Grand Traverse County, Keep Your Pets Secure During Fireworks and Air Shows – Click Here for Schedule and Animal Control Info. for Lost Dogs

More pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time all year. The scary sounds of fireworks, visitors coming in and out of the house the the Air Show with the Navy’s Blue Angels, can all be very scary things for our pets. Dogs will cower, hide and shake – and dart out of the door if not watched. Outside dogs can easily take off because of the noise and stress of the new events happening around them.

Animal advocate Suzanne Weiler came up with a schedule so that Grand Traverse County residents can be informed about which days the Traverse City events related to the Cherry Festival and the 4th of July will be happening: Continue reading


New Policies in Place for Grand Traverse County Pet Owners to Reclaim Their Lost Dogs

Grand Traverse County recently approved a memo of understanding regarding the contract between Cherryland Humane Society (CHS) and the county. The memo came about because CHS had concerns relating to individuals who surrendered dogs or claimed impounded dogs as part of animal control’s investigations into stray, neglected or abused dogs. Some of these interactions were creating an unpleasant and confrontational environment for the CHS staff. Both sides met to mitigate those negative encounters and drafted a memo. The changes make Grand Traverse County Animal Control the entity responsible for collecting fees and releasing animals at the shelter instead of CHS staff.

With the new policy, pet owners who have had their dogs impounded by animal control because they were at large will be contacted by Grand Traverse County Animal Control if the dog has ID. Pet owners are to call the office on Lafranier Road prior to reclaiming their dog from CHS. Continue reading

Cat Stuck in a Tree? Looking for a Local Lost & Found Facebook Page? Updated Resource List Spotlights Animal-Related Groups

Sometimes it’s hard to find what you need – even with Google. Pet Friends Magazine updated the Resource Link with a list of animal welfare groups, companies that can rescue cats stuck in trees, dog parks, K9 units, lost & found Facebook pages, animal sanctuaries and more. Check it out to see what’s around you and maybe you have missed out on knowing about! Click here to check it out.

PEACE Ranch Breaks Ground on Experiential Therapy Center

Nestled back on Hoosier Valley road in Traverse City is a tranquil farm appropriately named “PEACE Ranch.” At first glance, it resembles a regular farm; horses, outbuildings, and gardens.  However, it is so much more than that. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Jackie Kaschel, executive director, and learn about PEACE Ranch, one of Impact 100 TC’s 2017 grant recipients. Click here for the rest of the story.

10 Best Animal Adoption Shelters & Nonprofits in Northern Michigan

More than 10,000 voters from across the state weighed in on 101 things they love about Northern Michigan. Their votes determined 303 Red Hot Best winners and 700+ honorable mentions. Here you’ll find the best animal adoption shelters and nonprofits in Northern Michigan (and maybe your new furry friend)! Click here for the rest of the story.

GT County Animal Control Officer on Paid Administrative Leave Pending Investigation

photo credit: Deb Zerafa FB Page

From Up North Live: A northern Michigan animal control officer has been put on paid administrative leave. Deb Zerafa has worked as an animal control officer for Grand Traverse County for years. According to the interim county administrator, Zerafa is on paid administrative pending an investigation regarding her work. It is unknown at this time what sparked the investigation.

Man Seeks Help Searching for His Lost Emotional Support Dog in Benzie County Area

A Michigan man is asking for help in locating his missing emotional support dog. Brandon Shultz’s dog ‘Ash’, went missing three weeks ago and now he may be in survival mode. Ash is a 6-year-old, brown Boxer mix without a tail and has short fur. Ash is wearing a collar and is also microchipped.

Ash was last seen in the Benzonia area in Benzie County, someone reported to Brandon that they spotted Ash running near the Betsie River with possibly a black dog. Click here for the rest of the story.

Grand Traverse County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Moving Animal Control “Headquarters” Back to Keystone Road Location

The Grand Traverse county commissioners voted to move the Animal Control Division back to the Keystone Road location in Traverse City, home of the old animal control headquarters. There has been no decision on whether animal control will kennel the dogs in the future instead of Cherryland Humane Society (CHS), however the phones, computer, trucks, staff and other needed animal control items will be transferred to the Keystone location and upgrades will be made to the building.

This relocation will help facilitate the change in policy in a recent memo of understanding between the county and CHS regarding the surrendering and reclaiming of dogs at CHS. Pet Friends Magazine will post an article in the near future that outlines the agreement that makes Grand Traverse County responsible for collecting fees and releasing the animals instead of CHS staff. Dog owners will have to meet animal control officers at their current location on Lafranier Road before they are allowed to go to CHS to collect or surrender a dog.

No date was given on when the relocation of the animal control headquarters to Keystone Rd. will happen but the commissioners voted to move ahead with the plan. The building currently houses items for the Commission on Aging. The estimate for re-purposing the building was reported to be approximately $15,000 in structural needs (new kennel doors, new sink enclosure, painting, fixture upgrades, drywall repairs, bathroom upgrades, septic tank cleaning, etc.). Interim Co-Administrator and Undersheriff Nate Alger pointed out that savings could be found from the initial IT estimate for internet access by using an air card or hot spot.

Shelter and Rescue Link Updated on Pet Friends Magazine

It’s been a while since this link has been updated to reflect new organizations, new email addresses and updated website and Facebook links. Please take a look at it and see what’s listed for your county. Government run animal control links are also listed on this page so you can find out information about laws in your county and hours of service. And of course, there are plenty of resources for you to find adoptable animals. Click here to look at the list.

And coming soon is an update on the resource list with animal welfare organizations, sanctuaries, K9 officers, wildlife resources and other animal links – plus a link for low cost spay/neuter resources too. Stay tuned!

Divit Now Interviewing for Special Family to Adopt Him

photo credit: Jayne Richmond Photography 

Fish gotta swim… birds gotta fly… I gotta look cute and purr my sweet song until my forever family comes to take me home. The Osceola County Animal Shelter in Reed City has some really great people but I’m looking for some very important things – a couch, a bed or two, some nice blankets, a window next to a bird feeder, satellite TV, cat treats on request… you know – all the staples of being a pampered and loved indoor kitty.

I’ve been through a lot lately and want to tell you my story. I was attacked by a dog a few months ago and had to visit the veterinarian several times after that. The great people at the shelter paid all of my doctor bills so I don’t have any debts that you have to worry about.

I have made a full recovery but the doctor found out that I have FELV. That’s a kitty disease that other cats can get so I am looking for a forever home with no other kitties. I have been fixed (that was fun!) and received my vaccinations and have also been treated for fleas and parasites. Everyone at the shelter says I am a super sweet snuggly guy and a total STEAL for the special $5 adoption fee. I think I’m worth more like $5000 but I’ll let it slide because the shelter is doing their best to find me a perfect home.

Please call the shelter at 231-832-5790 if you want to adopt me – and you better do it fast because I’m gorgeous and sure to be a hit once people find out about me and come to visit.

Lawsuit Against Benzie County for Unlawful Seizure of Pets Moves Forward

Sheila Dinger’s lawsuit is moving forward against Benzie County, Benzie County Animal Control, Animal Control Officer Kyle Maurer and former Animal Control Officer Jaime Croel. The lawsuit was filed on May 16th and is the result of actions previously documented in an earlier article by Pet Friends Magazine here.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Dinger’s civil rights; fourth amendment violation for illegal search and seizure; and illegally seizing property against state law. The lawsuit is asking for compensatory damages (including mental anguish and suffering), punitive damages and attorney fees.

Click sheila lawsuit for copy of actual complaint.

Six 4-H Ducks Shot in Grand Traverse County, Deputies Searching for Suspect

Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for the person who shot six ducks in Blair Township. According to Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Deputies, between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. Monday someone shot six ducks that were part of a Grawn area youth 4-H project. Dan Davis says the ducks belong to his grandchildren, Maddeline, 6, and Adrian, 5. Click here for more on the story.

43 Pets Seized From Home, Roscommon County Animal Shelter Seeking Donations

The animal shelter says they took 41 cats and two dogs from a home last Thursday. The shelter is asking for donations to help handle the rise in the number of animals they must care for. They are asking for cat litter, disposable plastic paint trays and other items. Click here for more on the story.

Click here for the story about the seizure.

Legislation Introduced in Michigan to Keep Puppy Mills in Business

Puppies are the common denominator in the world of animal welfare. If we can agree on nothing else, there is consensus that the abuse of a puppy is a bottom line for all but the most depraved. This unwritten rule was thrown out the window last week, however, when Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, introduced a pair of bills intended to help an industry that has become synonymous with animal abuse: puppy mills. These two bills are part of a larger strategy by pet store and puppy mill lobbyists to prevent local governments from banning the retail sale of puppies, part of a legislative arms race that has spread across the country. Click here for the rest of the story. Continue reading

Serra Subaru Traverse City Donates $20,000 to Help Veterans, Their Families

All applause at Serra Subaru in Traverse City, as it presented a check that will ultimately help Northern Michigan veterans and disabled individuals. It’s part of the annual “Share the Love” event, which donates to a local nonprofit. Click here for the rest of the story.

You Can Save Orphaned Kittens and Puppies

This article was printed years ago and spring is a great time to re-publish the info. for everyone…

I recently attended an AC Paw seminar that gave valuable information on how to save orphaned puppies and kittens. Orphans are babies who are less than five weeks old and without their mother before they are weaned. AC Paw has taken care of more than 420 orphaned cats since their group was organized and many puppies as well. The information that was provided is something that needs to be passed along to as many animal lovers as possible. You might never be in the circumstances of trying to save the life of a puppy or kitten, but the knowledge to do so might help a family member, friend or even a stranger.

There are five critical points to remember when you are involved in trying to save the lives of orphaned kittens and puppies. It spells out the word “Aspen” as you will see below. The information provided is from the AC Paw seminar and other online research. There are a lot of steps involved but it is worth it to read the information over a few times so that you are familiar with the process. Continue reading

Local Law Enforcement Attends Training Program for Dealing with Animal Calls

photo credit: MHS Facebook page

The Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City in coordination with the Michigan Humane Society hosted a full day of Law Enforcement Training on Friday, May 4th. The training was offered to animal control officers and also to law enforcement personnel who are called on to provide animal control duties. Attendees at the training included Grand Traverse County Animal Control Officers; Traverse City Police; Grand Traverse Tribal Police; Newaygo Police and more. Traverse City is the farthest away that the MHS group has traveled to give the training. Since starting the Law Enforcement Training Program in June of 2015, they have trained 400 officers and continue to do monthly training in Detroit. Continue reading

Your Help is Needed to Stop Puppy Mills from Selling Animals in Michigan Pet Stores

Puppy Mill dog, photo credit:

Re-posted fom Pet Fund Alliance

MICHIGAN RESIDENTS: Your voice is needed TODAY! The puppy mill industry is attempting to pass House Bill 5917 in Michigan to prevent cities and towns from banning retail sales of pets. Currently, a municipality may choose not to support the puppy mill industry. We need it to stay that way!

If enacted, House Bill 5917 will prohibit Michigan cities and counties from passing ordinances that prevent inhumanely bred puppies and kittens from being sold in pet stores, and will overturn all existing retail pet sales ordinances throughout the state. As a result, puppy mills will continue to flourish, and consumers will be deprived of their right to know where the animals sold in pet shops really come from.

View HB 5917 here

View House Bill 5916/5917: Bad for animals and consumers Fact Sheet here

Contact your Representative NOW! The “Petland Bills” (HB 5917) may be voted on as soon as Wednesday, May 9 and they could then quickly move to the house floor the next day!  Continue reading

Benzie County Looking at a Potential Lawsuit for Taking Pets from Owner Without Cause

Sheila Dinger still cries herself to sleep at night after the heartbreaking seizure of her eight pets. On December 12, 2017, Benzie County Animal Control officers Kyle Mauer and Jaime Croel, who is now the Animal Control Supervisor in Grand Traverse County, accompanied Deputy Sheriff Michael Ramsey to Dinger’s house to serve an eviction order that was a result of a family dispute. When asked by Pet Friends Magazine why the animals were seized, the attorney representing Benzie County in this case released the following statement: “Mr. Ramsey requested Animal Control come out and remove the animals from the house. After that it was their call based upon their judgement that the animals were in need of care and pursuant to the Animal Control Ordinance that they took the other animals because they appeared neglected.” 

Pet Friends Magazine conducted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to look through the documentation that Benzie County provided regarding this case and found that Dinger had no current complaints of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect filed against her at the time that her pets were seized; there was no warrant to seize the animals; there was no information on the eviction order about the pets; and there was no paperwork from the county that proves that she was served with an order of eviction before December 12th which would have allowed her the time to relocate her pets. Continue reading

Kalkaska County Considers Closing Animal Shelter

The Kalkaska County Animal Control Shelter could be shut down and outsourced because it is becoming too expensive to run.

“It is very aging. We could use new kennels over there, just new facilities to be able to better care for the animals,” said Kalkaska County Sheriff Pat Whiteford. “Rising employee cost with healthcare and other benefits, just put us over top for what we could afford with that current mileage that we have.”

Kalkaska County’s Animal Control Shelter could be re-housed by the end this year because of budget concerns. Click here for the rest of the story.

FAA To Honor Traverse City’s Piper With Plaque

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees will recognize Cherry Capital Airport’s former Wildlife Manager Piper with a recognition plaque that will be presented to the dog’s handler, Brian Edwards, and Cherry Capital Airport staff in a small ceremony at the airport today (Thursday, April 19th). For more on the story, please click here.

House Panel Considers Ban on Killing Dogs and Cats for Meals

An amendment added Wednesday to a farm bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee would bar people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption,” as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat. Dog and cat slaughter is extremely rare in the U.S. and already prohibited in commercial slaughterhouses. But consumption of animals commonly considered as pets and companions in American culture still takes place among some immigrant groups. Only a handful of states, including New York, New Jersey and California, ban such small-scale butchering. For more on the story, click here.