Humane Society of Midland County Monthly Newsletter - June 2019, Issue #10
Jesse Labelle wants YOU to support HSoMC on June 28!

Note From the Shelter Director

On June 1, we took in 26 dogs from Texas. Pleas for volunteers, fosters and adopters were sent out, and everyone came through brilliantly! Our dedicated staff, volunteers and board members came together to work extra hours for these special dogs. When people asked me how many dogs we were getting, I said, “26, but don’t worry, it will all work out fine!” Inside, I was a ball of panic trying to figure out where on earth I would put these dogs, because there was not enough room in the shelter! We never turn anyone away locally, so we had local dogs come in all week. Then, we had a rush of calls from other counties needing help as well. So, we took even more dogs in!

I still said, “don’t worry, it will all be fine!” Well, I have a few more wrinkles and probably stress pounds, but it did all work out beautifully! The dogs were unloaded quickly and efficiently. All of the dogs were happy and healthy, and at 11 a.m. when we opened,  there was a line of people eagerly waiting to pick out their new pet! Everyone was patient and excited, and about 20 dogs are sleeping in homes tonight, many of which were destined for death not even a week ago! A huge thank you to everyone who helped! Just receiving this newsletter means you are supporting the organization in some way making these life-saving miracles happen, and that’s deeply appreciated.
Our work is never done though! Lots of events this week and in the months coming up! 
We have the Big & Rich concert at the Dow Diamond and the financial benefit to HSoMC could be tremendous! Tickets are still available at

One final note: below are pictures of GG; a sweet lab mix that I brought home to foster. Skinny and mistreated, but not broken!
It took 10 minutes to convince her it was okay to come inside the house and then about two hours to convince her the couch was okay to lie on where she was snoring softly at my side. The thought that this gentle soul almost lost her life because the shelter she ended up in was out of space is heartbreaking. She has been adopted, and I am so grateful to be able to help her and 25 of her canine friends!
Beth Wellman, Shelter Director

HSoMC Welcomes Texas Dogs

On Saturday, June 1, we received 26 dogs from the Fort Worth Animal Shelter in Texas. Prior to their arrival, all of these dogs were spayed/neutered, brought current on their vaccinations and microchipped. These dogs traveled over 20 hours and over 1,200 miles prior to their arrival.
Texas Dogs
Eighteen dogs were adopted the day they arrived! By taking these dogs, the Texas shelter avoided euthanizing them and created space for other dogs. More importantly, the majority of these dogs found homes within a week and went from sleeping in a shelter to the comfort and safety of their own family.
Thank you to Fort Worth Animal Shelter for bringing the dogs to us with smiles on your faces! Thank you to our dedicated staff, volunteers, and board of directors who were there early to welcome the dogs and complete SO many adoptions! Thank you as well to Deb and Lisa, our volunteer photographers who made sure every dog was captured on film! Lastly, thank you to our FOREVER HOMES!! Without you, none of this would be possible!
Texas Dogs

Cats, Kittens and More Kittens!

Anyone who has visited HSoMC recently sees firsthand that we are bursting at the seams with cats and kittens. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event but occurs annually at HSoMC and nationally. Just recently, we took in 18 cats in one day. We currently have 35 cats in foster care, and last year, we had a total of 185 kittens go through our foster program! Everyone reading this article can help alleviate this issue, no matter your age, ability or resources. In fact, it can take as little as five minutes to help save lives.
These are just some of the adorable kittens available at HSoMC.
Cat fertility chartCats living in Midland County are fortunate since HSoMC has a number of programs to provide care for cats in need. However, it is one of our goals to end feline overpopulation so that every cat is cared for. This article addresses why this situation exists and how you can help.
  • The majority of cats brought into HSoMC are not spayed or neutered.
  • Cats can breed up to three times per year with average litters of four kittens. This means that one unspayed cat can produce 36 cats in 16 months!
  • HSoMC is a no-kill shelter, but other shelters have a higher euthanasia rate since they don’t have the capacity for all of the stray cats and kittens. The ASPCA estimates that approximately 860,000 cats are euthanized annually. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 70% of shelter cats are euthanized.
  • Feral or community cats exist throughout the United States and serve useful purposes if their population is controlled. HSoMC has a progressive Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program where anyone can bring a cat to our shelter and we will neuter it for free, so it can be returned to the community.
  • It is better to leave a litter of outdoor kittens in place IF the mother is caring for it. Once the kittens are old enough, bring them to a shelter for spay/neuter surgery. When enough loose cats are given this treatment, their population will stabilize, and no new members will be born into that territory. It may seem like its effects will only be seen in the future, but benefits may be reaped long before their numbers begin to dwindle. Your community will enjoy the following advantages:
    • No more wasting taxpayer dollars on ineffective catch-and-kill efforts.
    • Cats are also vaccinated for rabies, ensuring that this threat is minimized in the community.
    • Spayed females won’t go in heat and encourage irritating mating behaviors in the males, such as catfights, spraying and late-night vocalizing.
    • Neutering of males will also keep their fighting tendencies at bay.
As for the cats themselves, they enjoy these benefits:
  • After neutering, cats are known to gain weight and enjoy improved health.
  • The risk of developing ovarian, uterine or testicular cancer is vastly reduced.
  • Without the incentive to compete for a mate, a major incentive for fighting is removed, resulting in fewer injuries.
What can you do to help?
  • First, spay or neuter your pets.
  • Share the importance of spaying and neutering with your friends and family.
  • Share that the best place to adopt a cat (or dog!) is from a shelter. We have awesome animals, and all of our animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to adoption. Our adoption fees are as follows:
    • Cat adoption fees – $40 and 2/$50
    • Kitten adoption fees – $70 and 2/$80
    • Also, cat adoption fees are 1/2 off on Thursdays!
  • Give generously to your local shelter. Donate $10 or $20, and you’ve just vaccinated a litter of kittens. Throw a virtual kitten baby shower at work to purchase supplies off our Amazon wish list.
  • Consider fostering a litter of kittens.
  • Follow us on Facebook and share, then share again. By doing so, you create awareness and help HSoMC and the animals we all care about.
The above article was reproduced in part from Best Friends Animal Society and Havahart®.
Big & Rich

Don’t Miss Out! Tickets Still Available for HSoMC Fundraiser Concert Featuring BIG & RICH

It’s not too late to purchase tickets for what promises to be “the region’s best country concert of the year!” Paws For a Cause is one of HSoMC’s primary fundraisers, and this is a great opportunity to show your support for HSoMC and enjoy three of country music’s finest performers. We hope to see you there! Tickets can be purchased at
Before the main event, opening acts Granger Smith and Jesse Labelle will perform. Granger Smith is an American country music singer and songwriter of nine studio albums, one live album and one EP. Jesse Labelle is a Canadian pop-country singer and songwriter best known for his singles “Easier,” “Heartbreak Coverup” and “One Last Night.”
We would also like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to the following sponsors for making this concert possible:
  • Midland Lincoln Ford 
  • Greg & Luanne Grocholski Foundation
  • Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union      
  • Accenture
  • Michigan Baseball Foundation
  • Jameson’s Joy (in memory of Jameson Courtine)
  • Herman Hiss & Company
  • Brubaker Heating & Cooling
  • Spence Brothers 
  • Ieuter Insurance Group
  • Midland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • B+B Marketing Communications
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Saginaw Valley State University Foundation
  • The Moose 94.5 FM New Country


Blue-Eyed Wonder Chris Hemsworth

Did you know that dogs with blue eyes and white or merle coats are prone to deafness and/or blindness? This is due to a genetic abnormality and responsible breeders will avoid breeding merle-coated dogs with other merle-coated dogs. However, there is no reason that these dogs cannot live happy lives and such was the case with our own Chris Hemsworth.
Chris Hemsworth
Chris came to HSoMC from Michigan Humane Society when he was still a puppy, along with nine siblings. He went right into a foster home with President Nikki Rayce. Nikki, an experienced foster mom, and HSoMC’s Shelter Director Beth Wellman, sensed that he might be deaf. However, that didn’t hold him back, and he had no problems keeping up with his other active siblings.
Chris Hemsworth
One by one, Chris’ siblings were adopted, but HSoMC thought that the best place for Chris was Keller’s Cause, a rescue downstate that specializes in deaf and blind dogs. Keller’s Cause has the expertise to properly evaluate and place these dogs in a loving home.
Rose from Keller’s Cause describes “merle” as a dominant genetic coat pattern mutation. When a dog inherits one copy of this gene, it breaks up an otherwise solid coat, “deleting” pigment/color from random areas, creating a beautiful marbled pattern. Merle is present in several different breeds, including Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and many more. Merle in itself is of little concern, but when two dogs are bred together who both have the merle coat pattern, each puppy in the resulting litter has a 25% chance of inheriting the color deletion gene twice. These puppies are often referred to as “double merles.” Double merles usually present themselves with extra white on their coats, and the doubling of the color deletion often leaves important areas void of pigment, which are needed to aid in the development of the eyes and the inner ear. As a result, many double merles are born deaf, blind, or both. While we don’t know for sure if Chris is a double merle, it is a strong possibility that this is what caused him to be born deaf. Thankfully, in the right homes, deaf dogs can do just fine. For more information about Keller’s Cause and the great things they do, please see their Facebook page, Keller’s Cause.
Chris Hemsworth
Ultimately, Chris found his family who renamed him “Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill,” or just “Winston” for short. He is now happy and healthy with his two new siblings and getting the life he deserves.


We have been working hard at our exterior “beautification” project as you can see from the photos below. A HUGE thanks to member/volunteer Kathleen Davis for the beautiful plantings around our new sign and improvements to our rock bed. Thank you to Reder Landscaping for the flowers!
Thank you Hemlock Semiconductor for the huge turn out and your generous donation!​
Trinity Lutheran Church stopped by and helped us out with monetary and pet supply donations.​
Staff member Annie is thrilled with the new leashes sent by Christina Thiel!​
Volunteer and recent retiree Cynthia asked for donations for her retirement party.​
Thank you to Heather and her team from Chemical Bank who visited us with volunteerism and donations!​
New adopter Traci with Poppy (formerly Magnolia) says, “This was our first time adopting a pet and HSoMC made the entire process smooth and enjoyable. We were welcomed in on adoption day and treated very kindly as we took our time to pick out our new family member. Our sweet Poppy was the perfect addition to our family, and it is very clear that she was well-loved and cared for before she became ours. We cannot say thank you enough.”​
Meanwhile, in another part of town, Poppy’s mom, Blossom, found her own home where she has reportedly become a “daddy’s girl”!​
A big thanks to the Financial Department of The H Hotel for their generous donations! Not only did they donate, they also spent some time volunteering, walking dogs and learning more about what we do here at HSoMC!​

Kids’ Corner

Another great month of kids giving back. HSoMC is so pleased to share these photos showing the generosity of our community youth. Thank you!
Fifth graders Mia, Kari and Nate (not pictured) from Siebert Elementary leveraged their animal rights project into donations – including always needed bleach – for HSoMC.​
Luke (6), and his sister Margo (3), thought of the animals rather than themselves on their birthdays...WAY TO GO!​
Luca’s one-year birthday was for the animals!​
Nikki Rayce

Catalyst Midland Q&A with
President Nikki Rayce

Thank you to Catalyst Midland and Kathleen Davis for the informative interview with Nikki Rayce. You can read the full interview at:

Upcoming Events

Big & Rich at Dow Diamond 
June 28, 2019
Dow Diamond
6:30 pm
Looking for a way to support animal rescue and enjoy a relaxing evening of country music? On Friday, June 28, Big & Rich will play at Dow Diamond with opening acts Granger Smith and Jesse Labelle. All profits go to the Humane Societies of Midland and Bay Counties. Tickets are on sale online at and at the Dow Diamond ticket office. To learn more about the artists and this event, please visit our website.
9th Annual Ties & Tails Gala 
October 11, 2019
Midland Country Club
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Ties & Tails Gala features hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, entertainment and live and silent auctions. Best of all, your canine companions can join in with an evening of pampering at our Dog Spa, Pet Parade and a “pawparazzi” photo shoot, while their people enjoy the evening! Tickets go on sale August 23.

Board Members and Officers

President, Nikki Rayce
Vice President, Lynn Looby
Treasurer, Mark Lollar
Secretary, Jessica Robison
Karen Brines, Director
Dana Courtine, Director
Julie Eddy, Director
Beth Scoles, Director
Wendy Traschen, Director

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are always needed within the shelter! If you would like to help, we are in need of volunteers to assist with dog walking, cleaning cat cages, general housekeeping and fostering pets in need. If you would like to find out more, please contact Volunteer and Foster Coordinator Diane Winkler at
For more information or to become a volunteer or donate, visit our website at or our Facebook page at
In 2018, HSoMC placed over 2,000 animals. That equates to more than five animals per day including holidays and weekends! If you would like to become a member, please complete and submit our membership form.

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, Lisa Weldy and Jenna Dunn.
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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.