Here’s Something to Bark About– BISSELL Blocktail Party Grants Set a New Record!

This year’s record-breaking attendance and fundraising at BISSELL Blocktail Party resulted in grants awarded to 19 West Michigan area animal welfare organizations.  A total of 15,110 pets will be impacted thanks to the “Best Dog-Gone Party in Town”!

Blocktail 2

BISSELL Blocktail Party 2016 grant recipients include:

  • Al-Van Humane Society: $19,875  (Emergency Veterinary Care, Adoption Preparation, Senior and Special Needs Pet Adoption and Microchipping)
  • Barry County Animal Shelter: $10,000 (Trap-Neuter-Return Program)
  • Cannonsville Critters: $2100 (Spay/Neuter)
  • Carol’s Ferals: $6000 (Spay/Neuter)
  • Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary: $10,195 (Spay/Neuter, Vaccinations and Microchipping)
  • C-SNIP: $54,500 (Spay/Neuter)
  • Harbor Humane Society: $42,190 (Spay/Neuter, Microchipping and Adoption)
  • Humane Society of West Michigan: $45,000 (Adoption Support)
  • Ionia County Animal Shelter: $15,000 (Fee-Waived Cat Adoptions)
  • Kelley’s Heart-to-Heart Adoption Center: $5600 (Spay/Neuter and Microchipping)
  • Kent County Animal Shelter: $28,000 (Adoption)
  • McCloud’s Lake Haven: $14,850 (Spay/Neuter and Senior Dog Adoption)
  • Pay it Forward Outreach: $14,650 (Low-Cost Vaccines)
  • Pets In Need West Michigan: $10,000 (Dental and Veterinary Care)
  • Pound Buddies Animal Shelter & Adoption Center: $22,485 (Spay/Neuter and Microchipping)
  • Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue: $4600 (Spay/Neuter)
  • Safe Haven Humane Society: $6000 (Spay/Neuter)
  • Vicky’s Pet Connection: $20,000 (Spay/Neuter and Adoption)
  • West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic Inc: $23,980 (Spay/Neuter and Microchipping)

Blocktail 1

All 19 grants will help pets find forever homes by providing needed care to make them adoptable or by encouraging pet adoption. We are so grateful to our supporters for giving a second chance to thousands of homeless pets in West Michigan.  Thank you BISSELL Blocktail Party attendees, friends and donors for your part in these incredible results!

Introducing Tails and Trails Woof Walk –Grab your pup and let’s go!

Lace up your running shoes and grab your pup for the 1st BISSELL Pet Foundation Tails and Trails Woof Walk on Saturday, August 20 at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids!  BISSELL Pet Foundation is teaming up with Grand Rapids Dog Adventures and Grumpy Pups to bring you the ideal fun run/walk and you won’t want to miss it!  You can join other dog lovers to enjoy the beautiful and dog friendly John Ball Zoo trail, stick around for a beer and snacks, and support pets in shelters and rescues through BISSELL Pet Foundation.  All this and your pooch will receive a BISSELL Pet Foundation leash for participating. Everyone will be barking about this event!


This fun run/walk won’t be timed, so furry friends don’t need to train for a personal best. There will be puppy pools along the way where dogs can cool off, allowing time to stop and check out the scenery.  The post-race festivities will be just as much fun as the action on the course with treats for pups and their owners. Brewery Vivant, Yesterdog, Furniture City Creamery and Stir It Up all will be on hand for food and beverage– and thanks to these great vendors for donating a portion of their event sales to BPF.  We plan to make Tails and Trails Woof Walk an annual event, so don’t miss out on the first one!


Tickets for Tails and Trails Woof Walk are available online at now until August 19th. The cost for each dynamic duo of one runner and one dog is $30 in advance and $40 if purchased at the event. Additional dogs can join you at the cost of $10 per pet. (Good luck with that!)  Runners without dogs pay the same ticket price. Every pup will receive a BISSELL Pet Foundation leash as a commemorative gift for participating. The first 100 tickets purchased will be automatically registered to win a brand new BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser.   All funds raised will go directly to BISSELL Pet Foundation to help save more pets in shelters and rescues.

Invite your friends, both furry and human!  You won’t want to miss this pawsome event!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016
Registration begins at 5:00 PM
Event 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

John Ball Zoo
1300 West Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

BPF Helps National Mill Dog Give Hope to the Seemingly Hopeless

If you’ve seen a puppy mill, it’s hard to imagine a happily ever after, but  National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) of Colorado Springs has saved thousands of dogs from the horrific conditions of puppy mills, giving them a second chance at life in loving homes.   The focus of their most recent initiative is even more defined:  aiding the dogs that are suffering the most.


In order to support the efforts of NMDR to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home discarded breeding dogs, BISSELL Pet Foundation recently awarded $8,000 in grant funding to help with the specialized veterinary care required for serious untreated illnesses and injuries resulting from a lifetime of being caged and bred without any regular attention.  NMDR is giving dogs who had been forsaken an opportunity to finally feel good and be loved for the remainder of their lives.   Their rescue wasn’t the end of their story; rather it was the beginning of a longer journey to a happy ending.

For example, this grant helped Boots, a nine-year-old Bichon, with extremely serious conditions requiring emergency treatment.  Boots was rescued from a Midwest puppy mill and was found to be urinating pure blood as a result of untreated kidney stones.  No one knows how long he had endured the severe pain associated with that condition, but NMDR was able to arrange for his surgery and watched over him through his recovery.  Now with loving foster family, Boots looks forward to a new life in his forever home.


Bosky before

Other at-risk pets helped by the BPF grant are Chad and Bosky.  Chad, a six-year-old poodle, suffered from heartworm and received lengthy, expensive treatment to get back to health.  NMDR gave him needed love and care during this uncomfortable time and he is now joyful in his forever home. Bosky, a six-year-old Maltese, had limited vision and great pain from his untreated dry eyes.  Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, causes decreased tear production resulting in dry, itchy, crusty eyes. For a dog with loving owners, this would be treated with drops to avoid pain and scarring.  However, for a neglected dog like Bosky, surgery was required to reverse the exacerbated condition.  Thanks to NMDR’s commitment, Bosky was helped and later adopted by a loving couple in Texas.

Bosky after

Bosky after

Thank you National Mill Dog Rescue for helping these deserving dogs, and so many others, start a happy and healthy new chapter.  BPF is proud to be your partner and appreciates your dedication to the well-being of every pet!

Partnerships Make a Difference–Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance Lends a Hand

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s partner network has grown to over 2200 partners and together we are making a world of difference for pets.  We love to see our partners collaborating with other organizations, just like Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance’s “Community Help Fund”.  Recently, Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance (SSNA) received a $10,000 grant from BPF to support its Community Help Fund–a spay/neuter assistance program that partners with other nonprofits serving low- income families.  This program allows social service organizations and other animal welfare groups to direct pet owners to SSNA for free or low-cost spay neuter procedures.  This is an incredible help to pet owners who face economic challenges and are struggling to keep their pet. Dogs and cats are more likely to stay in homes if spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and of course, they won’t have unwanted litters that will further burden the owner.  In fact, some public housing and rental units require proof of spay/neuter to ensure that their housing will not be overrun with homeless pets.  This fund provides an important emotional boost for many who struggle in life.  To date, the grant has provided spay/neuter for 117 pets in the immediate area, creating a huge reduction in the future homeless pet population, as well as reducing intake and euthanasia at local animal controls.


An example of the SSNA Community Help Fund’s impact can be seen with Jasper, an unaltered, male cat.  Jasper wandered to a resident’s house a few months ago, and she fed him regularly, but noticed problems with his ears and an abscessed bite wound.  While she was able to provide food for Jasper, this resident was not able to afford veterinary care for Jasper and made the decision to take him to the local animal control in hopes that they could help.  Fortunately, the resident stopped at SSNA on the way to ask for directions—what a lucky situation for Jasper!  SSNA let the resident know that the local animal control was overwhelmed with cats and Jasper could face euthanasia.  SSNA was able to neuter Jasper with the BPF Community Help Fund and the resident was thrilled to be able to keep Jasper as a forever friend.

SSNA has also been able to provide much-needed help to neighboring Greenbrier Animal Control (GAC).  Some of you know GAC from “Save Our Shelters” where BPF Founder, Cathy Bissell, aided the facility with “Save Our Shelters” host, Rocky Kanaka.  GAC is doing its best to save lives, but it needs support.  SSNA has directed $2000 of the BPF Community Help Fund to assist GAC and so far, they have provided free spay/neuter for 31 GAC dogs and cats, expecting to serve 16 more pets in the near future.  What an amazing example of how partnerships are saving lives!  Thank you Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance for partnering to make a difference!

With a Little Help from Friends: Pet Community Center Is a Friend to Pets and Their Owners

The popular Beatles song about getting by with a little help from friends is exactly what is happening in Nashville, TN, thanks to Pet Community Center (PCC). Animal welfare is really a two-way street with people helping animals and in return, animals helping people.  Pet Community Center recently used a $7,500 grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation to provide free spay/neuter to a targeted economic population in an effort to fulfill their mission of strengthening the human-animal bond and ending pet overpopulation.  Ronald and his cats Cornell and Grey are a perfect example of their work.

This story starts with Ronald, a caring individual noticing an at-risk cat.  Ronald is a legally blind, senior citizen who had been a lifelong dog owner.  With recent deterioration of his vision and hearing, he was forced to give up dog ownership; however, he remained an animal lover.  Ronald has some peripheral vision and with it, he encountered a cat eating from a dumpster near his apartment.  He told that cat, “It would be in your best interest if you came to live with me. I’ll leave my door open and you come inside if you’d like to stay.”  Sure enough, the female cat, later named Cornell, came inside Ronald’s apartment and never left.

Cornell and Ronald became close companions, with Cornell giving Ronald much-appreciated friendship in return for the room and board. Soon, Ronald noticed that she was spending a great deal of time in his closet. He didn’t realize that Cornell had given birth to three kittens until several weeks later when he saw the shadow of a kitten in his peripheral vision. Ronald’s friend helped him contact Pet Community Center for assistance.
With help from the targeted spay/neuter program made possible by BPF, Ronald was able to get Cornell and three female kittens spayed for free. A PCC volunteer even provided transportation to the clinic. Ronald was relieved not to worry about future litters and was happy to have all of his cats vaccinated as well. PCC also connected Ronald with a local rescue that helped him find homes for two of the kittens, but he kept one kitten, Grey, to be a buddy for Cornell. The companionship of these cats is very important to Ronald and it’s clear that the feeling is mutualRonald-and-GreyBy targeting programs to the most at-risk pets, Pet Community Center successfully reduced pet homelessness in Nashville by 40% since starting their programs in 2011. They are well on our way to making Nashville a city that can save all healthy and treatable shelter pets and are planning to reach areas outside of Nashville in the future.

All it takes is a little help from friends to take in a homeless pet, to get help for a pet owner in need and to receive a lifetime of love and affection in return from a pet.  BPF is glad to have Pet Community Center as a partner and friend.