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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.