Many former Grand Rapids Press employees who were not offered positions with the new MLive Media Group when it launched in February have moved on, using their unique talents in a variety of ways.
I started Press Unleashed. Former Press music critic John Sinkevics developed Local Spins and continues writing about music news in West Michigan. Many former colleagues now are working in public relations, either as freelance writers or for specific companies.
One friend and former co-worker, Terri Finch Hamilton, has multiple positions that utilize her wonderful writing ability. Terri had written hundreds of feature stories, profiles, news stories — you get the picture — for the Press. When she sent me a pet-related press release this morning, I opted to publish it as-is rather than try to re-write it.
It’s a great little bright about one of the dogs rescued from the Allegan County puppy mill. It was adopted by Jim Burns, owner of The Haunt, who decided to raise a little money to benefit other animals while trying to find the perfect name for his new dog.
Here’s the scoop from Terri:
GRAND RAPIDS, MI. — Jim Burns’ new puppy is a cute little guy, but the perfect name just wasn’t coming to him.
This little guy, one of the dogs rescued from the Allegan County puppy mill, was adopted by Jim Burns, owner of The Haunt, and named by fans in a Facebook contest. (Courtesy photo)
So Burns, owner of the popular Walker haunted attraction, The Haunt, turned to Facebook to get a few ideas from The Haunt’s fans.
“Within 15 minutes we had 75 names,” Burns says. And they kept coming.
The 13-week-old puppy, a fluffy Shih Tzu -Pomeranian mix, was one of close to 400 filthy, feces-encrusted dogs rescued earlier this month from a Cheshire Township home, where a couple bred dogs for profit.
The Allegan County Animal Shelter rescued the dogs, then needed massive help to clean them up and get them ready for adoption.
Burns’ family veterinarian, Kelley’s Animal Clinic in Walker, took in some of the dogs, and when Burns saw the pups, he melted.
“I knew I was in trouble,” he says with a smile.
He, wife, Amy and their 13-year-old daughter, MaKayla, picked out a fluffy black and white pup to take home.
“We started rattling off a bunch of names, then I thought, ‘Why don’t we do a contest?” Burns says. Winner gets two tickets to The Haunt.
He posted the “name our puppy” contest on The Haunt’s Facebook page, and netted 150 ideas the first day.
Cute names: Fluffy, Snickers, Boo Boo. Spooky names: Creature, Creeper, Haunter.
In all, 204 people suggested 308 names.
“There was such an overwhelming response,” Burns says. “Everybody was touched by this dog story when they saw it in the media. It was so heartwarming to see how many people stepped up to help. Vets, animal shelters. Groomers came in to bathe them. People showed up with blankets and toys.
“I thought, ‘Why not take it one step further and involve people even after a dog has a home?” he says. “They can stay connected to those dogs that touched their heart when they saw them on TV.”
Burns decided to donate 50 cents in the name of each fan who contributed a puppy name — $102 in all — to Kelley’s Heart-to-Heart Pet Adoption Center.
He’s having a giant presentation check made that will include the printed name of each person who contributed a name.
“You took the time to look at the picture of my dog, to make a connection,” Burns says. “So let’s take it a little further and make a difference.”
And the winning name? Not too scary. It’s Oliver.