Category Archives: News

Traverse City Dog Returns Home Months Later After 73 Days Missing

Jennifer Janiga was starting to lose hope that she’d ever see her dog again when she got the call. 

Hazel, Janiga’s Bernese Mountain dog, had been missing for 73 days, presumably wandering the woods of northern Michigan after she slipped away from caretakers in March. Her owners had tried everything to find her.

“I went down every road, I walked through woods, I walked everywhere — I was frantic,” Janiga said.

But last week, when Janiga answered a call from her vet, she got the news she and her family had hoped for over two months: Hazel was safe. Click here for the rest of the story.


Know the Law – Michigan Leash and Dog Bite Laws

Michigan has a 100-year-old statute stating you must leash your dog when it’s in public. Some cities have even more specific laws, like how long the leash must be, for example. Different locales have different rules, so always be sure to know what the ordinances are where you live. Michigan leash law is very clear about dogs being under the physical control of their owner. Click here for the rest of the story.

128 Animals Rescued in St. Clair County Community’s Worst-Ever Hoarding, Animal Abuse Case

More than 100 animals were rescued from a home in the worst hoarding and animal abuse case ever seen in one St. Clair County community, officials said.

Authorities got a search warrant based on the smell and noise coming from the home.

The woman inside the home on Bauman Road near Gratiot Avenue in Columbus Township had no comment about the case. Click here for more on the story.

Know Your Michigan Fireworks Laws for the Sake of Your Anxious Pets

Fireworks are always unsettling to our pets but there is not much we can do about the laws that allow them. In December of 2018, changes to the fireworks law were made by House Bill 5940 which defined new specific dates and times consumer-grade fireworks are legal. Most townships and cities changed their ordinances to match the state law but others have more lenient dates and times. Townships and other localities can be more lenient than state laws are but not more restrictive.

If you are hearing or seeing fireworks that fall outside of the legal dates and times, please report this to your local police department. Local police MUST enforce the laws even if there is no noise ordinance where you live. If the police refuse to enforce the law, please inform them of the dates and times the fireworks are allowed and go up the chain of command in that police department if needed – including showing up at the next township or county commissioners meeting to make them aware that your complaints aren’t being taken seriously. With the 4th of July coming up, everyone needs to be aware of when fireworks are allowed in the state of Michigan under the new law. Continue reading

No Charges Filed Against Roscommon County Couple who Tried to Drown Kittens


The Sheriff’s Office investigated a complaint of alleged animal cruelty last weekend. The Prosecutor’s Office released this statement today after reviewing the incident, and requested that we post this publicly.

“Our office has received calls from local media as well as others regarding the recent report of an attempted drowning of kittens by a couple in our county on June 7, 2019. This occurred in the Higgins Lake area where there has been an issue with feral cats and more recently with feral kittens. The couple, ages 90 and 78, recently noticed a strong odor in their garage and that feral cats were destroying their property by urinating/defecating on personal items. Two different sets of feral kittens were born in their garage over the last couple weeks. Continue reading

Dog-Friendly Vacation Ideas in Northern Michigan

What’s a trip Up North without your canine companion wagging its tail by your side? After searching for the best dog-friendly vacation spots in Northern Michigan, we have a fun guide for you and your furry best friend. Click here for the rest of the story.

Bipartisan Voices Urge USDA to Implement Puppy Mill Reforms

photo credit: Humane Society of the United States

With one month to go before public comment closes on a federal rule that would curb some of the worst practices at puppy mills, some prominent voices are making the case for why the U.S. government needs to finalize this proposal and go even further to protect dogs from problem breeders who exploit and mistreat the animals in their care.

In a Washington Examiner op-ed today, Lara Trump, an adviser to President Trump, U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Brian Mast, both Florida Republicans, and former Florida Attorney-General Pam Bondi, urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finalize the rule with its “commonsense measures” that would prevent dog dealers and other licensees with terrible animal care violations from obtaining new licenses. The proposal would also require commercial breeders and other facilities regulated by the USDA to obtain annual hands-on veterinary examinations and life-saving vaccinations for dogs, and provide them with a continual source of fresh water.

The rule is a good first step, but, as the authors argue, it does not go far enough to ensure a decent quality of life for dogs in federally licensed commercial breeding operations. The USDA’s rules still allow commercial breeders to keep hundreds of dogs in small, stacked wire cages for their entire lives. “Dogs in commercial breeding operations deserve a decent quality of life, not just a clean bowl of water and an annual vet exam. They also deserve room to run, fresh air, and spacious, comfortable housing,” the op-ed states.

To go directly to the government website to make a comment, click here. You must post a comment by Tuesday, May 21at at 11:59 p.m. ET

For the rest of this story, please click here.

Dog Killed by Coyote in Interlochen Has Pet Owners Nervous

A recent post on the Facebook page “Lost and Found Traverse Kingsley Area Pets” about a dog snatched and killed by a coyote has many pet owners on high alert and nervous. Taylor Williams posted that her mom lost her little dog, Zoe, on Easter when it was attacked by a coyote right in front of her. It happened in the middle of a subdivision in Interlochen with houses all around. Because there was underground fencing, she believed her backyard was safe but it also made Zoe an easy target for a wild animal who was essentially stalking her dog.

Suggestions on ways to keep coyotes at bay include fencing (although they can climb over), lights, bells and radios, motion activated alarms and other ways of hazing them like noise makers. Williams suggests keeping a can of pennies nearby.

Pet Friends Magazine posted an article in October about a coyote spotted on video in the Traverse Heights area.

Michigan and Humane Society partner to end puppy mills

The State of Michigan is going to be working with both the U.S. and Michigan Humane Societies to shut down puppy mills in the state. Michigan’s Attorney General’s office has received nearly 20 complaints of puppy scams since 2017. It is reported that U.S. consumers spend at least one-billion dollars each year without knowing that they may be buying their dog from a dog scammer or puppy mill operator. Click here for the rest of the story.

Dogs, Cats would be Saved from Euthanasia Under New Michigan Bill

Ten of the 32 beagles that were recently rescued from a Michigan laboratory are already settling into their new homes, while the rest are awaiting adoption. A state lawmaker is hoping to give other lab animals a similar shot at a better life. Rep. Kevin Hertel, D-St. Clair Shores, is planning to introduce a bill Wednesday that would require facilities that perform experiments on dogs and cats to eventually make the animals available for adoption. Click here for the rest of the story.

St. Clair Shores Family Adopts Beagle Tortured in Kalamazoo Pesticide Testing Lab

A family in St. Clair Shores has adopted one of the beagles who was exposed to daily torture in a pesticide testing laboratory in Kalamazoo. Officials rescued 32 beagles from the lab, which was exposed by the Humane Society of the United States for using dogs to test pesticides. Greta Guest and David Rubello saw the awful stories about the testing lab unfold, so when the Michigan Humane Society started adopting out the beagles, they were ready. Click here for the rest of the story.

Two Senior Dogs Abandoned by Owners Inside Petco Restroom in Allen Park

Two dogs who were left by their owners inside a Michigan Petco restroom have been handed over to a local rescue group. On Saturday evening, the two older dogs were brought into the Petco store by a couple, according to a Facebook post. The dogs had no collars, just leashes, according to a shopper in the store at the time. Click here for the rest of the story.

Company That Force-Fed Pesticides to Beagles Issues Vague Statement on Fate of the Dogs

While we were all happy to hear yesterday hat the tests on Beagles at the Charles River Lab by Corteva Agriscience (a division of DowDuPont) has been halted, their statement on what will happen to the Beagles is quite vague. Their statement says they will “make every effort to rehome the animals that were part of the study.” What does that mean? They’ll call two people about adopting them? They’ll put an ad on Craigslist?

The dogs need to be released to HSUS, a reputable animal rescue organization or better yet, a Beagle specific rescue association who has dealt with rehabilitating puppy mill or lab tested Beagles in the past such as the Rescue + Freedom Project.

The HSUS issued a statement about the Beagles that infers that the company holding the Beagles in captivity have not made arrangements with them to release the Beagles. The HSUS has has said, “We applaud Dow AgroSciences (Corteva AgriScience) for making the right decision by ending the one-year pesticide test on 36 beagles at Charles River Laboratories in Michigan,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of The United States. “This is a significant step that is critical to the welfare of the dogs. We now urge Corteva to work with us to get the dogs out of the laboratory and to our shelter and rescue partners so that they can be adopted into loving homes.”

To appeal to Corteva to release the dogs to an animal welfare organization, you can visit their Facebook page here or email them through this contact form here. Be respectful but firm. 

Michigan Laboratory is Force-Feeding Beagles Pesticides According to Undercover HSUS Investigation


photo credit: HSUS

Reports on the internet surfaced recently from HSUS documenting that animal testing is being done on Beagles at the Charles River Lab in Mattawan, Michigan by force-feeding the dogs pesticides. Undercover video claiming to be shot at this lab last year show experiments being done for three companies including Dow Chemical which is out of Midland. The full investigative report from HSUS can be downloaded here: Investigation-Report. The dogs are involved in the testing of a fungicide called Adavelt. Although at one time the EPA required dogs to be force-fed pesticides for a full year for their tests, they eliminated that requirement ten years ago because it was shown to not add valuable scientific information. However, Dow Chemical is proceeding with their one-year test even though 90 day testing period is acceptable to the US Government. Continue reading

Benzie County Settles Lawsuit with Pet Owner Who Sued Them for Illegally Taking Pets

Benzie County has settled a lawsuit brought by Sheila Dinger for illegally taking her eight pets in December 2017. Dinger was suing for the violation of her civil rights with an illegal search and seizure. The county wrote a check for $42,500 to settle the case. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, which means that the lawsuit was dismissed permanently and can’t be brought back into court. It releases all the parties – Benzie County; Benzie County Animal Control; Jaime Croel and Kyle Mauer from any future lawsuits regarding this matter. The settlement documentation says that Dinger’s account in the lawsuit is disputed by the county and that the settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability. It also states that the settlement was entered to avoid trial and corresponding time, cost and uncertainty.

When asked to comment about what happened and the settlement, this was Dinger’s response: “What they did to my family has been unimaginably cruel. You know how hard it is when you lose one animal to a death but having nine wrongfully taken at one time was beyond heartbreaking. Once they knew they took these animals wrongly they didn’t even try to get them back for us. I still don’t know where five of them are and they killed my one horse I had had for 22 years. I have cried everyday not knowing where they are. I feel I have failed them.Their monetary settlement is not enough and never will be. I didn’t want money – I wanted my animals back that were wrongfully taken. My anger boils when I see an Animal Control Truck go by…Every posting on their site for an animal needing a new home, I wonder if the animal was taken wrongfully or if it does really need a new home? If you knew you had a stolen animal wouldn’t you give it back? I still want my animals back. They are not yours, they are mine.”

Traverse City Dog Needs Votes to Win Contest to be a Dog Ambassador

The search is on for Merrell’s first ever dog ambassador. Merrell, a Michigan company, sells durable footwear and apparel for outdoor enthusiasts and as a way to encourage people to get outside with their dogs, they are having a contest to find a human-dog ambassador team. Traverse City resident, Taylor Feathersone, and her dog, Darwin, are hoping to be in the top ten for a shot at winning the contest. The photo of Darwin above that was entered in the contest was taken at the Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Darwin is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and almost three years old. Featherstone has had him for 2-1/2 years and is currently an only dog in the household although Featherstone looks forward to a houseful of four dogs in her future.

You can vote for them at the link here. To cast your vote, click on the hear icon beside your favorite dog photo. Right now, Darwin is near the top among the most liked but the votes are adding up for the others as well but many votes are needed every day to keep that spot. Please vote today – and every day until the end of the contest, March 16th. Continue reading

Animal Cruelty Charge Issued for Grand Traverse County Man After Dead Chickens, Rabbits Found on Property

A Grand Traverse County man faces charges after several dead animals were found on his property. Investigators were called to the property on Clous Road in Kingsley around 12:30 p.m. on February 7 to assist Grand Traverse County Animal Control with an animal neglect call. Click here for the rest of the story.

New Michigan Laws Take Aim at Animal Abusers

Lawanda Alford was angry with her boyfriend, so she took it out on his pets. By the time her attack on the animals was done, the Detroit woman had cut her beau’s six geckos in half and stabbed the man’s pit bull to death. Her punishment? A 60-day jail sentence, three years of probation and a no-contact order with her boyfriend. New state laws that take effect next month would have given a judge the ability to give Alford a stiffer sentence. Police and prosecutors in Michigan are starting to pay more attention to crimes against animals, and legislation signed by former Gov. Rick Snyder late last year increases the maximum penalty for killing or torturing an animal from four years to 10 years in prison.  The two-bill package also allows judges to sentence offenders who harm or kill animals with the aim of causing emotional distress to another person to as much as 10 years. For the rest of the story, click here.

Bruce Langlois Criminal Trial Set for March 5th – If Convicted, Langlois Facing up to Five Years in Jail

Bruce Langlois, a registered sex offender and former Lowell, Michigan veterinarian who lost his license in 2015 for negligence, incompetence and “lack of good moral character’’, will finally face a criminal trial in Huron County Circuit Court on March 5, 2019. (The trial was delayed while an appeal made its way through the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.) FOr more on the story click here.

A Furry Companion for Michigan Veterans

A West-Michigan organization called K9 Camo Companions is taking dogs out of local animal shelters and pairing them with veterans who are dealing with combat related issues like PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Giving the veterans a new furry friend as a companion and confidant. “I don’t know what his past is but our paths seem to join up and we work well together,” says Air Force Vet, Christopher Timmer about his dog Chance. Some vets have a hard time re-adjusting to life after service but the routine of having a pet in your care is keeping them right on track. For the rest of the story and to learn about how your help is needed in Northern Michigan, please click the link here.


Dogs Rescued from South Korea Headed for Michigan Shelter

Hundreds of dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm have been rescued by the U.S Humane Society and Humane Society International. Now a group of them are headed for Michigan. The Midland County Humane society is expecting to receive five to ten of the canines late Tuesday night. Click here for the rest of the story.

Animal Shelters, Homeless Pets Get Boost from MDARD Grants

In the end of December, The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Animal Welfare Fund grants. This year, MDARD will distribute $80,000 to 16 registered animal shelters throughout the state to support the spaying and neutering of shelter dogs and cats to help them be more adoptable. Grants also help support many anti-cruelty and proper care programs and training around the state. Registered shelters can also receive assistance through the grant program for the unrecovered costs of care for animals involved in legal investigations. Click here for the rest of the story.