Michigan with more strict tethering regulations. Click here for more info.
Top 10 Pet Medical Conditions of 2010
Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent nearly $43 million in 2010 treating the 10 most common medical conditions afflicting their pets. VPI, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 pet medical conditions from the previous year. Dogs, cats, and for the first time, exotic pets such as snakes, gerbils, and birds were included in the analysis. Below are the results:
For more info. click here.
Harrison Couple Starts Non-Profit to Save Pets
The cost of life-saving treatment for a pet can get expensive quickly. That’s why a Harrison couple started U Save Animals. Their goal is to keep animals from being put down just because their owners can’t pay for care. Click here for more on the story.
Caring for Pets in Tough Times
For some tips on caring for your pet during hard economic times, please click here.
Help for Pets in Holland
The Furry Friends Food Pantry in Ottawa County is ready to reach out to pet families in need. Their mission is to provide pet food for those facing hardship in these economic hard times and to keep all family members together. Located at 665 136th Ave. in Holland, they are open Thursday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. They require proof of ownership (dogs only), I.D. and proof of need (SSI, Bridge Card with recent purchase). Those needing food may pick up food every 2 weeks. Call 616-399-5160 for more info.
Update on Homeward Bound Animal Shelter
The no-kill Homeward Bound Animal Shelter in Manistee County has had some changes recently and now has a new board of directors. They are in need of donations to help them care for their animals, especially this winter with propane costs going up. The shelter takes no federal, state, or local funds, which means they rely almost completely on donations. Over the past 12 months, those donations are down, while the number of animals coming in is going up.
They are a licensed 501(c)3 non-profit no-kill shelter and they work with their local animal control to ensure that no adoptable pet is euthanized in Manistee County.
To volunteer or donate, please go to their website or give them a call.
Dog’s Body Left on Animal Control’s Trash Bin for Days in Traverse City
A recent Record-Eagle story about a dead dog left on top of a trash bin at the Grand Traverse County Animal Control prompted me to contact the county office for more information. I will update the website when I have updated info. on the incident and how the county will proceed to dispose of their animals in the future.
SUFA in Litigation for Alleged Financial Irregularities in Florida
Linda Gottwald, director of Traverse City’s animal rescue organization “Second Chance Ranch” was also the director of SUFA (Stand up for Animals) in Florida until September of 2010. SUFA was the animal organization/contractor in charge of the Middle Key Animal Control services in Monroe County, Florida.
An audit of SUFA was done by Monroe county after receiving a substantial increase from SUFA when they submitted their bid. After doing the audit, the county put a freeze on SUFA assets which led to Gottwald terminating the contract. A link to the findings from the county audit are here.
Later, another audit was done by the State Attorney’s Office. Their findings are here.
According to keysnews.com, SUFA submitted its complete response to the county audit that was released along with a package of more than 40 exhibits and financial accounting for all expenses going back to 2002. Read more about the response here or read the actual response at the link here.
This was sent to me by SUFA secretary Veronica Jordan:
Stand Up for Animals (SUFA) is an award winning animal advocacy organization that was founded in 2002 in Big Pine Key, Florida. SUFA has been recognized by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the State of Florida Florida Animal Friends program and the City of Marathon, Florida for its progressive work in maintaining no-kill, open enclosure animal shelters. SUFA currently operates Second Chance Ranch in Traverse City, Michigan and has a sister organization in Westerly, Rhode Island.
After eight years of contracting with Monroe County, Florida, SUFA entered contract negotiations in June 2010 for the 2010-2015 contract.
As negotiations became extremely contentious, Monroe County entered suit against SUFA, laying claim to adoption fees and donations and requested an injunction in order to prevent SUFA funds from being transferred to Michigan.
SUFA contends that, as a private contractor, they have the right to retain these fees and donations in reciprocation for the costs of altering and preparing animals for adoption. SUFA offers eight prior audits, all without irregularities, as evidence of fiscal responsibility. These are on file with Monroe County Public Works Department, (305-292-4560).
In order to obtain leverage in the contract dispute, Monroe County officials launched a smear campaign in local media. SUFA categorically denies all claims by Monroe County and has entered a countersuit. A hearing is expected to be held in December, 2010. Further details can be found in the most recent article discussing the litigation in Key West the Newspaper (www.kwtn.com), scheduled for release on Friday, Dec. 4, 2010. SUFA looks forward to serving the Traverse City area and invites review of our organization via GuideStar Charity listings. Visits to Second Chance Ranch may be scheduled by calling 305-393-0294.
Teen Charged for Killing, Beheading Cat
A Grawn teen severed a cat’s head, stuffed it in a plastic bag tied to his belt buckle, then showed off the trophy to friends, police said. Grand Traverse County prosecutors on Wednesday charged Jonathan David Cook, 18, with a felony count of killing or torturing animals. The charge against Cook is the first volley in a continuing probe of numerous cat killings and disappearances in the Blair Township area. Click here for more info.
UPDATE: Teenager arraigned on cat killings. Please click here.
UPDATE: Teen set for trial in cat-killing case. Click here.
Roscommon County Animal Shelter: A Success Story
In 1989, Roscommon Animal Shelter’s current animal control director, Terry MacKillop, started to volunteer at the shelter while pursuing his degree in criminal justice. At that time, the shelter had major problems with its staffing and the care of the animals at the shelter was dismal.
Very few animals were being adopted, there were no shelter hours, the animals were only fed once a day and the cages were only cleaned once a day. Up to five animals would sometime share the 8 kennels in the shelter and disease ran rampant. Terry started coming to the shelter in the mornings, evenings and on weekends to clean. He was hired as an assistant animal control officer in 1991 and was promoted to head ACO in 1993. In addition to that title, he is also the recently elected president of the Michigan Association for Animal Control Officers.
In 1993, Roscommon Animal Shelter was killing 95% of the animals that it took into the shelter and saving very few lives. They handled about 3000 dogs in that year alone and the shelter was always full. Euthanasias were done daily to make space and disease was still a factor as well. The county was out of control with litters of puppies. However, things were finally looking up for several reasons.
The group “Pets are Worth Saving” was instrumental in helping with animal care – volunteers made a big difference in the animals lives. In addition, the county’s animal ordinance was rewritten so that the shelter could enforce the animal laws and do the census. The shelter also got the support of the county commissioners and the public who knew the need to help the shelters and the animals. Other improvements included hiring staff to run the shelter and care for the animals seven days a week, opening adoption hours to the public. All of this was not done overnight, however the number of animals adopted started to increase immediately.
Today, a newer animal control building, along with community support, helps to save a lot more animals in Roscommon county.
The Roscommon Animal Shelter really started to turn things around with a little help from its neighbors in the form of a millage that was passed in 2005 (with 2 to 1 in favor). The millage amounted to only about $7.00 per household on the average and will be up for renewal in 2011. The funds will be used for the continued operation of the facility.
The money invested in the shelter with the 2005 millage helped build the new 8400 sq ft. facility vs. 900 sq. ft. in the old building. The shelter, which sits on 20 acres, can now care for 60 to 80 cats instead of 30 at the old facility. They also have doubled their dog capacity from 15 to more than 30, with the ability to handle more in an emergency. The building allows for a much improved quality of care for the animals and a more friendly and comfortable environment for animals, volunteers and adopters.
The shelter was designed by MacKillop who had in his mind the vision of the perfect shelter for years. Every room has a purpose and is easy to clean with drains in every room and easy-to-wash walls. There are isolation rooms, a grooming room, a medical room and much more.
Although the county millage provides for a majority of the shelter’s operating costs, the shelter wouldn’t have the high save rate it does if not for donations and volunteers. They make it possible for the shelter to hold on to its animals until they can be adopted or transferred to rescue organizations. Donations pay a major part of animal medical care and other items not in the shelter budget including mobile adoptions, equipment and other necessities.
The Roscommon Animal Shelter does not officially call itself a no-kill shelter but it strives to be one. In 2009, they took in 542 dogs and euthanized two. They also took in 713 cats and euthanized 59. If an animal is very sick, aggressive or not able to be rehabilitated, then the shelter considers that animal to be unadoptable. They don’t want any of their animals to suffer and they want to be able to adopt out a safe animal to the public. They do not make assumptions about an animal’s adoptability based on breed or age. They work at the shelters to place their animals and use every resource available – rescue groups, breed rescue groups, mobile adoptions, media outlets and more. They keep their Petfinder website updated with heartwarming stories about the pets in their care and maintain a pet waiting list for people who are looking for specific animals. They also participate in the “Meet Your Best Friend at the Detroit Zoo” in the spring and fall which is a great adoption outlet and they show up at as many mobile adoption evens as possible. The shelter also offers a low-cost spay/neuter program for the cats in Roscommon County.
Unlike a lot of shelters, Roscommon places a high priority on returning animals to their original owners. Since their shelter is open 7 days a week, it gives the public a good chance to claim their pets. They also work their lost and found list very determinedly and scan for microchips (as well as offering microchipping to the public). They strongly support tagging your pet. 95% of animals who are tagged, return to their owners and 95% of those who aren’t tagged, never see their homes again.
They encourage owners who have lost their pets to take photos of their pets to their local animal control or shelter when they are lost. An owner’s verbal description of a pet can vastly differ from an animal control officer’s understanding of a pet. Don’t wait too long to contact your local shelter. By Michigan law, shelters are only required to hold an animal without a collar for four days and 7 days with a collar.
Feral cats, like at any shelter, are a tough issue, however if there is a person who will maintain them, the shelter will fix them and release them to that person.
Because of the economic conditions in Michigan, the shelter is seeing an increase in abandoned animals. People are losing their homes and their jobs but they are also making poor choices when choosing a “free” animal from a newspaper ad. Quite often, people don’t understand the care that the animal will need or how big the pet will get. Young people who rent cannot provide proper care and divorces turn otherwise good pet owners into people who use the animals as leverage or get rid of them altogether. Little to no training also leads people to not being able to understand or control their pets.
The shelter currently needs all kinds of volunteers – people who can clean kennels, computer people, help with events, dog walkers, cookie bakers, cat groomers and more. There are all sorts of areas where people can help the shelter with fundraising and making a shelter pet’s life more comfortable. Staff members and volunteers are very much appreciated at the shelter. Terry MacKillop says, “Every animal adopted is a victory and every animal that is rescued is a feather in my staff hat. This is a group effort.”
The Roscommon Animal Shelter is a great example of what can be done when dedicated shelter staff and volunteers work together along with the support of the community to help save the lives of cats and dogs in their care.
Grand Traverse County Animal Control – Working with Local Agencies to Save the Lives of More Cats & Dogs
Tucked away on Keystone Road, right at the end of the current road construction, is the Grand Traverse County Animal Control building. You might not know it, but they’ve been there for about 35 years.
According to the county’s website the Animal Control Division in Grand Traverse County is an extension of the Communicable Disease Program for the control of rabies and other zoonotic diseases. Because of that, the division is run by the Health Dept. There are two licensed and full-time Animal Control officers, Ed Hickey and Cindy Burkhardt. Ed has been with Animal Control fifteen years and previously ran the Cedar Wildlife Rescue. Cindy has been with Animal Control for seven years. There is also a part-time worker on the weekends who cleans the cages and takes care of the animals.
The building has 18 kennels and there are also several additional crates. These crates can be used for smaller dogs or in the event of an emergency such as a hoarding case or large seizure of animals. There are also outside kennels for the dogs which are used as often as possible, weather permitting.
The day I chose to visit, they had seven dogs on site, three of them very small dogs that were going to be transferred to the Cherryland Humane Society the next day – a terrier mix, a chihuahua and an older Pug mix. (PICS). While we talked, Animal Control officer Ed Hickey let them run around the main area where the kennels are. They chased each other excitedly and jumped up and down, vying for our attention.
It is the collaboration with AC Paw, Cherryland Humane Society and Handds that has greatly improved a dog’s chances of survival in our county. In 2009, 402 dogs were in the custody of Animal Control. 101 of these dogs were redeemed by their owners, 204 were transferred to rescue groups and 97 were killed. Animal Control destroys dogs that are aggressive to people and are also dog aggressive, as the county’s policy does not allow dangerous dogs to be released back into the public. However, if a dog is sick or injured, it does not automatically have to be killed. Animal Control have a $200 per animal discretionary fund to be used for “life support” to aid in vet bills or medicine for a dog that needs it.
The hardest part of the job, according to Ed Hickey, is the size of the county. With only two full-time officers, limited on-site hours and often having to drive from one end of the county to another, there are just never hours in the day to do what they’d like to. Hickey says that unfortunately, dealing with the animals is only about 20% of the job. The rest of the time they are dealing with people and settling disputes in which the animals end up in the middle of.
The Animal Control officers have both a Banfield Imax and Avid scanner used to check dogs for microchips when they arrive at Animal Control. They stressed that if your dog is lost, it is important that you make regular visits to the Animal Control shelter to prevent any mistake in identification of your dog. The officers are in the building from 8:30 am to 10 am and then again from 4 to 5 pm. While the officers are there, they clean, feed and transport the animals as well as take phone calls. When they are on the road, they are responding to calls on loose dogs, animal cruelty and other animal-related issues. Dog bites are given the first priority for response because of Animal Control’s responsibilities within the Health Department. Animal Control offers are able to write tickets but cannot make arrests.
Dogs that have licenses are held for 7 days and those who don’t have a license are held for four days. After that, Animal Control can either destroy the animal or give it to an approved animal rescue organization. Animal control officers Ed and Cindy do everything they can to offer the adoptable dogs to the local rescue groups and that is something we can all appreciate. The more we can all work together, the more lives we can save.
I came across this website and wanted to pass it along to you concerning an anti-tethering position. Here’s what the site says…
It is a very sad sight to see a dog chained to a dog house day after day without any love or attention. Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained (or tethered), can become very aggressive.
A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain.
Please help get a Bill introduced into legislature that will stop lifetime tethering of dogs. Many states are passing this law. The petition is to show your support to legislators. This is not a legal petition. Click here for more info.
A Step in the Right Direction for Livingston County Animal Control
Concern Citizens for Livingston County’s Homeless Animals has been invited to sit on a Volunteer Advisory Committee for the Livingston County Animal Control Shelter. Using volunteers is new for the shelter. Cyndi Beauchamp coordinator for the group will assume the committee role having recently met with the shelter manager and Director of the Health Department to provide input on the Volunteer Manual.
Pit Bulls Have to be Spayed or Neutered in Ypsilanti
On October 19, the Ypsilanti Board of Trustees approved an ordinance that requires all pit bull owners to spay or neuter their pets. The board also unanimously passed a second ordinance that will allow animal control officers to impound any animal found in violation, and for officers to get authorized entry through the Township attorney to any premises holding the animals. The law aims to address a multitude of pit bull-related problems in Ypsilanti Township, including pit bull overpopulation, backyard breeding, aggressive animals, and dog fighting.
According to data provided by Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV), nearly 50 percent of all pit bulls brought to the shelter are from Ypsilanti Township. HSHV has procured a grant through PetSmart Charities that will allow free spay and neutering for pit bulls over the next year and a half.
Organization in Lansing Helps People Keep Their Pets
Imagine having to say goodbye to your best friends just when you need them the most. The Pet Support Services group has assisted people with special needs in keeping, feeding and caring for their companion pets since 1997. They help seniors and people with a serious illness or disability because caring for a pet can be difficult. For more information, please see their website here.
Northern Michigan Animal Rescue Network Helping Pets All Over the Region
The Northern Michigan Animal Rescue Network, Inc. (NMARN) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was organized to carry out rescue efforts that aid cats and dogs and other domestic animals. They are working on establishing a network of volunteers to transport animals in need of vet care and also to safe shelters, foster homes or permanent homes. They are actively recruiting, organizing and training volunteers, promoting animal welfare and the prevention of cruelty to animals as well as educating the public regarding issues facing animals. Please check out their website here. You can also become a fan of their FaceBook page here.
Why It’s Important to Groom Your Pet
Grooming and playing are two great ways to bond with your pet. Grooming also gives you an opportunity to monitor your pet’s overall health and gain their trust. Click here for more info.
Spay Michigan Offers Low Cost Spay/Neutering
Spay Michigan is a service that helps connect those offering low-cost spay/neuter to those looking for a low-cost spay/neuter program. If you have such a service and it is not currently listed, contact Spay Michigan to get your program listed. If you need a low-cost spay/neuter program – check out what is available. Click here for more info.
Cherryland Humane Society’s Response to No-Kill Proposal
As many of you know, I submitted a no-kill plan to the Cherryland Humane Society last year with the help of the non-profit group Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. This group offered to help CHS in the writing of a no-kill strategic plan (free of charge) as well as an offer of free grant writing. As of today, neither offer has been accepted.
Many of you have called and emailed me over the last few months inquiring about the status of the no-kill proposal and if CHS has had any response to it. After several emails to them, I recently received a letter from Mike Cherry, the executive director. This is the response in its entirety:
“The ongoing CHS “no-kill” initiative, including your proposal and those of others, are incorporated into the CHS long-range plan (Plan for Animal Welfare Success III, 2020, or P.A.W.S. III, 2020). The initiative is a continued effort and as it relates to the long-range plan, that planning is currently underway. It includes several related elements that are vital to the accomplishment of the initiative. Questions concerning the “no-kill” effort or any other planning efforts can be directed to the CHS Executive Director Mike Cherry at 231-946-5116.”
I would suggest that you do what Mike Cherry requests – call him with questions. Some of mine would include…
• What specific programs are you implementing?
• How soon will they be implemented?
• Why will it take 10 years to implement some of your programs when it has taken other shelters only a year to be no-kill (this question is based on the fact that “2020” is in the title of their program). The Washoe County shelter in Nevada made a commitment to be “no kill” and achieved that status within a year.
• When will the final long-range plans be made public?
• How will you be measuring progress when you put your new initiatives in place?