Note from the Editor

As we kick off 2020, we here at the HSoMC have a lot to be excited about. In 2019, we placed more than 2,000 animals, we laid the groundwork to purchase an x-ray machine, we welcomed five new board members, and we adopted new mission and vision statements. Our current mission statement is to “...provide temporary shelter and care for displaced animals, promote responsible pet care and enrich our community through animals.”  I am proud to say that the HSoMC meets those goals on a daily basis. 
Although 2019 was a tremendous year, we are even more excited about 2020. Our Board of Directors is a working board comprised of dedicated people from diverse backgrounds and skills but sharing the same commitment to the HSoMC. In addition to our current achievements, we have new initiatives and strategies to help grow the HSoMC and move us towards our goal of sustainability.
Since we do not receive any dedicated funding from local or state government, we rely on our operations revenue, grants, donations and the generosity of our community. During a recent presentation I was making, one of the audience commented that their organization “helps people, not animals.” While the HSoMC does focus on animal placement, I have personally witnessed the comfort, joy, confidence and other feelings of well-being that animals provide to humans. As I thought about it more though, I realized that the person who said that to me just hadn’t had the privilege to have experienced what I and other people who work with animals know. Viewed from another perspective, this was an opportunity to focus part of our 2020 strategy on educating people about the benefits of animal and human interaction. As a result, we are adding a new section to the HSoMC newsletter that will highlight the third part of our mission statement and how we “enrich our community through animals.”

Enriching Our Community through Animals: The Benefits of Animal Interaction

Note: This article is written by Angela M. DuBois, MA, LLP, Partners in Change: Psychological & Community Services, PLC. While primarily written about dogs, the benefits she describes below can also be applied to most domesticated animals.
Dogs. As a society, we love them. According to a 2019-2020 Pet Owners Study, nearly 90 million dogs are pets! That is a lot of dogs who occupy many of our hearts, couches, beds and lives. We often look forward to coming home to a tail that’s wagging out of excitement to see us and spending nights cuddling with our pooches. Expanding research indicates that this relationship not only benefits our dogs, but also positively impacts their humans in many ways – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.  So, why does this connection happen? Many of us may say, “my dog just gets me and loves me no matter what.” And there is a lot of truth to that! 
If we look at it from a psychological standpoint, there are different theories that help explain these bonds – one being the Social Support Theory. In the context of a human and dog relationship, this theory explains how the social support in relationships between humans and dogs can help decrease loneliness, anxiety, and depression and enrich quality of life. The responsibility we discharge in caring for our pets increases our self-esteem and confidence. Additional benefits include exercise and the comfort of knowing that we have provided a safe and loving environment within which they can thrive. As dog owners and lovers, we sometimes find it difficult to fully explain how our bond with our dog impacts us, but we can be assured that the relationship formed is mutually beneficial.

Helping Dogs Globally: The HSoMC Saves Dogs from Lebanon

Once again, the HSoMC is partnering with Animals Lebanon to help endangered dogs from Lebanon. On January 21, a dedicated group of HSoMC volunteers drove to Chicago to pick up eight English Pointer dogs that were surviving in horrific conditions. This rescue had been in the works for almost two months prior to their arrival, and through the hard work of dedicated animal rescuers, they finally arrived. Many thanks to everyone involved including those on the ground in Lebanon, our staff, volunteers, local news media and our supportive community. As of the publication of this article, all of the Lebanon dogs have been adopted! The amount of time and effort to bring these dogs to Midland is enormous, but the photos below demonstrate that the result is priceless.
Jenny, a two-year-old English Pointer from Lebanon
Lou Lou 
Ghost, Brownie, Scooby and Lou Lou were all adopted on their first day at the HSoMC.
NOTE: Saving these animals does not impact our ability to help animals locally. The HSoMC does not pay for international transport, and all animals traveling internationally are vaccinated and quarantined prior to entry to the United States. Eighty percent are already spayed and neutered.

Blind Animals Can Make Wonderful Pets

Blindness in animals happens for many reasons including breeding animals with recessive genes and physical ailments such as diabetes and aging. However, the one common thread is that they can lead happy lives and make wonderful pets. As with sighted animals, since vision is not their primary sense, they can learn to compensate using other senses such as touch, hearing, smell and taste. Some tips to help a blind animal feel safe and secure are as follows:
  • Create a safe, familiar space. An animal who has lost or is losing vision may feel vulnerable and anxious, so it’s important to create a consistent routine and a safe, comfortable home environment. Owners should block off stairs and swimming pools, cover sharp corners on furniture and remove protruding branches and other potential hazards in your yard.
  • Set up sound, scent and touch cues. You can help a blind pet navigate his environment with his other senses. Examples include scent markers such as lavender or vanilla, wind chimes and tactile markers, such as textured mats or rugs.
  • Slowly introduce the unfamiliar. Blind pets can feel more vulnerable around strangers or in unfamiliar environments. Talk to them in reassuring tones whenever there is a new situation or before you touch them. Have visitors say their names so that they are not startled. When they are sleeping, let them know you are present by making a sound or putting a treat in front of their nose before you wake them.
  • Help foster resilience. How easily pets adjust to blindness can depend on their age, personality and other factors, such as whether they were born blind or lost their vision suddenly. But with time and patience, a blind pet may surprise you.
  • Consult your veterinarian or an experienced trainer. This can help with any medications or advice for how you can best attend to your pet’s specific needs.
With proper precautions and common sense, a blind pet can give and receive the same love and offer the same devotion and obedience as a sighted one. For more information, please search Google for “blind pets,” or visit the Humane Society of the United States or Petfinder. Also, don’t miss our article on Bruno, the dog featured directly below, who has been blind since birth.

Bruno Gets Adopted

Meet Bruno, a blind-since-birth, three-year-old American Bulldog who was transferred from our friends at Clare County Animal Control. He adores other dogs and every person he meets. His lack of vision doesn’t impede his natural curiosity and playfulness. The HSoMC staff reports that he loves to run and play just like the other dogs.
We have more good news to share about Bruno, too! Just before we published this newsletter, Bruno was adopted into his new home. Congratulations, Bruno!

Getting the Lives They Deserve: Bitsy’s Wait Is Over

You may remember Bitsy from December’s newsletter. At the time, this three-year-old shepherd mix had been at the shelter for more than 82 days and earned the unwanted title of being one of the HSoMC’s longest residents. We originally brought her here from downstate with young puppies, and once her puppies were adopted, she moved from her foster home into the shelter. Despite her intelligence and positive attributes such as being housebroken and crate-trained, she did not thrive in a shelter environment and potential adopters were turned off by her barking and reactiveness.
Bitsy helping out on Wish List Wednesday during her stay at the HSoMC
Fortunately, this did not deter Zachary and his wife Kate. They had been talking about adding to their menagerie which consisted of Pumbaa (a hedgehog) and Zazu (a ball python). On December 13, Kate saw Bitsy's post on the HSoMC Facebook page. The connection was immediate and Zach went to the shelter after work. He spent around two hours getting to know Bitsy by walking her and playing fetch in the play yard. He saw past the barking dog in the kennel and knew she would be a great fit.
Can you guess what Bitsy asked Santa for?
Bitsy gets adopted!
Bitsy and Zach the night of her adoption
Zach reports that Bitsy has, “…adapted to our home really, really well. She loves to snuggle with us as we watch TV (we're convinced she thinks she's a lap dog), play tug-of-war, walk around the neighborhood, and play fetch in the yard. She is a sucker for toys, one of her favorites being a small blue and white rope that she refuses to destroy, while other bigger ropes get shredded. Also, we're discovering all the commands she must've been taught in years past and finding new ones we didn't expect every so often.”
Bitsy with her favorite rope toy
Bitsy has flourished being in a home environment. Zach and Kate have invested the time, but she is a willing student and eager to please. She is extremely smart and knows the following commands: “stay," “crate," “up” (when invited on the furniture) and “bedtime” when Bitsy obediently goes to her crate. And just as significant and rewarding, Bitsy no longer displays the negative behavior that she had at the shelter. Zach reports that she rarely barks and follows Zach’s lead while walking. He is currently teaching her "heel" and "free time" to dictate her behavior on walks, and she continues to progress positively.
Just another evening chilling with her peeps...note the book Kate is reading!
Bitsy gets along with everyone (including their other pets), enjoys car rides (during which she sits very nicely in the back, often laying her head on the center console) and loves following Zach on his electric skateboard. A big THANK YOU to Zach and Kate for opening their hearts and their home to give Bitsy a chance and giving her the life she so strongly deserves!

Kids' Corner

Once again, our community kids showed their generosity and support for the HSoMC and the animals we care for. THANK YOU!
Cub Scout Pack 3703 from Central Park Elementary donated more than 70 blankets and additional pet supplies.
Five-year-old Claire’s hard work doing chores enabled her to donate $100, plus cat toys. In return, she got to snuggle with McGinger!
Thank you to Eliseo for her generous donation!
Nine-year-old Maddi donated in honor of her St. Bernard, Lloyd, who is an HSoMC alum.
For her seventh birthday, Eleanor selflessly requested gifts for dogs!

Monthly Highlights

Our community came out in force, thinking about us during the holiday season. We are so fortunate to be located in such a caring and supportive community. Your generosity enables us to save more lives and provide the high level of care for the animals we are privileged to serve. Thank you!
For the third year in a row, Midland Ford went above and beyond, holding a month-long event during which they collected supplies and monetary donations. THANK YOU!
Susi Sadek held a donation drive on behalf of the HSoMC. Thank you to Susi and all of the folks who contributed to her donation drive!
Liz Abdullah Weaver and Scott Weaver...THANK YOU!
Meal Prep Proz held a vote on social media, and the HSoMC received the most votes. As a result, they generously donated a portion of their sales the week prior to Christmas. Thank you for thinking of us and your generosity!
Poochie Pit Stop raised over $500 for us!
MidMichigan Physicians Group Orthopedics held an office fundraiser.

Volunteers Needed ASAP

Due to the generosity of our community, we find ourselves inundated with towels, blankets, sheets and other assorted linens. We are looking for volunteers to help sort and organize them, so we can put them to good use and keep our animals comfortable. If you are interested and have an hour (or more) to spare, please contact Jeri at

PAWSitive Helpers Seeks Volunteers

PAWSitive Helpers, a program in which the HSoMC provides dogs to work with youth from the Midland County Juvenile Care Center, is looking for volunteers! The program resumed on January 27 and runs through March. There are two separate programs, which are held on Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings. Volunteer responsibilities include interacting and engaging with the youth and providing assistance to help them train dogs. Volunteers should be over 18 years of age and have experience or education working with animals and/or children.
Please contact Angela DuBois at 
or 248-854-1608 if you have any questions or for additional information.

Upcoming Events

The HSoMC has quite a year planned so far. Please save the dates on all of our confirmed events below.
Pints for Paws – St. Patty’s Style
Monday, March 16
5-8 p.m.
Buffalo Wild Wings, Midland 
Buffalo Wild Wings is donating 20% of their profits all day long to the HSoMC on March 16. Don’t miss the evening event of great food, great drinks, and a great cause, including bagpipers at 7 p.m.! For a $12 donation, you will receive an HSoMC pint glass, and your first drink is on us. 
Mid-Michigan Pet Expo
Sunday, April 26
Midland County Fairgrounds
10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Join us for the eighth annual MidMichigan Pet Expo! This free event features Lou E. Loon, the HSoMC mascot (Barkley), a pet photo booth, refreshments and more! Bring your family, friends and well-behaved dogs for a pawesome good time! 
Auction and Garage Sale to Benefit the HSoMC
Sunday, May 17
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
While clearing out your house this spring, please consider donating your items to the HSoMC's auction. We can store your household goods, toys, furniture, sporting goods, tools, and more (no clothes please). Drop off items during our business hours, please. Contact Erica at for more information. The garage sale will take place in our storage pole barns across the street from the HSoMC. 
Save the Date for These Events
More information coming soon
Cats on Yoga Mats
Friday, June 5
6-7 p.m.
Ashman Lofts
Pints for Paws
June 2020
Midland Brewing Co.
Pet Mini Photo Session
June 2020
Ties & Tails Gala
Friday, October 16
7 p.m.
The Midland Country Club
To get more information, suggest an event, or become an event volunteer, please email Erica at
Thank you to all of our Ties and Tails Gala sponsors and supporters including our partnership level sponsors below.
Melanie Kalmar &
James Cordes
James Fitterling &
Alex Lee

Thank You

Thank you to our donors, members, volunteers, and staff! And a special thanks to Midland Neighbors for featuring HSoMC in their monthly issues.
Articles written by Casey Nicholson and Lynn Looby. Photography by Deb Lambesis and Lisa Weldy.
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Adoption Hours: Monday-Friday 12-7 p.m. & Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 
Intake Hours (By Appointment Only): Monday-Friday 12-6 p.m. & Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.