Chris Ballard knew the type of dog for him from early on. As a teenager visiting a breeder to pick up his new Chocolate Lab, he immediately fell for the breeder’s family pet, a Great Dane. “I just said, ‘Oh my God, someday I want one of those!’” Years later, as he worked to convince his cat-preferring wife to adopt a dog, she told him, “You can get the smallest one or the biggest one.”
When Breton Village Animal Clinic (BVAC) relocated in February, it may have moved only a short distance, but its newly constructed location has made it even better equipped than before to serve the East Grand Rapids area.
It all started in October with a little spot on his face. Vonnie’s owner Kellie, who has had the boxer since he was a puppy, noticed the spot on the side of his muzzle and though she watched it closely, at first she didn’t think it was anything more serious than an allergic reaction.
For CHFA client care assistant Erika, allergies used to be a way of life—her pet’s allergies, that is. Lucy, an American Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier, and Kane, a Pitbull mix, both three years old, exhibited worrisome symptoms that veterinarians identified as allergic reactions.
Lucy’s troubles began about two years ago. She would desperately bite at her itching feet, causing painful injuries to herself.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected every business, and Cascade Hospital for Animals and Breton Village Animal Clinic are no exceptions. Facing the unprecedented global pandemic in early March, the leadership of CHFA and BVAC didn’t wait for government orders to start making changes to protect staff and clients. When health officials first began to suggest social distancing measures as the COVID-19 crisis hit closer to home in Michigan, the two veterinary clinics implemented “curbside service.”
Adorable, curious, and charming—puppies are hard to resist. People who choose to adopt them usually expect a wild ride, but many are still surprised at how just demanding puppies are and how much responsibility—and time—is involved in raising a puppy into a good dog.
There’s a strong temptation when looking for a new pet to overlook the older animals available in shelters or from rescues: why adopt an animal whose history you don’t know when you can “start fresh” with a young pet? But for many people, the rewarding benefits of adopting pets in their golden years are worth any disadvantages.
Buffalo Dip the cat rules the other animals in his household with his outsized personality. But just over a year ago, when he was a 12-week-old kitten, Buffalo Dip was so sick that his family was ready to say goodbye to their new pet.
His owner, Ashley, who is a Client Care Assistant at CHFA, says adopting Buffalo Dip was a dream come true. She’d been wanting to add a cat to her household for a while when a client brought in a tiny kitten and told her its littermate was also available for adoption and offered to bring the kitten to her from Traverse City. When her initially reluctant husband finally agreed, she jumped at the chance.
At first, the homeless kitten seemed to have the odds stacked against him. On May 23, a passerby discovered him crying out in pain at the side of a road. Seeing he was in bad shape, the Good Samaritan scooped him up and took him to a nearby 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital, where the staff found he had five broken metatarsals in his left rear leg and a significant abscess in his right groin. They also found puncture wounds that suggested he had been attacked by another animal.
Kayla knew something was very wrong with her newly adopted cat, Murray. Just a few weeks after she brought him home from the Humane Society of West Michigan this past June, he began vomiting everywhere and seemed to lose his appetite.