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cats and DOGS B


A Magazine Devoted to Companion Animals

Feral Cat Collaborative Page 12 Julie Steffen and Winter Mosh Pit Rescue – Page 11

Shay needs a home Page 26 Diane Valk Heaven Can Wait Rescue – Page 4

Summer 2019


CONTENTS Animals for Adoption Cannonsville Critters ..................................................


BestPals Animal Rescue ..................................................


Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue ............................................


Carol’s Ferals .......................................................................


Muskegon Humane Society .........................................


Crash’s landing .................................................................


Tyson’s Place ........................................................................


Almost Every Month Willow’s World ..................................................................


Business Card Directory ..............................................


On the Wild Side ................................................................


Furry Philosophy Page 20

In Memory .............................................................................. 16/31 Cat Corner ............................................................................


Furry Philosophy ...............................................................


Ask the Trainer ...................................................................


Community Resource Guide .......................................


Our Readers Write and Paint ....................................


Features Heaven Can Wait awarded Petco Grant .............


Sleepy Hollow celebrates 50 years ..........................


Mosh Pit Rescue .................................................................


From rescue to veterinarian......................................


Cats and Dogs PO Box 996, Jenison, MI 49429-0996 616-777-0645 Cats and Dogs, founded in 2006, is a free publication supported by advertisers. Magazines are distributed throughout Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and surrounding counties. We are not responsible for services and products advertised. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Summer 2019 •

Willow’s World Page 5 Publisher: Janet Vormittag Owner: JLV Enterprises LLC Deadlines Spring: Feb. 15 - Summer: May 15 Fall: August 15 - Winter: Nov. 15

Home delivery of Cats and Dogs is $16 per year. Make your check payable to Cats and Dogs and mail to: Cats and Dogs, P.O. Box 996, Jenison, MI 49429-0996

Advertising information: 616-777-0645 -

Cats and Dogs - 3

Heaven Can Wait Rescue awarded Petco Foundation grant Your donations at the cash register make a difference By Janet Vormittag

was responsible for writing the Petco Foundation grant last September. When Diane Valk learned Heaven Can Wait Rescue “I was thrilled to find out we had been awarded wasn’t going to receive the $25,000 grant they applied for $40,000,” she said adding that even without paid from the Petco Foundation, she was disappointed. employees and a shelter, it costs a lot to finance the care But the disappointment didn’t last long. of more than 1,000 cats and kittens each year. Instead of giving the Muskegon-based cat rescue “We absolutely could not accomplish what we do what they asked for, Petco was giving them $40,000. without Petco,” she said. Besides grants, Petco gives “We’re blown away. We were reaching for the stars at the group food donations and a place to do adoptions. $25,000. We got the moon,” said Diane, who is one of the Every Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m., cats founders of the rescue. and kittens are brought to Petco on Harvey Street in The money will be used for veterinarian care and Muskegon for adoption. pet supplies. “One hundred percent of it will help the Heaven Can Wait has close to 200 volunteers and 90 homeless animals foster homes. in our community,” Diane is proud Diane said. of the fact that Petco She added recognizes the work they routinely they do. “It’s been a spend upwards long hard journey. of $10,000 each I never dreamed we month on medical could accomplish care including spay/ something as big as neuter surgeries. this.” In 2007, Diane Joseph Haddad, and two friends the Michigan district attended a noleader from Petco, kill conference said the grant money in Chicago. They came from donations wanted to know what made by customers they could do to help at check-out. Petco Diane Valk, co-founder and director of Heaven Can Wait Rescue. The cats in Muskegon has 23 stores in the rescue was awarded a grant from the Petco Foundation. County. They were state. Three stores told spay/neuter was on the Ohio border the answer. Heaven Can Wait was founded on the drive are also part of the Michigan group. This year close to home. The women started transporting cats to C-SNIP, a $500,000 has already been awarded to groups around low-cost clinic in Grand Rapids. When calls came about the state. Muskegon Humane Society is slated to receive homeless cats and kittens, they formed a network of a grant in June, the amount is unknown. Last year Pound foster homes and started doing adoptions at Petco on the Buddies Rescue in Muskegon received $70,000. weekends. Joseph was happy to be able to give Heaven Can Wait “You don’t need a shelter to make a change,” Diane the check for $40,000. “If they do good things with it, I’ll said. be back with another check,” he said. In 2018, they found homes for 1,078 cats and kittens. Lisa Brower Westerburg was one of the women who attended the Chicago conference with Diane. She moved to California three years ago, but stayed involved with Heaven Can Wait. She said today’s technology allows her to assist via phone and computer with incoming calls, bookkeeping and decisions. She also writes grants and


Cats and Dogs - 4 • Summer 2019

and started bouncing it in the driveway. That got her attention and she stopped, turned and stared at me. I kept bouncing the ball and telling her to ‘come.’ She came a little closer. Bounce, Bounce, Bounce! “Come Willow,” I said. Bounce, bounce, bounce. She took a few hesitant steps toward me. Bounce, bounce, bounce. By Tricia L. McDonald “Come on sweetie,” Mike said. “Good girl, Willow.” To say that Willow is ball crazy would be an She came close enough that we could almost grab her understatement. To say that she was obsessed with balls collar, but not quite. would be closer to the truth. And if we were to say she Bounce, bounce, bounce—Ernie leaped at the ball in was OCD about balls it would be much more accurate. mid-air and knocked it away from me. Within seconds This became very clear at doggy daycare, Dogs Bay Willow snatched it and off she went again. North. Willow goes to daycare a couple times a week for I looked at Mike and he raised his shoulders in two reasons. One, to give me a break. And two, to tire surrender. Now we were really in trouble. How were we her out. Every day, the doggy daycare posts photos of the going to get her in the house when she had a ball in her dogs on their Facebook page. In the mouth? photos of Willow, she doesn’t often My eyes landed on the big blue have a tennis ball in her mouth, she ball I found at the farm store. It has TWO tennis balls in her mouth. was supposed to be for horses so I The staff has told me that she will often thought it would survive Willow’s have two balls in her mouth and still mouth. One-third of it was a hole try to pick up a third at the same time. now, but she still loved to play with I don’t know how she manages to get, it. Maybe that would work. and keep, two in her mouth! “Willow, look!” I said as I We used to let her play with balls bounced it. Instead of bouncing at home, but ran into a problem. She back up, it went sideways and likes to push the ball underneath skittered down the driveway. Ernie something—like a dresser or an ran after it and Willow ran after him entertainment center. Since she then with the tennis ball firmly in her can’t get it out by herself, she stands mouth. and barks at it until someone (aka me) That was it. We were now at stops what she is doing, gets down on the mercy of Willow as to when she her knees and gets the ball out. Willow would come into the house. We used to grab it out of my hand at that knew she wouldn’t wander away time, but I have been able to teach her Photo credit: Dogs Bay North from us, she just wouldn’t come in to wait until I give her the command. until she was darn good and ready. Unless we could This has lessened the number of bruises on my hands. use Ernie to bait her closer to us. If someone (aka me) doesn’t get the ball quick “Ernie, come,” I said. He came right to me with the enough for her, she will chew on the piece of furniture. blue ball, and I played catch with him. Willow was too Many pieces of furniture have chew marks on the nosy to ignore this new game and she got closer and legs now. I tried to locate balls that were too big to fit closer until I was able to grab her collar. underneath things, but had little success. So now she I carried her into the house and dropped onto the does not get to play with balls in the house. couch. The whole Willow escapade had exhausted us Since Willow learned the ‘wait’ command so well, I both, as she curled on my lap and fell asleep. Mike hid had high hopes for other commands. She has done well both balls in the garage until the next time we needed to with ‘sit’ and ‘leave it’ and sometimes ‘no.’ She has not get her into the house. done well with ‘come.’ In fact, she must have the word We really do need to figure out a better way to get her ‘come’ confused with ‘go.’ We have tried every treat you to come. Any thoughts? can imagine to get her to react in the appropriate way with ‘come.’ In fact, we have to keep her on a leash when You can purchase Life With Sally: Little White Dog she is outside because otherwise she will not come in Tails, Still Spinnin’ Tails, Waggin’ More Tails and when called. Princess Tails in Grand Haven at Must Love Dogs One day, she ran outside when Mike and I got and The Bookman; in Grand Rapids at Schulers home and we couldn’t stop her. We called her, but she Books. You can order books at The cost ignored us. I shook the treat can, she ignored me. Mike is $13.95. The books are also available on Kindle and tried sweet-talking her, but she ignored him too. Then Nook for $5.99. I had a brilliant (I thought) idea. I grabbed a tennis ball

Willow’s World

Summer 2019 •

Cats and Dogs - 5

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Cats and Dogs? 616-777-0645 Cats and Dogs - 6 • Summer 2019

Summer 2019 •

Cats and Dogs - 7

Cats and Dogs - 8 • Summer 2019

Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery Celebrating 50 years in Byron Center By Janet Vormittag Fifty years ago the first pet cemetery in Kent County was moved from Wyoming to Byron Center. At the same time, the name was changed from Dean Dal Cemetery, to Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery. Pets were exhumed and reburied, including a dog from World War II originally buried in 1953. In 2001, David Fields bought the seven-acre cemetery on 64th Street, west of Byron Center Avenue. He reminisced that back then the area was still country. Byron Center Avenue was a two-lane road, M6 didn’t exist, the nearby Kent Trails was still railroad tracks and residential communities were open fields. Despite the nearby changes, the cemetery remains a peaceful oasis with mowed lawns, flowerbeds, and majestic maple and spruce trees. To commemorate 50 years in Byron Center, David plans on redoing the entrance landscaping and installing a digital sign. David has a college degree in mortuary science and is a licensed funeral director. He spent years working in human funeral services and now uses his education and experience to help pet parents. “I thought pets deserved the same care and dignity as humans,” he said. “It’s not just a dog or cat. It’s a member of the family.” After purchasing the business, David made several improvements. He added office space to the existing building, paved the parking lot, and added a crematory. Three years later, he added a second crematory capable of handling horses. Before equine crematories became customary, he used to travel throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana to pick up horses. Close to 99 percent of the business at Sleepy Hollow is cremation. Most people keep the cremains, but a few choose to bury them at the cemetery. Less than twodozen full burials take place each year. Besides cats, dogs and horses, staff at Sleepy Hollow have cremated fish, pocket pets, a lion from John Ball Zoo, chickens, snakes, sheep, chimps, llamas and more. Two years ago, additional crematories were installed bringing the total to seven chambers. Sleepy Hollow offers service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “There’s always someone on call,” said Kim DeJong who has been part of the service team for five years. Kim recalls coming to the cemetery in 1975 with her grandmother to bury a pet. “I thought it was neat. I always had a passion for pets,” she said. She’s amazed she now works at the cemetery. “It’s very fulfilling to know we’re helping people. They’re so grateful.” Summer 2019 •

Top: David Fields, owner of Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery. Middle: A few of the graves at the cemetery. Bottom: One of the oldest graves in the cemetery. Kim is the greeter when people walk through the door. She is compassionate and understanding. “I know what they’re going through,” she said. Kim is impressed by the way David always goes above and beyond what is expected. “I try to exceed our customers expectations,” he said. The exceptional service is evident in the numerous thank-you cards, calls, emails and texts. Clients often send photos of new pets. “It’s an honor to walk with people on their journey and help them during their time of loss,” David said. Cats and Dogs - 9

A special thanks to Noah’s Pet Cemetery & Crematory for sponsoring our page.

Cats and Dogs - 10 • Summer 2019

Mosh Pit Rescue By Janet Vormittag Julie Steffen wasn’t raised with pets. As an adult, she panicked when a friend asked her to foster a 7-week-old puppy. It was a temporary emergency situation, and she couldn’t say no. That decision changed her life. When it was time to give the pup back, Julie couldn’t do it. She had fallen in love. Instead, the baby pit bull named Jack became part of her family. At the time, Julie lived in Chicago and suffered with depression and PTSD. Therapy and drugs couldn’t relieve the mental anguish, but Jack did. “The only thing that kept me going was that the dog needed me. No joking, Jack saved my life,” she said. When Julie realized Jack needed more space and a yard to run in, she decided to move back to her hometown of Grand Rapids. She bought a house with a fenced yard. Life was good. But when Jack was three years old, he died unexpectedly. Julie was devastated. To memorialize Jack, Julie decided to rescue high-energy male pit bulls like him. “My naïve way of thinking was to go to the Kent County Animal Shelter, pull the oldest male pit bull, foster it, adopt it out, and do it again.” Her first stumbling block was the county shelter wouldn’t give her a dog to foster. She didn’t let that stop her. She started a rescue---Mosh Pit Rescue in 2017 and did the paperwork to become a nonprofit. A sketch of Jack is the logo for the rescue. While the local shelter wouldn’t work with her, the Calhoun County Animal Shelter in Battle Creek allowed her to take dogs to rehabilitate and adopt out. Her mission soon expanded to include all dog breeds and cats. “It’s what shows up, the next animal who needs help,” Julie explained. The group even rescued a domestic rabbit once and found it a home. While she started the rescue by herself, Julie has found a handful of like-minded people to help. One of the ways they help is to provide foster homes. They also help with fundraising. Julie said fundraising is the biggest hurdle to rescue. “The heart is willing, but the bank account holds you back,” she said. She added that people donate pet food and treats, kitty litter, toys and other supplies, but cash donations are harder to come by and that is what is needed for veterinarian bills. The pets rescued by Mosh Pit are taken to Dr. Katie Martin at VCA Woodland for medical care. They have taken in dogs is such rough shape that the vet bills for one dog reached $2,000. One of Julie’s recent rescues was a 3-year-old pit bull who had been on a court-hold and spent 458 days in Summer 2019 •

Mosh Pit Rescue Founder Julie Steffen with Winter, one of her dogs. quarantine. The dog, Cali, only weighed 37 pounds and was covered with calluses and scars. Three months later, Cali’s weight is up to 60 pounds. “She needs time,” Julie said. Cali is happiest sleeping in a dog bed in the sun. She doesn’t do well with other dogs, cats or kids and she needs a fenced yard. “I want to keep her, but I’d have to move.” She already has the maximum number of pets she’s allowed. Danielle Johnson started volunteering for Mosh Pit Rescue about eight months ago. “Animals have always been my passion,” she said. Her focus is coordinating fundraising events for the group and advocating for pit bulls. She has a 12-year-old pit bull and said pits are family dogs who are loyal and protective. Danielle loves Julie’s mission and passion for dogs. “I respect her to the fullest.” Julie said the biggest joy in rescue is pulling a dog from a shelter that doesn’t have the resources to save the animal. “If we didn’t take the dog, it would be dead.” Caring for the dog’s specific needs, be they medical, emotional or behavioral and then seeing him or her thrive in a forever home is what keeps Julie motivated. Mosh Pit Rescue finds new homes for about 50 animals a year. They have a private Facebook page for volunteers and adopters. Adopters post photos of their new family member and ask for advice. They often become volunteers. Does Julie regret making the decision to take in the puppy that ultimately changed the course of her life? “There are wonderful moments I wouldn’t trade the world for, but there are lows. You cry a lot,” she said. She recalled having to make the decision to euthanize a dog with behavioral problems they couldn’t solve. “Sometimes you do everything right, but you still don’t get the outcome you want. It’s incredibly hard on your soul.” For more information on Mosh Pit Rescue visit www. or email Cats and Dogs -11

Feral Cat Collaborative In April, five Kent County organizations teamed up to spay/neuter 66 community cats.

Organizations Included: *     C-SNIP, performed surgeries on 25 cats and helped pay for the surgeries. *     Focus on Ferals, trapped and transported all 66 cats, and paid $660 for flea, tick, and ear mite prevention for all the cats. *     Carol’s Ferals, paid $1,581 towards the surgeries with a BISSELL Pet Foundation grant. *     Humane Society of West Michigan, performed surgeries on 18 cats and helped pay for the surgeries. *     Kent County Animal Shelter, performed surgeries on 23 cats and helped pay for the surgeries

Each cat was: *       Spayed/neutered *       Ear tipped *       Vaccinated for rabies *       Treated for fleas, ticks, and ear mites.    Carol’s Ferals/BPF grant funds used: $1581 ($23 x 66 cats). Total surgical project cost: $2970 (66 surgeries x $45 per). Focus on Ferals cost for Revolution: $660 ($10 x 66 cats).    Moving forward, they hope to increase the collaboration between the organizations. The event may be repeated in the future, but no date has been set. 

Cats and Dogs - 12 • Summer 2019

Summer 2019 •

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Call for an Appointment 231-366-7067

West Michigan Spay & Neuter Clinic (a 501c3 non-profit organization that accepts donations)

A low-cost spay/neuter clinic. 6130 Airline Road Fruitport, MI 49415

In-Home Pet Care When You Can’t Be There THE CAT’S MEOW Pet Sitters Jeanine Buckner Veterinary Assistant

616-791-9696 Loving Home Care For Your Pet During my 18 years of working in veterinary medicine, I realized the need for an alternative to boarding. Thus, The Cat’s Meow Pet Sitters was created. By keeping your feline friend in her familiar home surroundings, you and your cat experience less stress while you are away. My first home visit with you and your cat is at no charge. Information regarding medical care, instructions on feeding and watering, litter box patrol and playing with and/or grooming your cat will all be discussed. At no additional charge, bringing in mail and/or newspapers and watering plants can also be done. Pampering your cat in her/his own home is a wise alternative to boarding. Your cat will thank you! Jeanine Buckner, Owner Cats and Dogs - 14

On the Wild Side with Allyson Swanson There’s a soundtrack to springtime at the Wildlife Rehab Center. The voices of countless baby birds, demanding their next meal. The peeps of baby ducks socializing with one another. The phone, ringing time and time again, with the next animal in need. All this is normal to the volunteers and Licensed Rehabilitators of WRC. Even the slap of large webbed feet running through the yard to the pond, isn’t strange. However, the patient behind that sound is. Enter Pete the Pelican. Yes, a pelican. When we first received the call, we assumed it was a prank. A quickly texted photo confirmed there was indeed a pelican in the Kalamazoo River near Saugatuck. With any water bird, a rescue is often times impossible. Their natural instinct is to go into the water when threatened and once there, they are simply more agile than your typical human. Luckily for Pete, the Good Samaritans who found him weren’t easily deterred. After a failed attempt the first day, they collected their kayaks and went back for a second try and amazingly were successful. Once with us, Pete was given a thorough physical exam, a large bowl of fish and safe place to stay while we made arrangements for him to be seen by a veterinarian. It was clear he was suffering from a wing injury, but the extend and the probability of it to heal was unknown. An X-ray provided us with good news. The wing wasn’t broken, it was only dislocated. However, there was severe tendon damage, that even with challenging and expensive surgery, a full recovery wasn’t a guarantee. It seems like Pete’s journey with us will be a long one! So, now we find ourselves midst baby season with hundreds of baby animals…and one of the largest and strangest animals we have ever received. We do not know where Pete’s journey will lead him, but we are doing everything we can to do what’s right and make good decisions for his health and happiness. Allyson Swanson is a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator with Wildlife Rehab Center Ltd, 1504 Union Ave NE, Grand Rapids. She has been licensed for the past 5 years but started as a volunteer over thirteen years ago. Since then she has worked with countless species of birds and mammals and has become one of the main local resources for Virginia Opossums. She is also the Center’s Education Coordinator and does presentations with their Educational Ambassador animals. allyson@ – 616-606-5805 • Summer 2019

This Reuben’s Room page is sponsored by Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery.

Summer 2019 •

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In Memory

Celebrating the Lives of Animal Friends

We will all miss sweet Zoey. Santa Fe Trading Co, Saugatuck. Michigan “For love and beauty and delight, there is no death nor change.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley Cats and Dogs - 16 • Summer 2019

Summer 2019 •

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“Compassionate Care for all Cats.” Dedicated and compassionate care for your furry family member is our top priority. In a quiet and feline friendly environment we provide: * Internal medicine * Ultrasound and X-ray * Dentistry and oral surgery * Ophthalmologic surgery * Feline boarding * Routine vaccinations and examinations * Behavioral consultation * In-house and reference blood work and more

Stop in and visit us at 3604 64th St., Saugatuck, Michigan or call us at 269-455-5056 to schedule an appointment.

Cats and Dogs - 18 • Summer 2019

Our names are Dr. Klomp and Dr. Palen. With the aide of Laketown Cat Hospital (see ad on page 18), we hope to enhance and enrich the lives of all felines. This is our interview with a patient, her real name has been omitted in accordance with local and federal medical purr-vacy rules. Our patient, Trichobezoar, or “TB” has willingly sat down with us to discuss her ailment. Us: Good morning TB. TB: Meow. Us: We wanted to discuss your current ailment and how your signs have developed. TB: Meow. Us: (Dr. Klomp to Dr. Palen, “See, I told you this was a waste of time”).  It’s okay TB, you can speak to us. TB: Meow, okay. Us: How are you feeling today? TB: Meow, my mouth hurts. Us: Are you sure?  You are eating well – I even saw you eating your crunchy food. TB: Meow, it’s either eat or starve. Us: Okay, we see your point.  So how long has your mouth hurt? TB: Years.   Us: Years?! TB: Meow. Did I stutter?  Us: No, I guess you said that quite clearly.  Can we look in your mouth? TB: MEOWAAAAHHHHH (holds mouth open for 1.5 seconds). Us: Well, we’re afraid to tell you, but you have horrible periodontal disease – your teeth are covered with tarter that has, in turn, lead to calculus, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.  Did you know you have tooth resorption? TB: In “cat” please. Us: Yes, of course.  Your complete lack of brushing and oral hygiene has led to tooth decay over time and now your gums are inflamed and some of your teeth are ready to fall out.  Also, you have some teeth showing a condition called “tooth resorption” in which your body is attacking these teeth. TB: I lick my own butt. Us: Yes, yes of course you probably do.  Our point is, you need a complete dental cleaning with dental x-rays to help identify any problem areas.  Two of your teeth will need to be surgically extracted.   TB: I don’t want x-rays.   Us: Well, there is more than one way to skin a ca…er…sorry.  Really, dental x-rays are essential in order to assess your mouth and determine the best treatment course.  Some resorptive lesions cannot even be detected without xrays. TB: Meow, set me up asap, chronic pain is no fun. Us: Certainly.  But can we ask why you didn’t tell someone about this problem earlier? TB: Meow, I acted irritable, but no one listened.   US: Understood. Let’s get your appointment scheduled asap! TB: That sounds Purrrrfect. US: LOL.  Summer 2019 •

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Furry Philosophy By Jodi Jarvis -Therrian “I will acknowledge the profound and continual role of animals in my life as angels, teachers, and healers. I will repay this special gift by caring for, writing about, and speaking on behalf of animals throughout the course of my life. I will work to heal the relationship between people and animals by fostering an awareness of the sacredness, specialness, and spirituality that is a natural component of the animal kingdom.” -Susan Chernak McElroy  

I have had so many teachers in my life. Mrs. Woodhead, my first-grade teacher taught me the importance of patience and how to be responsible for the care of creatures. We all got to feed Buttercup, the bunny’s caregiver and even got to take him home when it was our turn on the weekend. It was a very memorable lesson for me. Anything that had to do with animals always resonated with me. My father taught me many lessons. One was to be supportive of your children and their decisions. When I was planning on moving three and a half hours west, I went and told my dad. Although I know he would rather I stay close by him, as I told him I was moving, through choke tears, he replied to me with a story to make me feel like I was making the best decision for myself. He told me about the ‘Domino’s Pizza Guy’ that started out with one oven and told me, “Look how good that turned out.” He encouraged me to go follow my path. I am so thankful he always supported me. Other humans have taught me some lessons also. I have learned lessons from ex-friends and an ex-husband on how I don’t want to be treated. I have also learned from others on what a true friend truly is. I believe the animals can teach us so many lessons, if we pay attention.  Cheyenne, my shepherd mix, now at the Rainbow Bridge, taught me to strive to live in the moment and be ecstatic about the little things in front of you. It was such a joy to watch her all consumed, with a wagging tail, doing loop-de-doops fishing. The teacher that has and still is having the most Cats and Dogs - 20

impact on me is my soul dog Odin J. He has taught me stay on the path, I know I was meant for and to be the voice for the animals who cannot speak for themselves and to help those that are misunderstood.  Odin has some issues that in the past have caused him to act in some strange ways. He has taught me to learn how to read the subtle signs to understand our animal friends better. He has pushed me too educate myself continually every day and to take more classes to help teach the humans how to communicate with the misunderstood. Strengthening our bond, has taught me a new meaning of love and patience. Odin has taught me how effective consistency; attention building activities and fun can work miracles. My poor buddy had to go through a lot of trial and error. I’m thankful he was patient with me while I was trying to understand his “language”. He has been my greatest teacher to reiterate there is no bad dog, only misunderstood dogs.  Odin is a rescue dog that started out freezing to death in the snow, with insecurities. He has proven to me; a being can overcome great obstacles and live a wonderful life with the right tools. Odin may not have been what I intended for him to be when I first adopted him. I was hoping for a therapy dog that can handle anything such as running screaming children around him. However, accepting Odin for the dog that he was, he has taught me by celebrating his strengths. Together we can achieve greatness!  He is a 14 and 1/2-year-old dog with a wall full of titles, blue ribbons and a champion trick dog that still has a lot to teach me. I think all animals have an abundance of knowledge they can teach us; all we must do is open our hearts to listen. Keep connected at dogblessedllc. com, on Facebook, Furry Philosophy and Memoirs Set in Stone, Dog Blessed LLC and Memory Stones by Jodi.

Memory Stones by Jodi Honoring the memories of your loved ones in a beautiful way. Fur or ashes can be permanently fused in a stone that can be made into a sun catcher, keychain or jewelry.

231-893-1227 • Summer 2019

Summer 2019 •

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Ask the Trainer Question: How can I get my dog to stop begging? Some people make it a rule to never feed their dogs any people food to make sure the dog does not beg. However, dogs can benefit from a diet of human grade food, so it’s better to address the behavior instead of ruling out all human food. Many non-GMO fruits and vegetables and meats are healthy choices for dogs. Begging is often described as staring at the person with their longing eyes, resting their head on the person’s leg and looking up at them with love, drooling, or other behavior to get the person to give them food. Whenever a dog is doing any behavior we do not want them to do, it is important to first figure out why they are doing it and try to remove it. Second, teach the dog something else to do instead. So first, make sure these begging behaviors are never rewarded with food from anyone. If the behavior never results in food being given to them, they will stop doing it because it didn’t work for them. Second, teach them to lie on their bed or do something else rather than begging while you eat. The key to this is to reward them for lying on the bed. If you go so far as to cue them to go to their bed and reward them every time you sit down to eat they will learn to go to their bed when you sit down to eat without you even telling them. Full disclosure: I love the loving looks my dogs give me no matter when or why! So when I am done eating they each get a final bite from my meal. Your relationship with your dog is uniquely yours and it is what you make of it!

WPRNUQ Paula Smith is a certified professional dog trainer through the CCPDT and is the founder of Dog Blessed, LLC. She has served on animal welfare boards and works with them and other community groups to enhance the lives of dogs and teach others about dog behavior and humane training techniques focused on relationships. Her goal is to strengthen the relationship between humans and canines by focusing on enhancing cross species communication. If you have a question you would like to have answered here, please email Paula at dogblessedllc@ or contact her at www. Cats and Dogs - 22

Local business donates van to Pound Buddies Rescue

Transporting cats and dogs recently got a little easier for staff and volunteers at Pound Buddies Rescue in Muskegon. Pound Buddies manages the county animal shelter. In April. My Auto Import Center and Subaru of Muskegon donated a van to the rescue. The vehicle is wrapped to look like a dog, complete with fur, tail, eyes and nose. Donating a van isn’t the only way the dealership helps local homeless pets. They also feature shelter animals on their social media and website, and donate food and other supplies. • Summer 2019

This page paid for by Clock Timeless Pets! Summer 2019 •

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10% Off - A full grooming service Saturday appointments offered!!!

Pet Grooming 410 E Division St Ste E Sparta MI 49345

Call today (616) 887-7060

From rescuer to veterinarian Years ago, when Amy Wilson ran a cat rescue she had an epiphany. “We don’t need more rescues. We need fewer animals.” That realization made her close her rescue and return to school. In August 2017, Dr. Amy graduated from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “It was fantastic to finish,” she said. She’s now ready to put her medical skills to use to fulfill her dream of helping stop the euthanasia of adoptable pets by reducing the number of cats and dogs. “I don’t want to forget why I went to vet school,” she said. Dr. Amy recently started the Quick Fix Veterinary Clinic, which will operate on a part-time basis and be available to the public primarily and weekends. Her plans are to offer rescues and pet owners low-cost spay/neuter surgery and basic services such as vaccinations, heartworm and FIV/FeLeuk testing, microchipping and parasite control. “I want to focus on the under served,” she said. She’s targeting the area south of Grand Rapids including Wayland, Hastings, Allegan, Middleville and Caledonia. Dr.Amy is putting together a special program for people who trap feral cats (TNR) and own farm, as well as those who manage cat colonies. For more information visit

Quick Fix Veterinary Clinic Offering affordable routine wellness care and spay/neuter services. Targeting areas south of Grand Rapids Cats and Dogs - 24 • Summer 2019

Summer 2019 •

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Our mission is to assist terminally ill people with finding new families for their pets. ––– ––– 616-730-1122 ------ PO Box 228, Jamestown, MI 49427 Sassafras: Looking for a companion to keep you company while you watch TV or take a nap? Sassy is your girl! She will race you to the couch and jump in your lap as soon as you sit down. She is 9 years old, fixed, current on vaccinations, and excellent with the litter box. She thinks she is a queen and would do best as your only cat.

Hope and Raven: Hope, age 3, and Raven, age 4, are declawed and still full of kitten energy. They love to play, especially with string toys and mice, and they love adventures full of running and climbing. Both are current on vaccinations and are healthy. They were the adored babies of their owner, who passed away at the age of 43 from breast cancer. We want to honor her memory by adopting them together to a loving family. Wondering where you can see our animals? Tyson’s Place Animal Rescue doesn’t have a facility, so we rely on volunteers to temporarily house animals in their homes until adopted. If there is a specific animal you are interested in, we can arrange a meet and greet – email or call us. We also bring some of our adoptable animals to the Holland Petsmart (12635 Felch) the second Sunday of every month from noon to 3 p.m. Stop by and visit.

Shay: A125715 – that was how Shay was labeled at the animal shelter, no name, just a number. She was also very sick, so thin that all her ribs showed and hipbones jutted out from her skin. A horrendous smell emanated from her, as the skin of her entire body was red and raw, caused by a yeast infection and bacteria infection, along with manage. Kennel cough, acquired at the shelter, left her nose and eyes runny and her struggling for breath. She came to the shelter after her owner, who was homeless, became so ill he could no longer care for himself. We became aware of her situation and took her into our rescue. With antibiotics, pain medication, and medicated baths, along with the love of her foster parents, Shay is not just healing physically, but emotionally, as she learning to trust people once again. Shay is 9 years old and is a Swedish Vallhund mix. Once she is healthy enough to be fixed, she will be ready for adoption to a loving home that can continue to help her on her journey. Not able to adopt? We are looking for donations that will go directly to Shay’s continued medical care. Donations can be made online at or via check to PO Box 228, Jamestown, MI 49427. It takes a community to help care for dogs like Shay, left to languish in a shelter, and we appreciate your support.

This page is sponsored by Aquarius Lawn Sprinkling.

Aquarius Lawn Sprinkling Celebrating 30 years of service in West Michigan 616-897-6565 – Cats and Dogs - 26

We proudly take an active role in the humane and ethical treatment of all animals, great and small. • Summer 2019

In Dog 281, you meet Alison Cavera, a city girl who moves to northern Michigan to live with her grandmother. When Alison’s dogs are stolen, she turns detective and finds herself in the unscrupulous world of dog theft and animal dealers. Alison’s search for Cody and Blue takes surprising turns providing edge-of-your-seat moments that keep the pages turning. While a work of fiction, this powerful narrative tells the all-to-real practice of USDA Class B animal dealers selling animals to laboratories and universities for research. Dog 281 is the first book in the Save Five Series, which features Alison Cavera as she is introduced to a way of life that respects all animals. In the second book, More Than a Number, Alison is hired at the county animal shelter. Her stubbornness and courage take her to cold-blooded dog fights, a farm sanctuary and a cat hoarding situation where she is adopted by a black cat.

More Than a Number – In the second book of the Save Five Series, Alison is hired at the county animal shelter. She loved dogs and cats so the chance to help homeless pets sounded perfect, but the work wasn’t what she expected. She never anticipated spending time chasing a wayward dairy cow or finding dozens of cats in a hoarder’s home. She didn’t expect the work to take her to the isolated backwoods of the Manistee National Forest where secrets were buried among the majestic maples, oaks and pines. When the county sheriff refused to investigate Alison’s suspicion of a dog-fighting ring operating locally, Alison doesn’t hesitate to follow the clues herself. Her independence, stubbornness and courage lead her into the cold-blooded world of the illegal entertainment.

You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if ... – Everybody knows one––a woman who has an affinity for cats. She feeds the local ferals, takes in the friendly strays and is the go-to person when you have a cat question. She could be your neighbor, your sister, your aunt, your mother, your daughter or you. Does the phase “Crazy Cat Lady” come to mind when you think of this person? If so, you’ll enjoy reading this book. With this humorous memoir, Janet Vormittag comes out of the closet as a crazy cat lady. She gives readers an intimate peek into the mindset of a woman who has too many furry fourlegged friends.

Are available on

Summer 2019 •

Dog 281 More Than a Number

You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if ...

They can also be purchased by sending a check (made payable to Janet Vormittag) for $13.95 plus tax (total $14.79) per book to: Cats and Dogs magazine PO Box 996 Jenison, MI 49429- 0996 Shipping is free! Janet Vormittag is the author of two novels,

Dog 281 and More Than a Number. Her latest book, You Might be a Crazy Cat Lady if ... is a collection of short stories that is a humorous memoir about living with cats. Janet is also the publisher of Cats and Dogs, a Magazine Devoted to Companion Animals.

Cats and Dogs -27

Community Resource Guide Cemeteries Clock Timeless Pets 1469 Peck St., Muskegon, MI 49441 231-722-3721 - Noah’s Pet Cemetery & Crematory 2727 Orange Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-949-1390 – Oak Haven Pet Crematorium & Cemetery 10950 Northland Dr., Rockford, MI 49341 www.oakhavenpc.2295 – 616-866-2295 Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery 2755 64th St. SW, Byron Center, MI 49315 616-538-6050 –

Humane Societies/Shelters Allegan County Animal Shelter 2293 33rd Street, Allegan, MI 49010 269-686-5112 - Harbor Humane Society 14345 Bagley Street (at US 31), West Olive, MI 49460 616-399-2119 - Humane Society of West Michigan 3077 Wilson Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-453-8900 - Ionia County Animal Shelter 3853 Sparrow Drive, Ionia, MI 48846 616-527-9040 - Kent County Animal Shelter 740 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-632-7300 -

Grooming Doggie Paws Brenda Christensen 410 E Division St, Sparta, MI 49345 616-887-7060 –

Pet Boarding/Sitters Canine Country Club In-home pet sitting and dog walking 231-755-3230 Pet Villa – Lodging, Daycare, Grooming 3934 3 Mile Road NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-735-3191 –

Pet In-Home Hospice Heaven at Home Pet Hospice In-home pet hospice, palliative pet care and euthanasia for companion animals 616-498-1316 –

Pet Training Wolf Song Enterprises, LLC Animal behavior consulting, Animal training, Animal talent – 231-744-7141

Rescue Groups A Feral Haven -- Advocating for feral cats in Ottawa County – 616-399-1774 A New Start on Life – Specializing in puppy mill dogs - 1-866-716-9393 Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan, Inc. 866-929-DOGS - Australian Shepherd Rescue in Michigan Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT) - Basset Hound Rescue of Michigan 501 (c) (3) 616-291-1357 - Bellowood All breed canine rescue. Cedar Springs, Michigan – 616-696-2846 Bellwether Harbor P.O. Box 475, 7645 West 48th St., Fremont, MI 49412 231-924-9230 - BestPals Animal Rescue Center 13888 Blair St., Holland, MI 49424 Call for appointment, 616-212-3368 – Cannonsville Critters – Helping cats in Montcalm County Michelle Hocking, 989-287-2553 Carol’s Ferals –Trap-Neuter-Return and Adoption 616-560-0555 – Cat Tales Rescue Muskegon, 1-231-798-1033 Crash’s Landing - Cat Rescue & Placement Center No-kill, Non-profit 501(c) organization 616-821-6065 -

The Cat’s Meow Loving Home Care For Your Cat Jeanine Buckner, veterinary assistant - 616-481-6878

Cats and Dogs - 28 • Summer 2019

Community Resource Guide Faithful to Felines - Cat rescue in Muskegon County –

Pet Tales Rescue Kentwood, MI –

Family Paws Rescue Non-profit 501c3 – Grand Rapids 616-322-4031 –

Pound Buddies Animal Shelter & Adoption Center 1300 East Keating Ave., Muskegon, MI 231-724-6500 -

Focus on Ferals - Trap-Neuter-Return 616-826-0927 -

Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue - Jeanine Buckner A no-kill, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization 616-481-6878 -

Forever Pets – Helping Homeless Pets Find Forever Homes 231-225-1184 – Golden Years Alaskan Malamute Rescue Shirley Thomas, 231-766-2170 - Grand River Rover Rescue Portland, MI – 517-526-3621 – G.R.A.C.E. Greyhound Retirement, Adoption, Care, and Education - Great Lakes Golden Retriever Rescue 616-336-1707 – Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue - 1-877-SAV-A-WEIM Headin’ Home Pet Rescue, Inc. - 616-886-1474 Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue 616-366-8455 - Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven Feline adoptions – 231-737-5644 Keeshond Rescue Central States – 847-922-2240 Lake Haven - Non-profit rescue for cats and dogs LuvnPupz - Rescue - Rehabilitate - Rehome – Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary - a no-kill dog sanctuary - 616-693-2490 Michele’s Rescue -

Mosh Pit Rescue 616-915-8186 – Muskegon Humane Society - a no kill, non-profit shelter 2640 Marquette Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442 231-773-8689 - Noah Project - a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter 5205 Airline Road, Muskegon, MI 49444 - 231-865-1264

Summer 2019 •

Safe Haven Humane Society P.O. Box 55, Ionia, MI 48846 – Fax: 517-579-5948 616-522-1611 – – The Long Dog Retreat Dachshund Rescue 501 (c) (3) organization in SW Michigan – 757-647-5146 TLC Chow Rescue 616-738-0438 - Vicky’s Pet Connection Voice of Animals Rescue West Michigan Critter Haven – small animal rescue - West Michigan Ferret Connection Education - Boarding - Adoptions - Rescue Dee Gage, 616-447-2978 - Westie Rescue Michigan 248-879-2479 - - Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance P.O. Box 124, Douglas, MI 49406 (800) 475-0776 - Wild Dog Rescue 2525 Blue Star Highway, Fennville, MI 49408 -

Spay/Neuter C-SNIP Dogs. Cats. Spay. Neuter. 1675 Viewpond Dr. SE, Kentwood, MI 49508 616-455-8220 West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic 6130 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415 – 231-366-7067

Continued on page 30

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Continued from page 29

Community Resource Guide Veterinarians

Specialty Businesses Aquarius Lawn Sprinkling 3210 Kissing Rock Ave., Lowell, MI 49331 616-897-6565 - - Critter Cottage - Adoption/outreach for Vicky’s Pet Connection 7205 Thornapple River Drive SE, Ada, MI 616-682-4855 - Happy Cat Cafe Cat Lounge & Adoption Center 447 S Division, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-202-4750 –

Laketown Cat Hospital 3604 64th Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453 (269)455-5056 Quick Fix Veterinary Clinic Offering affordable routine wellness care and spay/neuter services south of Grand Rapids.

Wildlife Lowell Farm and Wildlife Center 12494 Vergennes St., Lowell, MI 616-885-4223 –

Kristina VanOss Studio Pet portraits made personal 616-566-2113 – Wishbone House – Thrift shop and Pet Adoptions 165 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, MI 269-455-5247 –

Wildlife Rehab Center 1504 Union Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-361-6109 –

Need more customers, clients or volunteers? Advertise in

Cats and Dogs Reach more than 12,000 people who care about pets. 616-777-0645

Cats and Dogs - 30 • Summer 2019

Our Readers Write and Paint

My mother and I rescued and adopted cats and dogs for 50 years when we lived in Concord, Massachusetts. We never had more than two pets. I adopted two cats, each of which had feline leukemia, and one of the two cats had FIV, also. That simple meant, to me, that they needed more attention and love than healthier pets. I urge people to rescue and adopt young, old, healthy and sick animals for companions because the pets will teach them more about love, compassion and empathy than. My pets/companions have taught me the meaning of the words spiritually, beautiful and soul. ~Bruce Fountain-Stalker

Self portrait

In Memory

Celebrating the Lives of Animal Friends

A heart full of sad I lost another friend today—the fourth in a string of Boston Terriers. Her going was ugly to watch, starting with seizures and ending with stumbling, circling and colliding with walls and furniture. I had to crate Sophie for the first time in twelve years, yet she circled that small area until, exhausting herself, she dozed. Over only one week’s time a neurological insult took hold of Sophie and never let go. My daughter acquired Sophie “For Free” thirteen years ago, but Sophie fought with the other dogs in the family from day one. She was a hellion. I became her Summer 2019 •

fourth owner and she became number three Boston. She didn’t like my dogs either, but she tolerated them. She was aggressive toward other dogs, cats, and even people. Clearly, her early abuse and abandonment made fear and insecurity her driving force. The struggle went on. Looking back, I’m realizing that it wasn’t until my two older Bostons died that Sophie began her journey toward real companionship. I guess she needed me all to herself. Eventually, Sophie lost her sight yet she adapted very well, navigating the backyard and household furnishings. And, even blind, she would leap onto my bed and find her spot every night. Sophie had come a long way in thirteen years, but to the very last she would not let me hold her, comfort her, nor feel her warm body in her last moments. Sophie’s spirit flew. Letting go of my dogs is an agony only animal lovers understand. It makes me want to say NEVER AGAIN. But NEVER is such a long lonely time. ~Germaine Girard. Send us your In Memory story and photo about a pet who has died. Please keep the stories under 200 words. They can be emailed to: or mailed to Cats and Dogs, P.O. Box 996, Jenison, MI 49429-996.

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Cats and Dogs Summer 2019  

A West Michigan magazine devoted to companion animals.

Cats and Dogs Summer 2019  

A West Michigan magazine devoted to companion animals.