Photo Caption: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pardoned turkey “Dolly Pardon” on Nov. 23.

Photo Caption: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pardoned turkey “Dolly Pardon” on Nov. 23.

Photo provided by the state of Michigan

Governor pardons turkey for Thanksgiving

By: Brendan Losinski | Metro | Published November 23, 2023


LANSING — On Nov. 23, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pardoned a turkey before Thanksgiving.

The turkey’s name, Dolly Pardon, was submitted by Jay of West Bloomfield. The name was selected from more than 3,900 entries in the statewide contest announced earlier this month. Dolly Pardon is the second turkey pardoned since the governor took office. Last year, the governor pardoned Mitch E. Gander.

Whitmer invoked Dolly Pardon’s namesake, music legend Dolly Parton, following the ceremony.

“Many Michiganders are working 9 to 5 the week before Thanksgiving on holiday activities, meal prep, and more,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Before we start 'Bubbling Over,' let’s remember the reason we gather 'Around Here,' from the delicious Thanksgiving foods we 'Real-ly Love' to the friends, family, and loved ones who bring us 'Pure and Simple Joy,' surround us with a 'Full Circle,' and remind us we are not simply 'Islands in the Stream' of life. Before we get 'Hungry Again,' let’s take time to give thanks for Michigan’s health care professionals, armed service members, and everyone who works hard to make our great state better. With this pardon, Dolly Pardon can make some 'Joyful Noise' and 'Better Get To Livin’.' I wish every Michigander a great Thanksgiving.”

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Urban Development Director Timothy Boring lauded the Thanksgiving tradition.

“I’m honored to join Governor Whitmer to celebrate Dolly Pardon, a turkey with beauty beyond compare. What a wonderful way to kick off Thanksgiving celebrations!” he said in a press release. “All month long, we at MDARD have been giving thanks to our nation’s farmers and producers, truckers, processors, grocery stores, food safety inspectors, and more, who help us create the perfect meal for family and friends to gather around. I’m encouraging Michiganders to thank those who work so hard to make this Thanksgiving special.”

Dolly Pardon is destined for the Michigan Humane Center for Farm Animal Care’s Abraham Ranch.

“For nearly 150 years, Michigan Humane has been there for animals when they need us most. We are honored to be here for Dolly Pardon. … She will receive any and all veterinary care, food, and love she may need,” Michigan Humane President and CEO Matt Pepper said in a press release. “Our facility at Abraham Ranch was started as a partnership with Erik and Katie Abraham to act as (an) adoption center for farm animals in our care. Soon, Dolly Pardon will be up for adoption just like the other dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, and, yes, turkeys at Michigan Humane.”