Raising the “Woof” for Homeless Pets


Bark Prize, benefiting the BISSELL Pet Foundation, is back for its second annual event. The designer dog house competition will be hosted March 6-9, 2014 at the West Michigan Home & Garden Show at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. Five custom dog houses, designed and built by local companies, will be available for bid via a silent auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the BISSELL Pet Foundation. Bark Prize was created to raise awareness of the plight of homeless animals and support the organizations who are working tirelessly to find them homes and families.

“Last year’s Bark Prize custom dog houses were so unique and so fun and raised $2,000 for homeless pets, so we knew we had to make this an annual event,” Cathy Bissell, founder of the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

“The idea behind Bark Prize came from Mike Fraser, who owns Out On a Limb Playhouses. We are so thankful for that idea, and to the Home & Garden Show for welcoming the fundraiser and to all the builders giving time and materials to create the custom dog houses. The West Michigan community is very supportive and giving toward our animal welfare organizations, and this is a great opportunity to raise even more awareness,” Bissell added.


This year, the BISSELL Pet Foundation is hoping to raise the “woof” and be able to help even more pets in need. This charitable, community event creates a unique opportunity for builders, architects, artists and designers to work together as a team to showcase their creativity and talent to tens of thousands of homeowners. The dog houses are valued from $250 to $4,000 and will be on display in the Grand Foyer at DeVos Place, outside the Expo Halls. The public will have an opportunity to vote for “Best in Show” dog house in addition to bidding on a dog house for their own pet.

The BISSELL Pet Foundation is extremely thankful to all the sponsors: Integrated Architecture, Montell Construction, Out on a Limb Playhouses, Phillip Elenbaas Millwork, Sears Architects, the West Michigan Home & Garden Show. And builders of Bark Prize: J. Visser Design/Scott Christopher Homes, Montell Construction, New Holland Brewing Co., Out On a Limb Playhouses, Pioneer Construction.

Posted on March 5, 2014 in News

Knick Knack,
Paddy Whack,
Build a Dog a Home

Grab a hammer, some nails and your dog. Yes, your dog – for inspiration that is! We are incredibly excited to announce the 2nd annual Bark Prize event. The designer dog house competition will again be hosted by the West Michigan Home & Garden Show at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, MI from March 6-9, 2014. Last year, six contestants showed off their artistic dog houses at the show. Over 4,000 visitors cast their votes to determine the coveted “Best in Show” entry and nearly $2,000 was raised to help homeless pets. This year, we’re “raising the woof,” and we need your help!


Bark Prize is a great way to pair fun and talent for an amazing cause while participating in the 35th West Michigan Home & Garden Show. This charitable, community event creates a unique opportunity for builders, architects, artists and designers to work together as a team to showcase their creativity and talent to tens of thousands of homeowners. During the Show, you can bid on your favorite house at the silent auction, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the BISSELL Pet Foundation which directly helps homeless pets find a forever home.

Each year, 7-8 million cats and dogs find themselves in rescues and shelters. Bark Prize was created to raise awareness of the plight of these animals and support the organizations who are working tirelessly to find them homes and families.

The BISSELL Pet Foundation receives an overwhelming amount of requests for assistance, and with your support, they can help save even more animals in need.

Want to get involved? Contact us to inquire about sponsorship opportunities or to enter your dog house creation. Don’t chase your tail – the deadline to register your one-of-a kind dog house for a phenomenal cause and submit your sponsorship commitment is January 31. We hope to see you there!

Posted on January 13, 2014 in News

12 Days of Giving and Winning with BISSELL Partners for Pets

In the spirit of the season, the BISSELL Pet Foundation and BISSELL Partners for Pets (P4P) have partnered to create a special Hope for the Holidays Facebook Contest – we’re giving away over $2,000 in amazing BISSELL product and $12,000 to help homeless pets.

Each day from December 9-20, we will be giving away a BISSELL product to one fan on the P4P Facebook page. To participate, fans need to simply answer the daily question, and they’ll be entered to win! Daily winners can then pick their favorite P4P member organization to receive a $1,000 gift from the BISSELL Pet Foundation. We always say Buy BISSELL, Save Pets, but during these 12 days, it is more like Win BISSELL, Save Pets!


Many of you know that BISSELL Homecare, Inc. is a company dedicated to helping homeless pets in so many ways. Each year they have committed up to $250,000 in donations to the BISSELL Pet Foundation based on pet product sales. With the Partners for Pets program, BISSELL.com shoppers can designate this donation to their local shelter or rescue if they are a registered P4P member!

This program was designed by our Founder, Cathy Bissell, as a way to help the fundraising efforts of animal welfare organizations around the U.S. Groups dedicated to addressing pet overpopulation can easily register online. Not only will they receive a donation every time one of their supporters selects them when they buy on bissell.com, but they also receive one free BISSELL product annually to be used for their fundraising efforts. To learn more about how BISSELL is helping pets in need visit www.bissell.com/pets.

Posted on December 6, 2013 in News

BISSELL Blocktail Party Raises Nearly $250,000 for the BISSELL Pet Foundation

In its 8th and most successful year, the BISSELL Blocktail Party® continues to be the BEST DOG-GONE Party there is. On June 12, nearly 800 party goers and their four-legged friends convened upon the lawns at Mangiamo, even in the face of thunderstorms. With an ominous forecast, Mother Nature cooperated by holding off on the rain, allowing the 2013 party to raise nearly a quarter of a million dollars to support the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

2013 BISSELL Blocktail Grant recipient – Carol’s Ferals
Another 2013 BISSELL Blocktail Grant recipient – Bellowood

This year, funds were again awarded via BISSELL Blocktail Grants to local organizations working to help homeless pets. The BISSELL Blocktail Party Committee consists of 18 passionate and dedicated animal advocates who have collectively dedicated decades to helping animals in our community. This group took on the task of reviewing the many worthy grant proposals and allocating funds to create the largest impact possible for needy pets. Cathy Bissell, BISSELL Blocktail Party Committee Co-Chair and Founder of the BISSELL Pet Foundation indicated that the committee was very proud to support the 16 grant recipients with funds from this year’s party. The committee has been thrilled to see how the event has encouraged collaboration between many of these groups, which is changing the face of animal welfare in West Michigan.

“The BISSELL Pet Foundation exists to provide support to shelters and rescues so that they can ultimately find a loving family for the millions of homeless pets in our country. I am so thankful that through the BISSELL Blocktail Party our community can show their support for these progressive and compassionate groups. Together, we are working to save lives!” Cathy Bissell – Founder, BISSELL Pet Foundation
Grumpy Pups Photography

In addition, a special BISSELL Blocktail Party gift of $1,200 was awarded to the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in Harbor Springs, MI on behalf of one of our generous sponsors, Sears Architects.

Click Here for more photos from the “red carpet.”

Posted on August 20, 2013 in News

First Annual “Bark Prize” to Benefit the BISSELL Pet Foundation

It is not too late to show your support for furry friends and the BISSELL Pet Foundation by either using your skills—or your wallet—at the first ever “Bark Prize” event at DeVos Place.

Bark Prize 2013 is a one of a kind charity event that will feature artistic doghouses on display at this year’s West Michigan Home & Garden Show. During the show the doghouses will be auctioned off, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the BISSELL Pet Foundation (to help homeless pets in West Michigan). The doghouses will also be judged by the public for the coveted title of ‘Best in Show’ (2nd and 3rd place will also be awarded). In addition, the winner will receive a line of BISSELL Commercial products valued at $750.00!

Calling all builders—and bidders!

If you are a builder, architect, artist, or designer, we encourage you to enter Bark Prize 2013 and create one of these special furry habitats! Click here for details and rules of participation for building one of these spectacular houses (entry forms must be submitted on or before January 20, 2013).

Out On a Limb Playhouses

If you aren’t handy with a hammer, don’t fret. You can still join in by bidding for one of these cool doghouses for your own pooch! All of these creations will be up for auction during the home show, and don’t forget ALL proceeds go to the BISSELL Pet Foundation!

The West Michigan Home & Garden Show takes place at DeVos Place Thursday, February 28 – Sunday, March 3, 2013. We hope you will join us for this canine cause!

Posted on January 17, 2013 in Events