Declaring Independence Day for Dogs and Freedom for Felines

July 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Beginning immediately and continuing until Thursday July, 2nd, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is lowering adoption prices in order to grant more of its residents the opportunity to pursue the American dream of having a home to call their own. People adopting dogs will automatically save $50 and rescuing an adult cat (over four months old) will cost nothing. “This is a hectic time of the year for us,” says Carly Luttmann, program supervisor at KCAS. “We have many adoptable dogs who have been dropped off and we have been forced to take in additional strays. When you combine that with the fact that people do not normally adopt much this close to the Fourth of July Holiday the shelter fills up pretty fast.” Shelters across the country face similar issues in the summer but particularly around the Fourth of July as many dogs will run away to escape the noise of fireworks. Often those dogs will be taken in as strays potentially displacing other adoptable dogs. “This is especially true if those dogs are not properly licensed or do not have a microchip.” said Luttmann. “We cannot stress enough the importance of having your dog licensed and chipped. If your pet does get away from you this is the quickest way to get them back. That means they spend less time here and that opens the doors for the other animals we have to serve.” Cats are also breeding more actively in the spring and early summer months. “It is not uncommon for people to drop off litter after litter day in and day out this time of year.” said Luttmann. The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Adoption hours are 9:30AM – 12:00PM and 2:00PM – 5:30PM. The shelter is closed on weekends. You can see some of the pets available for adoption online at We would, of course, welcome members of the media who are interested in touring the facility. We would also be happy to provide interviews about this topic. Please contact Steve Kelso to make arrangements. Thank you.

Tip to remove ticks

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

by SAM HYER Because as a groomer I am seeing more and more ticks on companion dogs, I thought I would provide this neat removal technique. Please cut this out and post it on the inside of the door of your medicine cabinet. You never know when you will need it for anyone with children playing in tall grass or hunters, dogs or anyone who even steps outside in summer. This is great, because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc. And it assures you that you have the entire tick. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15 to 20 seconds. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I’ve used it (and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me. Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that this would be damaging in any way. Have a safe summer. Sam Hyer is the owner of Hyer Luv Kennel and Groomers, founder of Mid Michigan Cocker Rescue, life member of ISCC, a Rockford Chamber of Commerce member, American Boarding Kennel Association (Pet Care Services Association) member, guest speaker and lecturer on companion animal topics throughout the country, proud breeder of Oprah’s first cocker Solomon, behavior consultant, parent, grandparent and mom. She can be reached at 874-DOGS or at

Murphy’s Law turned upside down

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Turns out maybe “Murphy’s Law” isn’t such a bad thing after all. After a high school industrial arts class and a new local animal and pet assistance group came together, they’re changing the way people might think about the old rule of bad luck. Rockford High School Industrial Arts teacher Ryan Whitmore needed a project. New local non-profit organization Murphy’s Pet Project needed some doghouses. And thanks to a mutual acquaintance bringing the two together, Whitmore filled his need for a building project, and Murphy’s Pet Project is about to be on the receiving end of 26 custom built windproof doghouses for donation to needy Grand Rapids area residents. Due to Rockford’s new trimester student schedule, Whitmore needed a small scale construction project for his Woods classes. “Because of various time constraints this particular trimester, we needed a project that would in some way simulate house construction with framing and angles. In the past we’ve built storage sheds, but time didn’t allow us to build the sheds.” Enter Murphy’s Pet Project. Murphy’s Pet Project is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy families meet the sometimes substantial financial burdens pet ownership can bring. According to co-founder Melissa Muir, Murphy’s can help families and their pets in a variety of ways. “Murphy’s was developed out of a combination of love for animals and the desire to help loving families keep their pets and keep them safe and healthy. Especially in an economy like this one, families are faced with difficult decisions. We didn’t want financial issues to be a factor in families deciding whether they could continue to keep a pet.” Muir also stated that Murphy’s fills a void in the area, as other advocacy groups do not offer the type of assistance Murphy’s Pet Project does. Among others, she cited costly and sometimes unaffordable surgery, medications, food, and sometimes even dog houses. “While no dog should be an ‘outdoor pet,’ if people see an outdoor dog without proper shelter, Murphy’s Pet Project will provide the dog a quality shelter, hay for further insulation, and often a bag of food as well,” she added. The group also assists families with cats and other domesticated pets in the West Michigan area. From Whitmore’s perspective, the […]

Spring is in the air

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

And so is pet fur. Many people believe that it is the warming rays of spring sunshine that causes shedding…not so. Dogs shed based on length of daylight not heat, so shedding is an issue for pets and their parents from coast to coast. Here are some tips to keep your fur friend and your space freer of flying fur: 1. Brush and follow with combing your dogs’ coat regularly to remove loose fur and dander. (By saying “regularly” means weekly if not daily.) 2. Bathe dogs every six to eight weeks to moisturize their skin and minimize shedding. Use a high quality shampoo created specifically for your pet’s pawticular skin type. There are even products that reduce shedding. Always follow with a conditioner. You may also wish to consider using a grooming spray between baths to control static electricity, cause less tangling and matting and to manage the shedding. 3. Feed a high-quality diet with high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Those ingredients help condition the skin and coat. Provide plenty of fresh clean water. 4. Offer only healthy treats that are rich in antioxidants instead of junk food. Yes, even in the pet world there are junk foods. Ingredients like salmon, tuna and duck promote luxurious and healthy skin and fur. Pets enjoy green beans and carrots as treats also. 5. Keep regular appointments with your vet and qualified groomer to nip potential skin/coat loss problems—like allergies, parasitic infections, hormonal disorders, thyroid conditions and matting—in the bud.

Veterinary Office Goes Beyond the Traditional

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

At Rogue Valley Veterinary Hospital (RVVH) and K-9 Sports Med-Hab, pets can enjoy more than the typical treatment options veterinarians offer. The business outgrew its former location on Algoma Avenue and has opened its doors for business at 4210 14 Mile Road NE, Rockford. Established in November, 1999, the hospital moved to its new location December 12, 2008. Now in the Cedar Rock area, RVVH chose this location based on the commitment to stay in the Rockford area, better exposure, and the easy access from US 131. With a state-of-the-art facility for canine rehabilitation, RVVH sees regular referrals from throughout the state of Michigan as well as the midwest and southern states. The owner of the practice is Dr. Doreen Comrie, DVM, CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner). Dr. Comrie has over 20 years experience in small animal medicine and surgery. She is a specialist in canine physical rehabilitation and sports medicine. She is the only CCRP in the Grand Rapids area and also the only University of Pennsylvania-certified Penn Hip provider in West Michigan‹a certification in evaluation and treatment of hip dysplasia in dogs. Following their rehabilitation at RVVH, many of her patients have been able to resume agility, obedience and field trial competitions, prolonging their careers and good health. Joining Dr. Comrie are Drs. Melinda Smith DVM and Meghan Swayman, DVM. Dr. Smith is an MSU, College of Veterinary Medicine graduate. She joined the hospital after gaining experience in small animal medicine and surgery at a private practice in Newaygo. Her special interest is in pain management for acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Swayman is a recent graduate of MSU, CVM and recently relocated to the Grand Rapids area. Staff includes Jeanette Groner, head trainer and canine social evaluator. She is a graduate of the College for Veterinary Technician in the Netherlands and is a certified dog behavior and obedience instructor through the Dutch ASPCA and a list of other certifications and in dog obedience and training. She has 17 years experience in the field and has over 20 years experience training dogs. She has trained dogs to work in agility, therapy, search and rescue and with law enforcement for body recovery, air scenting and tracking. Also on staff are Heather Woodard, registered veterinary […]

1 2