Note from the Editor

October was a busy but rewarding month. Starting on October 1, our president Nikki Rayce arrived at the shelter only to be greeted by six frantic dogs that someone illegally left the night before. As you will see from the stories below, despite their rocky start, all but one is now someone’s family pet. Many people and organizations contributed to their happy outcome and, as difficult as animal rescue can be, this is why we do what we do.

The HSoMC also wants to extend a huge thanks to St. John’s Episcopal Church which provided us with a generous grant towards an in-house x-ray machine that will enable us to realize considerable savings in serving our animals as well as move us towards our goal of financial sustainability. Everyone contributes in different ways and we appreciate it all, from volunteers who walk dogs and do laundry to our generous donors, many of whom showed their support at our annual Ties & Tails Gala held on October 11. We couldn’t do it without you!

Finally, we want to give a big thanks to departing board members Jessica Robison and Mark Lollar. Their contributions were immeasurable and will benefit the HSoMC for years to come. However, as one door closes, another opens and we are excited about the enthusiasm and new ideas of incoming board members Ben Dollard, Jesse Donahue and Eric Soll. 

Empty the Shelters

On October 12, the HSoMC held another Empty the Shelters event. Thank you to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, the HSoMC staff, fosters and volunteers, and to all of the adopters who enabled these animals to find safe and loving homes.
Some of the many dogs and cats who found homes:

The Benefits of Senior Dogs

Although senior dogs like Peanut, Veena and Argyle (pictured above) come to the HSoMC for a variety of reasons, they often share one thing in common: They have lived in homes and are confused and scared as to why they are now sitting in a shelter rather than the comfort of their prior home. Many potential adopters overlook these older dogs when they learn their age, so these mature pets have longer adoption periods. However, despite their age, these frosty friends offer benefits that may make them the perfect pet. Consider the following:
  • They are usually housebroken, so you don’t have to train or deal with “accidents” in your home.
  • They often already know basic commands such as “sit,” “stay” and “come.” 
  • They often are leash-trained, so you don’t have to deal with the tugging and leash biting that may be present in puppies.
  • They are typically less rambunctious, less destructive and require less exercise.
  • They are fully grown, so you know what you are getting in terms of size and personalities.
  • Mature dogs seem to understand and appreciate when they do finally get adopted, resulting in thankful and loving companions for their adopters.
Depending on your lifestyle, a senior pet may be great fit for you and/or your family, so please don’t overlook them just because of their age. Certainly Nixie, Jasper, D and Dozer (pictured below) agree!
*All seniors above are prior HSoMC animals that have been adopted.

Six Dogs Left at Shelter Spend Night Outside in a Thunderstorm

Despite our signs prohibiting leaving animals outside of normal business hours, six dogs were left after the shelter closed on October 1. The dogs then spent the night outside in a violent thunderstorm. When we found them the next morning, they were traumatized.
We had NO information about them. We didn’t know their names, whether they were surrendered or strays, whether they had been vaccinated – nothing. Were there other dogs out there from the same owner, and were they safe? Although they were left in our outdoor kennels, three escaped and were frantically running around our property all night. One of the dogs (that we named Champ) was severely emaciated; fortunately, he is well on the road to recovery.
Champ as he appeared when we found him on October 2.
One week later after receiving proper medication and nourishment.
Over the course of the next few days, we got to know these dogs. They were malnourished but sweet and friendly. Some of them went to PAWSitive Helpers and even got blessed at St. John’s Episcopal Church (see articles below). We are happy to announce that all of these dogs, including Champ, have been adopted!
The public knows that animals who are left with the HSoMC will be taken care of, but it is illegal to leave them after hours. Here are some ways you can properly surrender a pet or stray:
  1. If you are surrendering your own pet, do it during regular business hours. We are sympathetic and will work with you.
  2. If you find a stray, you can bring it to the HSoMC during regular business hours. After hours, DO NOT JUST LEAVE IT AT THE SHELTER.
  3. If you see animal abuse by others, report it!
You can report stray animals or animal abuse by calling any of the following numbers:
Midland Police Department: 989-839-6466 or 911
Midland County Animal Control: 989-832-6856
We are here to help our community and the animals that live here. If animals need help, we are here. If people need help, we are here. 
NOTE: As a result of this incident, we are modifying our security system to prevent this behavior and better track violators.

PAWSitive Helpers Back in Session

PAWSitive Helpers resumed its fall session and once again, the HSoMC is excited and proud to work with this program that pairs dogs provided by the HSoMC with at-risk youth at our local Juvenile Care Center. Started by Angela DuBois, PAWSitive Helpers has the goal of helping these children make positive connections with one another. During these weekly sessions, the youth are able to work one-on-one with shelter dogs, training them on basic obedience and manners, as well as creating a connection with them.
Each week, the kids describe why they think the dog should be adopted or what type of home they think would be a perfect fit. That information is then shared on both the PAWSitive Helpers and the HSoMC Facebook pages with our friends and followers, helping the dogs gain more adoption interest! The dogs attend the program weekly until adopted, which is usually only one session. The kids are notified once a dog is adopted and this serves as a tremendous reward for all the hard work they’ve put into their training. 
The HSoMC looks forward to growing and working with the PAWSitive Helpers program for years to come. We love the impact it’s making on our community and on our adoptable dogs, demonstrating that everyone deserves a second chance! Thank you to our amazing volunteers who join us every week – Lynn, Kelvin, Mia and Deirdra, and special thanks to Laura from Sit Stay Play Michigan, who is helping us with training.


Magnar Moves from Starvation to Serenity​
Magnar came to the HSoMC on February 16 from a terrible hoarding situation in Sterling Heights. Macomb County Animal Control reached out to us, and we were able to take four of the 53 dogs. These dogs were in bad shape and as you can see from the photo below, Magnar was severely emaciated.
Magnar when he first came to the HSoMC
Magnar chilling in his foster home
After being evaluated by a veterinarian, we placed him in an experienced foster home where he was able to put on weight and could be further evaluated for an appropriate permanent home. As his exterior wounds healed, so did his heart, and Magnar learned how to live indoors, not having to fight for food, and adapted to a loving family.
While Magnar was mending, Jillian had been following his story. Jillian said, “I had seen a few posts on the HSoMC Instagram about this poor dog that was recovering from a horrible situation, and it was weighing so heavily on my heart. One day, I saw that I had an email from Petfinder about “showing interest in Magnar” and found out that my fiancé (now husband) had found out about Magnar also and put my email down for more info. We decided to put in an application! I decided to go to the humane society, and I heard a woman talking about Magnar. As fate would have it, the woman was his foster mom! We met Magnar that evening and knew instantly he was meant to be ours.”
Magnar hanging out at the HSoMC
Jillian further describes Magnar as, “a high energy and overly loving lab mix, who loves his mom (me) and hates being alone. If he isn’t playing with his dozens of toys, then he’s sprawled out on the couch taking a snooze. We have found out that he enjoys his early morning walks but LOVES going for runs in our neighborhood or on trails. We have been so blessed to see him blossom into the dog he is today!”
Who says I'm not a lap dog?
A perfect family portrait: Jillian, Alex and Magnar
Although Magnar came from horrific circumstances, he is now loved and living his best life. Thank you to the rescuers involved, his foster parents, and Jillian and Alex for taking a chance and giving him the life he deserves.

Ties & Tails Gala – Cool Cats and Disco Dogs

The ninth annual Ties & Tails Gala was another fun evening for the HSoMC. Thank you to our sponsors, co-chairs, emcee Sarah Simnitch, auctioneers Jim and Jim, attendees, bidders, event planner Erica Piña, volunteers and everyone who made this a successful event. To see more photos, please watch our Facebook page at @hsomcshelter.
Co-chairs Jim Cordes and Melanie Kalmar with their dog, Remington (“Remmy”)
Board member Wendy Traschen and her husband, Jesse, with HSoMC alum Chewy
Co-chairs Jim and Kate Nigro with HSoMC alum Lulu
Board president Nikki Rayce and her husband, Brent, with HSoMC alum Judd
Gala sponsors Dr. Blake and Tammy Bergeon’s daughter, Tegan Kareus, along with her friends, pose with Cookie and Toby
Board member Karen Brines and her daughter, Beth, with their dog, Kricket
Board member Dana Courtine bidding for the 2020 mascot spot for her dog, Zeus, an HSoMC alum
Adoptable Dog: Sadie
The HSoMC foster families are in the business of saving lives and Sadie’s foster family has gone above and beyond to help this awesome dog! Sadie is a four-year-old girl who came to us with severe skin issues due to an uncontrolled thyroid problem. We believe she is a lab/boxer/terrier mix of some kind. Trust us when we say she has a heart of gold! Sadie is looking for a dedicated family who is willing and able to keep up with the medical care she needs. She is on two medications and a prescription diet – which totals around $250 in care a month. We know that is a LOT to ask of a family but this girl is worth it! Sadie does best with female dogs and does need a home without cats. She loves every person she meets and is a fun-loving and well-mannered girl who is housebroken. Sadie is currently in a foster home waiting to be adopted. Interested adopters can submit an application via


Blessing of the Animals
The HSoMC was invited to bring animals to St. John’s Episcopal Church for the Blessing of the Animals on October 6. We brought four cats and five dogs as representatives. You might recognize some of the dogs that had been left at the shelter earlier in the month. Thank you to Reverend Hitch (pictured below) and St. John’s for including the HSoMC in this event.


Thank you to Barb and Wayne who donated Milk-Bones in memory of their son, Max Muessig. Max adopted his dog, Juno, from the HSoMC, and we thank his family for keeping his memory alive through their generous donation. 
Trinseo employees gave their time and donations this past month with a volunteer day and a very generous donation. Thank you!
Kids' Corner 
Another great month of kids giving back. The HSoMC is so pleased to share these photos showing the generosity of our community youth. THANK YOU!
7-year-old Kelsey had a lemonade stand to raise money for the HSoMC.

Peyton, Emma and Elliana also had a lemonade stand for our animals.
For her 8th birthday, Maddyson (pictured with her brother Matthew) asked for donations.

AmazonSmiles and the HSoMC Benefits

If you use Amazon (and who doesn’t?), did you know that using the option of AmazonSmile could automatically benefit the HSoMC? Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. 
Please consider listing the HSoMC by visiting the HSoMC website under “DONATE,” and scroll down to the Section “Shop for a Cause.” Click on the link under AmazonSmile. When making purchases from Amazon in the future, just use the URL instead of the normal one. That’s it! Now, 0.5% of your purchases will automatically benefit the HSoMC. 
Note: Purchases made through the mobile application do not go to the charity.  Therefore, you need to use the web browser and the web address for the donation to occur.

Upcoming Events

Pumpkins & Purrs – Halloween Cat Adoption Event
October 16-31
The Humane Society of Midland County
Now through October 31, the HSoMC is hosting the Pumpkins & Purrs Halloween cat adoption event! This event features no fees or reduced fees for all cats six months of age and over.
No fee: Long-term resident cats (three weeks or longer)
$10: All other adult cats
Batty for Bullies – Halloween Bully Adoption Event 
October 21-31
The Humane Society of Midland County
Now through October 31, the HSoMC is celebrating Pit Bull Awareness month with an adoption promotion for all of our bully breeds.
All bully breed mixes will have reduced fees. Those who’ve been in the shelter three weeks or longer will have a reduced fee of $25. All other bully breeds will be adoptable for just $50. Adoption fees include spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm testing and a microchip.
Pints for Paws 
November 20
Diamond Jim’s – Midland
5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Don’t miss a pre-holiday party Pints for Paws event! For $12, you will receive an HSoMC glass, a drink ticket, and food and drink specials. The HSoMC gets 10% back from our crowd (please mention this to your server). Come dressed as your favorite holiday character and win a prize!

Board Members and Officers

President, Nikki Rayce
Vice President, Lynn Looby
Treasurer, Ben Dollard
Secretary, Beth Scoles
Karen Brines, Director
Dana Courtine, Director
Jesse Donahue, Director
Julie Eddy, Director
Eric Soll, Director
Wendy Traschen, Director
We provide temporary shelter and care for displaced animals, promote responsible pet care, and enrich our community through animals.
All animals in our community have safe and loving homes.

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 email
For more information or to become a volunteer or donate, visit our website at or our Facebook page at
In 2018, the 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 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, 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.