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Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

With a new year underway, the Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) is looking back and celebrating another successful year. In 2016, HSWM helped more than 3,700 animals find their forever homes – a record-setting number for the organization.

The new record surpasses the more than 3,000 adoptions that took place in 2015. The increase in adoptions can be attributed to community support of adopting shelter animals, families embracing multiple shelter animals, and the variety of ages and breeds of animals up for adoption at HSWM.

“We cannot thank our team of staff and volunteers, as well as our generous donors, enough for another successful year,” said Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM. “They are the backbone of our organization and we are blessed to have them assist HSWM with saving lives, raising awareness and educating the community.”

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

For many people, young and old alike, a pet for Christmas is the top desire for the season. For a long time, it was assumed that pets as gifts were a really bad idea, increasing adopted animals being returned to the shelter after the excitement of the holidays is over. Data supports just the opposite.

“It’s a myth,” states Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM, “that giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea. In fact, with the right research, identifying the needs of the new pet, and knowing the person you are gifting to, helps make the right decision for both the pet and the person.”

A 2013 study by Dr. Emily Weiss says, “There is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.” In her research, Dr. Weiss found that over 87% of the pet owners in the study still had their pet in their home or had kept the pet in their home for the pet’s lifetime, even when the pet was given as a surprise or a gift, according to the ASPCA.

My Town: Bill would protect veterans with service dogs on flights

My Town: Bill would protect veterans with service dogs on flights

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich.--- Legislation that would protect veterans who use service dogs is making its way through a Michigan committee.

Holly Hughes, who represents the Montague and Muskegon areas, introduced House Bill 4313 this week.  The measure would make it unlawful to refuse service to veterans who use service dogs as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, closed head injuries and other service related conditions.  The bill would amend a current state law to specifically include veterans with service disabilities and add airplanes to the list of places that must accommodate service dogs.

Hughes proposed the changes after hearing the plight of veteran Eric Calley.  Hughes says Calley, who uses a service dog, was treated poorly on a recent flight.

“I want to make sure that Eric and others like him never have to endure similar treatment again,” said Hughes.

Corn Maze Open through Nov. 2

Corn Maze Open through Nov. 2

The public is invited to take part in the challenging task of navigating through an 8 – Acre Corn Maze at the Lewis Farm Market through November 2.

This Farm Market is located on a 700 acre farm, family owned & operated and ready for the public to check out their many attractions, meet the animals and experience a day to remember.

There is a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy through the fall including the Corn Maze.

Free fun for all at Home Town Holiday Dec. 15

Free fun for all at Home Town Holiday Dec. 15

 WHITEHALL, Mich.—  Free sledding, hot chocolate, cookies and train rides—it’s all happening this weekend during downtown Whitehall’s Home Town Holiday event.

The fun starts behind Bell’s of Whitehall at 2 p.m. on Sunday with a sledding hill free-for-all for children and adults alike.  Visitors can also enjoy free refreshments, live music and meet live animals during Home Town Holiday.  Children 10 and under are invited to take a ride on the Christmas Train before enjoying a free hot dog and marshmallow roast.  Visitors can also meet dog sledding teams from Double JJ Ranch and check out fire trucks and the Christmas Village.  A Christmas tree lighting ceremony will also take place before the event caps off with a fireworks display at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

City council to consider new fireworks restrictions July 9

City council to consider new fireworks restrictions July 9

WHITEHALL, Mich.—The Whitehall City Council will consider further restrictions on consumer fireworks during their July 9 meeting.

The proposed amendment would prohibit the use of consumer fireworks between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. the day before, after and of a national holiday.  The amendment would be in addition to current state restrictions, which prohibit residents from lighting consumer fireworks every day except the day before, after and on a national holiday.  Many West Michigan communities enacted similar rules prior to the Fourth of July.

As part of the July 9 meeting, the city council is expected to amend the city’s “Keeping of Animals” ordinance, clarifying livestock, exotic and wild animals are prohibited in all districts.  The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at 405 E. Colby St.

Warm weather leads to more dog complaints and attacks

Warm weather leads to more dog complaints and attacks

WHITEHALL, Mich.—The Whitehall police chief says the warm weather is leading to a rise in dog incidents.

Council member Tanya Cabala brought up the issue during the city council meeting  June 11.  According to Police Chief Roger Squires, officers have responded to several animal complaints this spring, including at least three dog bites within about a week.

Police Chief Roger Squires says dog owners are being ticketed for the recent spate of incidents.