Category Archives: Past Event

Northport Dog Parade Celebrates 21 Years

Dog owners and dog lovers came out to watch their canine friends walk in the 21st annual Northport Dog Parade on Saturday. The theme this year was Hairy Tales. Click here for the rest of the story.


Documentary About Michael Vick Dogs an Inspirational Story of Recovery

Cherry outside the Film Festival, meeting fans.

Cherry outside the Film Festival, meeting fans.

This year’s Traverse City Film Festival brought many animal-related films to the screen. The documentary The Champions was a highlight of the festival for local many animal lovers, showcasing the journey of the Pit Bulls who were seized from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation. The film follows several dogs through their recovery from their start with animal rescuers to being placed in loving homes. It’s an inspirational story that focuses on the dogs instead of the brutal dog fighting operation. It’s a story of second chances, redemption and hope. Many of these dogs, even after being forced into horrible situations, were not aggressive towards humans.  The process of these dogs getting their lives back is more accurately described as “recovery” as was said in the documentary by Susan, Little Red’s owner. The rescuers did everything they could to make each dog comfortable and help them figure out how to be successful, how to survive. Each dog was individual and treated as such, which is apparent in the film.

In April of 2007, more than 50 dogs were seized from Bad Newz Kennels on Michael Vick’s property. Vick and the men involved in the dog fighting ring fought the dogs and also shot, electrocuted and hung dogs who didn’t perform well. Even though PETA and the Humane Society of the United States recommended euthanizing the dogs, most of the Pit Bulls were able to be saved and taken by eight different rescue groups, including Best Friends Animal Society who got 22 of the more traumatized dogs. The documentary, directed and produced by Darcy Dennett, follows the journey of five dogs and their caretakers during their recovery and shows their lives now with their owners. The film also spotlight dogs still at the sanctuary. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelter and a leader in the no-kill movement. They run the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnerships with rescue groups and animal shelters all over the country.

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More than 80 Horribly Neglected and Abused Animals Seized in Alpena County

Photo credit: Huron Humane Society of Alpena's FB page

Photo credit: Huron Humane Society of Alpena’s FB page

In Alpena County, Michigan, deputies with the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 80 animals from horrific conditions, reports the news release here.

Deputies were assisted by Alpena County Animal Control, Huron Humane Society, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture in the seizure of dogs, pigs, donkeys, birds and other livestock. One animal control officer described 30 cocker spaniels running free inside of the home with matted coats and covered in feces. According to MLive, their paw pads were encrusted with dried feces, making it difficult for the dogs to even walk. Horses and donkeys were kept inside of a barn with pigs; the only light coming in from beneath the doors. Officer Lexee Cronk, stated, “It was by far one of the worst neglect cases we’ve seen. They (the horses) never got to move into the pasture.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Pet Sitters Network North Raises $1000 for AC PAW and Peach Ranch

Lots of cuties showed up at the event. Photo credit: Pet Sitters Network North Facebook page

Lots of cuties showed up at the event. Photo credit: Pet Sitters Network North Facebook page

Pet Sitters Network North (PSNN) hosted it’s third annual Winter Dog Walk on Saturday, March 7th at the Silver Lake Recreational Area in Traverse City. Money raised went to PEACE Ranch and AC PAW PEACE Ranch is a an equine assisted therapy center and AC PAW is a dog and cat animal rescue organization. $1000 was raised at the event with $500 going to each organization. $200 was donated from PSNN and the rest was collected from donations that day. Continue reading

“Flying” Dogs Entertain Traverse City Audience


The East Bay Calvary Church in Traverse City was the site of the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show on Saturday, February 7th. The event had so much interest that they ended up having two shows that day. I was lucky enough to get a reserved front row seat to see all the action (thanks Pastor Dallas Dix) but I do apologize in advance for the blurry photos. I either need a faster camera, a better camera operator or slower dogs! Continue reading

Community Comes Together to Help Woman Who Lost Pets in House Fire and is Now Homeless

Thumbs, an AC PAW foster kitty, was one of many lost in the fire.

Thumbs, an AC PAW foster kitty, was one of many lost in the fire.

On Tuesday, January 13th, Thirteen AC PAWfoster cats died in a house fire in Wexford County, a fire believed to be started from a dryer. Kendra Steeby also lost four of her own dogs and nine cats in the blaze. Steeby and her brother Mark (as well as his girlfriend, Iola Christensen) tried to put out the fire and save the pets inside but were unable to due to the smoke. The one dog and cat they were able to get out of the house had already died from smoke inhalation. Only one dog survived who was outside at the time.

The house was destroyed and ACPAW has set up an emergency fund for Steeby to help her with expenses of rebuilding her life. She had no insurance on the contents of the house and lost everything. Tragedy also struck Steeby in August of 2014 when her only son, Tyler, died as the result of a car accident. Steeby and her boyfriend are currently living with her mother as the house was a total loss. Continue reading

2014 – Achievements in the No-Kill Movement

by Nathan Winograd

The following post is from Nathan Winograd’s FB page. Please like his page and keep up with the no-kill movement.

nathan kitty pic

2014 was a very good year for the No Kill movement. Here are five of some of the most significant achievements this past year:

—We’re here to save animals. And so the most important achievement is the fact that they are being saved. How far has the movement come? My walk through an airport a couple of months ago on the way to New York tells the story. On layover, I noticed one of the gate monitors for a flight going to Marquette, MI, a community with a 97% save rate. At the next gate was a flight going to Duluth, MN, a community with a 95% save rate. Then I passed another: Saulte Ste. Marie, MI, with a 97% save rate. From my arrival gate to my departure gate, I walked by five gates of flights traveling to communities with save rates of 90% or better, with Ithaca, NY and St. Paul, MN, at 90%, rounding them out. (If you also include Cortland, that is six.) A couple of decades ago, that number would have essentially been zero. Today, there are hundreds, with over seven million people living in those communities. Continue reading

Internet Cat Video Festival and Visit by Lil BUB Raises $1162 for Cherryland Humane Society


Thanks to an invitation by Pet Sitters Network North, I was able to go to the Internet Cat Video Festival on November 5th and also participate in a meet and greet with internet cat sensation Lil BUB.

Left to right: Sara Smith, Furry Godmother; Susan Gibbons, Sara's Legacy Pet Sitters LLC; Roberta Werkema, K92Equine; Jennifer Loup, Canis Major Pet Sitting; Bub Bridavsky, Bub's Dad; Lil Bub; Martha Bautel, Happy Howels Pet Sitting; Jennifer Sepell, Under My Woof; Marsha Wheaton, Dog Mom At Your Service; Laurie Conney, 45th Parallel Pet Sitting.

Left to right: Sara Smith, Furry Godmother; Susan Gibbons, Sara’s Legacy Pet Sitters LLC; Roberta Werkema, K92Equine; Jennifer Loup, Canis Major Pet Sitting; Bub Bridavsky, Bub’s Dad; Lil Bub; Martha Bautel, Happy Howels Pet Sitting; Jennifer Sepell, Under My Woof; Marsha Wheaton, Dog Mom At Your Service; Laurie Conney, 45th Parallel Pet Sitting.

The event raised $2,162 with $1,162 of that going to Cherryland Humane Society and $1,000 towards the Lil BUB Big Fund for special needs pets. Overall, the Lil BUB Big Fund has raised over $75,000 since being created in February of this year. Continue reading

Puppy Mill Rescue in Livingston County

On May 14, 2014, The HSUS and local veterinarians assisted Livingston County Animal Control and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office with the rescue and removal of more than 90 dogs and puppies from a suspected puppy mill in Fowlerville. The HSUS Puppy Mill Response team covered the majority of this expenses in the case. On June 3, the owner of the breeding facility pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges and relinquished custody of the dogs to Livingston County Animal Control. For more information about adoption of the dogs, visit

The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous. For more information about what you can do to help stop puppy mills, visit

Boyne City and Munising MPAW Workshops Post Big Success

More than 30 representatives of animal shelters from across the Upper Peninsula gathered on June 13, 2014 in Munising to network and learn together.

They traveled from as far away as Ironwood at the far western tip of the U.P. to attend the 2014 MPAW Workshop, and found friends and colleagues from eight other animal shelters with whom to network and share. The Delta Animal Shelter closed its facility in order to allow all staff members to attend! Two new shelter directors from Quinnesec and Houghton came for the latest techniques and information.  Continue reading

Pets Naturally Grand Opening Raises Money for Animals


The recent grand opening of Pets Naturally in Traverse City was a great success raising much needed funds for two animal welfare groups. $445.00 in donations was raised for AC PAW and $311.00 was raised for Cherryland Humane Society. Pets Naturally is a new health food store for pets, carrying all healthy and 100% safe foods, treats, toys and health products for cats and dogs.

boy and treats


Pets Naturally is located at 1420 S. Airport Road and Traverse City and their phone number is 231-944-1944. Click here for their Facebook page. Photos from Pets Naturally Facebook page.

Homeward Bound – Animal Rescue Group Learns More About How to Help Pets

AC PAW volunteer Sally Kavanaugh and founder June McGrath are investing in the future welfare of area dogs and cats by continuing to learn how to serve them in bigger and better ways. Both women each attended a different seminar co-sponsored by pet store chain PetCo and Petfinder, the website by which many of their rescued animals find new homes. Click here for more on the story.

The PANT-try Shelf Helps Feed Pets in Need

photo credit:

photo credit:

The PANT-try Shelf is a pet food bank that helps pets and their families in need in Grand Traverse County and now in Cadillac. The program is run by Jess Hoedeman from the group “Frisco & Joey’s Mission.” Jess is one of those animal rescuers who shows up at all the regional pet events, helping network pets in need and working with whatever animal shelter or rescue group is looking to save lives. The PANT-try Shelf is an effort that’s very close to her heart.

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Pet Crisis Center Raises $6,000

The 13th Annual Chili Cook Off and Silent Auction was a great success! Over 300 people attended raising $6,000.00 for the Pet Crisis Center in Bellaire.

Best Chili in Antrim was:

1st place was The Pelican Inn #1

2nd place was Lulus Bistro # 7

3rd place was Moka #2


Bentley says thanks for all the support and is wondering why no one has adopted him yet. You can read more about him here.

Bark at the Park 2013

It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, September 17th for the yearly Bark at the Park in Traverse City. Animal rescue groups had lots of dogs (and cats) up for adoption and there were many other animal-related vendors there as well. Please click here for photos from the event!

The Missaukee County Puppy Mill Dog Seizure Update…Where are they Now?

It’s been a little more than two months since more than 150 dogs were sized from the John D. Jones Kennel in Lake City in Missaukee County after a year long court battle. You can read the story about the seizure here.


The dogs were taken to many different locations in and out of the state including Handds to the Rescue (Traverse City, MI), Roscommon County Animal Shelter (Prudenville, MI), MHS (Rochester Hills Center, MI), Medina County SPCA (Ohio), Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley, Minnesota), Kent County Animal Shelter (Grand Rapids, MI) and the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (Madison, New Jersey).

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Horse Cruelty Investigation Workshop Draws Law Enforcement Personnel From Across the State

More than 30 law enforcement and animal welfare professionals from 19 counties descended upon Traverse City on February 27, 2013 for a Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare (MPAW) workshop on horse cruelty investigations. The event was hosted by Cherryland Humane Society and was coordinated by MPAW and Grand Traverse Animal Control. Continue reading

Pet Sitters Network North Raises over $1,000 to Benefit Community Strays

In celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, Pet Sitters Network North (PSNN) hosted a Winter Dog Walk, on Saturday, March 9th, at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center. Sixty-two registrants and over 70 dogs gathered to walk the loop. Donations were being collected to benefit Cherryland Humane Society’s  to assist the dogs currently held at Animal Control. PSNN is thrilled to announce that $1060 in donations was received. PSNN matched the first $200 for a total of $1260 presented to Dr. David Burke, President of the CHS Board of Directors, and Mike Cherry, Executive Director, on Friday, March 15th. Continue reading

Dog Park Fundraiser Raises $3000

from the ticker...

Mardi Gras went to the dogs again this year. Friends of the Traverse City Dog Park held their second annual “Mardi Paw” fundraiser last week. The event brought in $3,000 to help improve the park (at Division and Munson Ave) for people and their furry friends. That’s about 12 percent of all the money collected since January 2012.

So what will the cash be used for?

“Currently, the need is hydration stations and a surface solution more befitting a heavily used, all-season dog park,” explains volunteer Gary Howe. “When it gets muddy, it turns many people away.”

Howe adds the dog park has become one of the most visited public parks in the city, since it opened in August.

“The biggest success, for me, is not just seeing the dogs interact, but seeing people interact and connect,” he says. “I’ve heard of someone getting a job offer, old friends meeting for the first time in 20 years, and complete strangers becoming friends.”

Sick and Miserable Kitty Rescued off the Streets

This is Aggie on the first day that she was found.

This is Aggie on the first day that she was found.

These are the kind of pictures that make your heart melt – and explain why animal rescue workers do what they do. This five-week-old baby named Aggie arrived at AC PAW in June of 2012 after she was found in the middle of the street in Eastport. She was very thin and suffering from a very bad respiratory infection as well as an eye infection.  Continue reading

Traverse City Pizza Party at Pangeas Benefits Horse Rescue Organization


Lots of Traverse City horse lovers stood out in the cold to wait for their chance to go into Pangea’s Pizza for a Peace Ranch fundraiser in December. The name of the pizza party was “Pangeas for PEACE” and 100% of the profits that night went to Peace Ranch, a faith-based equine assisted therapy center that combines the rescue, rehabilitation and restoration of both horses and humans. A whopping $5000 was raised at the party and will help with the ongoing costs incurred for the care of the Ranch, the horses and the program. The party also included a silent auction, Christmas cookies and a special guest (yes, Santa came too!)




Please click here for some more great photos by Moments Captured Photography, by Anna Grimm.

If you’d like to learn more about Peace Ranch, please visit their website here.

Great Lakes Pet Memorial’s Facebook “Like” Campaign earns AC PAW $433!

It’s not easy to get tons of “likes” on a facebook page these days. With so much of the social media site cluttered with advertising and excessive posting by some companies, it’s hard to know if your ‘Like’ actually matters.

Rather than begging their followers to share their page, Great Lakes Pet Memorial in Traverse City wanted to make the campaign mean something. “Nothing is more important to me than helping homeless animals in my local community” says Kerri Collier, owner of GLPMC. “I thought it would be a great way to give back and gain likes at the same time! AC PAW was gracious enough to support the idea.” for the entire month of October, every “New Like” earned $1 for local rescue group AC PAW. When it was all said and done AC PAW had earned $433!

“We are so thankful for the kindness offered by Kerri and Great Lakes Pet Memorial. With the help of 433 fans in the Facebook community and the resulting generous donations by Great Lakes Pet Memorial, we will be able to save three animals. These donations will help with the spaying/neutering and vaccinations to help three unwanted or homeless animals have a second chance at life.” says Erin Monigold, AC PAW Social Media Volunteer.