Dogs

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Therapy dogs are helping Michigan State University students take a break this week while they study for their final exams. 

The dogs are available to students at two of the libraries on campus where some students practically live during finals week.

As part of its mission to save shelter dogs from being euthanized, Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan came up with an idea: place these rescued or unwanted dogs with trainers - trainers who have the time to work with the dogs, to train them for adoption into a good home - trainers who are behind bars.

The RPSM's Correctional Companion Program places dogs with specially trained prison inmates, and what happens in the time these inmates spend with their dogs is powerful. Martin Daughenbaugh has seen this power in his own life. As an inmate of the state prison in Coldwater, Martin met a blind dog named Quinn.

And it's a story worth sharing.

Early snowfall and cold temperatures are causing a hold up on dog sled training in the Upper Peninsula.
User Frank Kovalchek / flickr.com

Though seemingly counterintuitive, early snowfall and cold temperatures are causing a hold up on dog sled training in the Upper Peninsula.

The dogs at Team Evergreen Kennel in Skandia Township were excited when the first snow fell, as Tim Wood, Lead Handler, explained to Jennifer Perez from WLUC-TV:

You will let [the dogs] out into the backyard that first snow fall and they just tear around like demons because they know what this time of year means and they get really excited.

Last week, a several-day storm brought up to 42.5 inches of snow to parts of the Upper Peninsula. The dog teams need packed snow to travel on, so they rely on groomed trails for training. Musher Lisa Dietzen explains why trails haven't been groomed yet:

"Some of the trails that we have to use are opened from the snowmobile trail and our snowmobile trail won't open until after gun season, which is another two weeks. So, some of those trails that we rely on to be groomed out aren't going to be groomed out any time soon."

The mushers at Team Evergreen say they're limited as to where they can run their dogs without these groomed trails. For right now, they're running them on a small track on their property.

Michigan's big dog sled race, The UP 200, is scheduled to take place from February 12 - 16.

-Ari Sandberg, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of dog groups is upset the state allows local governments to ban specific breeds of dogs.    

Many communities put restrictions on pit bulls, often out of concern about dog attacks.

Courtney Protz-Sander organized a rally of like-minded dog owners at the state Capitol on Wednesday. She says it’s unfair to tell people what kinds of dogs they can own.

Green Paws, Unlimited

Because sometimes we need some happy news, you know? 

And if you've already clicked your way through  the bathing and ribbon dancing baby elephants, here's something closer to home.

Kent County's health department sent out this release on Sept. 5: 

"GRAND RAPIDS – When Malachi, a 12-year-old terrier mix, was taken by Kent County Animal Control from a suspected hoarding situation in Grand Rapids this summer, she was a mess.

static416 / Creative Commons

A bill that’s working its way through the state House would make large-scale dog breeders register with the state. “Large scale” would be any breeder with 15 or more female dogs used for breeding puppies.

Photo by T.Sgt. J. Sarno / Wikimedia Commons

When you think of a war hero, what image comes to your mind?

Most likely, you think of a man or a woman dressed in desert camouflage, or a wounded warrior learning to walk again after being wounded in battle.

But there is another group of war heroes: the four-legged heroes. War dogs. 

Their history in the U.S. military is long and proud. They were used as messenger dogs, scout or patrol dogs, and in the cases of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have been used as explosive detection dogs. 

Unbeknownst to many of the locals, Michigan has one of the few war dog memorials in the nation, located between Milford and South Lyon in Oakland County. 

Phil Weitlauf is a U.S. Army veteran, as well as a champion of the Michigan War Dog Memorial. He joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan Humane Society staff to sleep in doghouses

Feb 16, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Some Michigan Humane Society staffers will be spending the night in doghouses as part of an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving pets outside in freezing temperatures.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Officials in Michigan are paying close attention to a mysterious outbreak that's killing dogs in Ohio.

During the past month, more than a half dozen dogs in the Akron and Cincinnati areas have been sickened by a mysterious illness.  About half have died, some only about 48 hours after first showing symptoms, which include severe diarrhea and vomiting.

catster

Genesee County Commissioners decided today to resume euthanizing dogs and cats at the county animal shelter.

Less than two months ago, the county decided to institute a ‘no-kill’ policy at the shelter.  

Under the old policy, dogs and cats would only be “put-down” with a written order from a veterinarian or a court.   But shelter officials say the shelter’s animal population has soared since the policy began.   

The new policy will give the shelter broader latitude to euthanize dogs and cats.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues.

Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check could be waived for shelters.

Judges would have to order defendants convicted of crimes against animals not to own animals for at least five years.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are a step closer to telling Michigan animal shelters how they can euthanize dogs, cats and ferrets.

Most Michigan animal shelters put down dogs and cats using lethal injection. A bill passed by the state Senate Agriculture Committee recently would mandate all shelters use injection.

There are a handful of shelters that still use gas chambers to euthanize unwanted or unhealthy dogs and cats.

Deborah Schutt is the chairperson of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. She says gassing is painful and not humane.

pedigreedatabase.com/forum

A new report says dog bites are a big problem in Michigan.

The American Veterinary Medical Association ranked Michigan sixth in the nation for dog bites.

According to the association, insurance companies paid out $4.6 million in claims for dog bites in Michigan in 2012.

Bonnie Beaver is a former AVMA president. She says they’re not sure exactly how big the problem is.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Consumers Energy meter readers may soon start making their rounds with a police escort.

The Jackson-based utility announced it is implementing a new aggressive dog policy.

Spokesman Roger Morgenstern says last year more than a dozen Consumers meter readers were attacked or threatened by dogs.

“The fact is this is the customer’s home. The customers have a right to have pets,” says Morgenstern, “So we’re hoping this would strike a right compromise.”

Eran Finkle/Flickr

Failing schools, emergency managers, and problems at nuclear power plants have populated Michigan headlines lately.

Important, but not very cheery.

We thought we'd lighten your Friday by sharing a few stats from Banfield Hospital's State of the Pet report. Here are a few of our favorites.

sheknows.com

A state lawmaker wants to open the doors of Michigan restaurants to dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Currently, only service animals, like guide-dogs, are allowed in restaurants.

Margaret O’Brien wants to change that.   The Kalamazoo County Republican wants to let local communities and restaurants decide whether they will permit dogs to sit with their owners at outdoor tables.

“Some pet owners say they love their pet more than their children, because they give so much love,” says O’Brien, “This will allow them to take them to the restaurant.”

watchsonomacounty.com

A large crowd of dog owners packed a Lansing city council meeting on the city’s vicious dog ordinance.  The city council's public safety committee heard from about a dozen speakers during its hour long meeting.

Mayor Virg Bernero wants Lansing to adopt a new law that requires additional insurance and fencing requirements on the owners of specific breeds of dog, including pit bulls.

Beth Contreras is the vice president of Voiceless Michigan, an animal welfare group. She says the mayor’s proposal is the wrong approach.

Scott King / flickr

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley talked with Terran Frye. He’s a veteran of the Marine Corp and had two deployments in Iraq. He’s now the veteran liaison for an organization called Stiggy’s Dogs, based in Howell Township. It trains psychiatric service dogs to help military vets who suffer from PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - After a brief amnesty, Genesee County officials are sending a small army of enforcers door to door to find dogs that don't have a license.

The Animal Control Department predicts the crackdown could raise more than $250,000 in fees this summer. There are 18 full-time workers who will sell licenses on the spot or write tickets.

Chief animal control officer Walt Rodabaugh tells The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/MfgUWd ) that many roads "have never been touched before." He says some residents haven't seen someone from his department in decades.

Last week Allegan County officials took more than 350 small breed dogs (more litters of puppies have arrived since) from a two bedroom home in Cheshire Township, about 30 miles northwest of Kalamazoo.

More than 300 of the animals have ended up in shelters across the state to help the over burdened shelter in Allegan County, and to get the dogs through the adoption process quicker. 

The owners were breeding the small dogs for sale. This report came from the Associated Press.

The sheriff's department said Cheri and George Burke, both 64, were arraigned Wednesday (April 11th, 2012) at the Allegan County jail on felony animal cruelty charges following an investigation by animal control officers and sheriff's officials. According to authorities, some of the dogs were covered in feces and fleas, and some had eye problems.

Some hope the cruelty case will help get the public to push lawmakers behind a bi-partisan effort to license large scale commercial breeders. It’s called the “puppy protection act”.

“Something like this bill would give us the authority to make sure it doesn’t get to this point,” said Dr. Steve Halstead, the Michigan Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian. 

The proposed state bill would’ve given his office authority to inspect the dog’s conditions before getting a state license. “It’s working with the proprietors to make sure that the animals never suffer,” Halstead said.

The Wonder Years

Apr 13, 2012
francistoms / flickr

April is prevention of cruelty to animals month. Michigan based writer, Wade Rouse shares a story about why it’s a month of note for him.

Over the last year,  Rouse has been sharing stories about his life, the holidays and other days of significance on the calendar.

You can find his stories in his book titled, It’s All Relative – Two families, three dogs, 34 holidays, and 50 boxes of wine…a memoir.

 

Detroit Dog Rescue / via Facebook

The Detroit Dog Rescue, an organization devoted to Detroit’s estimated 50,000 stray dogs got a huge boost to start the New Year.

Detroit Dog Rescue received more than $1.5 million from an anonymous donor.

Early this year, Detroit officials quashed an effort to make a TV documentary about the city’s stray dog population.

But out of that effort, the Detroit Dog Rescue was born. The group rescues abandoned dogs from the streets, then works to place them in permanent homes.

taylorschlades / Morguefile

A disease that can quickly kill dogs has resurfaced in metro Detroit after almost 40 years.

It’s called leptospirosis.

The bacterial disease is spread by rats, and from dog to dog. It can also infect humans.

Dr. Carole Bolin is a professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

She said the onset of symptoms in dogs can be very sudden.

“The inside of their mouth may be yellow-tinged, and they may be severely vomiting, and obviously very, very ill," Bolin said. "And those animals, when taken to the veterinarian, have very severe abnormalities which are consistent with liver and kidney failure.”

Bolin said more than 20 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in Detroit-area dogs in the past three weeks. Most were pets and most had to be euthanized.

A vaccine is available to prevent the disease.

user brother o'mara / Flickr

Drama in Detroit

It seems to be a case of "he said, she said."

Rochelle Collins, a former executive assistant to the mayor, says she was wrongfully terminated and is seeking a settlement from the city, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press reports that the city says Collins was not terminated, and now the Mayor's office is speaking out.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Mayor Dave Bing’s office launched an unusual preemptive strike today against a potential lawsuit by a former aide, saying her demand for reinstatement to a high-level position and $750,000 amounted to extortion to avoid the release of “salacious details” designed to embarrass the administration.

“We will not be intimidated by such tactics and will vigorously defend any attempt to raid the treasury of the City of Detroit and get a lottery-style payoff,” attorney Sharon McPhail, who is representing the city, told the Free Press.

Saginaw officials could pass "dangerous dogs" ordinance

On the heels of a debate in the State Legislature about pit bulls comes a city ordinance aimed at breeds deemed "dangerous."

Justin Engel reports in the Saginaw News that city officials say their proposed "dangerous dogs" ordinance could have prevented the mauling of a twelve year old boy.

From the Saginaw News:

The Saginaw ordinance, which the council could approve at its June 20 meeting, addresses both pit bull breeds and tethering.

The proposal requires owners of pit bulls — along with Rottweilers, German shepherds, presa canarios and bull mastiffs — to register their animals with the city for a one-time $20 payment or face fines up to $400.

The measure also forbids tethering dogs to objects outdoors “for extended periods” or face additional fines.

Black Bear wandering in Washtenaw County

From the Associated Press:

WEBSTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say they've confirmed that a black bear cub is wandering in Washtenaw County.

AnnArbor.com reported Tuesday that the sheriff's department confirmed the bear sighting in Webster Township near Dexter, about 9 miles northwest of Ann Arbor.

The confirmation comes after three bear sightings Saturday, including two at Hudson Mills Metropark and one at a home near the park.

Authorities are asking anyone that spots the bear to call 911. Since a cub was seen, authorities say a mother bear may also be in the area.

Backpack bomb scare

The backpack was left outside the IRS building in Detroit.

From the Detroit Free Press:

A backpack that set off a bomb scare outside the IRS building on Michigan Avenue in Detroit has been detonated by the Detroit Police Bomb Squad.

The backpack was found at about 4:30 a.m. at the corner of Third and Michigan, said Detroit Police Inspector Don Johnson. A power source spotted after an X-ray of the bag, prompted authorities to detonate the bag at the scene, versus remove it and detonate it elsewhere, he said.

Johnson, who would not elaborate on what the power source was, said investigators will review surveillance video to determine whether the bag was left accidentally or intentionally.

Saving Animals

Jun 13, 2011

There’s been a big controversy lately involving the Michigan Humane Society -- and by extension, every animal shelter in the state. It has to do with how many animals they have to kill.

This started a week ago, when two members of the society’s board of directors resigned because they thought the non-profit agency was euthanizing far too many animals.

“Our donors are giving us money to save lives,” one of them said, adding that she thought what was happening was an outrage.