Category Archives: Story

Pet Owner Asking for Help with Vet Bill – and Others in Need


Adagio is a happy, friendly four month-old Alaskan Husky puppy, full of rambunctious energy like most young dogs his age. Unfortunately, Adagio was born with a neurological condition that causes his back legs to not work properly, often making it difficult for him to walk and run without falling. Adagio’s neurological disorder can’t be cured, but he is learning to adapt to his disability. He does this by shifting most of his weight to his powerful front legs when his back legs fail and he senses that he is going to fall.

One day last week, while his new mom Susan was watching Adagio play in the back yard, she saw him stumble while he was running. He tried to shift his weight to correct his balance, but he was too close to the back porch of the house, and he fell hard against the corner of the concrete steps. Susan could tell immediately that Adagio had been injured, and she and her children rushed him to the vet. Adagio was diagnosed with a severely fractured right hind leg that would require complex orthopaedic surgery including a plate and pins for the bones to heal properly. A “wobbly” dog like Adagio cannot walk on three legs, and without surgery, he would most likely never have walked again.

The total cost of Adagio’s surgery was over $2500, of which the family still owes slightly over $1000. His owner reached out to HOPE to seek assistance with paying the balance of the bill. Money donated to HOPE for this campaign will be applied toward Adagio’s outstanding veterinary bills. Any funds generated in excess of the amount due on Adagio’s vet bills will be used by HOPE to assist with emergency vet care costs for other needy pets.

For more info. about Adagio and how to donate, please click here.


Take 12 Kind Acts Challenge to Help the Pets and Staff at Your Local Animal Shelter


This holiday season, The HSUS is challenging you to do 12 Kind Acts for the animals and/or staff at animal shelters in your area of Michigan. If one act of kindness can be life-changing, think of what 12 can do! Here are a few ideas to get you started, but the sky is the limit!

1.       Volunteer during the holidays when staff is lean

2.       Send letters to editor about the good work the shelter is doing

3.       Collect towels and blankets from the community and deliver to the shelter

4.       Bring holiday goodies to staff to say thank you

5.       Purchase or make enrichment toys for dogs, cats, and other homeless pets at the shelter

6.       Create a wish list for the shelter and share in public places

7.       Create goodie bags for holiday adopters

8.       Help the staff market long-time shelter residents

You can post pictures of your kind acts on the HSUS Michigan Facebook page at and they will be shared to motivate others to do the same. And if you’re on Twitter, please use #12KINDACTS.

Tips on Holiday Safety for Pets

from Dr. Baxter, Chief Veterinary Officer of Vet On Demand

· Tinsel, ribbon, ornaments and plastic bags – Swallowing stuff that’s not meant to be eaten can cause very serious problems and be extremely hard to diagnose. Unless you see it being eaten it is a tough diagnosis. Monitor yours pets that have a tendency to chew.

· Plants – Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettias, Tree needles – If your pet is a plant chewer / eater then position the plants out of reach of your pet. Remember to pick up fallen leaves/needles, limbs and berries.

· Lights – Electricity. Might I say the cat in “Christmas Vacation.” Electrocution and electrical burns do happen so if you have a chewer beware of any cords that might appear attractive to your pet.

· Candles – Pleasant and attractive flavors and odors. However, very few, if any, pets understand the dangers of fire and what it can do. This is probably a bigger problem with cats than dogs.

· Your pet is sick and your vet is closed. You do not know if it is really a problem, an emergency or not really anything. That is the time to call Vet On Demand and speak with one of our licensed veterinarians – face to face. Get help, advice and direction on what you need to do for your pet. Your pets care is in your hands. Don’t depend on Dr. Google who can just as easily give you bad advice as good advice. Let the Vet On Demand APP and Doctors help you care for your pet and have a Fun and Festive Holiday Season.

· Download the Vet On Demand APP today here.

· Post on your refrigerator ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-4435

From Feathers To Fur: Pets Good For Business

Is a dog an effective marketing strategy for a women’s clothing store? What if that dog was an adorable little pug named Simon?

Simon wasn’t any part of shop owner Tracey Gabel’s business plan for Relish, the store she opened in Traverse City’s Warehouse District in 2012, but he’s the best thing to ever happen to her marketing strategy.

“I do a lot on social media, and I’ll post an outfit and it’ll get some likes,” says Gabel. “And then I’ll post a picture of Simon and the outfit, and the likes triple.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Walk, Bike or Run to Help Michigan Pets in Local Animal Shelters


What’s more fun than a walk with your favorite dog – or two or three? What if there was a way that you could help donate money to your local animal shelter or rescue organization while you are on your walks? There is a a mobile app by Wooftrax called “Walk for a Dog” that does just that. Wooftrax has partnered with 6,000 shelters all over the United States for a combined total of more than 3 million walks.

Walk for a Dog is a mobile app for Android and iPhone. After downloading the app onto your smartphone, take the phone with you when you walk your dog/s and press the “Start Walking” button to keep track of your walk. When your walk is done, that walk is credited to your selected shelter or rescue group. The app will show you how many people are walking for that organization and will also keep track of how far you walk and other information. There are also buttons to keep track of your runs and biking. You can download the name and photos of the dog who will be walking with you and keep track of their walks as well. You will need to be outside for the app to work. Continue reading

Online Fundraiser Started for Traverse City Animal Rescuer

bev pic

Beverly Gravlin has been a quiet and unsung hero of the Traverse City animal rescue community for years. She’s taken in many animals over the years who have needed special attention including the blind, deaf, old, cats, dogs, birds and more…She has helped out many other animal rescuers who didn’t have room at the time for an animal with special needs or to care for an urgent animal who was sick or injured. She has saved many critters over the past 60 years.

She never asks for anything in return. She has a heart of gold and uses her own money and time to nurse these animals back to health and care for them. She is currently having financial difficulties in keeping up with the repairs of her house and a Go Fund me campaign has been started here.

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

Cruel Gas Chamber Deaths for Shelter Pets Should be Abolished in Michigan

We all realize that a time comes when every animal must die, just like each of us. Lost, homeless and abused animals in our shelters are routinely euthanized; this is a reality in our state and across the nation. But the use of carbon monoxide – in gas chambers – is cruel, barbaric and completely unnecessary. Indeed, in Cass, Van Buren, Branch and Berrien counties, dogs and cats that die in shelters suffer slow, painful and traumatic death in small hot boxes, usually with other panic-stricken animals. This inhumane practice needs to end immediately. In 1996, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that execution by poison gas constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Death by gas chamber is no less cruel for an animal, and 22 states have made it illegal to kill dogs and cats in gas chambers. Even Texas, with disproportionate rates of human execution, passed a law in 2013 making it illegal to gas dogs and cats. The term “euthanasia” does not apply to gas chambers. Euthanasia, by definition, means “good death.” Death without pain or fear. Certainly not what happens in a gas chamber. Click here for the rest of the story.

Santa and the Border Collie – A Heartwarming Short Story Just in Time for Christmas



I was recently recommended to take a look at the books of Leland Dirks and because my time is limited with Christmas and volunteering activities the last two months of the year, I decided to download Santa and the Border Collie onto my Kindle. It was advertised as a short story (about 5,000 words) and only cost me 99¢ which was another incentive. I love dog and cat books with Christmas themes and was able to finish this one pretty quick in one sitting. It didn’t disappoint.

The story is about a homeless boy and his dog, Sam, who meet a man named Nick who dresses up as Santa Claus. They both “work” the same street, asking generous people to contribute to their causes. They all become friends and end up much better off from being in each others lives.


Dirks and his dog, Angelo, are the official writers on record for Santa and the Border Collie. They live in Colorado in their off-grid home with two other furry family members. Pet Friends Magazine was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Angelo about his life as an aspiring writer and canine internet star… Continue reading

Horsing Trend Gaining Momentum

From The Ticker

Amidst an expanding equestrian festival, more horse barns and new equine-themed retail shops, there’s more evidence than ever that the Traverse City area is embracing the horsey life.

“I’d certainly like to think Traverse City is becoming more equestrian-minded,” says Alex Rheinheimer, owner and manager of Horse Shows by the Bay (HSBB), the equestrian festival now in its 11th season that draws riders from all over the country and Europe with an estimated local economic impact north of $12 million. “There are other areas that are more horsey … Traverse City is not that far, but I think just by the show being here the word ‘equestrian’ is in more peoples’ vocabularies.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

West Michigan Soldier Reunited with his Dog Looks Forward to Time Off

A West Michigan man is at the center of a tearful reunion between two Iraq veterans that has been warming hearts across the country. Sergeant Jason Bos served in Iraq with CiCi, a bomb-sniffing chocolate lab. He says they formed a bond during their time together, even keeping in touch with CiCi’s handler after he left the service. When CiCi was being retired, Bos took the opportunity to adopt her. Click here for the rest of the story.

Keep The Worms Out Of Your Pet’s Heart! The Facts About Heartworm Disease

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Heartworm Disease – What Is It And What Causes It?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito. The dog is the definitive host, meaning that the worms mature into adults, mate, and produce offspring while living inside a dog. The mosquito is the intermediate host, meaning that the worms live inside a mosquito for a short transition period in order to become infective (able to cause heartworm disease). The worms are called “heartworms” because the adults live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal. Click here for more info.

Autumn Has Arrived…and is Looking for a Family!


Autumn was an an owner surrender at a county animal control facility. She was said to be around 11 years old but she acts a lot younger. The owners said they were getting rid of her because of a health issue but it was found all she needed was some inexpensive medication to control her problem.


Autumn gets along great with people and other dogs. She comes when she is called and knows the “sit” command. She is housebroken and crate trained and rides well in a car. She is well behaved in the house and doesn’t jump up on furniture, chew things or bed when you are eating. She does seem to have arthritis in her hips, but this isn’t why she stays off the furniture as she can jump from the ground into a crate in the back of a van without any encouragement. She isn’t on any pain meds right now and doesn’t really seem to need them. Her arthritis is only noticeable on days when she is very active. Continue reading

Recognizing Animal Cruelty and Knowing What to Do About It

Animal neglect and cruelty don’t seem to be issues that are going away anytime soon, especially in Northern Lower Michigan. Because many people in the community are uncertain about how to deal with this issue and how it is investigated, I recently attended day-long event that was offered through the MAACO (Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers) annual conference. They invited MPAW (Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare) to participate in the conference for a set of seminars in Thompsonville on May 8th.

Photo credit: Michigan Humane Society (photo of Julie)

Photo credit: Michigan Humane Society (photo of Julie)

I wanted to find out more information for my readers about what they can do when they suspect animal cruelty, neglect or dog fighting. Most of this information was learned from the seminar they offered on this topic, which was my main reason for attending. Other information was gained through other sources and my reporting about this topic over the years.

Continue reading

Michigan First to Certify Animal Rescues to Save More Lives

The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance opened enrollment for the Michigan Rescue Certification Program (MRCP) on Monday, March 1, 2013. Foster-based animal rescue groups that are not yet certified for 2013 are asked to submit an online application between March 1 and April 30. The application link, program description and documents are available here. Continue reading

Is Traverse City Going to the Dogs?

From the Ticker…

The dog days of summer are still months away, but is becoming a canine-friendly town? According to, the most pet-friendly city for Fido is Portland, Ore. with more than 32 dog parks. That got The Ticker thinking, just how dog-friendly is TC? Click here for more info.

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.

Keeping Your Pet’s Water and Food Bowls Cleaned Should be Part of Your Daily Routine


photo from:

Something that’s often overlooked but is an important part of your pet’s overall health and well-being is the cleaning of their food and water bowls. Just like you need clean bowls with your meals, so do your pets. Not cleaning them often results in disease and bacteria building up in their bowl. Your pet is too important to make their bowl an attraction for bacteria, bugs and mold. Not to mention, it can be a turn-off to your pets and result in them not eating or drinking and getting sick down the line.  Continue reading

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

Cherryland Humane Society: 2012 Wrap-Up

From Mike Cherry, Director, via the November/December CHS Newsletter

So often humane organizations work with limited budgets that allow them only to take in and adopt out homeless pets. Several years ago, the CHS attained a financial position that allowed us to go to the next level and allow the CHS not only to do intakes and adoptions, but also to branch out and work towards bringing resolution to some of the many problems that pets face.

We have been fortunate enough, because of the help of so many and in so many ways, to become a dynamic charity. We currently maintain over twenty-five programs that provide vital and significant help for pets. Among those programs are efforts dealing with humane education and public awareness, benevolence, pet problem resolution, networking, outreach, area support, emergency care, and pet training, socialization, and rehabilitation. There are many more. The programs are administered as funds are available. During the difficult economic times, some programs have had to be set aside until funds become available. Obviously, the primary focus is always on the well-being of shelter animals and finding responsible, loving, and humane homes for them. Continue reading

A Canine Christmas Spirit

by Cheryl Dinger Dec. 20, 2012

Spirit. Something we carry in our heart and mind, and sometimes in our hand. Her name was Tina Maria. A little spirit. A young girl who lived and died over 30 years ago. Her spirit was carried in my heart and hand on a recent holiday shopping trip. Wanting to create a thoughtful Christmas gift for my sisters, I took the tiny photo of Tina to the stores to help me find just the right sized frame for the beloved picture of our childhood Chihuahua pet. The only photo of it’s kind on this earth. I know this gift would bring a smile to the faces of my siblings. Continue reading