Midland County News

Dangerous Cold Weather in Forecast

  • February 11 2015
Dangerous Cold Weather in Forecast

The National Weather Service is forecasting statewide wind chills to periodically dip down to 20 degrees below zero or lower through at least Sunday, Feb. 15. The coldest wind chills are expected Saturday night and into Sunday morning and could fall to 30 degrees below zero or colder.

Exposure to these temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.

To stay safe during cold weather:

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear—such as hats, mittens and gloves—in addition to a warm coat. Always protect your lungs with a scarf.
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person's body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face. A wind chill of 20 degrees below zero can cause frostbite in just 30 minutes.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
  • Weather-proof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
  • Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
  • Check and restock your emergency preparedness kit. If you don't have a kit, make one.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing—such as gloves, blankets and hats—in your kit in case you become stranded.

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

  • February 10 2015
Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Judge Donna Morris Remembered

  • February 8 2015
Judge Donna Morris Remembered

Update on Putnam Drive Kennels

  • February 6 2015
Update on Putnam Drive Kennels

Update on Putnam Drive Kennels

On February 6th, 2015 Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson, met with the family that owns the property and kennels on Putnam Drive, in Homer Township of Midland County.  After a lengthy conversation, the family chose to voluntarily surrender all of the dogs that were being kept in the outside kennels, to an animal rescue organization. 

The animals were transported from the address on Putnam Drive, by the Animal Control Division, of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.  Arrangements have been made for the animals to be turned over to a rescue organization, “A New Start on Life” located in Holland, Michigan.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Scott Stephenson

Putnam Drive Incident Response From Sheriff Stephenson

  • February 4 2015
Putnam Drive Incident Response From Sheriff Stephenson

February 4, 2015

PUTNAM DRIVE INCIDENT RESPONSE FROM SHERIFF STEPHENSON

There has been much information circulated through social media regarding what people are referring to as a “puppy mill” located in Midland County.  The complaint has been and continues to be investigated and while the conditions of the kennel are less than ideal, they do meet the minimum standards that are required by law.  Because the Sheriff’s Office continues to receive complaints, we felt it was important to inform concerned citizens of what has been done in the past and what will continue to be done in the future.

On December 16th the Animal Control Division of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint regarding the living conditions of the animals being kept at this residence.  A subject had gone to the residence and took pictures of the various animals and kennels.  The photos were sent to the Humane Society of Midland County who forwarded them to our Office.   Our Animal Control Deputy made an unannounced visit to the residence and conducted an inspection of the premises.  The homeowner has 22 animals on the property.  Ten of the dogs are covered under the kennel license that was re issued and inspected in May of 2014, and 12 dogs are individually licensed.  There were no violations of any laws that regulate the operation of a kennel noted at that time.  The Deputy made two recommendations regarding the nails on one animal that were in need of trimming and the removal of some matted hair from another.

Even though we were confident of findings, we felt a second opinion was in order.  On December 23rd we returned to the residence with a doctor of veterinary medicine from the Michigan Department of Agriculture.  This person is responsible for inspecting animal facilities throughout the State of Michigan.  The veterinarian conducted an inspection of the kennels and agreed with our original assessment that there were no violations.  The veterinarian did note that two kennels needed additional bedding after a recent clean out.  Our Deputy responded the following day and additional straw had been added.  Our Deputy has made several other unannounced inspections since the original complaint with no violations observed.

We continue to receive numerous contacts from citizens from all over the United States expressing their concerns over the treatment of the animals at the residence.   While we appreciate people’s concerns for animal rights, we must also be mindful of the dog owners and their Constitutional Rights.  They have been and continue to be cooperative throughout this incident allowing my staff to inspect their kennels at anytime.  Rest assured that we will continue to monitor this facility to ensure the lawful care and treatment of these animals. 

In an effort to afford better understanding, representatives from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, the Midland County Prosecutor’s Office and the Midland County Humane Society met to discuss the issues surrounding this case.  This was an excellent opportunity for everyone to sit down and share their concerns and further explain the Michigan laws surrounding the regulating of kennels and animal cruelty.  I believe all parties left with a better understanding of the adversities our respective agencies are facing.  We will be meeting again in the very near future to further discuss ways to work together on this very important issue.

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