Category Archives: Events

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.


Pets Naturally Having Donation Drive for Cherryland Humane Society

Pets Naturally in Traverse City is having a donation drive for Cherryland Humane Society through February 9th. Any items purchased at Pets Naturally for donation will be 15% off (including clearance items). All products donated will be going to the shelter.

Grand Rapids ArtPrize Includes Many Dog, Cat and Horse Art Entries

Photos and Descriptions Courtesy of ArtPrize

ArtPrize is underway in Grand Rapids and Pet Friends Magazine has found many entries that are cat, dog or horse related. ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition that takes place for 19 days each fall. This year’s competition runs through Sunday, October 8th. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded every year which includes a $200,000 public vote prize and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.

Art is displayed at many different venues in Grand Rapids as well as being showcased online. To sign up to vote, please go to the link here which includes directions on how to vote on your computer or to download a mobile app. Photos and artist’s entry information are below. Click on the name of the entry to go to that page and see the artwork and more about the entry.


1. Scout The Frisbee Dog









Scout, the Frisbee dog is a 3D cardboard/paper sculpture. Scout, appears to defy gravity while trying to grab a frisbee out of the air. His athletic pose creates a sense of anticipation and motion. The cardboard sculpture is painted to resemble a black and white border collie, the kind of dog you would likely see competing at an international frisbee dog competition. Overlapping layers of cardboard and paper gives Scout a life-like and whimsical appearance. Both the dog and frisbee are made of cardboard/paper, a renewable/recyclable material. Continue reading

Traverse City Offers Many Classes for Horse Lovers this Spring & Summer

Peace Ranch and NMC’s College for Kids is offering classes in May, June and July for both adults and kids who want to learn more about horses.

Below are some classes that are being offered…

Beginning May 22, 2017
Beyond Basics
Taught by Melissa Edingfield
Who: Anyone 16 or over
What: Must have completed Basics class or equivilant
When : Monday night for 5 weeks
Where: PEACE Ranch
2570 Hoosier Valley Rd., Traverse City
Beyond Basics is a novice class which will help students go to the next level in learning about equine communication and herd dynamics. This class will build and expand on Basics to improve their grasp on the art of conversation with horses using their language with a focus on improving listerning and communication skills. Register Here Cost: $230 Continue reading

Part-Time Afternoon Hours Currently Offered by the Grand Traverse County Animal Control Division


The current Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa, was hired as a Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officer in October of this year. he position is part-time and she works 25 hours a week, five hours a day, Monday through Friday. The service time for this position is 1 to 6 pm. If the public needs to talk with the officer, they can leave a message any time of day on the Animal Control telephone at 231-995-6080 and their call will be returned when the officer is on duty. The County’s website is now updated to reflect this new information here.

In emergency situations, the public should call 911 or Central Dispatch telephone number of 231-922-4450. The County will continue to track and monitor calls for Animal Control and shift hours if needed to accommodate the highest call volume times, particularly when the season Animal Control Specialist works in the late spring to summer months. 

Help Raise Money for the Animals During Shop Your Community Day November 12th in Traverse City


Shop Your Community Day is a yearly event in Traverse City to benefit non-profit organizations. For every purchase that residents make at participating stores, 15% of the sale will be donated to the non-profit organization of their choice. This year’s list of non-profit organizations which involve animals include: AC PAWCherryland Humane Society, For Animals, Peace Ranch, Wings of Wonder and the Northern Michigan Association of Western Horse Club.

Here is a flyer for the event which lists participating stores…


20th Anniversary of the Northport Dog Parade Coming Soon


The 20th Anniversary Northport Dog Parade will soon be here. This year’s theme is “Bark Wars” and the proceeds will benefit Black Sheep Crossing, Cherryland Humane Society and Silver Muzzle Cottage. Pre-registration is $5 per dog and can be done at Dog Ears Books, Pennington Collection or Tucker’s of Northport. Registration on the day of the parade is $10 per dog. Parade Day is Saturday, August 13th. Judging is from 9:30 am to 10:45 am at Mill Pond and the parade is at 11 am. Awards/prizes will be after the parade at Marina Park.

Grand Traverse County Primary Challengers to the Commissioners Speak Up About Animal Control

At the end of 2015, the Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted to eliminate the Animal Control Division from the Health Department and two Animal Control Officers were laid off. The incumbent Commissioners involved in this vote were Christine Maxbauer, Alisa Kroupa, Dan Lathrop, Ron Clous, Carol Crawford, Bob Johnson, and Sonny Wheelock Jr.. Some of these candidates have no primary challengers on August 2nd nor do they face opposition to their candidacy in November.

pug in commission room

The current Commissioners who have primary challengers in the upcoming August 2nd election were contacted along with their opponents for statements on what happened in the past, the current state of affairs and their opinions on the future of the Animal Control Division. Below are the statements of those candidates who chose to respond about the issue and a listing of those who didn’t.

COMMISSIONER – District 1 (Republicans)

Dan Lathrop – no response

Ross Childs

What do you think about how the Animal Control issue was handled, surprising the public and eliminating the Animal Control Officers and most of the Division’s services without any public input?

The transfer of the Animal Control operation was faulty from the beginning. It was done with little forethought and without any discussion with the parties involved. Animal Control was part of the Sheriff’s operation when I arrived in 1975. It was primarily used as a disciplinary action for deputies who had not performed well.

The Deputy was assigned to Animal Control for a period of time, the deputy did not appreciate the assignment, and neither did the animals or their owners. There was a complete lack of understanding what the rights of the Sheriff were with regards to the transfer.

Do you agree with the County’s current idea of only funding the Animal Control Division with current revenue (i.e. licensing fees) and not adding any addition funding to staff the division with two Animal Control Officers as it was in the past?

I believe that the primary funding for the operation should be license fees, and this should be subject to public input and analysis of the ability to pay. I also do not believe the operation requires 2 fully trained officers with coverage 7 days per week.

In 2015, two full-time Animal Control Officers responded to 636 calls. What do you think the County should do if one full-time or two part-time officers can not handle the number of calls the Animal Control Division gets?

My position would be that 1 full time or 2 part time officers would not provide the level of service desired. More important is the is the requirement for proper training and hiring individuals who have care and feeling for animals, and have good skills in dealing with the public.

Do you have any ideas on how you’d like the Animal Control Division to move forward in the future?

I believe that the Animal Control belongs under the Health Department, works closely with the Cherryland Humane Society, local veterinarians and local law enforcement agencies.

Do you support forming an Animal Control Advisory Committee made up of qualified community members?

A local Advisory Committee could be considered with composition to include representation from veterinarians, law enforcement, Cherryland Humane Society, and local concerned animal activist groups.

COMMISSIONER – District 3 (Republicans)

Alisa Kroupa – no response

Cheryl Gore Follett
When asked about what transpired in December of 2015 with the defunding of the Animal Control Division, Follett responded, “The County Commissioner’s initial response of moving animal control to law enforcement was obviously not well thought out. They reversed the decision several months after implementing it. Law enforcement is too busy protecting life and property to also take on the task of responding to issues involving animals.

However, animals, be they pets or animals in nature, need to be protected.  A county animal control officer needs to be available 24/7 to respond to safety issues involving animals.  As a pet lover I would be devastated if something happened to my dog and there was no one to respond to my concern because it was a Friday night. Finding the right funding model needs to be explored. There may be some natural partnerships within the community that would support this endeavor. I think most citizens would agree that our pets need to be protected.” Continue reading

Traverse City Film Festival Offers Up Some Dog Movies

The Traverse City Film Festival 2016 starts on Tuesday, July 26 and this year’s offerings have some movies that will interest pet lovers in our area!

photo credit:

photo credit:

The Champions
Saturday, July 30th at 3 pm
Sunday, July 31st at 9 am

In 2007, Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick was convicted of running a vicious and illegal dogfighting ring. After serving jail time, Vick was able to return home to lucrative endorsements and a continued NFL career—but whatever happened to the 50+ deadly pit bulls he left behind? “The Champions” tells the amazing, little-known story of the people who stepped in to try and spare the abused canines from almost certain death. Determined to give the surviving dogs a chance at a happy life, this group of animal lovers risked everything to prove that even the most “dangerous” of dogs could live in harmony with humans, and surprised themselves by being transformed through the process. This heartfelt story about four-legged stars who were bred for violence, and then were offered a second chance through love, is glorious proof that you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks. In Person: Director Darcy Dennett; Subjects Francis Battista, Paul and Melissa Fiaccone, and Rescue Dog Cherry! You can read more about the documentary here.

You can buy tickets to this film here. Continue reading

August 2nd Primary Elections Will Have Important Significance to Wexford County Pet Owners

Raine, is an adoptable cat at the Wexford County Animal Shelter

Raine, is an adoptable cat at the Wexford County Animal Shelter

Animal Control Departments and most Animal Shelters are government run by counties or cities. This means that the Commissioners and Sheriff have a big impact on the policies of the shelters and how many animals are saved or euthanized. The residents of Wexford County learned this in January of 2013 when allegations were raised about the misconduct of Animal Control Officers at the Animal Shelter and a subsequent Whistleblower lawsuit was file – and recently renewed in June.

In addition to voting for a new Sheriff and Commissioners, Wexford County will have an Animal Control Millage Renewal on the August 2nd ballot. In 2012, Wexford County voted for an Animal Control millage to fund their county Animal Shelter. It was a four-year millage request and asked for approximately $185,000 out of a $235,000 budget. In August, the voters will be asked to renew this millage for another four years. Continue reading

Previous K-9 Handler Challenges Appointed Kalkaska County Sheriff in Primary Election

The Kalkaska County Animal Shelter is run by the Sheriff’s Department which means they make the decisions how the department is staffed and operated.

Current Sheriff Patrick Whiteford was appointed to be Sheriff after Sheriff Abe DeVol passed away in November of 2015. He was born and raised in East Jordan and has been a member of the Kalkaska County Sheriff Department since 1999. He was the Undersheriff under DeVol. Whiteford did not respond to questions about the Animal Control Department and any future plans to make improvements.

Sheriff candidate John West

Sheriff candidate John West

Whiteford’s primary challenger on August 2nd is John West. West is a Clearwater Township resident. In addition to being in the Coast Guard and being a Police Officer for 13 years, West was a K-9 Handler, Trainer and Instructor. He was awarded K-9 Handler of the Year by Wisconsin K-9 Handler Association; won several Wisconsin K-9 Handler Association Awards; and he was a previous Board Member with Wisconsin Law Enforcement K-9 Handlers Association.

When West was asked about his thoughts on Kalkaska County’s Animal Control Department and any future improvement he might make, he responded, “First and foremost I am a animal lover, always have been always will be. I was a police dog handler for 9 years, my partner was just that a partner! I wouldve done whatever it would take to protect him as much as he would to protect me. To answer your first question

I have personally faced some issues with the Kalkaska Sheriffs Department regarding a dog that was being abused. It was literally skin and bone when I called the Sheriff Department. I was told they didn’t have a squad available to investigate! That is wrong I know sometimes the Department is busy but it is still an animal in need, and animal control was not available. So yes I absolutely will make changes that I have the authority to do if elected! No animal should suffer anymore if the Sheriffs Department is aware of the issue! Morally that is right thing to do!” Continue reading

Woofers Adventure Club Kicks Into Gear for the Summer

photo credit: Woofers FB page

photo credit: Woofers FB page

Sunday, June 5th was the kick off event for the Woofers Adventure Club (WAC). This is a new, unique opportunity for dogs and their people to get outside, get active and get connected. Group trail hikes, fitness fun classes and dog-friendly social hours are on their summer agenda. The WAC is especially great for those with newly rescued dogs, puppies or really any friendly, healthy, active dog. Hosted by local dog walking/running and pet sitting service Woofers On The Run. Events take place at various locations around Traverse City and require advance registration. Details on the Woofers On The Run Facebook page, event page and website.

All ages, breeds and fitness levels are invited. There are 11 more meetings scheduled between now and the end of August.

Donations Needed by Early August for Military Working Dogs & Their Handlers Overseas


Care packages will be packed in August for military working dogs and their handlers who are overseas. Sun Dog Kennels has also hosted two previous Military Working Dog Team Support Association (MWDTSA) carepacks with a wonderful group of volunteers who come to help and show their support. The end result this Fall will be 200 boxes packed after months of planning the themed carepacks. This third group of carepacks will be themed “Talk Like a Pirate” and the carepacks will be in hand overseas by September 19th, which is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

image1 Continue reading

Dancing Lessons Offered for Cherryland Humane Society Fundraiser

Jessica Mason with Sally, an adoptable dog at Cherryland Humane Society

Jessica Mason with Sally, an adoptable dog at Cherryland Humane Society

Cherryland Humane Society and Jessica Mason, Ms. Michigan State America 2016, are teaming up for “Dance to Donate,” a series of dancing lessons at the animal shelter May 10th through 31st. The lessons will be held in the Cherryland Humane Society’s multi-purpose room from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays during the month of May. Every week, participants will learn new dances with no experience or partner required.

The schedule of classes is as follows:

5/10: Beginning ballroom (waltz and foxtrot)

5/17: Intro to swing/jitterbug

5/24: Bolero, the slow dance cheat sheet

5/31: Salsa! Basics of Latin rhythm

If you can walk, you can ballroom dance. Mason breaks everything down to very basic steps at a slow pace before moving to a quicker rhythm.  These classes are great for wedding prep, date night, fitness, girls night out, and more. All ages and ability levels welcome! It’s a chance to unwind after work and have some fun while giving to a great cause. Continue reading

Running with Dogs – 5K9 Walk/Run Supports TART Trails


What’s better on a Saturday morning than taking a walk or run with your favorite dog buddy? Saturday, May 14th at 9 am is the date for the 7th Annual Tails for Trails. This 5K fun run/walk on the scenic Vasa Pathway is a unique opportunity to mingle with other dog owners and experience the trails with your canine friends. You can also choose to do a 3K route if you wish. No need to worry about running. You can take a leisurely stroll if you and your dog choose.

Registration is $20 per person and $40 for families through May 6th or $25 per person and $50 for families after May 6th. You can sign up at the TART website here.

Dogs receive a goodie bag with D.O.G. Bakery treats and promotional dog items including a bandana for every dog. Free professional photos will be available to download after the run for free. There will be pet friendly prizes for the top three adult finishers and also for the top kid finisher (10 and under). Also at the event will be agility equipment for dogs to demo and local groups AC PAW and Cherryland Humane Society will bring adoptable dogs to meet. Cherryland is asking everyone to bring gently used shoes and boots of any size or kind to donate to their “Shoes for Shelters” Program. Ten pairs will earn you a FREE Cherryland Pet Product Discount Card.

The family-oriented event for runners and walkers of all fitness levels is sponsored by Bay Area Pet Hospital, Northwood Animal Hospital, Great Lakes Pet Memorial & Crematory, D.O.G. Bakery, Woofers on the Run and Pets & Peeps Photography.

If you have any questions, please call TART Trails 231-941-4300.

March Pet Supply Drive Benefits Local Animal Shelter and Rescue Groups

For the month of March, Sleeping Bear Riders is having a fundraiser for animals in need. A donation box is set up at Grand Traverse Pet Supply at 1185 W. South Airport Rd. in Traverse City and also at Pets Naturally in Traverse City. All supplies and food donated will go to Cherryland Humane Society, AC PAW and the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County. Pets Naturally is offering 10% off all items donated for the food drive.

Sleeping Bear Riders is an officially chartered AMA Social Club of Motorcycle Enthusiasts who love to ride and have fun. Continue reading

Snow, Dogs and Fun Abound at the Annual Winter Dog Walk!

pet sitters walk

Join Pet Sitters Network North for a frolicking good time at their fourth annual Winter Dog Walk on Saturday, March 12th.

The walk, in celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, begins at 1:00 pm at the Silver Lake Recreation Area by the Pavilion. The high-spirited afternoon includes a goody bag for each participant filled with local dog-related special offers plus a doggie treat courtesy of D.O.G. Bakery. After the walk, take advantage of the beautiful facilities and give your pup the opportunity to romp at the dog park with some of his or her new friends.

Open and free to the general public, the walk raises funds for the Silver Muzzle Cottage, Senior Dog Rescue and Hospice, a 501(c)3 program dedicated to provide senior, disabled and hospice dogs the chance to live out their remaining life with love and dignity. Continue reading

AuCaDo Rescue Launches Shoe Collection Drive to Raise Money for Surgery of Deaf Dog

AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue is conducting a shoe collection drive now through November 10th, 2015 to raise funds for AuCaDo Rescue named Mya. The funds will be used for the last of three surgeries to fix Mya’s leg from a past injury.”


The AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue is based out of Remus, Michigan, which is about 25 minutes west of Mt. Pleasant. They foster these dogs and adopt them out after they are microchipped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and evaluated. Their mission is to reduce the overwhelming amount of homeless Australian Cattle Dogs, who are often given up because of a pet owner’s lack of knowledge of the breed.

During this fundraiser, AuCaDo Rescue organization will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected as Funds2Orgs will purchase all of the donated goods.  Those dollars will benefit AuCaDo Rescues. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used or new shoes  at AuCaDo Animal Protection Shelter, 3861 12 Mile Rd, Remus, MI 49340 Phone: 989-330-5147. Continue reading

Northern Michigan Author Releases Book Inspired by Traverse City Radio Host’s Passing of Dog


photo credits: Richard Alan Hall’s FB Page

A book launch for Northern Michigan author Richard Alan Hall took place in downtown Traverse City at Horizon Books on September 19th. “No Gray Twilights” features a seeing-eye dog—a Golden Retriever by the name of Little Miss.

talking to crowd

While writing No Gray Twilights, Hall’s friend Colleen Wares experienced a significant loss when her dog Daisy, which she had raised from a pup, died. Wares, a popular and respected host on WTCM radio, shared news of Daisy’s declining health, subsequent passing and the grief she experienced through loving and heart-wrenching Facebook posts. For the rest of the story, click here.

crowd at horizon

To buy the paperback on Amazon, click here.

Pup North Opens Retail Store October 17th


Popular e-retailer Pup North – which launched last fall offering “apparel and accessories designed for Michigan’s four-legged explorers” – is opening a brick-and-mortar store at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City.

Co-founders Rachel Tompkins and Lauren Maxwell will host their grand opening October 17 in the Mercato in Building 50. “We’ll have an emphasis on Michigan-made, high-quality dog gifts and accessories such as leashes, toys and treats,” says Maxwell, who adds the store will also offer “human apparel” and goods.

Service Dogs Being Trained for Northern Michigan Veterans

Kimberly Wattles-Prud'homme and Trace.

Kimberly Wattles-Prud’homme and Trace.

All across the United States, there have been numerous stories about how service dogs are helping veterans cope with PTSD and other issues resulting from their service to our country. Although the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs says that there is not enough research yet to know if dogs actually help treat PTSD and its symptoms, there is flood of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise. More and more organizations are being started all over the country to train dogs so they can be matched with veterans. Now there is hope for veterans living in central and Northern Michigan in the counties of Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Wexford, Otsego, Charlevoix, Antrim, Isabella, Gladwin, Roscommon, Midland, Bay, Clare and Marquette.

A Northern Michigan organization called Dogs in Honor (DIH) pairs and trains veterans with service dogs to create a healthy, mutually beneficial working team. Often these dogs can bring a veteran out of depression and isolation and gives them the ability to function more normally in a public setting. Dogs can be trained to retrieve objects, help with balance, help a veteran to get up, remind them to take medicine, alert them to things such as nightmares, stand guard, snuggle, distract them and relieve their stress and anxiety – in addition to being a constant companion. Continue reading

Will the Berrien County Commissioners Finally Stop Gassing Dogs and Cats to Death? Debate Set for Thursday.

photo credit:

photo credit:

UPDATE: Berrien County Commissioners vote unanimously on August 27th to discontinue using the gas chamber to kill their shelter pets. They will stop using the gas chamber within 90 days. Read more about it here.

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is meeting on Thursday, August 27th, to discuss keeping the carbon monoxide gas chamber at the animal shelter and its continued use in a new facility. Although the debate on animal euthanasia is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. those who wish to make a public comment about the issue need to be there at 8:30 a.m. when the Board meeting begins. The public will be allowed two minutes for each person to make a comment just after roll call and minutes approval. The meeting, which will be held at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St. in St. Joseph, will include a presentation given to the BOC. While there may be discussion amongst the Board of Commissioners, it is not anticipated that any formal action will be taken during this meeting.

Animal Control Director Val Grimes, who will attend Thursday’s meeting, has endorsed the gas chamber, arguing that it’s safer for staff and less painful for animals. Although other news articles have said that at least six commissioners have stated their willingness to get rid of the gas chamber, none of these commissioners have been named and none of them responded with their position to go on record when emailed by Pet Friends Magazine.

Consider a dog named Sam who sits in a cage in a Berrien County Animal Shelter and sadly waits for its owner to come find him. He wonders, “where are mom and dad?” He had gotten loose from his tie out in the yard and decided to explore. He kept exploring for almost a month. He even ended up in another county after running a lot and hitching a ride with a few passing cars. Then someone found him and brought him to the Berrien County Animal Shelter. His mom and dad didn’t know where he is – they aren’t even searching for him in the right county. Continue reading