To adopt, or to buy? That is a pet question

By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

More people are looking more to having an animal to snuggle with at night instead of some annoying person. The only thing people have to decide is whether to adopt or to purchase a puppy from either a breeder or owner. With all of the animal shelters and abandoned animals, one would think that adoption would be an easy go to for animal lovers. Even though there are abandoned animals in shelters, people still stray to websites like Craigslist or Facebook looking to buy an animal. According to the adoptapet.com, it normally costs a person about $220 just to adopt an already ready animal.

Ingham County Animal Shelter’s mobile adoption events successful

By Blake Froling
Ingham County Chronicle

Imagine walking into a Lowe’s looking for supplies and coming out with a furry friend. It happens quite often at mobile adoption events put on by the Ingham County Animal Shelter. “I have a saying when it comes to those kind of events,” said Larry Hagedorn, a volunteer with the animal shelter, “Yeah, I need a bunch of nails and I’ll take a puppy too.”

The animal shelter puts on mobile adoption events all over the greater Lansing area, mostly at pet stores but occasionally at other businesses. The shelter brings about four or five foster dogs and about eight or 10 foster cats and have trained volunteers ready to answer any questions. This provides an alternative for people who feel uneasy about going to the actual shelter.

Religious Freedom or Children’s Rights: Which Matters More?

By Ian Wendrow
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING-Organizations across Lansing are responding to a package of bills passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, which allows state funded agencies the right to deny service to potential parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Of the multiple faith based adoption agencies in Michigan, Bethany Christian Services (BCS) is the largest among them. When contacted, BCS refused to speak directly to reporters but did release a press statement addressing the proposed bills:

“The legislation approved by the House preserves in law Michigan’s longstanding public/private partnership with a diverse group of private, secular, and faith-based agencies that work side-by-side to find permanent, loving homes for vulnerable children. It doesn’t restrict anyone from participating in foster care or adoption, but it does preserve for faith-based agencies the freedom to be faithful to our convictions,” it read. However, not all of Lansing agrees with the statement that the bills do not restrict parental candidates. Equality Michigan, the only statewide advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) peoples and HIV sufferers with offices in Detroit and Lansing, spoke out at an anti-adoption bill rally.

Animal shelter tries to help dogs find homes in Dogtober

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

The Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter will be hosting its first discounted dog adoption event called Dogtober, for the rest of October. Dogtober, originally slated to begin Oct 15 was pushed to Oct 7 due to the Ingham shelter being out of room and overloaded with adoptable dogs. All dogs for the rest of Dogtober will cost $30 to adopt compared to the original $100 price tag. The price decrease is thanks to a volunteer/sponsor for the shelter donating “a lot” of money to make-up for the difference, according to Ashley Hayes the volunteer and special events coordinator of the shelter. Each adopted dog will come with a microchip, county license and rabies vaccination.

Capital Area Humane Society receives new funding

Forms of funding

 “I have been here longer than any other dog.  Please give me my second chance,” a sign reads on the cage of 7-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Redbone Coonhound-mix Zoie. Fortunately for animals like Zoie, things are looking up: Capital Area Humane Society received new grant funding, and adoption rates and volunteer numbers are high. The humane society, located at 7095 W. Grand River Ave., is not funded by government.  “We’re completely independent,” said development, events and grant manager Jamie Fuhr.  “We don’t take tax money or anything like that.”

Fuhr said that their funding is comprised exclusively of donations from the public and the fees they collect for their services, including their adoption and spay and neuter fees. PetSmart Charities recently awarded Capital Area Humane Society a $135,000 grant payable over two years, according to Fuhr. “This grant will end up spaying and neutering about 2,400 cats,” Fuhr said.  “And this is actually the second phase that we’re doing.”  Two years ago, they received a grant that allowed them to spay and neuter 2,800 cats.

Efforts increase to allow joint adoption by unmarried couples in Michigan

By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – A bill in the legislature, public support and an expected federal ruling may soon tip the balance in favor of unmarried couples looking to adopt children together. Such second parent adoptions can involve heterosexual unmarried couples but most cases involve same-sex couples, who cannot legally marry in Michigan. Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, sponsored a bill in January to explicitly allow unmarried couples to become joint parents. “If the only adoptive parent becomes incapacitated or passes away, the child goes back into foster care instead of with the only other parent they’ve known,” Irwin said. “It undermines the other parent’s right to make medical and financial decisions.”

Ingham County Doggy Days

By Matthew Pizzo
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

The Ingham County Fairgrounds and Animal Control & Shelter hosted the first Doggy Days event for dog lovers of all ages, September 20 and 21. Doggy Days offered a variety of events such as dog grooming, training, agility demonstrations and even a superhero dog costume contest. The event was headlined by the internationally toured Extreme Canine Stunt Dog Show, these high-flying dogs performed for audiences both Friday and Saturday. Suhey Velez, co-host and trainer of the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show, said the show gives dogs they adopt from shelters across the United States another chance at life. Ultimately, the event aimed to get dogs from the shelter adopted by animal lovers.

Racial disparities in adoption raise concerns

By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – Decades later, Rhonda Roorda still becomes emotional. “Sometimes I still feel the trauma of knowing that but for the grace of God, I could have aged out of the foster care system,” said Roorda, an African-American woman who was adopted by a white couple in 1971. “I could have fallen through the cracks.”

The most recent national data by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System suggests that many of these cracks in the foster care system are shrinking. The total number of children entering foster care has decreased by 18 percent since 2007. Fewer children are waiting for adoption placement.

A growing human-animal bond in Meridian Township

By Danielle Turcotte
Meridian Times staff writer

Yoshi, Sandford, Junie and Jessie are among the few available furry-tailed animals up for adoption at the Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing. President and CEO of Capital Area Humane Society Julia Palmer said the staff places around 3,500 animals annually into homes.  The ultimate goal is to promote the humane treatment of animals through protection, placement, education and example. Other than providing an individual with a new furry friend, services are Pets for the Elderly, spay or neuter procedures, behavior training and volunteer opportunities.  In April, Capital Area Humane Society is teaming up with the Petsmart in Okemos to increase the chances of finding an animal a happy home.  Visitors can pet felines and dogs 3:30- 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Offsite locations do help with adoptions.  We are constantly trying to increase visibility for the animals at the shelter.  Petsmart is one of the many avenues we use to accomplish that,” Palmer said. With pet adoption awareness on the rise, there have been some complaints that there is not a place specific to residents and their dogs in Meridian Township.  Williamston resident Jamie Cripe and her labrador retriever mix Calypso love the idea for creating a dog park at Legg Park or anywhere in Okemos even. “We live in an apartment complex and while there is some space for dogs to play, it’s just sometimes not enough,” Cripe said.  “Also, it’s great for dogs to be able to socially interact with other dogs and people, to have open grassy spaces to play, which the Soldan Park lacks,” she added.