1300 W. Conway Rd. Harbor Springs, MI 49740  231-347-2396

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Saginaw kitty1To say it’s been a difficult past few months is an understatement. COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, animal shelters included, and Little Traverse Bay Humane Society is no exception. Things have been even more difficult downstate, however. In late May, Midland experienced the collapse of the Edenville Dam which displaced hundreds of residents from their homes.

This, of course, included animals. Because of the overflow of countless animals taken in from Midland, the nearby Humane Society of Saginaw County quickly filled to capacity. LTBHS staff reached out immediately asking if there was any way to help. The Humane Society of Saginaw County gratefully accepted the offer and arranged for the transport of nearly 20 cats to our shelter.

Working in the world of animal sheltering has taught us one thing: most days are unpredictable and full of surprises. So when we received 28 cats and kittens instead of the 19 as originally planned, we just went with it and made room for the additional ones!

Despite receiving nine more cats than actually expected, we are happy that we had the space for them and that we were able to help out another Michigan shelter in need. All of the cats and kittens are extremely sweet and loving and some have already found new homes. We know it won’t take long for the additional ones to find loving families of their own.

We will continue to work with local shelters across the state to ensure that if there’s a way we can help, we will. Because when we work with our neighbors to save lives, everyone wins.

Buddy 1When it comes to animal welfare, we’re all in this together. It doesn’t matter what county, city or state you’re in, when it comes to saving animals lives, there is tremendous power in partnership.

This is especially true in recent times with a global pandemic affecting everything we do. That’s why when we can work together to save animals in need, we do it.

We know just how important it is to support our neighbors during this difficult time so when we learned that Cheboygan County Humane Society had five dogs who had been sitting at their shelter for the past several months (one had been there for over a year and a half!), we offered to transport them to Little Traverse Bay Humane Society and give them a better chance of being adopted.

Taking care to maintain social distancing and be as safe as possible, Chong, Trigger, Brownie, Buster and Buddy (who are 8 and 9 years old, respectively), were all transported to our shelter. Chong, Trigger and Buster were able to be placed into foster homes (Buster is with our Executive Director, Danielle!) and Brownie and Buddy are being cared for at the shelter until foster homes are found for them.

One of the best things is that Chong, who had been at the Cheboygan shelter for the past year and a half, already found a home with his foster family! Chong, who has been re-named Maverick, is doing wonderfully in his new home. Even though he wasn’t in our care long, we are thrilled to have played a part in his adoption story. We are certain that Buddy, Buster and Brownie will soon find homes as well, especially after we re-open. We are happy that we were able to work with our Cheboygan neighbors to offer new opportunities to these dogs.

We’ll be working with more shelters across the state of Michigan in the coming months and we can’t wait to share these stories with you. Right now, Midland is facing a crisis after the collapse of the Edenville Dam, and hundreds of residents are being evacuated due to extreme flooding. Due to the overflow of countless animals taken in from Midland, nearby Saginaw shelters are at capacity and are in need of help. We will be working closely with them to take some of the burden off their shelter and transport a number of their animals to LTBHS.

Stay tuned for our ‘Regional Rescues’ series that we’ll be sharing with you each month. We can’t wait to tell you how we’re partnering with other shelters across the state to give hope and second chances to those in need!

Posted by on in LTBHS News

deter blog1October 1, 1999. My first day on the job as Executive Director of Little Traverse Bay Humane Society. The shelter was located at the old facility on U.S. 131 in Petoskey, the location that served the organization since 1951. As many of you remember, the building epitomized the era of animal welfare with no windows for ventilation or sunlight; cold, concrete floors; and inadequate space for animals who came through the door. I remember walking in and looking at all the animals and saying, “well, we’re NOT staying here.”

Although the years have blurred together, the first day sticks out almost hour-by-hour. I was told to be at the shelter at 8:30 because that is when the existing ED got to work and could start my training. I thought to myself, “8:30? Who is there letting the dogs out and starting the cleaning procedure? What about the cats? Is there anyone to start feeding and medicating them?” It seemed awfully late in the morning to start taking care of animals.

The first thing I noticed was that it did not matter because there was no cleaning schedule. At the time, I had no experience in the world of nonprofits, but I knew how to take care of animals, so I started at the bottom. Every morning I arrived at work at 7:30 (and I still do today!) and started cleaning all of the animal enclosures. I did not have the awesome staff that I have today, most mornings it was just me. Despite the chaos that I walked into, I found a level of peace deep cleaning and caring for the shelter animals. Ironically, it is that calmness and peacefulness that has kept me here for all of these years.

During the first year, I could not tell you how many calls I received from disgruntled donors who had not received acknowledgements, frustrated members of the community who were trying to surrender their animals-from years past, and members of the organization who were disappointed in the facility and the lack of care the shelter animals had been receiving. I will not lie when I say that every time the phone rang, my heart sank. I just could not keep up with all the fires I had to put out.

As with every tough period in life, things began to improve. The initial changes that I made, although they seemed small at the time, made a world of difference in the lives of the shelter animals. Looking back, I am thankful that LTBHS was a small organization. It gave me the chance to grow with it and learn all aspects of running a nonprofit, no kill animal shelter. As I look at our campus today, all I can think is that we have come a long way baby.

Posted by on in LTBHS News

DSC 0543At Little Traverse Bay Humane Society, we take in dogs of all ages, backgrounds and temperaments. Of course, this naturally means that some of our dogs are cute, wiggly puppies and others are older animals (who still make wonderful pets!) that may benefit from some good manners.

Fortunately, we have our Mutts With Manners Training Program to help with that. Our Mutts With Manners Program starts shortly after an animal arrives at LTBHS. They are evaluated and temperament tested to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Once their behavioral needs are assessed, LTBHS staff works with them to develop a training plan just for them!

This program has made an incredible impact on our shelter animals! Three year old Walker, for instance, has made great strides during his time in the program. Walker is a longtime shelter resident due to some specific needs (no cats, he is a bit choosy about his canine playmates and should go to a home with older children). He also has issues with guarding his toys and food, and is reactive to other dogs, all of which have been the focus of his training.

Staff have worked with Walker since he arrived and he has made great progress! He’s become a lot less reactive of other dogs and has even begun to make some friends while here. At first, we believed that Walker should be the only dog in the home, but since he has done so well with his training, we think that he may be able to go to a home with another dog (if the match is right). He’s also made a lot of progress in regard to guarding toys, treats and other items.

We are so proud of Walker and how far he’s come since his arrival at LTBHS and we know he’ll make a great addition to someone’s family! We are thankful that our Mutts With Manners Program has, and continues to, make such a difference at our shelter. It has meant lower return rates and in turn, more space at our shelter to rescue more animals, win-win!

Posted by on in LTBHS News
32472017 2451898364836030 4482117661244784640 nWe recently received 10 cats from Chippewa County in the Upper Peninsula who were pulled from an extreme hoarding/over-breeding situation.  These poor babies were living in absolutely awful, unsanitary conditions and were malnourished and dirty when they arrived.  They had been previously living in tiny, wire cages with limited room to move around and no proper bed, litter box, good food or clean water. 
There were over 30 cats pulled from the situation and taken to Chippewa County Animal Shelter.  The staff knew they didn’t have the resources to handle that many felines all at once, which prompted them to reach out to other local rescues, including Little Traverse Bay Humane Society. We ended up taking in 10 of the displaced cats, including two mommas, heavily pregnant.
It’s devastating and heartbreaking to think of any animal living in conditions such as this. Thankfully, however, these sweet kitties are free of the bad situation they came from and are now safe and sound at the shelter until they find new homes of their own.ed4