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Humane Society of West Michigan Launches “Always Ask” Campaign

Humane Society of West Michigan Launches “Always Ask” Campaign

As more people take their dogs outside to enjoy the summer weather, Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) is launching its “Always Ask” campaign, sharing safety advice for interacting with dogs. More warm and sunny days means more dogs on the streets, and HSWM believes it’s important that the community knows how to approach dogs to protect themselves and the animals.

“The goal of this campaign is to make a habit of respecting the animal’s needs over our own,” said Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director at HSWM. “Animals, especially dogs, have boundaries just like humans and simply need their space. They will let you know if they don’t want to interact by giving basic cues.”

HSWM provides the following tips when meeting a dog:

Humane Society of West Michigan Experiences Record Breaking Attendance at Fundraiser

Humane Society of West Michigan Experiences Record Breaking Attendance at Fundraiser

Recently, Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) celebrated record breaking attendance at their annual Paws, Claws & Corks fundraiser, an event featuring fine wines and microbrews, tastes of Grand Rapids’ best restaurants and both live and silent auctions. More than 850 animal lovers attended the event at DeVos Place in Downtown Grand Rapids, helping HSWM exceed $200,000 in donations.

Every year, HSWM places thousands of animals into forever homes. The recent donations will enable HSWM to continue to promote the humane treatment and responsible care of animals in the communities the organization is privileged to serve.

Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

With a new year underway, the Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) is looking back and celebrating another successful year. In 2016, HSWM helped more than 3,700 animals find their forever homes – a record-setting number for the organization.

The new record surpasses the more than 3,000 adoptions that took place in 2015. The increase in adoptions can be attributed to community support of adopting shelter animals, families embracing multiple shelter animals, and the variety of ages and breeds of animals up for adoption at HSWM.

“We cannot thank our team of staff and volunteers, as well as our generous donors, enough for another successful year,” said Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM. “They are the backbone of our organization and we are blessed to have them assist HSWM with saving lives, raising awareness and educating the community.”

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

For many people, young and old alike, a pet for Christmas is the top desire for the season. For a long time, it was assumed that pets as gifts were a really bad idea, increasing adopted animals being returned to the shelter after the excitement of the holidays is over. Data supports just the opposite.

“It’s a myth,” states Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM, “that giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea. In fact, with the right research, identifying the needs of the new pet, and knowing the person you are gifting to, helps make the right decision for both the pet and the person.”

A 2013 study by Dr. Emily Weiss says, “There is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.” In her research, Dr. Weiss found that over 87% of the pet owners in the study still had their pet in their home or had kept the pet in their home for the pet’s lifetime, even when the pet was given as a surprise or a gift, according to the ASPCA.

Animal Welfare Fund Provides $155,500 to Local Animal Shelters

Animal Welfare Fund Provides $155,500 to Local Animal Shelters

News Release:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill announced the Michigan Companion Animal Welfare Fund check-off will fund projects totaling over $155,500 for 26 registered shelters in 2015. 

The Michigan Animal Welfare fund was established under Public Act 132 of 2007 as a tax check-off to support animal shelters statewide. This year’s awards will go to the spaying and neutering of animals, fund registration fees for anti-cruelty training conferences, and help cover costs for protecting and caring for Michigan animals subjected to cruelty or neglect.

“Thanks to the generous support of Michiganders, local shelters will be able to train more staff on anti-cruelty, care for animals looking for their forever home, and conduct spay and neutering programs in their communities,” said Averill.

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Even in death, a Grand Rapids police officer is caring for the dogs he loved.

Monday afternoon, the father of Officer Andrew Rusticus will present a check to the Grand Rapids Police Canine Team, to cover the cost of purchasing and caring for retired police dogs.  The money came from the inaugural K9K race created in honor of Rusticus, who died from a heart attack while on a training run to become a canine handler.  Rusticus was just 29 years old when he collapsed Feb. 25, 2012.

The first K2K race took place Aug. 9, 2014 at Riverside Park.  Proceeds from the event are going to the Grand Rapids Police Department Canine Unit Foundation, the Thin Blue Line of Michigan and a scholarship at Trinity Christian College, in Rusticus’ name. 

My Town GR Central: Bissell Blocktail Party returns June 11

My Town GR Central: Bissell Blocktail Party returns June 11

GRAND RAPIDS, MIch.-- The Bissell Pet Foundation invites the public to the “Best Dog-gone Party in Town” Wednesday, June 11.

Visitors and their furry best friend can enjoy scrumptious "yappetizers", mingle with other mutts, and bid in a silent auction to benefit animal welfare organizations of West Michigan.

This year's Blocktail Party takes place on Wednesday, June 11 from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. at Mangiamo’s located at 1033 Lake Drive SE in Grand Rapids. Advance Tickets are $65.00 per person and can be purchased at www.bissellblocktailparty.com .   Tickets are $75.00 at the event.

For more information, call (616) 735-6666 or visit the event website.