Monday morning brought to our inbox both sad and hopeful news, requiring immediate action for homeless pets. Just north of us in Montcalm County, MI nearly 100 dogs were found living in unacceptable conditions in one woman’s home. Faced with the consequences of citations and fees for each and every dog, she chose to relinquish the dogs into the care of Lake Haven, a local rescue organization. With 58 new dogs and puppies in their care, including 8 very pregnant mothers, it would be an understatement to say their needs grew exponentially overnight.
At the same time, in upstate New York, the kennel manager of the Hudson Valley SPCA (HVSPCA) was awoken by an early morning phone call relaying the worst nightmare for any shelter. A dryer hose ignited a fire and destroyed one of the dog kennels. More devastating, two long- term resident dogs, Harley and Johnny, perished and six dogs were transferred to a local emergency vet to be treated for smoke inhalation and burns.
At BPF we are pet lovers, we have multiple rescued pets in our own homes, and although we hear stories every day about the mistreatment and needs of homeless pets, we continue to be affected and heartbroken by these stories. These two stories are no different, and we knew we had to take action.
An emergency grant was awarded to Lake Haven to cover the sterilization, medical treatment and adoption preparation for the 58 dogs rescued. We are proud to support their dedication to giving these pups a second chance at a loving home. We awarded another Emergency Response Grant to HVSPCA to assist them as they recover from the devastation the fire left in its wake. Although we can never replace the loss they have suffered, we hope we can help them to continue their mission of saving lives. Having offered so many pets a second chance, we believe it is only fitting to offer them a second chance as well.
Out of the ashes of cruelty and despair can arise hope and joy. We take comfort in knowing that each of the dogs rescued from the alleged puppy mill and the survivors of the kennel fire will find forever homes filled with love. That is why we exist, to change the outcome for at-risk pets like these across the country.
Please consider giving a gift today so we may continue to step-up when we hear their cries for help.
See More in the Press:
Fox17: Newaygo County Rescue Dogs Looking For Forever Homes
Daily News: Montcalm County Animal Control Shuts Down Dog Breeder
WZZM13: Up To 100 Dogs and Puppies Removed From Montcalm County Home
WZZM13: 100 Dogs Removed From Home Now Up For Adoption
Westchester News12: 2 Dogs Dead AFter Fire Breaks Out At Hudson Valley SPCA In New Windsor
Hudson Valley News12: 2 Dogs Dead After Fire Breaks Out At Hudson Valley SPCA In New Windsor
PIX11: Hudson Valley SPCA Seeking Donations After Fire Kills 2 Dogs, Destroys Kennel
New City Patch: Fire At Hudson Valley SPCA Kills Two Dogs
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.
“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.
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.
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!
At the BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF), we envision a future where all pets have a home to call their own. We aim to do this by assisting animal welfare organizations who are working to reduce the number of homeless pets through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. If you share our vision, please consider a holiday gift. There is no gift too small, as every little bit adds up to make a big difference.
In just two short years, we have made a huge impact in the lives of homeless pets by awarding grant funds to groups across the country battling pet overpopulation. Grant funding decisions are made by a dedicated group of individuals who have spent many years in the animal welfare and philanthropic fields. Their experience and passion for homeless pets enables them to ensure every dollar awarded by the BISSELL Pet Foundation will help make the largest impact possible.
The scope of our assistance reaches over 45 states and the District of Columbia and includes over 500 animal welfare organizations. Thousands of lives have been saved with the $1.1 million in support that we have given since our inception. Because of the funding allocated to spay and neuter alone, we have prevented countless unwanted litters from being born and flooding our shelters and rescues. We are proud that we function with minimal administration costs and can give as much as possible to help pets in need.
Additionally, we have provided much-needed help in emergency situations, by awarding $78,348 in emergency response grants that have helped support pets in times of natural disaster and saved them from the cruelty and exploitation of puppy mills. We also recognize the great importance of helping to keep owned pets in the homes of the families who love them. Increasing access to necessary services, such as vet care, spay/neuter and microchipping, prevents these pets from ending up in a shelter. That is why we have awarded $424,206 to these safety net programs.
The BISSELL Pet Foundation receives support from BISSELL Homecare, Inc.; they have generously committed to contributing up to $250,000 annually based on pet product sales. While, we have been able to accomplish a lot in a short time, the requests for funding we received this year alone nearly tripled what we had available to give. The need is tremendous. As the year comes to an end, please help us give the gift of hope to even more homeless pets by donating to the BISSELL Pet Foundation. With your help, we can change even more lives in 2014.
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.