A House is Not a Home Without the Love of a Pet

BISSELL recognizes that more people would consider adopting a pet if clean-up after them were easier. That is why they are committed to providing pet-inspired cleaning solutions for current and future pet parents in addition to their support of homeless pets through the BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF) and the Partners for Pets (P4P) program.

P4P was developed to help animal welfare organizations across the country raise funds by receiving designated donations from BPF through bissell.com pet product purchases. As the program continues to grow, we want to provide even more exciting ways for P4P member organizations to engage with us to support their mission. That is why we are planning some very BIG sweepstakes and promotions that will combine pet clean-up solutions with increased donations to participating P4P members. We kicked-off this new initiative with the Simultaneous Spring Cleaning Sweepstakes on BPF’s Facebook page. For this contest, BISSELL gave away their newest innovation, a Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop. Additionally, the lucky winner was also able to choose a P4P member to receive a $1,000 donation from BPF.

“We so love the Bissell Pet Foundation for all you do. Thank you again!”
Kimberly Manoni – President, Paws Across Oswego County
Photo Courtesy: Ellen Landphere

Ellen L. was the big winner of this fun contest and chose Paws Across Oswego County (PAOC) to receive the $1,000 donation. She adopted her beloved Bodie from the New York state rescue a little over a year ago. Bodie ended up at PAOC after he was picked up as a stray and spent over a month in a local animal shelter. We were thrilled to learn about how Bodie came to join Ellen’s family and how loved he is. You can learn more about Bodie’s story, straight from his mom’s mouth, below.

Not only has Ellen won a simultaneous clean for Bodie’s fur and muddy paw prints, with the $1,000 donation to PAOC, she is helping them save more dogs, just like Bodie, so they can find a loving home too. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to take advantage of our upcoming P4P exclusive sales and giveaways. Be sure to like us on Facebook where our next promotion will be posted. Together, we can create a second chance for pets across the country!

Meet Bodie
Photo Courtesy: Ellen Landphere

After 12 wonderful years our fur child Teddy developed terrible seizures as a result of some neurological problems. It came on very suddenly in early December and we had to make the terrible choice (for us) to help him across the Rainbow Bridge. We were so devastated and said we wouldn’t be getting another pet for quite a while. After a very few short weeks, my husband and I found ourselves commenting that our house was totally too quiet (our kids are all grown and gone with their own families and pets) and it didn’t feel like “home” anymore… it was just a house.

In the meantime, a friend sent me a cute holiday message on Facebook, and it had a puppy on it. I clicked to enlarge the picture, and up popped a website for a local rescue group – Paws Across Oswego County. And – there on their page was the most handsome doggie… who looked like he could be the long lost brother of our Teddy (and oddly enough, his picture on my computer looked Brown – like our Ted – and as you can see, he is definitely not Brown). I am convinced it was a doggie guardian angel that knew we needed another fur child in our lives right then.

I was instantly obsessed, and even though my husband was reluctant we went to meet this dashing fellow. Needless to say, it was love at first sight. We went into the gym for a meet and greet, and even though he obviously was rambunctious and wanted to race about the room he still kept coming over to me for a pat, a snuggle or a run by kiss. Needless to say, three days later he was home with us.

We found out he had been picked up off the streets in a nearby small city and kept in the pound for about a month. They managed to locate his prior owner, who didn’t want to pay the fines to get him back!!!! He would have been headed for the ultimate worst fate – but along came Paws Across Oswego County to the rescue. They got him to the vet for neutering, a microchip and his shots and blood work. They also started treatment to get rid of an awful worm infestation and working on some manners and a bit of needed “calming down” of his energy.

The poor baby was just soooo skinny – his hip bones stuck out and you could see every rib. But he was still so good-natured and friendly! He was a bit rambunctious outdoors – as he came to our country home with a huge yard, 50 acres of mostly woodland and lots of deer, turkey, bunnies and squirrels (and birds at feeders) to keep his attention on “red alert”!!!

He has been with us a little over a year now and he has matured into a wonderful young man! He has really begun to “get it” when walking with Mom on the leash and behaving like a gentleman (most of the time). He is a perfect angel in the house, doesn’t chew – steal the laundry – or dismember the bedding any longer. He waits patiently at the door for his harness and leash (and for Mom to get ready to go out – which can be time consuming in Upstate NY winters!), obeys basic commands and is a great joy to have as part of our family. In the worst of “mud season” I set a small pot of warm water on the deck just by the door – after a romp in the yard he knows to step right over by the bucket so Mom can give each of his feet a good dunk and swish. Inside the kitchen is a waiting towel on the floor – which he steps right onto and waits for Mom to get off her muddy boots then come over to give the wet paws a wipe. Children and husbands rarely do so well!!

He helps Mom when she does her yoga, goes crazy for playing with a favorite toy in the snow (the deeper the better), loves to stretch and groan (sounds like an “old man” when he gets up in the morning) and his favorite sleep position is on his back with all four feet up in the air! He is not afraid of the vacuum cleaner – I actually have an attachment for dogs and he loves to be vacuumed!!!

His worst transgression at the moment seems to be hogging the bed – he seems to think he is letting us sleep on HIS bed! Of course, for quite some time we said his job all day was to keep our bed from floating away – and he has it down pat!

We are so lucky to have Bodie in our lives – he truly did bring LIFE back into our house and made it a home again!

Posted on April 17, 2014 in News

Responding to the
Cries for Help

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.

Photo Courtesy: Hudson Valley SPCA
rainbow and pups
Photo Courtesy: Lake Haven

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.

Posted on April 3, 2014 in News

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.

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!

Many Lives Changed – Many Still Need Our Help

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.

“With literally millions of homeless pets euthanized every year in the U.S., we focus on funding programs that will do the most to change this heartbreaking outcome. It brings me and my team so much joy to know we are helping to save the lives of thousands of animals through these grant awards.” Cathy Bissell – Founder, BISSELL Pet Foundation

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.

Posted on December 9, 2013 in News