In 2013, Vietnam veteran, Dennis Bigelow and his wife of 43 years, Becki, poured their life savings into a horse ranch that would change the lives of many. Today, Reining Liberty Ranch serves as an 11-acre home-away-from-home for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Each year, this unique non-profit organization provides healing for dozens of veterans and their families—as well as special-needs kids and at-risk teens—by helping them build powerful relationships with horses. Programs such as natural horsemanship and therapeutic riding are designed to foster improved physical, relational and emotional health. “At the beginning of the program, I was at my worst,” claims one veteran participant who, before learning about the ranch, had been fighting a losing battle with anxiety. “The timing couldn’t have been better. This farm became my sanctuary.” Continue reading
From the Traverse City Police Department…
We would like to welcome the newest officer to the Traverse City Police Department. K9 Drago who is currently in training with K9 handler Adam Verschaeve. They are training at Northern Michigan K9 in Harrison Michigan. We will keep you posted on the status of Ofc. Verschaeve and K9 Drago
Make no mistake. I am dog. I walk on all fours – most of the time. I drool over good food and get away with it – all of the time. When I make noises, I have a huge smile and go on with life. I cannot go everywhere with my human because I am not a certified service dog – though I am a certified dog through and through with no doubt. Barkingly, I have a job to do and it’s being the dog. It is an important role and one vital to my human’s survival. Knowing this, my human has more emergency contacts set up for me, should the need arise, than many humans do for their human children. My human willingly volunteers to do the same for other neighborhood dogs. Not the human children though – woof! Click here for the rest of the story.
Pirate was found under a trailer in the middle of February. The owners of the trailer called Roscommon Co. Animal Control about an injured cat whose eye was hanging out of the socket. The Animal Control Officer brought the cat to the shelter and it was purring despite the pain it must have been in. They took the cat to a veterinarian where it was immediately taken in for surgery for eye removal. The surgery was successful and Pirate got his stitches removed about two weeks after the surgery. The surgery cost about $800. Pirate returned to being a normal, playful and energetic teenage kitty and the shelter put some weight on him. He was neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and was adopted soon after he was ready for a new home. The Animal Shelter appreciates the generous donations and continued support of the animal lovers in their community so that they can continue to save cats like Pirate. If you are interested in donating towards Pirate’s surgery or future pets at the shelter, please call them at 989-366-0260.
Animal rights groups are up in arms over the thousands of animal welfare documents missing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website. The agency is facing two separate lawsuits from activist groups demanding that it restore the records in full — documents that include animal welfare violations at zoos, by breeders and in research labs. The USDA said it removed the records on Feb. 3 because it is involved in litigation, saying “in an abundance of caution” it was “taking additional measures to protect individual privacy.” Click here for more on the story.
If you foster a cat (and this includes dogs, too) make sure to save any and all receipts, and, if expenses add up to over $250 for the year, obtain a letter from the charitable organization that confirms your volunteer or foster status. Click here for more information.
The owners of three dogs on death row in Ionia County have been granted a new trial. The animals were found inside a pen with dead goats last summer and were later ordered to be destroyed. A new trial means the dog owners, including an Iraq War veteran who relied on his two dogs to calm and comfort him, will get a chance to present evidence they say exonerates the dogs. That evidence includes an animal control investigation that found the dogs could not have killed the goats. Click here for the rest of the story.
A former shelter dog is now a local hero. The Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba, Michigan, posted the story of how this abused shelter dog saved the life of a 3-year-old girl. Here’s what they posted:
Petunia arrived at the shelter last April with 2 broken legs, a belly full of carpet, broken ribs….all injuries happened at different times. Healed, her former owner recently convicted of animal abuse. Petunia has a new name …Peanut and a new chance at life…
Click here for the rest of the story.
A former animal control officer will spend a month in jail after using county money to pay for her own gas. Michelle Smith was sentenced to 30 days in the Wexford County Jail after pleading no contest to illegally using public funds last year. Click here for the rest of the story.
The Michigan Supreme Court denied a leave to appeal request from Wexford County regarding a whistleblower case involving the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office and Wexford County Animal Shelter.
In the order dated March 7, the court said it denied the request because it was “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court prior to the completion of proceedings ordered by the Court of Appeals.”
As a result, the appeals court’s June 7 decision regarding the lawsuit filed by a former animal shelter employee Kathy Dennis reversing part of a previous judgment made by the trial court stands. It now will return to 13th Circuit Court after the stay that was placed on the case in September is removed. Click here for more on the story.
While a group of animal advocates is still interested in potentially taking over operations of the Wexford County Animal Shelter, they are first going to do some due diligence.
That will come in the form of a Freedom of Information Act request to find out things such as three years of detailed expenses, agreements with vendors and any contracts the shelter might have. When that information will be requested and what, if anything, will be done in the future by the group known as the Animal Advocates of Wexford are unknown.
What is known, however, is some members of the Wexford County Human Resources and Public Safety Committee, as well as Wexford County Sheriff Trent Taylor, believe the volunteer group that works at the shelter is doing a great job. Click here for more on the story.
After a man was accidentally released from jail, police shot an aggressive dog when they went to re-arrest him. Yuriy Alekseykov was arrested and awaiting arraignment for retail fraud charges in Grand Traverse County. Click here for more on the story.