Job Opening: Volunteer Program Coordinator (Part Time)

The Kalamazoo Humane Society is looking for a part-time Volunteer Program Coordinator!  Candidates should be energetic, organized and excited about engaging people and helping animals.  Under the supervision of the Director of Operations, this position carries responsibility for planning, implementing, and sustaining an active and successful volunteer program focused on bringing the mission of the Kalamazoo Humane Society to life.

To Apply:

Apply Online
Or, submit your resume and letter of interest to:
David Hess
Director of Operations – Kalamazoo Humane Society
4239 S. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Email:  dhess@kazoohumane.org
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE

Helpful Links:

Visit the KHS website

Read the full job description (PDF)

 

 

Kalamazoo Humane Society promotes compassion for ALL; not just animals

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Every morning I come to work, some of our staff have already been working since before we’re even open to check in our surgery clients for the day and get a start on a long day of spays and neuters.  I always check our social media to see what’s happening around town, find out if anyone left us any messages that need responding to, and to keep up on anything we should be aware of before I dig in to whatever I need to get done.

As the Community Connections Director, nothing starts my day off better than positive feedback or interaction with a client.  It tells me we’re on the right track, and I love to know that we were able to help someone or an animal.  Today started like any other, and when I saw we had a new check-in on FaceBook I was so excited because that usually gives me an opportunity to reassure someone their pet is doing well in surgery, or to thank someone for visiting.  Today, however, was not a typical check-in.

I read a heartfelt and painfully honest post from a mother who wants you to know that your words can hurt.  After experiencing an aggressive encounter with another one of our clients in our lobby this morning, Judith McNees took to social media with an open post to the woman that lashed out at her and her child.

 

Her message struck a chord with me, not just because I’m also a mother, but because I work here, and because compassion for all living things is such a huge part of our mission.  For something like this to happen in our lobby is so out of place.  Our office has always welcomed everyone from all walks of life.  Just the very nature of our work brings us people at their most vulnerable.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be kind.  Be kind to animals and be kind to others.  Just.  Be.  Kind.

Updated post from Judith McNeeds clarifies that it was not KHS staff or volunteers that mistreated her this morning:

 

Helping Kalamazoo’s Neediest

The Kalamazoo Humane Society will be taking the Pet Food Bank to the Mothers Of Hope Ultimate Family Reunion and we need your help to make the biggest impact!


For the second year, KHS will be attending the Mothers of Hope Ultimate Family Reunion at LaCrone Park in Kalamazoo’s Northside neighborhood on Saturday, August 5th.  We knew this event was important for our community, but I didn’t realize just how important until I was there.

The Ultimate Family Reunion had organizations and businesses from all over Kalamazoo helping those in our community that need it most.  There were free haircuts for kids, school bags and school supplies to be handed out and a lot of information about services for families who are struggling.  It was a very positive environment with entertainment, food and activities.

Not knowing what to expect, I brought all of our leftover Dog Walk t-shirts from previous years, pencils and information about our Pet Food Bank and Operation Fix-It.  We had a few hundred t-shirts to give away and I couldn’t believe we ran out before the event was half over.

In the crowd were a lot of homeless citizens who were happy for a new clean shirt to wear.  I remember when we were down to the last shirt, a small boy who couldn’t have been more than 8-10 years old asked me if he could have a shirt.  The only shirt I had left as an Adult 2X so I told him it was too big, and that I was out of kid shirts.  He looked at me, and the shirt I was holding up, and said that he would still wear it, and that he could tuck it in.  I knew then that he needed this shirt, even if it was going to be way too big.  I handed it to him, and he thanked me with excellent manners.

There were so many kids at this event with their families that all needed things.  Things for school, things to wear, things to eat, things to do, things for their pets.  When I was driving away, I saw a family who had just left the event walking down the street, all wearing new KHS Dog Walk t-shirts.  Having two young boys of my own I was deeply effected by the kids I met at this event and the need of the people who came to the Ultimate Family Reunion.

For 2017, to be able to offer even more help, we’re planning to bring our Pet Food Bank so that we can distribute food for pets while we’re there.  We’ll be taking sign-ups for the food bank program on-site and helping as many as we can while supplies last.  Based on my experience last year, I know we’ll be giving out a lot of pet food and supplies to people who truly need a helping hand.

This is where we need your help!  Anyone who has pet items, or who can donate pet food, cat litter and pet supplies is strongly encouraged to bring items to our office by Thursday, August 3rd.  I’ll be loading up the KHS van on Friday to get ready for the event on Saturday.

Any items in new or used and good condition will be accepted, especially leashes, collars, harnesses, brushes, nail clippers or other basic pet supplies for cats and dogs.  Donations of small bags of food (5-7 lb bags work great), cat litter, canned food or treats would also be appreciated.

These donations will be driven directly to LaCrone Park on Saturday, August 5th, to help some of the most impoverished pet owners in Kalamazoo.  Thank you for your help!

Tips For Fun, Safe Summer Travel With Your Dog

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By Kaitlyn Manktelow @Kurgo, the dog travel experts

With the beautiful weather outside, it seems almost a crime for you and your favorite canine to stay inside, instead of enjoying the sunshine together. While it seems pretty easy to just pack up and hit the road with your furry friend, there are some hidden dangers to traveling with a dog that you may not be aware of. Here are some safety tips to ensure both parties have a safe and fun time!

Keep Arms & Legs & Paws Inside at All Times

We know your dog loves to stick his head out the window. While it may seem like an innocent and ‘cute’ thing to allow your pooch to do, it is actually incredibly unsafe.

As human beings, we have a windshield to protect our eyes from different traveling dangers. Hanging with their heads out the window, leaves our four-legged friend’s eyes vulnerable to being hit by foreign objects like rocks, twigs and other forms of debris. The cornea of a dog’s eye is very sensitive and hard to repair if damaged. It also exposes their lungs to breathing in toxic fumes which can cause pneumonia.

Even worse, an unrestrained dog with its head out the window can jump out of a moving car. If a car swerves or is involved with a collision, your pup can be thrown out the window. The severity of these injuries can be anywhere from road rash, to broken bones to even fatal injuries.

Everyone Two-legged and Four, Should Be Buckled Up

Most of us put on a seatbelt in the car without giving it a second thought. We make sure that all human passengers are strapped in, but what about our animal family members?

In addition to being injured in a crash, a loose pet can also be a possible hazard for human passengers in an accident. An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force on anything it hits, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert about 2400 pounds of force.

A loose dog can also limit a driver’s ability to steer, use the gas and brakes as well as create blind spots.

One car safety solution is to use a dog seat belt with a crash-tested dog car harness. Now your dog is safely buckled up just like you.

Click it or ticket – did you know there are laws being put into place in the United States and across the globe making it illegal to drive with a loose pet?

Bring A ‘Pet-Friendly’ Travel Kit

When humans travel, we have our go-to items like a water bottle, favorite snack or comfy sweatpants. Make your pet more comfortable on the trip by bringing them creature comforts too. Hydration is important in the summer, so be sure to throw in water for your dog and a portable dog travel bowl. Some dogs have anxiety so giving them something that smells like home such as a favorite toy or blanket can ease their fears. And of course snacks. Treats can be an easy way to coax a reluctant dog back in the car after a rest stop break.

Never, Ever Leave Your Pup Alone in the Car

A dog should never be left in an unattended car, no matter the season. However, in summer heat, it is even more important considering that on an 85 degree day, car temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes even with the windows open!

For more tips, check out this Pet Travel Safety Tips Video.

About Kaitlyn Manktelow – Kaitlyn is a writer and videographer for Kurgo, a dog travel and outdoor products company. She enjoys filming, traveling, and singing way too loud with her rescue dog Samuel Jackson.

Tips for Bonding with a New Pet for First-Time Owners

Pet Bonding Photo

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

One of the main reasons we, as humans, decide to adopt a new pet is so that we can have a new companion in our lives. We don’t just want to open up a dog or cat hotel – we want an intimate bond with our pets. For first-time pet owners, knowing how to create a strong bond can be difficult. Sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes it’s not so simple. Here are some tips to ensure you and your new pet bond.

Start training your dog immediately

Whether you’re adopting an older dog or getting a puppy, it’s vital that you begin to train them as soon as they step foot into their new home. Dogs prefer structure and purpose, and an untrained dog is not just a pain – it’s an unhappy dog. When your dog is properly trained, you can spend more time enjoying each other’s company and less time trying to correct/discipline bad behaviors.

“Well-trained dogs are allowed greater freedom. If they come when called, they get to spend more time off leash. If they don’t go for the food on the table, they can stay nearby during meals. Training also reduces frustration because when you ask your dog to do something he’s been taught to do, he knows what you want,” says TheBark.com.

Always remain calm

Dogs and cats pick up on your energy, and if you are angry, nervous, or stressed out around them, they’re going to know it. It’s important to always be calm when dealing with your new pet – even if they’ve just eaten through your favorite pair of jeans or broken your grandma’s favorite vase.

The quickest ways to damage the bond between you and your pet is to be aggressive – physically or emotionally. And this sort of damage is very hard to reverse. Dogs have a hard time recovering from fear.

Be generous with the praise

“Praising your dog is a super easy way to let him know that you appreciate his good behavior, which will encourage him to continue making the right decisions. There are endless daily opportunities to give your dog positive feedback,” says PetMD.

You don’t have to give your dog treats every time they do anything good, a nice pat on the head, belly rub, and “atta boy” will do just fine. But it’s important that you always acknowledge good behavior, instead of just reacting to bad behavior. Physical contact is one of the best ways to bond with your new pet.

Spend lots of time with them

This may sound like a no brainer, but with cats and dogs alike, the most important way to develop a strong bond is to spend a lot of time together. Some people mistakenly think that pets are mostly solitary creatures who can spend a lot of time alone, and just a few interactions a day is enough to make them happy. If you want a strong bond, however, you have to do things together. If you work long days or your job requires you to be gone during the night or on lengthy business trips, you may need to make considerations for your pet to get some attention and exercise. You can seek out a local dog walking service, for instance. Or you can have a friend come over and play with your new pet when you’re not around.

The main ways in which you can create a stronger bond with your new pet are to give it plenty of attention, train it to the best of your ability, always stay calm and never be mean or aggressive, and be overly generous with the praise. If you start with those steps, you’ll be well on your way to forming a rewarding friendship with your new animal pal.

 

 

Press Release: KHS announces $4.75 mil capital campaign for new facility; $3 mil already raised

PRESS RELEASE

proposal

June 13, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT:
Aaron Winters, Executive Director
Kalamazoo Humane Society
269-345-1181 / awinters@kazoohumane.org

$4.75 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
TO CREATE CRUCIAL CARE AND RESOURCE CENTER FOR ANIMALS

Kalamazoo Humane Society Kicks Off Fundraiser for New Facility
Expanding Spay/Neuter Services, Education, Support Services

KALAMAZOO, Michigan—The Kalamazoo Humane Society’s new animal care and resource facility edged closer to reality today as the Kalamazoo Humane Society (KHS) announced it had raised $3 million toward a goal of $4.75 million and invited the community to help finish the task.

KHS kicked off the public portion of its capital campaign at a news conference in downtown Kalamazoo, surrounded by supporters, local dignitaries and a few pets.
“The amazingly generous response we’ve seen in the early part of our capital campaign shows what I’ve always known, that this community loves, cares for and wants to protect its animals,” said Aaron Winters, Executive Director of KHS.

Robert Cinabro and Colleen Killen-Roberts, co-chairs of the Compassion/Prevention/Results Campaign, shared Winters’ enthusiasm.

“The Kalamazoo Humane Society’s campaign began with a simple goal: to fund an animal care and resource center to tackle increased demand for access to services that help not only reduce the number of unwanted pets in shelters and on the streets but also help keep pets safe and in their own homes,” said Cinabro. “Thanks to the vision and commitment of 140 donors to date, we’ve made outstanding progress toward that goal.”

“The specific needs of the Kalamazoo community may have changed over 120 years, but the Kalamazoo Humane Society has remained committed to protecting the vulnerable since 1897,” added Killen-Roberts. “This new animal care and resource center, which expands the Humane Society’s crucial medical, education and support services, is the next step in advancing our identity as a compassionate community. Now we’re asking the rest of the community to take us over the finish line in this important campaign.”
The new facility will be located in Comstock Township at River Street and the I-94 Business Loop. It will replace the Humane Society’s current home, which is a converted bridal shop. Winters said the center will expand KHS’s low-cost spay and neuter services to reduce unwanted litters, increase access to its emergency pet food bank and other services for pet owners in crisis, and provide humane education activities to promote responsible treatment of animals.

Operation Fix-It, KHS’s spay and neuter program, has exceeded 60,000 procedures since 2002, which correlates to dramatic reductions in the number of animals housed in the shelter operated by Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement. Reportedly, in 2015 no dogs were euthanized for lack of space—a result attributed to Operation Fix-It.
The new animal care and resource center will increase the scope of Operation Fix-It, according to Winters.

“When complete, our new home will allow us to grow programs that reduce the number of shelter animals through education and access to medical services and assistance,” Winters said.

Construction of the animal care and resource center should begin by spring 2018.
The Kalamazoo Humane Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, meaning gifts are tax-deductible. Individuals and groups wishing to support the Compassion/Prevention/Results Campaign may do so in any of the following ways:

• A one-time cash gift
• A multi-year pledge commitment that can be paid over three years
• A gift of appreciated assets, such as stocks
• A donation of an asset that can be converted to cash, such as property, a car, collectibles, etc.
• An estate gift

More information about the Kalamazoo Humane Society and the Animal Care and Resource Center, including an informational video, is available online at www.kazoohumane.org/campaign

About the Kalamazoo Humane Society
Founded in 1897, the Kalamazoo Humane Society provides humane education, pet population control and emergency response services to pets and pet owners throughout Kalamazoo County and many under-served Southwest Michigan communities. Find out more at http://www.kazoohumane.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Bills 413, 414 and 416 need your support! #protectMIanimals

DSC_0015In 2012 as an Animal Services Officer I reached out to the Humane Society of the United States to help me investigate dog fighting here in Kalamazoo.  With limited resources and training, I knew I needed help and the HSUS stepped in and gave myself and my department all the tools we needed to go after the big names on my list.  The HSUS invested $250,000 into investigating and prosecuting dog fighting here in Kalamazoo.  The 2012 string of dog fighting raids was a success because of the help of the experts and generous donors of the HSUS.

Michigan has some of the best laws out there to protect animals from fighting and abuse, but it lacks in the ability to punish people who break these laws.  Time and time again we have watched dog fighters in Kalamazoo, Detroit, and all over the state get away with minor penalties for felony offenses, and as a result they pick up where they left off and get more dogs to continue.

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It’s important to know that for people who are fighting dogs, this blood sport is a business, a way of life, and an addiction.  It isn’t something they’ll give up without a compelling reason.  A 1-30 day sentence to jail is worth it, because the rewards greatly outweigh the risks.

This game of cat and mouse between law enforcement and dog fighters is maddening, because even though law enforcement may “win” in a legal sense, the offender knows that nothing has really changed, and they can continue as soon as probation is over.  In the end, with these cases taking months to years to properly investigate and prosecute, it’s hard to justify the effort.  The only silver lining is knowing that the dogs we were able to rescue would never know that kind of life again.  Getting the dogs out was the only thing that made it worth the time.

dog3After watching Kelvin Thomas receive a slap on the wrist for his 3rd dog fighting offense, we knew something had to change.  Our system was broken and needed fixing.  Public outrage over the sentencing of Kelvin Thomas made it clear that it was time to take this problem to the next level.

Again, we reached out to our friends at the HSUS and we began working to make changes to the current laws.  Senator Margaret O’Brien sponsored these changes that would eventually become bills 413 and 414, and would create mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders.

Yesterday I was able to sit in on a hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee regarding bills 413 and 414.  The bills passed the Senate unanimously and will continue to move through the legislative process.  We hope to have these bills written into the law before the end of 2017 but it could be 2018.

Also introduced was bill 416.  Currently, if a humane agency is in custody of a dog that is known to be bred or trained for fighting purposes, it is illegal to adopt those dogs.  This goes for puppies, dogs that will not fight and breeding females.  In many cases the outcome is euthanasia after spending weeks to months in an animal shelter, as there is no place for these dogs to go unless an out of state agency is able to take them on.  Bill 416 would allow humane agencies the ability to adopt out dogs that can safely re-homed.  This bill would give the animal victims of dog fighting a chance at a better life, and a chance to become a pet.  It is no fault of the dog that they have found themselves in the hands of a dog fighter.  Together, bills 413, 414 and 416 make the necessary changes to our existing laws that allow humane law enforcement officers and court workers to effectively manage dog fighters and their animal victims in the aftermath of an investigation.

These bills can be supported individually or together.  This is the time to make it clear to our legislators that there is public support for these changes.  Please contact your legislator by writing a letter or an email, and express your support for bills 413/414 and 416.

All 3 bills (413, 414 and 416) were passed 4-0 with no objections with a recommendation to be immediately effective.  The video below is the recording of that Judiciary Committee hearing at 3:00PM June 6th, 2017.  413, 414 and 416 can be seen from the beginning of the video until 21:08, and voting begins at 44:40.

https://misenate.viebit.com/vod/?v=bshLUsD22WjV&s=false

Resources:

A Citizens Guide to State Government (2017; Michigan) – This PDF file includes all the information you would need to contact your legislator, and also outlines the process these bills are subject to.

Bill 413 – Details and PDF download of Bill 413

Bill 414 – Details and PDF download of Bill 414

Bill 416 – Details and PDF download of Bill 416

Dogfighting in Kalamazoo:

Marvis Blanks, 2012
HSUS Coverage of 2012 Collaberation
Leonard Turner, 2012
August 2012, Leonard Turner and Kelvin Thomas

Local UAW 2093 Annual Poker Run to benefit the Kalamazoo Humane Society

The Local UAW 2093 Annual Poker Run will be July 16th, 2017!  Pre-register thru June 29th for just $25, which includes the event shirt and after ride meal, soda and water (feel free to bring your own beverages)!  Music provided by the Nicky Platinum Band.

Proceeds will be used to purchase items for the St. Joseph County Animal Control and the Kalamazoo Humane Society.  Feel free to bring extra donations of dog and cat food, flea and tick medication, blankets, cat litter, paper towels, leashes or other pet supplies.

$150 – Best Hand
$50 – Worst Hand
50/50 Drawing
Door Prizes!

Click here for registration form –>
http://www.kazoohumane.org/pdf/pokerrun2017.pdf

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Poets Unleashed benefit at Meadow Run Dog Park

Find the event on facebook here –>
https://www.facebook.com/events/1152805721515501


Join us Wednesday, May 31st at 6:30pm for a dog-friendly poetry reading and book signing at Meadow Run Dog Park!

The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival and the Kalamazoo Humane Society present a reading celebrating poetry and animals. Michigan News Agency will sell books by the poets after the event, and a portion of the proceeds of the sale of “To Unsnare Time’s Warp: Stories and Poems About Dogs” will be donated to the Kalamazoo Humane Society.

Well behaved dogs on leash are welcome! This event is FREE and open to the public.

Poets reading at this event include:
Kit Almy
Margaret DeRitter
Kathleen McGookey
Mark Nepo
Jennifer Clark
Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Gail Martin
Lynn Pattison

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Menards hosts May pet supply drive

Throughout the month of May, Menards is hosting a pet supply drive for the Kalamazoo Humane Society.  Donations of pet supplies can be purchased at thee Menards on West Main or Gull Road in Kalamazoo, MI, and then left at the store to be donated to KHS at the end of May.

Supplies in high-demand include dog and cat food (wet and dry), cat litter, treats and pet grooming products.  Other items needed include bleach, zip top baggies, disinfectant wipes, laundry soap, antibacterial hand soap and paper towels.  We can also large items such as crates and dog houses.

Thank you, Menards for hosting this amazing pet supply drive!  Your participating local Menards can be found here:

Menards on West Main
Address: 6800 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: (269) 544-1461

Menards on Gull Road
Address: 5300 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

KHS Blog Authors

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