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

Keep Pets Safe for the Holidays

The holiday season is filled with special food, decorations and gatherings with relatives and friends. Some of that fun can be dangerous to pets. Each year many pets are rushed to emergency veterinary clinics over the holidays after often preventable mishaps with food or decorations. Click here for a list of things to watch out for. 

New Non-profit Spay/Neuter Clinic Opening in Flint

Eva Worthing, councilwoman for Flint’s 9th Ward, cut the ribbon at the grand opening of a new non-profit spay/neuter clinic for pets on Saturday, Dec. 16. Michigan non-profit, All About Animals Rescue, opened the state of the art high-volume affordable spay/neuter and wellness clinic in the former Boy Scouts of America headquarters building at 507 W. Atherton. Click here for more info.

Peace Ranch Receives $127,500 Grant

On Wednesday, November 8th, 255 members  of Impact Traverse City cast their vote for the finalists they felt most deserving for their grant awards and the 2017 grant recipients they chose are Inland Seas Education Association and PEACE Ranch. Impact Traverse City said both of these well-deserving non-profits received a $127,500 grant to transform their programs. Click here for more information about all the finalists, their projects and access to their wish lists to show your support. 

Benzie County Animal Control Officer Remembered for Love of Animals, Job

A beloved animal control officer being remembered throughout Benzie County. Ed Carter worked with the Benzie County Animal Control for nearly a decade. He died Friday after a brief battle with cancer. A love for animals and a passion for the job is the best way you could describe Ed Carter. That passion and love was on full display for the nearly 9 years he gave to the Benzie County Animal Control. Click here for more on the story.

Parvovirus Kills Otsego Co. Family’s 4 Dogs; Experts Stress Importance of Vaccinations

An Otsego County family is mourning the loss of their four dogs, they were all killed by the canine parvovirus. For unvaccinated dogs the virus is almost always deadly. Dogs contract it by eating fecal matter but it can be prevented.

“About two weeks ago I brought my two adult dogs. We left and about a week later my dogs started getting really sick and progressively got worse,” Gaylord Resident Michael Richison, explained.

Click here for the rest of the story.

New Michigan Bill May Fan Drivers From Driving With Dogs on Their Lap

New legislation introduced in the Michigan state house would prohibit drivers from driving with a dog on their lap. The bill was unveiled Tuesday by Detroit Democratic Rep. LaTanya Garrett. It states that one should not be allowed to drive with a dog on their lap unless it is there for a medical purpose. If violated a driver would be fined $100 on the first offense and $200 on each offense there after. Click here for the rest of the story.

How to Help Cats and Dogs This Holiday Season

photo credit: Digital Street SA website.

The holidays are a good time to spread some joy by volunteering time and donating money or supplies to your local animal organizations.

In Northern, lower Michigan, several animal rescue groups are wrapping presents for donations at the Traverse City BAM in exchange for donations. They will be there from now until Christmas Eve from morning until night time. You can click here for the schedule. 

AC PAW is currently looking for volunteers to help out at adoptions and cleaning the cat cages at PetsMart in Traverse City. Adoption hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 to 7 pm, Saturdays noon to 4 pm and Sundays 1 to 4 pm. Please click here to volunteer.

Cherryland Humane Society has a wish list of items that they need including non-clumping cat litter, laundry soap, bleach, paper towels, medium and large size Kongs, gift cards, gas cards for transporting animals, hand sanitizer, and trash bags.

H.A.N.D.D.S. to the Rescue is signed up with so that money will be donated to the rescue group when you sign in to Amazon Smile here

Please consider donating to your local animal rescue organizations and shelters this Christmas to help make the holidays happier for homeless cats and dogs.

Keeping Your Pets Safe at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets. Holiday food needs to be kept away from pets, and pet owners who travel need to either transport their pets safely or find safe accommodations for them at home. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday. Click here for the rest of the story.

Antrim County Sheriff’s First Police Dog Struck By Car and Killed

The Sheriff’s Department plans to continue its K9 program despite the loss of its first police dog, Ori, a German shepherd that was struck by a car and killed.

“It is with heavy heart to announce that Deputy Ori was killed …,”Sheriff Daniel Bean said in a statement.

“Deputy Ori’s death was a very unfortunate and tragic accident.”

The Community Foundation Endowment for Antrim donated $17,250 to establish Antrim County’s K-9 program.

Click here for the rest of the story.

With Grand Traverse County Not Funding Animal Control for 2018, Dog Licensing Campaign Becomes Major Focus for Funding

photo credit: Brauer Productions

Unlike just about every other Animal Control Department in Michigan who funds their staff and services from a millage or general fund, Grand Traverse County gets their funding strictly from dog license fees. Their refusal to fund the Division because it’s not a state “mandated service” means the county’s Animal Control Division is short-staffed and will go back to one part-time Animal Control Officer this month.

With the 2018 budget approved by the County Commissioners last night and no money allocated for the Animal Control Division, they are hoping that the just-released dog licensing campaign yields enough new income to increase staff hours and services back to where they should be. Continue reading

AC PAW 2018 Dog and Cat Calendars Now on Sale

Every year, AC PAW prints dog and cat calendars as a fundraiser and also to keep their supporters updated on the furry lives that they’ve been saving during the year. The advertisers in the calendar help pay for the printing of the calendars so as much of the proceeds can be used as possible for the rescue organization. Continue reading

New Livingston Animal Control Director Focuses on Keeping People, Pets Together

Educating people on how to care for and keep their pets is a primary goal of Aimee Orn, the new Livingston County Animal Control director.

“Some cases are out-and-out cruelty, but a lot come from ignorance and not understanding that there is more to owning an animal than giving it food and water,” said Orn, noting that some people are simply unaware of the importance of veterinary care, licensing, proper shelter and other issues. “Putting a leash on a dog and walking him or her when you get home doesn’t cost money, but it makes a world of difference to your dog.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

GT County Animal Control’s Uncertain Future

Deb Zerafa is the person who checks on someone suspected of hoarding cats. She’s whom the police call if they find sickly dogs locked up in cages in a house. If you’re walking down a trail and get bitten by a dog, it’s Zerafa who comes to investigate.

“A lot of [my job] is just trying to diffuse a situation that could become volatile between neighbors,” Zerafa said. “There’s a lot of neighbor-to-neighbor issues.”

On Oct. 17, Zerafa was working on one of those neighbor disputes in East Bay Township. Several weeks earlier, a woman had been bitten by a neighbor’s dog and required a rabies quarantine. Zerafa needed to follow up because the at-fault dog owner continued to let her dogs run loose. Zerafa knocked on the woman’s door, and while the cars outside and lights on inside suggested otherwise, no one was home — at least no one who would come to the door.

“I’ve got to talk to the owner,” Zerafa said. “I’ve gotten four calls since last week. This has got to stop.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Four Fighting Dogs from Lansing to be Transferred for Rehab and Adoption

The Ingham County Animal Control office announced today that four of the dogs from the mid-Michigan dog fighting have been transferred to a rescue. They were sent to Bark Nation, a non-profit organization in Detroit that specializes in fighting dogs. The group evaluated the dogs and deemed all four to be good candidates for rehabilitation. Ingham County Animal Control stated that Bark Nation has a behavior team that are experts at evaluating fighting dogs and area able to better determine if those animals are good for rehab. After rehabilitation, the dogs will be found forever homes. Click here for the rest of the story.

Area Veterinarians Keep Animal Rescuers Rolling Along

Behind every successful animal rescue organization and animal shelter are passionate and committed veterinarians who helps them treat and save pets in their community. For a lot of animal rescuers, their veterinarian bill is one of their biggest expenses and their veterinarians are one of the most important reasons for their success.

Often, stray pets – and even previously owned pets – don’t get the veterinary care that they need. It’s a rare moment when a rescue group or animal shelter gets a healthy pet that is also spayed and neutered. Before these animals get adopted out, they go to a veterinarian for an exam and are often also treated for things such as fleas, rabies shots, ear infections, malnourishment, skin issues, heartworm disease and some receive expensive treatment like surgery after getting hit by a car or parvo treatment. Although an adoption fee from an animal shelter or rescue group can seem like a lot of money, it is often quite a “deal” as these animal rescuers have already had the pets get the veterinary care described above and they have otten these pets updated with their shots, spayed and neutered and some are also microchipped.

In the Grand Traverse area, Veterinarians Dr. Sara Lint and Dr. Leslie Littlefield of The Clark-Everett Dog and Cat Hospital in Traverse City help many groups including AC PAW, Cherryland Humane Society and The Munchkins’ Mission.

This little bottle baby who was fostered with AC PAW is just one of many pets who the organization is able to save thanks to help of local veterinarians.

In addition to Clark-Everett Dog and Cat Hospital, Cherryland Humane Society also relies on veterinarians at Grand Traverse Veterinary Hospital, Northwood Animal Hospital and Suttons Bay Animal Hospital. Dr. Albert Lynch of Companion Animal Hospital also comes into the shelter every other Wednesday, donating his time. Since the shelter opened, CHS has relied on the services of many area veterinarians along the way. Continue reading

Sheriff Looking for Leads After Dog Shot with Arrow in Oceana County

The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office is trying to find the person responsible for shooting a dog with an arrow, leaving the pit bull/lab mix with serious injuries. The animal cruelty case was reported at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday after the dog was found with the arrow on East Madison Road in Colfax Township. Click here for the rest of the story.

Wexford County Settles Animal Control Whistleblower Lawsuit

Kathy Dennis at home with some of her furry family members.

Four-and-a-half years after Wexford County Animal Shelter Attendant Kathy Dennis made allegations concerning the Wexford County Animal Shelter and had to leave her job after reporting her concerns to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the county has finally settled her whistleblower lawsuit for the sum of $175,000.

After being required to pay 76¢ for the costs of copies and a stamp before the information was released, Pet Friends has finally received the Settlement Agreement from the county. The Settlement Agreement states that both parties agreed to settle the lawsuit amicably and the agreement does not constitute an admission or liability of wrongdoing by either party. The case has been voluntarily dismissed.

Dennis’ original complaints against the county included the allegations that the county was euthanizing animals without proper sedation and that there were financial irregularities going on. Then, in February of 2013, she sued the Sheriff’s Department, the county and Sheriff, Gary Finstrom for retaliating against her by reducing her job responsibilities, restricting access to the shelter and cutting her hours. She alleged that the changes to her condition of employment were made in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Wexford County had won in the lower court but Dennis filed an appeal and the case moved forward until this settlement was made.

Dennis is now employed as an Animal Control Officer at Osceola County Animal Control Dennis says, “I love working at Osceola County Animal Control with others who share the same passion for animals.”

Traverse Bay Humane Society Builds Their Own Vet Clinic

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society (LTBHS) has run up against the same problems as many other animal rescue groups and animal shelters in the country – a lack of resources to offer low cost spay/neuter services and other veterinarian services to pet owners and also for their own animals. LTBHS decided to take matters in their own hands and built their own facility on the grounds of their animal shelter in Harbor Springs. Executive Director, Deter Racine explained, “Our needs outstripped the ability of our local veterinarians to handle the increased number of animals coming through our doors each year.”

The Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic opened to the public in April of this year after earmarking donation money for the project in addition to launching a capital campaign to raise the rest of the money. Continue reading

Cadillac Area Dog Park Advisory Committee Disbanding

The Cadillac Area’s Dog Park Advisory Committee has decided to stop meeting citing a successful completion of the goals of the group. Bill Allen, Chairman of the DPAC, said that they were dedicated to help the city design, finance and construct the park and those goals have been accomplished. The project cost about $18,000, all of which came from local groups and individuals in the City providing support. Allen wishes to thank Lori Wetherell and Mike Coy for coming to his house about three years ago when the idea was proposed. Margo Copley helped with writing grants and keeping meeting minutes as well as keeping Allen inspired to continue with the project. Allen also sends out a special thank you to Mike Hamberg of Hamberg Fence Inc. for his willingness to work with the Committee.

The park will continue to be maintained and operated by the City and future needs would have to be coordinated with them.

Young Girl Remembers What’s Important at School Show-and-Tell

The book “Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell” by Randi Lynn Mrvos is an entertaining children’s book which will remind its young audience – just like the main character is reminded – that sometimes you have to take a step back and remember what is important in life. Faced with having to come up with something to show-and-tell at school about her summer vacation, young Maggie is worried because, unlike her friends, she did not go anywhere or do anything exciting. Her mom reminds her why they weren’t able to go anywhere that summer and it involves a heartwarming story of a dog.

The book is for kids ages 4 to 8 years old and especially those that are pet lovers. The end of the book also has some questions for kids to answer about pets and information about the dog that inspired the book.

Check out this book at the link here or on Amazon.

This is not a paid advertisement – it is a review of a book – if I don’t like the books I review, I don’t post them on my website