State investigating how black bear got loose in Fruitport

Full story: WZZM Grand Rapids

A black bear that was wandering loose in Fruitport Township is now back where it belongs, but now there is possible fallout surrounding the bear's escape from the West Michigan SPCA.
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated May 20, 2008
Blondee

Grand Rapids, MI

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#1
May 7, 2008
 
she dont know what she is talking about. she isnt even an official volunteer,...her app was not looked at her mother is a volunteer not her!!! i believe that before she gets too deeply involved that she should consider the limited income...theyre hardly there because of work and other business to tend to!!! this shelter is awesome, and i am not just sayin that for my sake...it is a great place!!!!!

“Taz say Hi”

Since: Jan 08

Holland,MI

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#2
May 7, 2008
 
This one is real cute! The police originally called the DNR and got either no response or an extremely slow response. Then they called the SPCA, who came and got the bear. And now it turns out that it's a California Black Bear? And it was supposedly at the SPCAin the first place? Veddy interesting!
Kristin

United States

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#3
May 7, 2008
 
I am completely in shock over Miss Haines comments. I've been a proud volunteer at the West Michigan SPCA for nearly four years now and have seen that all animals at the shelter are well taken care of and necessary precautions are always taken with any animals that could pose a threat to human safety. I was not there when Sammy got loose so I cannot say what happened, but the allegations that Miss Haines has made about the shelter not caring properly for the animals is completely false. Animals come in injured all the time and the SPCA takes amazing care of them. Someone that has volunteered only a couple of times apparently does not understand the fact that animals come in injured and are given the best care the shelter can provide. Animals come in on death's doorstep and the Pearsons and other volunteers rehabilitate and care for them every day. The Pearsons are there whenever it is physically possible for them. They both work jobs away from the SPCA to support the shelter and keep it running. When they are not at work they are working hard to improve the shelter. They are two of the hardest working individuals I know. I think it's terrible of Miss Haines to make such judgments over situations she has little or no knowledge about. I hope that people who have heard her comments look past her lack of knowledge and experience at this incredible animal sanctuary.
crzyblnd

Grand Haven, MI

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#4
May 8, 2008
 
Kristin wrote:
I am completely in shock over Miss Haines comments. I've been a proud volunteer at the West Michigan SPCA for nearly four years now and have seen that all animals at the shelter are well taken care of and necessary precautions are always taken with any animals that could pose a threat to human safety. I was not there when Sammy got loose so I cannot say what happened, but the allegations that Miss Haines has made about the shelter not caring properly for the animals is completely false. Animals come in injured all the time and the SPCA takes amazing care of them. Someone that has volunteered only a couple of times apparently does not understand the fact that animals come in injured and are given the best care the shelter can provide. Animals come in on death's doorstep and the Pearsons and other volunteers rehabilitate and care for them every day. The Pearsons are there whenever it is physically possible for them. They both work jobs away from the SPCA to support the shelter and keep it running. When they are not at work they are working hard to improve the shelter. They are two of the hardest working individuals I know. I think it's terrible of Miss Haines to make such judgments over situations she has little or no knowledge about. I hope that people who have heard her comments look past her lack of knowledge and experience at this incredible animal sanctuary.
I agree.
crzyblnd

Grand Haven, MI

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#5
May 8, 2008
 
Also the DNR gave them the permits to have wild animals there. Just the DNR trying to keep the blame off them. The people at the SPCA are wonderful people.
WMSPCA volunteer

East Jordan, MI

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#6
May 8, 2008
 
I have been a volunteer at the West Michigan SPCa for about 2 years. I have seen hundreds of animals saved from certain death. Thw WMSPCA is privately owned. They do not recieve any funding from the govenment. They are completely supported by volunteers. These volunteers include volunteer veterinarians, vet techs, and veterinary students, among others. Yes some volunteers are young. Some are more responsible than others. Any "business" is like that. We do everything we can to help and care for these animals. To say they are uncared for is incredibly ignorant. There are volunteers there in the mornings and at night. Just becuase something does not get done in the morning does not mean that it won't be done at night. Jim, Brenda and all of us volunteers have devoted our lives to helping and caring for these animnals who would otherwise be euthanized. The WMSPCA is a necessity in our community.
Heather Morell

Flint, MI

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#7
May 8, 2008
 
I'm the daughter to Brenda and Jim Pearson and would like to clear up a few things about the news on Sammy. First one reason Sammy is at the SPCA is because he is blind in one eye and could not be placed out into the wild with that condition. Secondly my parents both work full-time jobs upon running the SPCA and sometimes don't even go to bed before 2am, the animals eat before them. The DNR was out there yesterday investigating the horses and seen no problems with any of them. Felicia Hines is not considered a volunteer, our volunteers only create positive encouragement not negative. My parents love there animals like they are there own children, and if anything would happen to them they would be lost. My mother has been in poor health and the animals come before her attending her specialist appointment. My parents should be able to keep Sammy and all the other animals, without them most of these animals wouldn't be alive! One last thought all the "real" volunteers have been there and know the love and time was parents give these animals. I encourage everyone to give any positive feedback they have.
Mama knows

Muskegon, MI

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#8
May 8, 2008
 
well i am glad sammie is back and safe, but i do have to say that on sunday night about 8:45 pm, i heard over my police scanner there was a bear on broadway and devowe. i immadiatly called the SPCA, do to the fact i heard that day one of there bear got lose. i called like 20 times before some picked up.. it was Jim i told him who i was and what i heard on the scanner and heard there bear got lose he deiend it, "it is not my bear" i said o ok well that was what i heard and i wanted to let you knoe b4 anyone could harm it. and that was it he acted like i was joking or something, maybe he didn't know sammie got out, i dont know. but i would have at least went and checked. I also volunteered there many times i love the place, if i could dish out millions i would. and i know they have other jobs too. and it is a hard thing to do run both things, so if all permits and what ever else is in order I said the voluteer that left it unlocked gets the boot......afetr all there are only "3" people with a key right.
Shannon

United States

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#9
May 8, 2008
 
I have voluteered at The WMSPCA for about a year and a half now. There is no one I know that works as hard and cares as much as Jim and Brenda do. Without them and the many other volunteers at the shelter allot of animals would either be running the streets loose or dead. If it was all government funded than they would have the best facility possible but the fact is it's not. It is Jim and Brenda buying food, caring for, and housing all those animals. Just imagine how much it would cost every year out of YOUR pockets to keep everything running. If the DNR wants to place blame maybe they should blame the public for not supporting the SPCA enough.

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

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#10
May 8, 2008
 
I dont understand the uproar about an animal escaping that is within it's own habitat. Its not like a Bengal Tiger or a Grizzly Bear was let loose.

Newflash to the people of Fruitport: There are wild black bears in your area. They are all over Michigan, this is their habitat. This one happened to get out of a cage. Big deal. Did it maul a child or kill any pets? No. Accidents happen. The next bear you see may be a wild one. If you have a problem with the idea that you may be sharing your land with a bear I propose you move to an inner city somewhere where the chances are slim you may come across one.
sandy

United States

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#11
May 8, 2008
 
The spca does an outstanding job, taking care of all those animals. I've seen the horse called bones,come there like a skeleton and fill out beautifully because of their care.
Kristin

United States

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#12
May 8, 2008
 
crzyblnd wrote:
Also the DNR gave them the permits to have wild animals there. Just the DNR trying to keep the blame off them. The people at the SPCA are wonderful people.
Also agreed. The DNR is lying straight through their teeth. Either that or the media got it completely wrong. Or both. Wouldn't be the first time
denise

Grand Rapids, MI

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#13
May 9, 2008
 
Kristin wrote:
I am completely in shock over Miss Haines comments. I've been a proud volunteer at the West Michigan SPCA for nearly four years now and have seen that all animals at the shelter are well taken care of and necessary precautions are always taken with any animals that could pose a threat to human safety. I was not there when Sammy got loose so I cannot say what happened, but the allegations that Miss Haines has made about the shelter not caring properly for the animals is completely false. Animals come in injured all the time and the SPCA takes amazing care of them. Someone that has volunteered only a couple of times apparently does not understand the fact that animals come in injured and are given the best care the shelter can provide. Animals come in on death's doorstep and the Pearsons and other volunteers rehabilitate and care for them every day. The Pearsons are there whenever it is physically possible for them. They both work jobs away from the SPCA to support the shelter and keep it running. When they are not at work they are working hard to improve the shelter. They are two of the hardest working individuals I know. I think it's terrible of Miss Haines to make such judgments over situations she has little or no knowledge about. I hope that people who have heard her comments look past her lack of knowledge and experience at this incredible animal sanctuary.
You are so right!! I have been there with my children many times to see the animals, they do an amazing job!! Thank you Jim and Brenda for all your work to save and take care of these animals!!!
denise

Grand Rapids, MI

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#14
May 9, 2008
 
Heather Morell wrote:
I'm the daughter to Brenda and Jim Pearson and would like to clear up a few things about the news on Sammy. First one reason Sammy is at the SPCA is because he is blind in one eye and could not be placed out into the wild with that condition. Secondly my parents both work full-time jobs upon running the SPCA and sometimes don't even go to bed before 2am, the animals eat before them. The DNR was out there yesterday investigating the horses and seen no problems with any of them. Felicia Hines is not considered a volunteer, our volunteers only create positive encouragement not negative. My parents love there animals like they are there own children, and if anything would happen to them they would be lost. My mother has been in poor health and the animals come before her attending her specialist appointment. My parents should be able to keep Sammy and all the other animals, without them most of these animals wouldn't be alive! One last thought all the "real" volunteers have been there and know the love and time was parents give these animals. I encourage everyone to give any positive feedback they have.
You parents are doing a wonderful job!! Why do people always focus on the negative, Why are they not getting the credit or "good" publicity for what they do?? Thank you Brenda and Jim
denise

Grand Rapids, MI

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#15
May 9, 2008
 
Whuteva wrote:
I dont understand the uproar about an animal escaping that is within it's own habitat. Its not like a Bengal Tiger or a Grizzly Bear was let loose.
Newflash to the people of Fruitport: There are wild black bears in your area. They are all over Michigan, this is their habitat. This one happened to get out of a cage. Big deal. Did it maul a child or kill any pets? No. Accidents happen. The next bear you see may be a wild one. If you have a problem with the idea that you may be sharing your land with a bear I propose you move to an inner city somewhere where the chances are slim you may come across one.
Thats right!! lol
Carol

Cedar Springs, MI

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#16
May 20, 2008
 
I was a volunteer for a couple years at the SPCA until I moved too far to do so. This is the most wonderful place an animal could be if it cannot be on its own in the wild. My job was to care for the wildlife. The bear pens were off limits to all but very few. If someone from the DNR or the media would have taken the time to really get the facts and not listen to some half wit kid, maybe this would not have gotten so blown out of proportion. Does the media & "outsiders" realize that the SPCA is on the private property and homesite of the Pearson family? Do they realize that the kids and grandkids are on this property? Does anyone really think that Jim & Brenda would put the lives of their children & grandchildren before that of any animal? Come on. give us all a break. These animals are given the very best of care, the very best housing, just the very best, and all done as safely as possible. Yes, shit happens! This is life. We all make mistakes. I made one by moving too far for the SPCA and all the great animal friends & human friends I made while volunteering there. In fact, I believe it is time for me to find a way to volunteer again. I am willing to pay the crazy price for gas to do so. More good volunteers are needed all the time. Surely not those who would run down a great place like the SPCA. Jim & Brenda have put in more than 10 years of their lives caring for these animals and making sure they have the best there is to offer. I have worked beside them in scorching heat, freezing cold, rain storms, late nights putting up pens, fixing fencing, and drove numerous miles to rescue an animal or pick up food for the animals. And all we got paid was the happy, safe animals, smiling at us when done. I remember one rescue, when we got done in the pouring rain, we had a huge rainbow above us. Brenda will remember that oo. That is our thanks & payment for a job well done. Jim & Brenda should always see rainbows for all they do.

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