Category Archives: News

Sir Alexander, Kingsley Hoarding Case Dog at Cherryland Humane Society, Making Progress and Up for Adoption

Sir Alexander is one of the many Royalty dogs (Kingsley hoarding case) that are having an extremely hard time adjusting to their new lives. Alexander would quake, shake, move himself in a corner, tuck his face away, and hide however he could whenever anyone would look at or approach him.
There are a handful of Royalty dogs still exhibiting these behaviors and are being worked with daily. These behaviors stem from not being socialized with people. They are frightened of the unknown. They don’t know what affection or care feels like. Many of these dogs are being exposed to attention and affection for the first time.

Alexander was one of the most fearful Royalty dogs. He needed some serious tender love and care.
That’s when Alexander became Tia’s office buddy. Click here for more of Sir Alexander’s story.



Michigan Dept. of Ag Finishes Investigation at Ingham County Animal Control

The Ingham County Animal Control was investigated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture after a report was made public alleging that they neglected the pit bulls in their care that they were supposed to be taking care of for a court case involving dogfighting.

Further investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture found that they violated three acts under the Pet Shops, Dog Pounds and Animal Shelter Act which regulates Michigan animal shelters. The shelter was fined $2500 for not properly registering with the state, failing to sanitize primary enclosures for dogs to prevent disease and failing to provide enough employees for proper care of the animals. The shelter has not disputed these allegations. Continue reading

Michigan Barn Cat Program Matching Farmers with Feral Cats

Got mice? The Michigan Barn Cat Program has a solution. The organization is looking for barns in St. Clair County that are in need of natural, toxin-free rodent control. The program, which is part of a broader effort to solve the area’s exploding population of feral cats, is designed to serve cats, farmers and the community by placing vaccinated and spayed or neutered cats with residents looking for outdoor cats to keep mice and other rodents out of barns and sheds. Click here for the rest of the story.

Silver Muzzle Cottage in the Running for Eagle Rare Life Award

60 Second Dogs, an organization that produces documentaries, has nominated Silver Muzzle Cottage for an Eagle Rare Life award.

Stories are submitted in six categories including courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character and heroism. The top five finalists to receive the most votes in each category will be considered for a category prize of $5,000. A panel of judges will then evaluate the top ten nominees across all categories to determine the winner of the Eagle Rare Life Award the winner will receive a $50,000 Grand Prize which will be donated to the charity or cause of the winner’s choice.

Kim Skaritt, founder of Silver Muzzle Cottage is excited and proud that her non-profit organization was nominated to be in the running for these awards. Silver Muzzle Cottage is based out of Rapid city and is a rescue and hospice for senior dogs. To date, they have rescued 138 dogs. If Silver Muzzle was able to win the grand prize, Skaritt says that the money could be used to offer more proactive assistance to help those who wish to keep their senior dogs and more dogs could be rescued by making improvements to the facility. She asks that you vote every day and share the link here.

30-Year-Old Michigan Cat Dies After Being Shot With BB Gun

The owners of a 30-year-old cat in Michigan had to put their beloved pet down this month after he was shot outside of his home with a BB gun. The incident happened over Labor Day Weekend and has shocked the community on the west side of the state. East Grand Rapids Mayor Amna Seibold shared the story on her Facebook, reminding her residents that BB guns are not toys and shooting any kind of gun in the city is not allowed. Click here for the rest of the story.

Cherryland Humane Society Needs Your Help to Bring in Animals Affected by Florence

With Hurricane Florence hitting down south, the Cherryland Humane Society wants to help rescue the animals affected. But after an animal hording situation in Kingsley back in July, the shelter is still full. Animal Control and Cherryland rescued 36 dogs and cats and while many are now in their forever homes, some still need some help. Click here for more info.

Animal Cruelty on the Rise in Michigan

Despite its scope, the animal abandonment case discovered in Kingsley in July, in which at least 38 animals were removed from a Voice Road residence and two people were arrested, is not an anomaly according to state and local records. Incidences of animal cruelty reported to the Michigan State Police rose 575 percent statewide between 2016 and 2017, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the MSP’s 2017 Quality Assurance Report. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford Co. Looking at How to Spend Donations given to Animal Shelter

During the last few years, Wexford County has had its share of financial issues. While most of those issues dealt with a lack of funds, recently the county has had to decide what to do with an influx of dollars. These dollars in questions came from a donation and that donation is for the sole purpose to benefit the Wexford County Animal Shelter. Click here for the rest of the story.

Kent County Euthanizes Dogs and Cats at Rate That ‘Shocked’ Advocates

The Kent County Animal Shelter euthanized two out of every five animals it took in last year. The state’s average euthanasia rate in 2017 for all open admission shelters was 14 percent, according to non-profit Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. Kent County’s euthanasia rate was 39 percent that year.Those figures don’t include pets euthanized at their owner’s request. Click here for the rest of the story.

Veterinary Technology Program Earns MSU Top 20 Ranking for College Veterinary Degrees

The Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine has been ranked one of the top 20 colleges in the nation for best veterinary degree according to College Choice, an online ranking source for students looking for the right fit for their interests and needs. Click here for the rest of the story.

Help End Breed Discrimination in Michigan

Urge your representative to support SB 741.

From Best Friends Animal Society

We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets in Michigan. Senate Bill 741 would eliminate breed discrimination in municipalities throughout our state. This important legislation has already passed the Senate and is now in the House.

We want our communities protected against dangerous dogs and we want abused dogs to be protected from reckless owners. SB 741 encourages local governments to enhance public safety for people and pets by focusing on the behaviors of the owner and the dog, while preserving property rights.  All Michigan residents who follow the right safety rules as responsible dog owners should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose. It’s that simple. Click here for the rest of the story.

Grand Traverse Animal Control Millage Passes

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

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

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

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

Couple Charged in Animal Abandonment Case in Kingsley

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

Unleashed Dogs a Problem in Traverse City

In March of 2018, the City of Traverse City repealed their dog ordinance to provide clarity in enforcing State laws. They repealed the city’s dog leash ordinance because it was duplicative of State law. Repealing the City’s ordinance didn’t eliminate leash regulations within the city. It was done so that Grand Traverse County Animal Control becomes the sole enforcer of the leash law.

However, also in March, an ordinance was passed in the city that regulates pets in parks within Traverse City limits. This ordinance means that city police can enforce unleashed dogs in the city parks as well as Grand Traverse County police.

This ordinance 1064.11 Pets in Parks. states that no person shall bring or allow any dog or other pet in any park unless the dog or pet is kept on a leash not over eight feet in length, and under the immediate control of a responsible person. Dogs are (only) permitted to be off-leash in city parkland which has been designated as an off-leash area by resolution of the City Commission subject to compliance with the rules and regulations adopted for the designated off-leash areas (dog parks). Continue reading

Pets Get More Options In And Around Traverse City

A growing number of local outdoor eateries, hotels and businesses are opening their doors to pets – and Norm Bowbeer is keeping track. As a bellman, concierge and shuttle driver at the pet-friendly West Bay Beach (a.k.a. Holiday Inn), he really thinks of his job title as Director of Fun. “I work at a pet-friendly hotel, and guests ask me ‘Where can we go?’” he says. So Bowbeer took it upon himself to compile such a listing. It includes some two-dozen outdoor restaurants and pubs in Traverse City, Old Mission, East Bay and Leelanau County. They include the Shed Beer Garden in Old Town, where dogs can eat from their own menu, including the Healthy Hound (crispy salmon treats with rice), the Puppy Patty (a beef burger with cheese), or a gluten-free D.O.G. biscuit. Click here for more on the story. Continue reading

Dog Park, Gardens Planned For Traverse City Civic Center

On the heels of the renovation of Easling Pool, a new community playground, an expanded Norte cycling clubhouse, and a partnership with Parallel 45 to launch an outdoor summer play repertory, two more improvement projects are planned for the Grand Traverse County Civic Center – including the creation of Traverse City’s first east-side dog park. Click here for more on the story.

Man, Woman to Face Charges in Grand Traverse County Animal Hoarding Case

The two people accused of animal neglect in Grand Traverse County will soon be charged for the crimes, and possibly more. Northern Michigan’s News Leader got a copy of court documents that show Lacie and Joseph Plowman are the owners of the home where the animals were found. We have brought you live to the scene every day since Monday on Voice Road near Paradise Road in Paradise Township. Click here for more on the story.

Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette, Gives Public Support for Career of Fired Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa

Grand Traverse County Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette has been the county’s leading animal control advocate on the Board of Commissioners since she was elected to represent District 3. She is up for re-election this year and faces two Republican primary challengers in August, Brad Jewett and Suzanne Maxbauer (Christine Maxbauer’s sister).

Gore Follette been a leading voice to make sure that the animal control division is fully staffed and fully funded, always voting to support the animals, pet owners and taxpayers in our county. She formed an animal control ad-hoc committee to look into animal control issues and she also advocated to put an animal control millage on the ballot so that the animal control division is fully funded for three years. 

Regarding the recent firing of Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa, Gore Follette has decided to speak out in support of Zerafa’s work for the county. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County Fires Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa

Grand Traverse County fired Animal Control Officer, Deb Zerafa today. In a nine-page corrective action form, they accuse her of inaccuracies in her mileage logs, submitting inaccurate time records and engaging in conduct that didn’t meet 4th amendment requirements even though Zerafa is a certified legal assistant and has a major in Pre-Law.

The county accused her of being “dishonest and deceitful several times” during her employment, including falsifying time and milage records and using the county vehicle for personal use.

The firing comes on the heels of Deb Zerafa passionately advocating at county commissioners meetings to address issues that need to be fixed the Animal Control Division, filing an age discrimination grievance when she wasn’t hired as the Animal Control Supervisor, doing several FOIAs to get information from the county, and also informing HR of her hostile working environment. Four days after notifying the county of her hostile working environment, she was put on leave. The correction action form clearly shows substantial effort and time was involved in collecting information on Zerafa’s entire career with the county and that it was started approximately a month after Animal Control Supervisor Jaime Croel was hired. Continue reading

Grand Traverse County, Keep Your Pets Secure During Fireworks and Air Shows – Click Here for Schedule and Animal Control Info. for Lost Dogs

More pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time all year. The scary sounds of fireworks, visitors coming in and out of the house the the Air Show with the Navy’s Blue Angels, can all be very scary things for our pets. Dogs will cower, hide and shake – and dart out of the door if not watched. Outside dogs can easily take off because of the noise and stress of the new events happening around them.

Animal advocate Suzanne Weiler came up with a schedule so that Grand Traverse County residents can be informed about which days the Traverse City events related to the Cherry Festival and the 4th of July will be happening: Continue reading

New Policies in Place for Grand Traverse County Pet Owners to Reclaim Their Lost Dogs

Grand Traverse County recently approved a memo of understanding regarding the contract between Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) and the county. The memo came about because CHS had concerns relating to individuals who surrendered dogs or claimed impounded dogs as part of animal control’s investigations into stray, neglected or abused dogs. Some of these interactions were creating an unpleasant and confrontational environment for the CHS staff. Both sides met to mitigate those negative encounters and drafted a memo. The changes make Grand Traverse County Animal Control the entity responsible for collecting fees and releasing animals at the shelter instead of CHS staff.

With the new policy, pet owners who have had their dogs impounded by animal control because they were at large will be contacted by Grand Traverse County Animal Control if the dog has ID. Pet owners are to call the office on Lafranier Road prior to reclaiming their dog from CHS. Continue reading

Cat Stuck in a Tree? Looking for a Local Lost & Found Facebook Page? Updated Resource List Spotlights Animal-Related Groups

Sometimes it’s hard to find what you need – even with Google. Pet Friends Magazine updated the Resource Link with a list of animal welfare groups, companies that can rescue cats stuck in trees, dog parks, K9 units, lost & found Facebook pages, animal sanctuaries and more. Check it out to see what’s around you and maybe you have missed out on knowing about! Click here to check it out.