Hey, Bunny here again! I know I usually try to keep things light in my blog posts, but I need to be real with you. It has been an overwhelming summer for all of my people at HSWM, with animal adoptions being at record lows nationwide–but when animals are suffering, the staff here never think twice about pitching in to help!
HSWM is a destination shelter for pets in need of help, so we are made aware when there are large-scale rescues, like the one in Cumberland, VA. I was told that an organization called The US Department of Agriculture, which regulates breeders that sell animals for research and testing, reported dozens of violations of the Animal Welfare Act at a beagle breeding facility run by Envigo RMS in Cumberland, Virginia over the past year.
During the investigation, it was found that these poor pups had been kept in prison-like conditions, with live insects, worms, maggots, beetles, flies, ants, mold, and feces in their food. EUGH, I can’t even imagine!! They even said that 300 puppies had died in the span of seven months of "unknown causes." Well, of course, HSWM couldn’t ignore this so we sent staff and volunteers to help! A van brought 25 of these beagles to my kennels shortly afterward to start their new lives in their own furever homes!
The beagles arrived dirty, sick, and scared, but the awesome staff here at HSWM made sure they got all of the help they needed, and then found them loving homes where they could get the treatment they deserved! Their new owners gave them names instead of numbers, let them run in the grass and roll on their beds, gave them lots of treats and showed them how to be dogs. Now all of these beagles are thriving and living their best lives, all thanks to this community that was so eager to help us support them. Thank you!
It’s Bunny, your favorite paw-fessional blogger and resident baby hippo! This month I’m excited to tell you all about my friend, Pepita! Pepita is a beloved cat whose family fell on tough times. Even with support from the kind staff here at Humane Society of West Michigan, they were unable to keep her and decided to give Pepita a second chance with us. Poor Pepita came into our care with a painful eye infection that caused her to lose her eyes and required medical attention. My buddies in vet land got to work right away treating the infection and scheduled a surgery to ensure she’d stay healthy!
During this time we learned that this two-year old sweetheart was curious and bold, and just like my deafness, she didn’t let her blindness slow her down! After Pepita’s surgery she went to a foster home to recover, and there, Pepita really blossomed into her own! This little spitfire was outgoing, spunky and fun, and her inability to see did not inhibit her want to play and be loved. She would seek out attention and instantly trusted anyone who would pet her. She returned to HSWM briefly and was even amazing with the kids in our Summer Camp!
Shortly after returning to HSWM it was no surprise that Pepita was adopted into an amazing forever family. She is now comfortable, loved, spoiled, and living her life to its fullest! I love that the people here at HSWM are always ready and willing to do everything they can to help pets in need, just like Pepita. Though she may be a cat, I think Pepita is one of the good ones, and I loved hearing all about her Happily Ever After!
It’s the end of May already, when did that happen? It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having as much fun at the shelter as I am!
But enough about me, let’s talk about my friend Angie. When Angie entered our care, this poor kitty was scared. She had lost the only owner she had ever known and had nowhere to go. When her owner passed away, unfortunately, no family member was able to take her in, but we at Humane Society of West Michigan welcomed her with open paws!
At just three and a half years old, Angie was a sweet cat, but was confused and closed off when she first arrived. She had been with the same owner her whole life and she told me she felt like the rug had been pulled out from underneath her. She shied away from attention, hid in her kennel, and was nervous around people.
It didn’t take long for the paw-some staff here to realize she needed some quiet attention to help her adjust and feel more comfortable. Often HSWM staff would be found giving her extra gentle pets, chin scratches, and tasty treats, and within days, she realized this place wasn’t so bad! She warmed up quickly and began rubbing against her kennel door, seeking out the love that she had previously rejected.
Once Angie was feeling more herself, it wasn’t long before she found her fur-ever home! Her family now spoils her rotten, and she’s getting all the love and attention she deserves! Pets like Angie, (and even me!) are so lucky to have Humane Society of West Michigan to go to when we had nowhere else to turn. Thank you to everyone who helps support the pets at HSWM, like Angie and me, so we have a chance at long, happy, healthy lives!
It’s Bunny again – did you miss me? 😊
I just wanted to check in to tell you all about a little litter of kittens that came into our care a while back. My friends here at the shelter knew, as soon as these kittens arrived, that they were really sick. Not only did they have missing hair, but they were also lethargic and not acting as normal, rambunctious kittens should! Our vet staff tested them and found out they had both ringworm and panleukopenia (which is a very serious disease that is often fatal in young kittens). Their outlook was bleak, but our tough team didn’t give up hope!
The staff at HSWM worked around the clock to provide them with fluids, medication, and top-notch medical care! Once all of the kittens had finally kicked panleukopenia to the curb, it was time to address their ringworm. These brave little guys fought for a total of nine long weeks against their various health issues, until FINALLY, they were ready to go to a foster home to finish healing! This whole fuzzy family of siblings was able to get the space, love, and attention they needed to grow, learn, and, of course, find loving adopters!
I don’t usually spend much time with cats, but I’m proud to say that I know Minerva, Sol, Fortuna, Poseidon, Flora, Vesta, and Vulcan – these kittens showed us all how to persevere through life’s trials, no matter what they are. After months and months of fighting off infection after infection, it’s exciting to share that they are all adopted and I know they deserve every bit of happiness that they’ve found!
Hi everyone, it’s your paw-fessional blogger, Bunny, here with another story of one of my shelter friends, Zoey! I heard that Zoey was surrendered to us after her family had been struggling with chronic health issues and was no longer able to care for her.
Zoey was a little old lady – a nine-year-old gal who weighed just twelve pounds! Neglect and fear were the first things staff noted when she arrived and everyone took a few days to try to gain her trust. Unfortunately, Zoey wasn’t having it. Our vet staff took a closer look at her and realized that she must be in pain. She had a skin and ear infection, and after further testing found bladder stones – and I mean a LOT of bladder stones! Surgery was done to remove in total, 171 bladder stones from that tiny pup! Can you believe it?!
After addressing her urgent medical issues, our awesome staff started routinely giving Zoey medicated baths and antibiotics to clear up her skin and ear infections. She responded well to treatment and has since grown a new, beautiful, silky-soft, gray and white coat (just like mine)! After 74 days at my shelter and around-the-clock care from my friends on the vet team, Zoey was ready to start her next adventure.
Zoey is now adopted and being spoiled by her furever family! I just love hearing Happy Tails like hers – don’t you?
Happy New Year!
I hope everyone got to spend the holidays with their loved ones; I was surrounded by my favorite staff and volunteers who came in on the holidays to give me long walks, extra special treats, and lots of snuggles! They also told me about a furry friend named Magenta.
When Magenta came to HSWM the Veterinary team knew something was wrong. At just nine months old, she couldn’t use her front legs correctly. She would regularly drop to her front knees and try to move by shuffling along that way - trust me, I know that’s not the way it’s done! The Veterinary team here worked to find out what was wrong and, after significant medical examinations, it was found she had a spinal cord injury that had healed but left this side effect. Dr. T decided the best course of action would be a robust physical therapy program.
One of our amazing volunteers (who I love too!) took her home with directions from our veterinary team and they began her physical therapy. After a few weeks, it was clear her physical therapy was working! Magenta was using her front legs like normal and running around like crazy! She was quickly adopted into a loving family that continues to work on her physical therapy and build her strength.
I love starting the new year with such great stories. As I like to say, Magenta has a new ‘leash’ on life!
Wow! I can’t believe it is already December! The snow has started to fly and the year is almost done. Where did the time go? Today, I wanted to tell you about my friend Scooby. Scooby came to Humane Society of West Michigan as a stray that was being fed by a kind citizen. It didn’t take the nice staff here long to see that Scooby needed help. Scooby had a large bite wound on his leg that looked infected.
We welcomed Scooby to the HSWM family and the veterinary staff began his examinations. Unfortunately, they realized the infection was far worse than initially thought. The infection had reached his bone and required that they amputate his leg.
The hardworking veterinary staff performed the needed surgery and hoped his road to recovery would begin, but Scooby was not so lucky. The infection had spread to his bloodstream as well and his body became septic. The HSWM staff worked around the clock giving antibiotics, fluids, pain medication, and continued love to help Scooby with hopes he would pull through.
It took a long time, but after 88 days in intensive medical care, I heard that Scooby was able to go to a loving foster home to finish his recovery. And, it was just a few short days later that his foster family realized he fit in perfectly and needed to be a permanent resident of their home!
Scooby is now deeply spoiled and adored - just like me! His past may have been filled with pain, but since the day he walked through the doors of HSWM his life has been changed forever!
Today I wanted to share with you all about my friend named Reign, who’s a real handsome guy!
Reign came to Humane Society of West Michigan under terrible circumstances. He had been at a nearby animal shelter where he was diagnosed with adult parvovirus, which is an incredibly dangerous, often fatal disease. While this disease is very preventable, Reign had not been vaccinated like I have. The shelter he had been surrendered to did not have the staffing or medical ability to treat him, and so his only options were humane euthanasia or hope another shelter could help him!
The good humans at HSWM work pretty darn hard and they immediately offered to take him into our care. Reign came in rough shape, but let me tell you, we have a great vet team and they hit the ground running with around-the-clock veterinary care of IV fluids, painkillers, and anti-nausea medication with hopes this sweet guy would make it through! Many of the days, it looked uncertain, and I worried that Reign might not make it, but after he was with us for a long time, he was well enough to be sent to a loving foster home to continue regaining strength. I hear that during that time he was able to heal from his illness and began to show his cheerful personality!
I overheard that his foster said “We ended our evenings with reading or TV on the couch, where he'd just lay next to me with his head on my lap and snuggle. He had a hard time learning "’stay’ but that is mainly because every time I moved he wanted to be next to me. He loves to give kisses and I taught him to do a couple of licks under the chin when I said it!”
It was shortly after I heard that, on one of my walks, when they told me that Reign found a loving forever family and started his new life! I was so happy for him! Reign is just one example of the thousands of animals that come through our doors each year and Humane Society of West Michigan is able to provide the life-changing care needed to place them into loving fur-ever homes! Without support from people like you, I wouldn’t be able to share happy tails like these.
Thanks for being a great human who helps furry friends like me! Can’t wait to share more stories with you soon!
Meet Our Paw-fessional Blogger!
If you don't already know me, my name is Bunny and I am a permanent resident of Humane Society of West Michigan! I have been a beloved pet here for over 10 years. I live at HSWM because of some limitations I have that would make it hard for me to live outside of the structured and loving environment here. But don’t worry - I get about eight walks a day, I always have the comfiest kennel full of blankets and stuffies, I get loved on by all the staff and volunteers, and work hard to help train the humans around here!