Other articles by the same author
A whole lot of dogs and cats, and those who care about their well being, are a whole lot happier today. Eleven animal welfare organizations in the Greater Grand Rapids area received word on their BISSELL Blocktail Grant applications, and the dollar amounts they’ll receive are staggering.
This year’s BISSELL Blocktail Party, held on June 13 at Mangiamo!, set a record by raising $187,000. More than 800 people attended Blocktail, another record. Proceeds from the event benefited the BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF), which then distributed the money to the organizations applying for grants. Gifts in the form of $1,000 donations were made to each of 10 Blocktail “party partners” before the event took place.
Many of the groups receiving grants couldn’t dream of raising the amount they received from BPF in a single fundraiser. The BISSELL Pet Foundation should be applauded for coming to the aid of these hard-working organizations who are on the front lines fighting pet overpopulation and promoting pet adoption through shelters and rescues.
“The West Michigan community never fails to stand behind a great cause, and this event shows that we believe pets are important, too,” Cathy Bissell, event co-chair and founder of the BISSELL Pet Foundation, said in a news release announcing the final dollar amounts. “The community really pulled together to make this our best year yet. We are overwhelmed with appreciation from the outpouring of support. Every year, local sponsors and donors help to make this a unique event, and this year was no different. We’re so thankful for everyone’s generosity.”
The Kent County Animal Shelter received a whopping $41,000 grant, while C-SNIP, which offers low-cost spaying and neutering services, received $30,000.
“It’s exicitng to be recognized by BISSELL as the solution to pet overpopulation,” said Pat Schoen, executive director of C-SNIP. ”They’re the first local corporation that has really stepped up to the challenge and has recognized those organizations that are addressing pet overpopulation and adoptions.”
Schoen said $15,000 of C-SNIP’s grant will go toward her organization’s BISSELL Big Paws Fund, which will help offset the cost of spay/neuter surgery for dogs 60 pounds or more. Another $10,000 will go to the community spay/neuter assistance fund for smaller dogs and cats, and the remaining $5,000 will assist rescue organizations who bring dogs and cats to C-SNIP for spay/neuter services.
Schoen said now that C-SNIP has some funding, the challenge is to get people through their doors.
“Today, we had seven no-shows with dogs and 10 no-shows with cats,” she said Monday. “That’s 17 people who had appointments today that didn’t show up. We run on a 12 percent no-show rate. We have the money, now it’s a matter of getting clients in.”
Here’s the breakdown of all 11 BISSELL Blocktail grant recipients and the amount they received, according to BISSELL’s news release:
Kent County Animal Shelter received $41,000 to support their adoption efforts through the upcoming ASPCA and Rachel Ray $100K Challenge that takes place from August to October. In addition, the grant money will be used to help with spay/neuter costs for stray pets that are being reclaimed by their owners.
Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership (C-SNIP) received $30,000 to fund programs aimed at subsidizing sterilization surgeries for low-income families and local rescue groups.
Vicky’s Pet Connection was awarded $27,000 to initiate a community microchip and ID tag program and help support programs that provide care and treatment to “at-risk” animals that are rescued from local shelters.
Humane Society of West Michigan received $21,600 to fund monthly adoption promotions, including subsidies to support low-cost adoption of senior pets, and to support their live-saving efforts with animal transfer and microchipping.
Carol’s Ferals was granted $12,000 to support their TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for feral cat populations and to provide appropriate equipment needed to care for their adoptable cats.
Crash’s Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary received $10,000 to support their Humane Education and Adoption Programs and to provide food and supplies for cats in their care.
Mackenzie’s Foundation received $10,000 to purchase needed equipment for a planned on-site veterinary clinic.
Safe Haven Humane Society was awarded $5,000 to create a dog training program for their adopters and to support a free spay/neuter program for female cats and their litters.
Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue received $4,000 to provide care and treatment for cats in their care, with funds targeted to supporting the special needs of senior cats.
Bellwether Harbor was given $2,050 in needed funding to help advance their microchipping program.
MidAmerica Border Collie Rescue received $1,000 to purchase a requested microchip kit and additional microchips for adoptable pets in their care.
I am a veteran journalist who is passionate about animals. My 30-year newspaper career revolved mainly around sports, as a reporter, copy editor and sports editor, but I also wrote pet news and features with "Unleashed," a blog for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com. In November, 2011, I was inducted into the Central Michigan University Journalism Hall of Fame. I look forward to sharing pet news and events with Rapidian readers and welcome story suggestions or pets-related event listings. You might also be interested in checking out pressunleashed.com, where you'll find even more pets news.
Reports on: Pets features and news, animal welfare