How do I find you and what are your hours?
Our hours and directions to the Shelter are located under “Contact Info” in the let-hand panel of every Web page.
My dog is missing. When can I come to Pound Buddies to see if someone has found my pet and dropped him off at the Shelter?
Please call us to describe your lost dog, the last location he was seen, and how we may reach you. It is also strongly recommended that you visit the Shelter every 24-48 hours in the initial days while your dog is missing. Stop by the Shelter Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. and noon – 5 p.m. to see if your pet is among the current Shelter dogs. Please see the information on Finding Your Lost Pet.
If someone drops off a lost or stray dog at the Shelter, how long is Pound Buddies required to hold the animal so the owners can find and recover him?
Holding Time Requirement for Lost Dogs
A lost dog without owner address identification will not be processed for potential adoption or rescue to another shelter for four working days / 96 hours (excluding weekend days and holidays) from the time it arrives as a “stray” at the Shelter. The first day the animal is acquired is not counted in the four days. An animal with identification tying to an owner’s address (e.g., tagged collar, microchip, tattoo, dog license) will be held for seven days from the date a required written notice is sent alerting the owner that the animal is at the shelter.
Does Pound Buddies pick up stray animals and handle dog licensing?
No. In Muskegon County, Vector (Animal) Control at the County Health Department is responsible for picking up stray animals and dog licensing. . If you see a stray dog or are holding a stray dog, call Vector (Animal) Control at (231) 724-6007.
Is Pound Buddies a “no kill” shelter?
Contracted by the County of Muskegon, Pound Buddies is an “open-admission” shelter obligated to take in all stray dogs, dogs or cats under quarantine, as well as dogs and cats involved in court cases. We are not required to take in “owner-surrendered” dogs; however, if there is room and a person cannot or will not keep his /her dog , we try to take it in, particularly if abandonment is a likely outcome. It is in the best interest of the animal if the owner houses the pet while we jointly try to find it a new home.
Shelters advertising themselves as “no-kill” or “low-kill” usually mean that they do not euthanize “adoptable” animals. Request their definition of “adoptable” animals and ask what programs they have in place to increase their adoption rate. These shelters often euthanize animals with treatable diseases (e.g., heartworm disease) as well as dogs with behavioral issues (e.g., food, toy or animal aggression) that could be managed with input from an animal trainer. In our opinion, these practices are not those of a “no-kill” shelter.
Besides caring for the 100+ dogs (and some cats) at the Keating Shelter, Pound Buddies also operates foster homes. Once a dog goes into a foster home, it remains there until it is adopted or sent to another rescue. Foster dogs are not euthanized unless there is an illness we cannot treat or a behavioral issue that we cannot change. We do not give up easily.
Because dogs come in daily and we are always in need of more foster homes, the Keating Shelter fills up quickly. When we are at capacity for space, we must euthanize—a difficult selection process and a heart wrenching job. The typical list contains animals that are old, sick, injured, or aggressive. Too often, it also includes dogs difficult to place because of their breed reputation (e.g., pitbulls). Many of these dogs could be wonderful pets, but because of the myths, fears, city/township ordinance restrictions, and the sheer intake volume, most cannot be placed. There are also dogs that become “kennel crazy” because they have been housed at the Shelter too long, and maintaining them there becomes simply inhumane.
We do not sit back and wait. We have foster homes; we schedule weekend, off-site Adopt-a-Dog events to showcase our foster dogs; we extend our adoption visiting hours; we place ads in the paper, we created this new, user-friendly Web site; we have applied for and received grants to assist people to spay and neuter their dogs and cats; we have applied for and received grants to make the Shelter more comfortable for the animals and more welcoming for our visitors. We constantly work to reduce the number of unwanted animals in our community so that someday we will never have to euthanize an animal just to make room for more. However, we cannot succeed without community involvement. There are many ways you can help.
What do I do if I observe what I believe is animal cruelty?
Please review the information at Stopping Animal Cruelty.
I can no longer keep my pet. Will Pound Buddies accept him/her?
Yes. However, it is your pet’s best interest and wellbeing if we can collaboratively work to find it a new home while the animal remains with you. Please review the information at Giving Up Your Pet prior to contacting the Shelter.
What if I change my mind and want my pet back?
It is standard policy that when a dog is surrendered, it becomes a Pound Buddies’ dog so it can go through the Adoption process. However, unusual or extenuating circumstances may be discussed.
I already have a dog at home. Can I bring him to meet the dog I want to adopt?
Absolutely! We strongly encourage “meet and greets” where you bring your household dog to meet the dog you plan to adopt. An Adoption Counselor will assist you with the “dog-to-dog introduction.” Your resident dog MUST be up-to-date on immunizations before we can allow an introduction to one of our adoptable pets. If a dog is in Foster care, an off-site “meet and greet” may be possible.
Animal Abuse / Cruelty
My neighbor keeps his dog tied up day and night in the backyard. Is that cruelty?
Owners have a duty to provide an animal with adequate care and that includes providing sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise and veterinary attention to maintain an animal in good health. An owner cannot tether a dog unless the tether is three times the length of the dog or more and attached to a harness or non-choke collar designed for tethering. The tethered animal must also be within reach of adequate food, water and shelter.
It’s a warm day and I see a dog panting in a parked car with cracked windows. Is this cruelty?
Yes. A Stanford University study shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car's internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all. If you observe a dog suffering in a car, try to find the owner by checking with the adjacent stores or businesses. If you believe the animal has been in the car up to 45 minutes and the owner cannot be found, call 9-1-1. To provide perspective, imagine yourself sitting in a closed, parked car on a summer’s day while wearing a full-length winter fur coat.
The horse in the neighboring field stands in the wind and rain all day. Is that cruelty?
As long as the horse has food, water and a place to stand up, and can turn around and lie down in an area that is not covered in water, these circumstances do not fall within the legal definition of cruelty.
My neighbor is shooting cats with a pellet gun. Is that cruelty?
Absolutely. That is at least a misdemeanor, and may be charged as a felony.
I believe my dog or cat has been poisoned. What should I do?
Take your animal to a local veterinarian immediately. Save any food products that may have been thrown over the fence that the dog or cat may have eaten as it becomes evidence. A toxicology analysis will need to be performed on the animal to determine why it got sick or died before cruelty can be proven.
I know that dog fights are being held in my neighborhood. Is that cruelty?
Yes. Dog fighting is cruelty and a felony upon conviction.
I am afraid of my neighbor if I report him for animal cruelty. Can I report abuse anonymously?
Yes, you can report cruelty anonymously. However, the best chance for a successful prosecution and conviction depends on detailed information and evidence. If others have also witnessed this specific abuse or neglect, ask them to report the incident, as well.
Can I look online and see the animals you have for adoption?
Yes. Our pets with their photos and descriptions may be viewed at Adoptable Pets.
How much is the adoption fee and what does it include?
Our dog adoption fee is $160 and we also offer monthly specials as well as discounts for senior or special needs animals. See what your adoption fee covers at Adoption Policies and Fees.
How long do pets remain up for adoption?
There is no specific time limit for dogs that are up for adoption. Some pets are adopted within a few hours, while other pets remain in Shelter or Foster care for several months. All dogs remain available for adoption as long as health, behavior and space permits.
Do you take checks for adoptions?
Yes, but we do charge a $25 returned check fee. We also accept cash.