Category Archives: News

Congress on the Verge of Allowing Wild Horses to Be Slaughtered

The Bureau of Land Management is having a public meeting of their advisory board on Wednesday, March 28th in Salt Lake City, Utah. This advisory board advises the Secretary of the Interior, the BLM Director, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service on matters pertaining to the management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on our public lands.

At stake is the possible change of policy regarding the slaughter of wild horses. The upcoming budget bill could allow the BLM to sell the horses they are managing “without limitation” including to international companies looking to buy the horses for slaughter. These horses can’t currently be sold by the BLM to people who want to turn the horses into horse meat. This would allow removing over 46,000 wild horses over a three year period, including destroying “excess” horses and burros or selling them for slaughter in order to phase out the long-term holding pastures.

The American Wild Horse Campaign and The Cloud Foundation sent a formal letter on March 14th to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and others advising them of their statutory legal violations relating to the recent public notice of this meeting and their failure to follow the legal requirements of a 30-day advanced public notice of a meeting. “The BLM must give proper notice so that the public can have a voice on this issue that so many citizens care about,” said William A. Miller,  attorney for the groups. If the BLM fails to take action to correct this violation, the groups say they are prepared to take legal action to compel the agency to do so and seek injunctive relief. Continue reading


Little Traverse Bay Humane Society Re-opens After Treating Puppies

A northern Michigan humane society is re-opening after being closed for nearly two months. The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society closed after a group of puppies tested positive for the Canine Distemper Virus. The shelter received the group of 70 puppies from Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Click here for the rest of the story.

A Mother in San Diego Finds a Way to Give Back to Animals in Need

Amie Brenner knew she needed to do more to help animals in need. After volunteering at the Helen Woodward Animal Center for over a year, and having three rescue animals of her own, she decided to start a company designing and selling rescue themed phone cases. Her company, PhoneCasesToTheRescue donates 15% back to the rescues and shelters and has already seen the positive impact the proceeds have made, which is her entire goal. “Sending out the proceeds checks is by far my favorite part. I know that the money is helping to get these homeless pets into their forever homes and give them much needed medical care and that warms my heart. We fed over 600 shelter dogs with the proceeds last year!” Amie Brenner, Founder of PhoneCasesToTheRescue. Continue reading

Heartbroken College Student Looking for a New Home for Her Best Friend

Jessica has been with Kaiah, the German Shepherd, since her parents brought the nine-week-old puppy home to be their family dog. Kaiah is now four years old and Jessica is a 19-year-old college student in Traverse City, studying biology and working part-time at a hotel. In July of 2017, Jessica’s parents got divorced and her mom got sick in the fall of that year, ending up going in and out of the hospital. Her mom could no longer care for Kaiah so Jessica brought the dog home with her, intending do her best to find a new home for the dog. Continue reading

How to Ride a Horse

Re-posted with permission of

Horses are beautiful, majestic creatures. They have an air of elegance about them that is hard to beat in the animal kingdom. So why isn’t everyone buying a horse and taking horseback riding lessons?!

Horseback riding isn’t a hobby you pick up over a weekend. It requires grit (riding will harden muscles you didn’t know you had). It demands patience (horses can get moody). And it involves an emotional, nearly spiritual connection between human and beast that goes beyond just learning technique. Ready?

Click here for the rest of the story.

Traverse City School System Dissecting Cats in Science Classes

The Anatomy and Physiology advanced science courses taught at both Traverse City  High Schools are dissecting dead cats in their classrooms. They have been doing this for at least 15 years according to Traverse City Principal Jessie Houghton and district science administrator Charles Kolbusz who responded to questions from Pet Friends Magazine.

TCAPS acquires approximately 50 dead cats each year from Carolina Biological in North Carolina. The company gets their already euthanized cats from government operated or regulated humane societies who would otherwise have disposed of the cats in a landfill or used an incinerator. Houghton says that Carolina diverts the euthanized cats for use in education rather than simply being wasted. Continue reading

Carol’s Ferals Proposed to Lead Feral Cat Program at Sandy Pines

From the Carol’s Ferals Website:

As you know in late January of this year, a cat was found on the property at Sandy Pines Resort that had apparently frozen to death in an unattended trap.  Carol’s Ferals reached out to Sandy Pines with hope of changing ideas and policies about feral and stray cats in the park. On February 8th, Carol met with Gene (Park President), Mel (Head of Security) and Josh (Marketing and Member Service Manager) to discuss a program going forward that would ensure that no more animals are harmed on Sandy Pines property. The meeting went very well.  Carol shared her knowledge about TNR and explained The Vacuum Effect.  Plans were discussed about how things being done differently going forward would be beneficial not only to the cats and wildlife, but to the public perception of Sandy Pines as well. Click here for the rest of the story.

Additionally, no charges were filed in this case. Click here for more info.

Clare County Animal Control Seeks Stronger Dog Ordinance

At the January meeting of the Clare County Board of Commissioners, two representatives of the Clare County Animal Shelter addressed the Board regarding the safety and welfare of dogs held outside during severely cold weather. Animal Control Director Rudi Hicks and Animal Control Officer Bob Dodson sought the Board’s support by rescinding the old ordinance for pet shelter and adopting a new one that Hicks and staff had written up.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble this year, when the temperatures dropped, with people who just absolutely will not take care of their animals,” Hicks said. “Specifically, we’re speaking of dogs right now, not livestock.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford County Animal Shelter Gets More than $160K in Donations

The Wexford County Animal Shelter is weighing its options after it recently received a large donation. At a Wexford County Finance Committee meeting last week, the committee was told about a recent donation of $153,708.78 from an estate. It was the second large donation that has been made recently to the shelter, which also received a $10,000 donation. Click here for the rest of the story.

Bella the K-9 Joins Newaygo Police Department

Meet the newest member of the Newaygo Police Department. This is Bella the K-9. Bella came to the Newaygo Police Department after her previous owners gave her to West Michigan K-9 to find her a home with a police department. She already had training in personal protection and the Newaygo Police got her at no charge. Click here for the rest of the story.

Duke the Dog Reunited with Owners After Chance Appearance in 9&10 Story

We have an extremely happy update for you on a story that aired Tuesday on 9&10 News and it involves a dog. On Tuesday we aired a story about the Wexford County Animal Shelter receiving a donation of more than $160,000. Our story included a clip of a dog named Duke. Duke had been at the Wexford County Animal Shelter since late January when he was seen wandering around Cadillac. Click here for the rest of the story.

Missing Sutton’s Bay Dog Found After 7 Days Without Food or Shelter

After being missing for seven days, Grizzly the sled dog from Suttons Bay was found on Wednesday laying in the snow off of a steep cliff in his owner’s backyard. Grizzly’s owner, Sarah Kelson, was searching for Grizzly on her property when she decided to get a hiking rope and repel down the cliff behind her home. That’s when Kelson saw Grizzly, nearly 100 feet down the cliff, laying in the snow. Click here for the rest of the story.

Family Reunites with Missing Kalkaska Dog After 71 Days

A Kalkaska dog, missing since before Thanksgiving, was reunited with his family after 71 days on the run.

“I had about given up. I mean I didn’t totally give up, I left the deck lights on every night just in case he came home during the night time then the lights would be on for him,” said Barbara Ryan, Ralph’s owner.

Barbara Ryan and her son, Scott Matley, are having better days now that their beloved dog Ralph is back home. Click here for the rest of the story.

Bay County Animal Shelter Nearly Reaches No-Kill Designation

The Bay County Animal Shelter reported a big increase in the amount of animals leaving the facility alive, nearing “no-kill shelter” status. In 2017, the live release rate jumped to 85 percent — up from 66 percent the year before. New County Executive Jim Barcia made it his mission to make Bay County a “no kill county,” which requires at least 90 percent of animals in the shelter to be saved. Click here for the rest of the story.

Help End Breed Discrimination Laws in Michigan

From Best Friends Animal Society

We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets. Breed discriminatory laws fail to enhance public safety, are a waste of tax dollars, and interfere with the rights of responsible dog owners. But there is good news! Michigan Senate Bill 741 was introduced with the goal of safety (first and foremost) in the most effective and most comprehensive way possible. Senate bills 708, 709 and 710 were also introduced to complement SB 741 in promoting public safety in Michigan.  

These bills make up a comprehensive public safety package that would eliminate breed discrimination in municipalities throughout Michigan, hold reckless owners of animals responsible for the behavior of their individual animals, and provide protections to dog victims seized from abusive fighting situations. The protections provided in these bills are long overdue for our communities and our pets. Your senator needs to know that you support these important pieces of legislation that would protect families and their pets in our state. Your voice needs to be heard today.

Politics is not a spectator sport, so please take action today by sending an email asking your senator to support Senate bills 741, 708, 709 and 710. Please also also ask your senator to communicate support of this bill package to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Phone calls can also be effective. You can use our online tool to locate your senator’s phone number.

Thank you for speaking up. Together, we are ending breed discrimination to Save Them All. Click here to email your Senator…

Famous Traverse City Airport Dog, Piper, Dies of Cancer

photo credit: Cherry Capital Airport K-9 Team Facebook page

Piper, the Traverse City airport dog who became an overnight hit nearly two years ago, died Wednesday night, social media accounts for the dog confirmed. The border collie, who was tasked with running birds and wildlife off the runway at Cherry Capital Airport, died after a year-long battle with prostate cancer, according to the Facebook and Instagram posts signed, “Your friends, Brian & Piper.” 

Click here for more on the story.

SOS Kitty Fundraiser Close to Goal

After receiving their yearly visit from the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture in the Fall of 2017, Shelly Olree’s Shelter (SOS) was given an order of changes that needed to be made in order to be in compliance with the state of Michigan. Since they are licensed as an animal shelter with the state, they receive yearly inspections and have minimum requirements to fulfill. The repairs that need to be made come to about $5000 so that the shelter can continue to operate. Currently, the online fundraiser has raised $4505. Please click on this link to learn more about the shelter’s needs and please donate to help them continue their rescue mission. Click here to donate.

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 Traverse County Animal Control Gets Funding in Narrow Vote

In tonight’s Grand Traverse County Commissioners meeting, the fate of the Animal Control Division was decided by a narrow margin of 4-3 in favor of increasing the budget by $150,000 in order to fully staff the division with three animal control officers (one of them supervisor) and one part-time clerical person.

At the beginning of the meeting, it was announced that they received the resignation of Administrator Vicki Uppal. Uppal was tasked by the Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee to submit the recommendation for the increase in funding, an increase in staffing and recommending the move the Animal Control Division to the Keystone Road building where the former animal shelter used to be. She did this work before her resignation and Interim Administrator Jean Derenzy took her place at the meeting. Derenzy said she had gone on site to visit the location and found enough room for both Animal Control and the Commission on Aging to share the building.

Commissioners Bob Johnson, Ron Clous, Dan Lathrop and Sonny Wheelock all discussed their problems with supporting three full-time animal control officers but they seemed open to funding two officers. Commissioners Clous and Wheelock had a problem with the additional funding, citing the fact that animal control services not being mandated by the state. Also a concern was the recent loss of staff, including the administrator, and not knowing what direction they were going to go in the future. Continue reading

Will the Grand Traverse Animal Control Division be Funded on Wednesday??

After providing limited animal control services since the previous Board of Directors and Administrator Tom Menzel eliminated the Animal Control Division and two full-time Animal Control Officers, Vicki Uppal, the current Administrator, will be presenting a recommendation to fund the Animal Control Division at Wednesdays Board of Commissioners meeting on January 17th.

The Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee has been meeting with the staff of the Health Dept. and Sheriff’s Office to determine how to meet the long term needs of Animal Control. They also received assistance and support from the public. At the meeting on January 10th, they made a recommendation to the Administration to find funding for the Animal Control Division as well as identify a location for where it should be relocated. Continue reading

More Funding and Staff Recommended for Grand Traverse Animal Control

The Grand Traverse County Animal Control Ad Hoc Committee held another meeting today concerning the funding and staffing of the Animal Control Division. Commissioners Cheryl Gore Follette, Dan Lathrop and Bob Johnson discussed options at the meeting with others in attendance.

Information was presented at the start of the meeting by Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette that Sheriff Bensley did not have a desire to administer the Animal Control Division within the Sheriff’s Office so they would have to search for alternatives.

Commissioner Gore Follette continued to say that the goal of the meeting was to make a recommendation to the Administrator so that she could gather information and make a recommendation to the full Board at their next meeting on Wednesday, January 17th. Continue reading

Grand Traverse Animal Control Funding in Sight

After a previous Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners and past Administrator Tom Menzel eliminated the Animal Control Division at the end of 2015 with no public input, 2018 brings with it new hope that animal control services will be restored to at least what the previous budget and staffing before the division was eliminated.

With Vicki Upppal in place as the new Administrator in addition to more recently elected pro-animal control commissioners on board, it looks likely that the next few weeks will bring decisions that will once again fully fund the Animal Control Division. With the urging of Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette, an Animal Control Ad-Hoc Committee was formed in 2017 to look into the situation, utilizing opinions and resources from the county staff, the commissioners and the public. This has led to more communication between the county staff and commissioners regarding how to move forward in able to offer the animal control services that the county residents deserve. Continue reading