National Lost Dog Awareness Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith today being National Lost Dog Awareness Day we have the perfect opportunity to talk about what to do if you happen to lose or find a pet.  The information provided here is basic, and there is always going to be more you could do as the owner or finder of a lost pet, but these tips should be the minimum steps you follow to lead to a speedy reunion.

Lost Pets:
Don’t wait 2 days to see if Fluffy or Fido is going to return home all by himself.  In the time you wasted waiting for your pet to reappear, he/she could have been taken in by someone else, taken to the shelter, hit by a car, eaten by a coyote, or number of other scenarios that results in your pet still being lost.  TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Within the first hours:

  1. Contact Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement at 269-383-8775 (or your own local Animal Services department) and file a LOST report.  KCASE also has a great Lost and Found website where you can upload a photo of your lost pet, and view all the found pets that have been reported.  Contacting your local shelter is critical.  People call Animal Control when they see dogs running loose, injured animals, or deceased animals.  They may already be able to tell you where your pet was last spotted.
  2. If your pet is microchipped, call the microchip company and make sure you report your animal  LOST and confirm that your information is up to date.  It’s no use calling them to report the pet lost if you have a disconnected phone number on the record.
  3. Check with neighbors and businesses in your local vicinity.  If a close-to-home search fails, expand outward.
  4. Report it lost to the world!  Social media has a HUGE impact on pet recovery.  Post pictures and the last known location with a date and time, then ask all of your friends and family to share.  Check out Kalamazoo Area Lost Pets and keep this site handy in case you ever find or lose a pet.

Within the first 24-48 hours:

  1. Know your pet.  What route do you normally walk?  Has your pet ever gotten out before?  Does your cat normally hide or is he/she more likely to come to a front door?  Knowing your pet’s habits and routines can help you narrow down where and how you should be searching.
  2. Create posters and distribute them where ever you can get them.  We found a really cool online tool for making a lost pet poster, but feel free to use your own:
  3. Visit the local shelter.  Even though you made a lost report, the high volume of pets coming and going can make it difficult for staff to match an incoming dog or cat with your report.  Your pet is very special and unique to you, however your black and white cat is going to look just like every other black and white cat to the shelter staff.
  4. Be careful about offering an award, and be leery of people asking for a reward in exchange for your pet.  If you feel like something isn’t adding up, consider calling the police to help you in case you are being unlawfully targeted in a scam.

The following days, weeks and months…

  1. Do not give up!  Countless pets have been returned home after weeks and months on the run.  This isn’t as uncommon as you think.  If you have any doubts, contact your local shelter staff and ask for their stories of reunions happening long after the pet first went missing.

Congratulations on finding a stray pet!  Now what?

Within the first hours:

  1. Contact Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement at 269-383-8775 (or your own local Animal Services department) and file a FOUND report.  KCASE also has a great Lost and Found website where you can upload a photo of the found pet, and view all the lost pets that have been reported.  Contacting your local shelter is critical.  People call Animal Control when they lose a pet and the owner may have already contacted them.
  2. Check around your neighborhood and keep and eye out for people driving or walking by shouting out “Here Kitty” or “Here Buddy”
  3. Report it found to the world!  Social media has a HUGE impact on pet recovery.  Post pictures and the found location with a date and time, then ask all of your friends and family to share.  Check out Kalamazoo Area Lost Pets and keep this site handy incase you ever find or lose a pet.

Within the first 24-48 hours:

  1. Take the pet to a local vet clinic or shelter to be scanned for a microchip.  It used to be more common for purebred or designer dogs, but now that nearly all shelters and rescues are microchipping every cat and dog they can get their hands on, many mix breeds are also chipped and registered.
  2. Keep and eye out for LOST posters and consider creating your own FOUND poster and distribute them where ever you can get them.  We found a really cool online tool for making a found pet poster, but feel free to use your own:

After 30 days…

  1. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter 30 days of caring for an animal and making a reasonable effort to find it’s owner (reporting to your local Animal Control), most jurisdictions will consider the pet yours.  You must then obey and local and state laws including obtaining a dog license and rabies vaccine if the pet is still in your possession.
  2. If your intent is to find the pet a new home and you do give it away, make sure to update the FOUND report you filed with Animal Control in case an owner is still looking.

In many cases, people who find stray cats assume they were dropped off.  This is not true!  Cats can become lost on their own accord just like a dog, and the owners miss them and love them and want to find them.  Please don’t assume the new stray cat in your neighborhood was abandoned and take the time to report it found.

“The more people we touch, the more Pets we reunite”.

This quote comes from the anonymous founder of Kalamazoo Area Lost Pets (KALP).  Kalamazoo Area Lost Pets was created in 2013 after two friends, living in the same area, we’re notified by social media about a lost dog in their neighborhood. Understanding the strong connection between humans and their pets, KALP was created as a service to the community utilization social media to reconnect beloved lost pets with their owners. It quickly blossomed and as a community, they have reconnected countless separated pets with their owners.

We asked Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement to give us some statistics on lost and found pets, and the influx of animals coming into the shelter and the numbers should open your eyes about the sheer quantity of animals that run loose and get lost on any given day:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the month of April 2015
27 – The number of stray confined animal reports (stray animals that have been confined by the finder and turned over to KCASE)
60 – Number of dogs that came into the shelter
54 – Number of cats that came into the shelter
30 – Number of lost reports filed
30 – Number of found reports filed

In conclusion:  Put tags on your pets, do not allow your pets to roam freely and make every attempt to keep them safely at home, and NEVER give up!

Shelter Pet Feature: Annie the Beagle

Annie 57/88167

Annie 57/88167

Annie is a special girl that needs to be adopted or rescued from Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement.  She’s a stray that was brought in March 24th and she’s been waiting at the KCASE shelter since then for her owners to come find her.  With her owners no where to be found, she’s looking for a new home that will fall in love with her sweet personality, just like the staff at KCASE have.  If you’re in the market for a new dog or have room on the couch for just one more, consider going down and meeting Annie.

She’s passed her safety exam and her food eval, and has shown no signs of aggression.  She’s quite and not barky in the shelter environment our while the volunteers had her outside, and she knows how to sit on command (if you have treats in your hand!).  She’s calm, mature, and she’s ready to go for a walk, or curl up and snuggle whenever you are.

The Details:
Annie is a 6 year old female that has not been spayed yet.  Her adoption fee of $155.00 includes her spay surgery, Rabies vaccine, microchip with registration, Distemper booster vaccine, bordetella vaccine, heart worm test and dog license.

Annie can be found at 2500 Lake Street, Kalamazoo MI  49008, Phone:  269-383-8775
She cannot be adopted over the phone, and anyone interested will need to go to the shelter to meet her and fill out the appropriate paperwork.

Attached find her Behavior Assessment and her Cage Card from KCASE:
❱ Annie Behavior Assessment
❱ Annie Cage Card (PDF)

Early Bird Pricing Ends at 5PM!

Special Early Bird Registration for the 2015 Dog Walk Ends!  After 5PM, prices will be $25.00 for Adults (14 yrs and older) and $10.00 for Children (13 yrs and younger).

Register now if you haven’t already at

National Volunteer Week is April 12th – 18th

Volunteers are love in motion!  ~Author Unknown

KHS Adoption Counselor

KHS Adoption Counselor

National Volunteer Week is April 12th – 18th.  During this time millions of volunteers are thanked and supported by various group, agencies and corporations.  The Kalamazoo Humane Society joins this “Thank you” to the generous people that share their time and talents in support of our programs and projects.

Our goal is to let you know throughout the year how much you and your efforts are appreciated.  Each of you bring your special individual talents and gifts, all of these join together to make a major difference.  The impact of your efforts is confirmed by the reduction of homeless animals in our area, reduced number of dogs and cats in the county shelter, along with the shorter stays for the animals that do lodged there, and a healthier community for our furry friends.

Again, thank you for sharing your talents in support of the Kalamazoo Humane Society.

April Community Cats Program Full!

Our April Community Cats program is now full - No appointments available.

Our April Community Cats program is now full – No appointments available.

During the month of April, KHS was able to offer FREE spay/neuter surgeries, Rabies vaccines and ear-tipping as part of the PetSmart Charities’ spay and neuter campaign to alter free-roaming cats.  If left unaltered, unowned feral and stray cats produce large quantities of unwanted kittens each spring, flooding local animal shelters and leading to higher euthanasia rates.  By taking a proactive approach and getting the cats fixed now, KHS will help lessen the impact of the coming kitten season.

We were given enough grant funding to alter 400 cats, and all appointments have been booked!  If we have any cancellations that need to be filled we will post them here, but for now we are unable to accept any more appointments for the free program.

If all 400 cats that we alter this month had just one litter of 7 kittens which all survived, that would be a total of 2800 more cats born to the streets of Greater Kalamazoo.  If you are the owner of an unaltered cat, consider contacting us for a low-cost $40.00 surgery.  Give us a call at 269-345-1181 and we can go over any questions you might have.

Know The Law: Dogs on Chains & Tethering

As long as dogs continue to have legs and free will, dog owners will need to find ways to keep dogs at home.  The most accessible and inexpensive method is tethering; the practice of securing a dog to a location with a rope or chain to prevent it from running loose.  Sounds simple enough, but there are legal requirements that must be met or this seemingly simple practice can get owners into a lot of trouble.  From collars to tether lengths to potential hazards, we’re breaking it down for you to keep you on the right side of the law.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhy are dogs tethered?

Dog at Large is a fancy way to say “Dog Running Loose”, which is bad and can be expensive if Poochie is pickup up and turned over the local animal shelter.  It can also result in fines, and the owner is held responsible for anything Poochie did while have a good time in the  neighborhood.  If Poochie isn’t the nicest dog on the block, that can cause even further issues if he bites or injures another animal or person.  The bottom line:  Poochie must stay at home! Tethering is affordable and quick.  Tethering doesn’t work for every dog, especially dogs that have a knack for escaping, but in many cases it does the trick and eliminates the need for the owner to have to remain outside with Poochie when he’s out getting his fresh air for the day.

How long can a dog be tied out for?

In relation to Michigan State Law, it doesn’t matter if a dog is tied out for 15 minutes or 24 hours a day.  As long as the legal requirements are being met, there is no legal reason why a dog cannot be tied outside.  Some local jurisdictions may have more restrictions, such as time limits.  The City of Battle Creek is one example of a city that has time restrictions for tethering a dog stating:

City of Battle Creek Ordinance 608.09 Cruelty to Animals:

7.  Confine an animal on a tether unless the tether allows the animal access to suitable shelter and:
         A.   For dogs, the tether is at least ten feet in length; the tether and collar, harness or other type of collaring device when taken together weighs not more than one-eighth of the dog’s body weight and does not, due to weight, inhibit the free movement of the dog; the manner of tethering prevents injury, strangulation, or entanglement on fences, trees or other man-made or natural obstacles or objects; the collar, harness or any other type of collaring device being used is designed for that purpose and made from material that prevents injury to the dog; the period of tethering does not exceed one continuous hour, except that tethering of the same dog may resume after an hiatus of three continuous hours; and the dog is tethered no more than a total of three hours per day.
It is the legal responsibility of every dog owner to know the laws that exist in your communities.  Some mobile home communities, apartments, sub divisions or other neighborhoods and developments may have rules about tethering, however Animal Control departments cannot enforce private rules; only laws and ordinances.  Your management company can enforce rules, and any consequence for violating those would be determined by your landlord-tenant agreements.

What kind of collar can be used?

By Michigan State Law, only a harness or nonchoke collar designed for tethering can be used.  Pinch/Prong collars, choke chains, and various other training type collars cannot be used.  Martingale collars are permitted as they do not fully constrict and are a good solution for many dogs that know how to back out of a collar.

What kind of tether can be used?

The State of Michigan doesn’t give any specific material that can or cannot be used other than to define tethering as the restraint and confinement of a dog by use of a chain, rope, or similar device.  There are length requirements however, which state the tether must be at least 3 times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail.  A tether that is too short could be considered Failure to Provide Adequate Care or Neglect/Cruelty depending on the circumstances the dog was found in.  Furthermore, putting a 34 lb. chain on a 38lb. dog (this actually happened…) could be considered cruelty if the Officer or a Veterinarian would be able to prove the dog suffered as a result of the weight of the chain.  While the law doesn’t specify the material or weight of the tether, dog owners need to make sure they aren’t violating any other animal protection laws including those that determine adequate care. Like any other State Law, local jurisdictions may have stricter ordinances in place, so be sure to know what they are, if any, in your area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpecial Considerations:

  • Don’t tether a dog within reach of a fence line or other barrier.  Every year Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement responds to reports of dogs hanging over fences or porch/deck railings.  Owners can be charged with animal cruelty for allowing this to happen to a dog, whether they knew it was happening or not.
  • Dogs will often wrap themselves around a tree, dog house or debris and become immobilized when they can’t untangle themselves.  Please check on your dog periodically and untangle the tether before it becomes a problem.
  • Coated wire cables will become brittle in extreme weather, and when water gets trapped on the inside of the protective coating, it can rust and weaken the cable.  This can result in dogs breaking free.  Check your cable frequently and always use the appropriate weight as recommended on the package for the size of your dog.
  • Thin wire or ropes can get wrapped around the limbs of your dog and cause rope burns or other injuries.  Avoid materials that are abrasive, sharp or too thin.
  • Remove any debris, stumps or other potential hazards away from the area your pet is going to be tethered in.
  • Never tether two dogs within reach of each other, even if they normally get along.
  • A tethered dog must have access to shelter – If you plan to leave your dog unattended for any length of time or overnight, get a dog house.
  • Screw-in stakes and other shallow anchors do not work for strong or large dogs.  If you need to tie out a dog that is strong, or pulls, consider anchoring the tether to a permanent or firmly fixed object like a deep post or a tree.
  • Never leave an aggressive dog unattended on a tether.

Concerns about Tethering:

There are many thoughts on tethering dogs, especially “outdoor dogs” that spend most if not all of the time outside on a tether.  This article is not intended to judge or choose a side, but rather to educate all dog owners about the specific legal requirements concerning tethering.  This is not an article about the keeping of outdoor dogs.  If you plan to tether your dog, take the time to consider all available containment options, and make choices based on the well-being and health of your pet. Any dog owner in the possession of a dog kept outside because the dog is no longer wanted is strongly encouraged to try to find placement for the dog before making it live outside 24/7.  Not all outdoor dogs are neglected, but it is important for all dog owners to understand the social and emotional needs of animals even if those needs are not clearly defined or addressed in the law.

Related Resources:

Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is April 12-18

On the first day of National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week:
Thank you for rushing in when everyone else is running away;
Thank you for taking the bite you knew was coming without regrets;
Thank you for treating the animals with respect, care, and compassion;
Thank you for waking up at 2am to help without question when you’re called;
Thank you for filing the charges and going to court on behalf of the voiceless victims;
Thank you for going to work each day knowing you can’t save them all, but giving it everything you have anyway.

Please take a moment to visit the Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement Facebook page and offer some words of encouragement and support in a job that is often dirty, smelly and sad.  Let them know the work they do matters!  If you have a great experience with an officer, this would be a good time to officially thank them.

From the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA):

The National Animal Care & Control Association is proud to endorse our annual effort to celebrate and promote professionalism within the Animal Control field on the national stage. As with other events designed to promote specific groups, professions, and other important causes, NACA is pleased to provide all the necessary encouragement for all localities who would like to show their appreciation to their Animal Control personnel. We encourage all Animal Control agencies to have a special week of their own to show off their pride and receive recognition for the important services they provide to their communities.

This week of appreciation is designed to give recognition to the hard-working men and women of Animal Control who risk their lives and devote huge amounts of personal time and resources, while they serve the public like other public safety and law enforcement agencies empowered with the same duties.

This is the week that these hard working and dedicated Animal Control Officers can be honored by having the whole community say, “Thank You”, for helping when no one else could, or would even know how to.

All images courtesy of Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement:

Why You Should Report Animal Cruelty

Kalamazoo County residents should contact Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement at 269-383-8775 for cruelty or neglect concerns. Citizens outside of Kalamazoo County should call your local animal control/animal services department or other law enforcement within your jurisdiction.

The National Humane Education Society

Photo by The National Humane Education Society Photo by The National Humane Education Society

If you are reading this, chances are you care about animal welfare and take excellent care of your own pets. All the same, would you know what to do if you suspected someone in your community of animal abuse or neglect? While many of us wouldn’t hesitate to rescue a stray, situations in which an animal technically has a legal owner can feel tricky. Even when we know that something we’ve witnessed constitutes animal cruelty, some of us may still feel ambivalent about involving law enforcement. We don’t want to be seen as snoops, nor do we want to be seen as making frivolous complaints on behalf of a “mere animal”. Furthermore, the last thing we want is to create turmoil in our communities and social circles. Due in part to worries like these, far too many witnesses don’t report animal cruelty when…

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April 11th is National Pet Day

Good morning, and happy National Pet Day!  Take a moment and tell us at KHS how the animals in your life have changed you!  Share a photo, send us a comment or just update your status, but make sure to take special notice of all the little wonderful things your pet(s) have added to your life.

National Pet Day was created by Colleen Paige, a Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert. She is an animal behaviorist, Editor-in-Chief of Pet Home Magazine, Author of “The Good Behavior Book for Dogs” (Rockport/Quarry Books) and is the brainchild behind a plethora of worldwide trending holidays, such as National Dog Day, National Cat Day, National Puppy Day and many more.


One week left to register for the Dog Walk with Early Bird pricing!

The registrations are rolling in, which is great!  We are so excited for the Dog Walk this year and your support has been fantastic!

A few short reminders:

  1.   Early Bird registration fees end Friday, April 17 at 5pm – Register now and get the best deal on all the goodies!
  2.   Don’t forget to ask friends, family and co-workers to support you and make a donation!  You can also ask your employer if they’ll do matching gifts.  Using our new Give2Gether platform, getting donations from friends and family has never been easier.  Just set up your fundraising page and send the link to all of your friends and social media contacts.
  3. Consider joining a Pack!  Packs generate more donations by working as a team to collect funds!  Any registered walker can join any team, so just let us know if you’d like to start or join a team and we’ll get you squared away!

We only have 3 weeks left to make the most impact, so please don’t be afraid to ask your friends to support you, and the Kalamazoo Humane Society!  We’re here to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to connect with me here, on facebook, or email me at

The Kalamazoo Humane Society cannot do what we do without you!  Your donations and fundraising ensure that animals all over the Greater Kalamazoo Area can still rely on us to help when it’s needed.  Thank you!


KHS Blog Authors

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