Montcalm Commissioners Vote to Continue Selling Animals to Research for at Least Another Six Months Despite Public Outcry
January 29, 2009
Over 100 concerned citizens packed the Montcalm Commissioner's meeting Monday, January 26. Despite the public outcry to end relations with a class b animal dealer in Montcalm, commissioners instead voted to form a committee to review the shelter's policies and procedures.
Lake Haven Director, Cheryl McCloud, was featured in an article about the meeting in the Grand Rapids Press stating she felt the formation of a six-month long committee to review the practices was "a stall tactic." McCloud successfully pressed Newaygo County officials to end a similar relationship with R&R. Montcalm's agreement with R&R was set to expire in February.
See WOOD TV and WZZM's coverage of the meeting below.
Read More Press Coverage:
Gratiot County Votes to Continue to Give Pets to R&R Research
January 29, 2009
Sadly, Gratiot County Commissioners voted to continue giving pets to class b dealer, R&R Research. Because of this vote, many animals dropped off at the shelter in Gratiot will either be sold to research facilities via R&R Research, gassed in a C02 barrel or euthanized by R&R Research via an intra-cardial “heart stick”. Gratiot and Montcalm are two of only four counties in Michigan still giving shelter pets to research.
The vote was five-to-two, with commissioners Mark Knowles, David Eldridge, Jan Bunting, Bill Dilts, and Roland Merignac voting to give unclaimed pets at the county shelter to the class-b research dealer, R&R Research, owned by Jim Woudenberg.
Click the link below for a detailed article.
Lake Haven Volunteers Arrange for Puppy Surgery in Florida
January 24, 2009
Lake Haven dog fosters, Kay VanderBaan and Renee Henry, have been fostering Maya, a 16-week-old rat terrier who suffers from a urinary tract abnormality that causes urine not to empty properly into the bladder. The abnormality is causing complications for Maya - not to mention a messy "puddle" problem for her fosters. Due to the complex procedure to fix the problem, area clinics would not perform the surgery. Michigan State's vet clinic could help, but the costs would be a financial drain on Lake Haven's ability to help other pets in need.
Lake Haven volunteer, Kathy Brown, found a unique alternative to help Maya. She contacted Ratbone Rescues Inc., a nonprofit which specializes in rat terrier rescues. They had agreed to help Maya via their veterinary partners, but there was one problem: the rescue is in Florida.
That didn't stop Brown, however. She wrote to Animal Rescue Flights, a group that helps connect animal shelters with pilots willing to fly pets where they need to go for help. Pilot Scott Peters agreed to fly Maya, and on January 23, she was bound for Florida. Maya was very nervous, but settled in on the plane before takeoff.
The departure was bitter-sweet for VanderBaan, Henry, and her son, Jackson. They had planned on permanently adopting Maya. Yet after Maya's surgery, she will be adopted out in Florida. Henry is quoted in the Grand Rapids Press as saying, "It was hard... Very hard. We had her since she was five weeks old."
Maya at the airport with Jackson (her favorite little boy)
Lake Haven volunteer, Renee Henry and Pilot, Scott Peters
Click on the Grand Rapids Press article below to read the full story.
Pets Sold to University of Michigan for Medical Experiments - What You Can Do
January 14, 2009
R&R Research, which currently has a contract with Gratiot and Montcalm counties, resells shelter animals to research facilities. The University of Michigan is now coming under fire for buying pets from R&R Research and using them for Advanced Trauma Life Support classes. The U of M is among a dwindling group of schools still using live animals. Over 90% of courses nationwide are using approved alternatives. As pointed out in the articles below, Lake Haven believes such learning is better accomplished on human cadavers and dummies.
What's more, formerly owned house pets make cruel research subjects. Placing such pets in a laboratory environment after coming from a home is beyond traumatizing. Please - before you drop your pet off at a shelter (especially in Montcalm, Gratiot, Mecosta and Osceola counties), ask if they give their pets to research.
If you want to stop animals from being sold to research facilities in Gratiot and Montcalm counties, write to the contacts below. They will vote on this matter before the end of January.
Brian Smith, Gratiot County Administrator
The Gratiot County Courthouse
214 East Center Street
Ithaca, Michigan 48847
Chris Hyzer, Montcalm County Controller
211 W. Main Street
PO Box 368
Stanton, MI 48884
Update - Dog with Rare Eye Condition Doing Well Thanks to Lake Haven Donors
January 14, 2009
When Lucy was approximately five weeks old, she was found running down a busy highway. A concerned passerby called Lake Haven, and she was in our care until she was well enough to be adopted. Her original owner was eventually found, but did not want her. She had a rare genetic eye condition called corneal dermoid and needed specialized surgery to save her eye. The surgery cost about $1,000 and Lake Haven asked for your help in donating what you could to help save this sweet puppy’s eye! And you came through - exceeding our goal!
A heartfelt thank you comes from Lake Haven, Lucy and her new parents!
From Lucy's mom, Emily:
"Lucy had her eye surgery on November 12 - we dropped her off early in the morning and went back to visit her at the vet in the afternoon. She was sleepy and a little scared, but her eye already looked much better! We hated to leave her, but she had to stay overnight for observation. Parents and puppy were happy to have her home the next day, and after a couple of sleepy days, she recovered very quickly. She even figured out how to turn her plastic collar into a snow scoop so she could play in the first snowfalls of the year!
only a couple of days until she was
out for walks again, and when we
took her back for her follow-up
visit, the doctor said that she was
doing perfectly. Now, just over a
month later, her eye looks amazing -
she barely has a scar, and she's
happy and healthy.
If you would like to help a dog with special needs like Lucy, please consider donating to Lake Haven. Donations to Lake Haven are tax deductible.
Checks can be mailed to:
551 Pickerel Lake Dr.
Newaygo, MI 49337
January Crucial Month for Animals in Montcalm/Gratiot Counties
January 8, 2009
To all of you who voiced your opinions to the Montcalm County Commissioners recommending not to use a CO2 barrel or to continue to perform heart sticks; and to end that county’s relationship with class b dealer, R&R Research, I thank you so very much. Your dedication to animal welfare has had a tremendous impact. As you may know, WOOD TV reported that the Animal Control Director is now on board with humane euthanasia and recommended NOT to renew the county’s contract with R&R Research! What wonderful news!
However, it is the commissioners who have the final vote this month. In fact, there is a Montcalm Commissioner meeting on Monday, January 26th at 1:00 p.m. in the old courthouse, downtown Stanton. The vote on the contract with R&R Research will likely happen at this meeting. Please try to attend. The more support we have, the greater our chances to end this once and for all.
And while our eyes have been on Montcalm, it was recently brought to my attention that the exact same situation is happening in the county next door: Gratiot. Just as in Montcalm, many animals there are either: (1) gassed in a CO2 barrel, (2) sold to research facilities via R&R Research, or (3) euthanized by R&R Research via an intra-cardial “heart stick”.
Gratiot's contract with R&R Research is also set to expire at the end of this month (January 2009)!
We are running out of time before these crucial votes. If you cannot attend meetings in Montcalm or Gratiot, please contact the commissioners via the representatives below.
Lake Haven Director
Pet Photos with Santa Fundraiser - A Great Holiday Success
January 8, 2009
In December, Santa and his helpers came to PetSmart to spread holiday cheer - and to support a good cause! Patrons of PetSmart had the chance to have their pet's photo taken with Santa. For every photo taken, $5 was donated to Lake Haven.
A special thanks goes out to the Grandville PetSmart staff, the Lake Haven volunteers who ran the event, and of course, the customers and their adorable companions who stole our hearts - and Santa's too!
See you again next year! Ho! Ho! Ruff!
© 2009 by Lake Haven.
Lake Haven is a non-profit no-kill animal rescue shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless and/or injured dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in the West Michigan area. Lake Haven is a recognized 510(c)3 organization that is 100% volunteer operated.