Category Archives: Rescue

Saving the Life of a Blind Dog or Puppy Brings Challenges and a Lot of Joy

By Kathy Wallace at

charlie golf main

I’d like to introduce you to a young dog named Charlie. Charlie charms everyone he meets. He races around the yard with his doggie siblings. He travels to the pet store, plays ball, and goes up and down the steps. None of this sounds extraordinary until you learn that Charlie is blind.

Charlie almost did not have a chance at life. A breeder in another state brought a litter of puppies to the veterinarian for their checkup. Upon finding that one of the puppies was blind, the breeder requested he be euthanized. A vet technician knew a woman named Cheryl and the mission of Almost Home and ran to make the call that saved this little puppy’s life. Cheryl worked with a volunteer pilot, Bob Born, to bring him to Ohio and sent an email requesting a foster for the puppy she named Charlie.

One of those emails landed in Laura Johnson’s inbox. She had fostered senior dogs who were blind or who had gradually become deaf or blind and she and her husband, Hal, decided they would foster this blind puppy. But, after two weeks they knew that Charlie had found his forever home. They cannot imagine life without him. Continue reading


Missaukee Humane Society Takes in Dogs from Man Who Died, Including Two Who are Blind

On Sunday, March 29, 2015, the Missaukee Humane Society went to Norwich Township to rescue the dogs of a man who had died. Missaukee County doesn’t have an animal control officer or vehicles to transport animals so it was up to Shelter Manager Kyle Musselman at he Missaukee Humane Society to provide a personal vehicle on his day off to do what needed be done. With the help of a Missaukee County Sheriff’s deputy, Musselman went to the shelter to get carriers and leashes and they both went to the man’s residence to pick up the dogs.

Many of the dogs were in rough shape. The dogs rescued that day include…



Jack, a small senior terrier who was blind and terrified and sitting on the front seat of his owners truck. Continue reading

Fawns Find a Safe Haven in Leelanau County

main_deer drinking from bottles

Donna and David Prevo of Leelanau Wildlife Care have been rescuing fawns for about six years and recently received their non-profit status for their organization in September of 2014. They are licensed and certified rehabilitators who specialize in rescuing and releasing white tail fawns and other small mammals. In 2014, they rescued 20 fawns. They are located on 132 acres of woodland in Leelanau County and work with a licensed veterinarian who is on call to assist with injured animals. Although they live in Leelanau County, they take in animals from many different northern lower Michigan counties.

They started rescuing after the Traverse City Zoo dissolved. Their neighbor was the zookeeper and gave the Prevos some fawns to release. They were hooked right away. They studied up and went to Ann Arbor for the lab part of getting certified and then passed the required tests. They are now IWRC Certified (International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council) and licensed by the Michigan DNR. Continue reading

Lacey’s Great Adventure

Lacey, the Elusive Great Dane, is Finally Home After Six Weeks on the Run in Traverse City

lacey_handds pic_MAIN PHOTO

When I first heard there was a Great Dane missing in Traverse City, I thought to myself, “Well, how hard could it possibly be to find a dog THAT large?” It’s kind of the same thought that runs through my mind when I hear that there is a Basset Hound or a Dachshund missing – I mean, hey, they’re pretty slow. Seems like an easy task to find them. Little did I know. I will never again pre-judge a missing dog’s capabilities to be evasive no matter what size or breed.

Lacey, a four-year-old Great Dane, went missing from the Holiday Hills area of Traverse City around August 20th. She was on trial with her adoptive mom, Kathy Stone, who fell in love with Lacey and adopted her from H.A.N.D.D.S. to the Rescue. Kathy’s family has had Great Danes before and sadly grieved over two of them last year when they passed away. They wanted another Great Dane, but were looking for one who didn’t look like their previous Danes. When Kathy saw Lacey’s photo on the H.A.N.D.D.S. Facebook page, she went over to Tractor Supply to meet her. Lacey was taken home to Kathy’s house to make sure Lacey got along with the other family members – the humans and the other dogs and cats.

Everything seemed to be going well until Kathy was at her door talking with a friend and Lacey bolted past her. Because it was dark and Lacey had only been with Kathy’s family for a few days, even if Lacey wanted to get home after wandering around, she probably didn’t know where “home” was. Continue reading

Howell Twp. Woman Charged with Failure to Care for Animals – More Than 90 Animals Removed From Suspected Puppy Mill

From the Detroit News…

howell puppy mill

A Howell Township woman was charged Thursday for failing to properly care for 10 or more animals — an accusation connected to a suspected puppy mill, according the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office. Margaret Komorny faces up for four years in prison on the felony charges for a case that began in early April but is unrelated to the discovery of more than 90 dogs and puppies earlier this week.

On Wednesday, authorities and animal welfare workers removed the more than 90 animals from substandard conditions at the suspected puppy mill, according the Humane Society of the United States. Click here for more on the story.

Braveheart – AC PAW’S Christmas Miracle

Brave Heart

Braveheart is an AC Paw Christmas Miracle. He was found nearly buried and alive in a snowbank. It is fate that a sister of one of their volunteers decided to take a second trip to her mailbox. Even though she had already picked up the mail that day, something made her go back. She saw a black spot in the snowbank by her mailbox. To her surprise, she saw movement. When she approached the cat, she heard a cry for help. She quickly got some towels, wrapped him up and rushed Braveheart to Bay Area Animal Hospital. He was barely alive. They could not get a temperature reading. Continue reading

Gabriel: A Special Christmastime Rescue

gabriel earlier

On Friday, December 13th, this Doberman collapsed on someone’s porch, dehydrated and emaciated. The people who found him took him to the Osceola County Animal Shelter where he would be warm, he would be fed, he would be seen by a vet and receive much needed attention and love. Looking at his condition, it’s quite possible that he wouldn’t have survived the night with the cold temperatures and his lack of food. The weather caused damage to his feet pads, the ends of his ears and nose. He had no collar, license or microchip and no one reported him as missing.

He was named Gabriel by the shelter and they believe he was sent to them to remind everyone of all the other animals who may be looking to get out of the cold. Even after all this poor dog has been through, he is very trusting and full of love.

He is doing much better now and almost back to his correct weight. Many people have come forward with donations of blankets, moist food and vitamins to help Gabriel get back to health and he is expected to have a complete recovery.

photo credit: Jayne Richmond Photography

photo credit: Jayne Richmond Photography

The people who found Gabriel have expressed an interest in adopting him as they believe he collapsed on their door for a reason. Everyone hopes that Gabriel will be in his new home shortly after the near year.

Parrot Rescue Group Starts in Traverse City

Often when you think of animal rescue groups, most people think of dogs, cats and horses. However, there are many other animals that people get involved with rescuing as well including birds. Husband and wife team, Jake & Tara Hurlin, decided that they wanted to start a parrot rescue and have named it Hurlin’s Hospitality and Parrot Rescue which is operated out of their house in Traverse City.

Hurlin’s Hospitality and Parrot Rescue specializes in urgent and severe rescue  including life or death situations and birds in a state of emergency such as abandonment. They also offer a boarding service to help fund their rescue. They just started their rescue group although they have been rescuing parrots for several years.

The birds have a nice, comfortable room to hang out in.

The birds have a nice, comfortable room to hang out in.

Parrots are often in need of rescue because their owners have to give them up for a behavior issue or a life change in which the person no longer has time for the bid. Because some larger parrots can outlive their owners, they are a huge commitment to make as a pet. Owners should think about what would happen to their Parrot if something would happen to them and the bird would need to be re-homed. For more information about the life spans of Parrots, please click here.   Continue reading

The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition Assists with Removal of Animals from Suspected Neglect on Wayne County Farm


horsewelfareOn November 27 the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition joined equine rescue groups in assisting the Sumpter Township Police Department in the removal of more than a dozen horses, mules, and dogs from suspected neglect at a farm in southwest Wayne County. Conditions allegedly included a stallion contained in a pen with four feet of manure and horses with swollen legs, broken teeth, and low body scores indicating possible malnourishment or illness. The owner of the property has been charged with animal neglect and abandonment.

Most of the animals were transported to Starry Skies Equine Rescue, and two went to Loving Arm Rescue Ranch, where they will be provided with veterinary treatment, rehabilitation, and foster care. Donations are urgently needed to provide for the care of the animals and can be made directly to those non-profit rescue groups at and All donations are tax-deductible. Learn more about the work of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition at

Dumped out of a Truck, Norman Looks for the Road to Happiness

The people who brought Norman to AC PAW in March said they watched a truck drive into their neighborhood, dump Norman out, and leave. It’s hard to imagine someone doing that.

Normie on the comforter

Norm had a badly abscessed tooth that had to be extracted. Since then his appetite has returned, he’s put on weight, and he is much healthier than when he was pushed out of the truck. He has been in a foster home where he gets love and good care, but there are several other cats, both fosters and home pets, which makes the place a little hectic sometimes for Norm. He would be happiest in a home where he is the only adult cat, and he can sit quietly on a lap and be petted. His foster mom says when Norm sits in her lap, he stretches his paw up to her shoulder and tucks his head in near her heart. He also likes to bat a toy around occasionally. Norm has a wonderful, scratchy, rough voice. He doesn’t talk much, but when he does, it’s pretty funny. Norm is a quiet, watchful cat. He has a very soulful, wise expression. It’s like living with Yoda.

Norman has had a bit of a rough time lately. It would sure be nice if he could find a home that he can trust. He’ll be a great companion.

Normie on the hearth 2

Norman has been neutered, tested, and vaccinated. See records from Banfield, Northwood, and Grand Traverse vets. Norman is a five year old male with extra toes. Call (231) 587-0738 if you’re interested in adopting Norman – if if you have a cat-free home and would like to foster him.

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).

Continue reading

Elvis Has Left the Building…Along with the Four “Court Case Cats” from Wexford County

Almost 300 days later…four of the most deserving cats in Michigan have ALL BEEN ADOPTED and are out of the shelter and the small cages that they have been living in for almost a year.

April 16th was FREEDOM DAY. They were seized by Wexford County on July 5th, 2012 when their owner moved and left the four cats in the house. The case didn’t make much progress and the cats sat in limbo, taking up much needed cage space as other cats were taken into the shelter.


That was their life – in a small cage for 286 days. And then they were finally put up for adoption. Continue reading

Manistee Animal Shelter Needs Help with Dog Rescue – UPDATE 03-22-13

Homeward Bound Animal Shelter in Manistee is asking for help to care for 25 dogs that were recently seized by the Manistee County Sheriff from a Copemish home after investigating a tip about animal neglect. At the home, the Sheriff found almost 50 dogs who were covered in feces, in need of veterinary care and who were very underweight. About half of them are Siberian Huskies or Siberian mixes. Some of the dogs are Greyhound/Husky mixes and others are Alaskan Huskies. Most of the dogs are around 30 to 40 lbs., about half of the weight they are supposed to be.  Another 27 dogs will also probably be taken from the home as soon as foster homes or adopters can be found. The case is still being investigated by the Sheriff, who will write a report and turn it over to the county’s prosecutor.

Homeward Bound Animal Shelter is asking for fosters, preferably from already-established rescue groups, who can step forward to take care of the dogs as they don’t have room for the additional dogs that need to get out of the house. The dogs will need room to run and some of them will have special needs as a result of being neglected. Some of these rescued dogs will be fine with other dogs and some won’t. Only one of them appears to be initially aggressive but Homeward Bound will be working with him to see what progress they can make with him. Most of the dogs are lacking manners or they are terrified from the big changes in their lives.

The fostering and adoption process for these dogs will be more comprehensive and lengthy due to the fact that the dogs were used for racing and not really kept as pets. They are working animals and Homeward Bound will be asking that people fill out a compatibility form to make sure the dogs are placed in the best possible manner. The process won’t be quick and the dogs might not be up for adoption for a while, a month at the earliest. They ask for the public’s patience with the rehabilitation of the dogs so that appropriate placements can be made.

Homeward Bound appreciates the public’s response and their willingness to help these animals. They ask that if you’d like to help them, they could use donations of dog food, medical supplies and vet care (a vet tech). They would also appreciate firewood donated to keep the animals warm. They could also use big blankets that are easy to wash (not comforters or sleeping bags). They could also use extra shampoo for grooming as the dogs were in rough shape coming out of the house. You can donate to the shelter online here.

If you are interested in helping Homeward Bound please contact Brit Goda, MCHS Manager. The number at the shelter is 231-723-7387. You can contact Brit at

The Homeward Bound Animal Shelter is a non-profit community-based animal shelter located in Manistee County. They are not funded by any local, state or federal funds. All money used to maintain Homeward Bound and the animals comes from donations and fundraisers.

At Homeward Bound, no animal is euthanized because of time or space. They do not believe that putting one animal down to make room for another is right. As long as the pet is healthy, happy and non-aggressive, they stay until their “forever home” is found. Since opening their doors, they have taken in and found homes for approximately 1180 homeless pets.

Update 03-22-13:

Maxwell and Wanda Wiggins of Wiggi’s Mountain-Side Huskies were arraigned on charges of animal cruelty today regarding the story published above. You can read more about that here.

This is not the first time that Pet Friends Magazine has heard of this couple. They run Wiggi’s Mountain-Side Huskies, a dog sledding business which they ran independently at their home as well as partnering with the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and Caberfae Peaks Ski & Golf Resort to offer dog sledding rides on the weekend.

Pet Friends Magazine ran into them a few years ago at a pet event at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville in October of 2009. The event was called “Goin’ to the Dogs” – a members’ appreciation weekend celebration. It was attended by animal rescue groups and other vendors. The Wiggins were there to do a dog sledding demonstration. They also had brought a crate with a bunch of sick looking puppies crammed into it. If that wasn’t already bad enough, it was a windy, rainy cold day and the dogs sat in the crate getting wet all day. The Wiggins were trying to give the dogs away but I think only one person took a puppy. The Wiggins were acting like the puppies weren’t “their” dogs but they were Huskies so it was obvious. Someone at the event even overheard Maxwell Wiggins at the end of the event say, “if somebody doesn’t take these pups with them, they will have to be put down.”

June of AC PAW took seven of the puppies when she left that day. It turned out that most of them had Parvo and AC PAW lost four of them. In addition to that, since people were handling the puppies and then touching other animals, two of the AC PAW puppies also got Parvo and AC PAW lost one of those as well. Handds to the Rescue also took five of the puppies and lost three of them. Although it was heartbreaking, Dorothy of Handds was happy that they at least found love for the days that they had left.

Sadly, AC PAW was only able to save three of these puppies

Sadly, AC PAW was only able to save three of these puppies

We’ll never know how many other dogs might have gotten sick at that event because of the Wiggins. Their arrest appears to be a culmination of years of neglect and abuse against the dogs they were supposed to be taking care of.

Special Needs Dog Saved from Kill Shelter…How Many More are Out There?

A cute picture on a pet adoption website can be a big help to motivate a potential adopter to come in to a shelter and look at a cat or dog to bring into their home. But what about the animals that don’t get a bath or a cute picture? What about the ones who need vet care for infected ears or eyes or have a cold? What about the senior pets? What about the ones who are deaf or blind? What kind of chance do these animals have to get adopted? Continue reading