Enjoy Sunday’s Whitecaps game with your pooch!

whitecaps dog day

Sunday is a big day for dogs at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Whitecaps, Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, take on the South Bend Silver Hawks at 1 p.m. in the annual “Dog Day at the Ballpark” event.

The event is presented by Ferris State University (after all, Ferris State’s mascot is a bulldog), and fans are welcome to bring their dogs to the game. The first 1,000 fans with dogs will receive a collapsible water bowl for their dog. (It’s also Family Day, so the first 1,000 kids eat free at the game and kids can run the bases after the game).

There’s special seating available for those in attendance with their canine pals, and accommodations have been made to ensure you and your pooch have a safe and enjoyable time at the game.

But wait … there’s more! Before the game, in the ballpark’s enormous parking lot, the 11th annual “World’s Largest Dog Wash” will take place. Bring your dog between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (you don’t have to attend the game to get your dog spruced up) for a $5 bath and help support Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

To order tickets for Sunday’s game, check out the West Michigan Whitecaps website or simply click here.

Rescued Jack Russells arrive in West Michigan, prep for adoption

Crates of Jack Russells arrive via the ASPCA truck at Kent County Animal Shelter on Wednesday.

Crates of Jack Russells arrive via the ASPCA truck at Kent County Animal Shelter on Wednesday.


The Jack Russell terriers rescued from a suspected puppy mill operation in Lake City arrived at the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan this afternoon.

The ASPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Disaster Response truck pulled into KCAS around 1:30 p.m. and unloaded 15 Jack Russells. Six additional dogs, also JRTs, were then transported to HSWM. No Shiba Inus, also rescued from the puppy mill, were brought to West Michigan.

Dr. Laurie Wright, staff veterinarian at KCAS, said the dogs are in good shape, given what they’re going through. Some dogs had vomit and diarrhea in their travel crates and were given baths upon arrival.

“Most of the dogs are a little bit stressed because they’ve had a long car ride, but they’re really in pretty good physical condition,”  Wright said. “One I just processed had some evidence of flea dirt,  but no fleas. The ASPCA had already pretreated everybody, and  they’re all vaccinated heartworm tested, microchipped, fecal tested and dewormed, so we’re basically just getting them to the point where we can get them settled comfortably.

“They’ll get reassessed probably in the next 24 to 48 hours and we’ll see how they’re settling in. The bandanas you see us putting on them are sprayed with a pheromone to help calm them down. The bandanas aren’t just for cuteness, but also for de-stressing.”

Carly Luttmann, adoption program supervisor at KCAS, said the Jack Russells could be ready to be adopted as early as tomorrow.

“I think we need to do more behavior assessments on everybody tomorrow morning just to see how they’re going to fit in our adoption program, but I anticipate we’ll be ready to have them available,” Luttmann said.

The KCAS dogs all have familiar temporary names to anyone who follows the Detroit Tigers. They’re named after Tigers players and manager Jim Leyland.

“Our marketing and media manager, Lisa LaPlante, came up with Tigers’ players names,” Luttmann said. “It’s always a challenge to name a big group of dogs that comes in at once.”

Because there was just one male dog in the group of 15 at KCAS, Luttmann’s staff had to come up with solutions for the females.

“(The Tigers) have masculine names, so we had a to change a few things,” she said. “For instance, we changed Victor Martinez to Victoria M. We had to get a little creative.”

The dogs at HSWM will undergo behavioral testing before going up for adoption. Nicole Cook, marketing director at HSWM, said the dogs appear to have better temperaments than her staff expected, but they definitely are a bit fearful.

In addition, one HSWM dog is heartworm positive and another has a heart murmur. Cook said a grant from ASPCA will be used for medical treatment on those dogs, and said they should be fine with treatment. There’s no timetable for the adoption availability of the dogs in HSWM’s care.






Chilly day, warm hearts at Lakeside dog parade


This gallery contains 12 photos.

Who doesn’t love a parade? Saturday, the dogs of Lakeside, a popular Muskegon neighborhood, celebrated “Spring into Lakeside” with a dog parade. Entrants registered at Sitting Pretty, a dog grooming salon on Lakeshore Drive. The free event was sponsored by … Continue reading

Behind the scenes at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Day 1 at Pier 92/94 benching. Photos by Mary Ullmer

 Cardigan Welsh Corgi GCH Telltail Like A Rolling Stone, aka "Mick," is more than happy to pose for the camera.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi GCH Telltail Like A Rolling Stone, aka “Mick,” is more than happy to pose for the camera.

A Pomeranian rests in the arms of its handler on their way back to the benching area.

A Pomeranian rests in the arms of its handler on their way back to the benching area.

An Afghan Hound gets the full treatment on the grooming table before heading to the ring.

An Afghan Hound gets the full treatment on the grooming table before heading to the ring.

winston beagle

Winston the Beagle even had postcards printed for fans with his photo and the words “I Met Winston.”

The day wasn't even half over, but this Norwegian Buhund (meaning "farm dog") was wiped out.

The day wasn’t even half over, but this Norwegian Buhund (meaning “farm dog”) was wiped out.

The English Bulldog is another fan favorite, for obvious reasons.

The English Bulldog is another fan favorite, for obvious reasons.




Update: Hundi, 3-legged dog rescued from neglect, finds her home in time for Christmas

Hundi, the three-legged dog among 10 rescued last month from a neglect situation who became available for adoption yesterday, has found her forever home in time for Christmas.

Mary and Hundi will spend Christmas together. (Photo courtesy IC Pawz)

The 13-year-old Lab/border collie mix, who was featured in the news on Friday (including in Press Unleashed). Hundi was featured on the local television news, where a woman named Mary saw the story.

Mary headed to the Kent County Animal Shelter Saturday morning, spent time with Hundi and ended up adopting her.

A joyful holiday, indeed!

The other dogs from the case are available for adoption at KCAS. A grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation is paving the way for $82 dog adoptions, which includes vaccines, microchip, spay/neuter and license for 2013.


BISSELL turns your love of pets and Pinterest into donations for shelter animals

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and leave it to the BISSELL Pet Foundation to find a way to give to shelter pets in the United States.

BISSELL Homecare Inc. announced this week it has launched an online fundraising campaign through BPF to raise $50,000 for shelter animals in need.

The campaign is called “Pinning for Pets” and will run through Nov. 30. It combines people’s love of Pinterest with raising funds. If you’re already using Pinterest, it’s pretty simple to contribute: Create a virtual pinboard showing support for homeless pets and submit it through BISSELL’s Facebook page.

I had not participated/signed up for Pinterest, but I have many friends who love it. And when I saw I could help shelter animals through this campaign by BISSELL, well, I signed up! I haven’t yet created my pinboard (I’m just learning about this, after all), but you bet I’ll be participating.

For every pinboard posted, BISSELL Homecare Inc. will contribute to BPF, which will then donate $10 to the Petfinder Foundation. Grants to Petfinder Foundation will go to Rescue U, the group that rehabilitates animal shelters around the country.

Rescue U spent a week at Humane Society of West Michigan this summer to help spiff up the place.  Aside from cosmetic and some structural improvements, Rescue U created a play/training area for dogs and installed turf in the outdoor dog runs, replacing the crushed stone pebbles that often became too hot and painful for dogs’ feet in the summer.

“As longtime advocates for pet adoption, we know animal shelters and rescue groups play a vital role in creating a second chance for homeless pets, and they often have extremely limited resources to provide the necessary care needed until these pets are adopted,” Cathy Bissell, founder of BPF and director of corporate affairs for BISSELL, said in a press release announcing the campaign.

“By simply creating a Pinning for Pets board, everyone has the opportunity to support shelters and better the welfare of homeless animals. However, the goal of this program is not just to raise funds — it’s also to raise awareness about the vast number of adoptable pets living in shelters across the country. Ultimately, we want to see more homeless pets welcomed into their forever homes, but we believe they deserve a comfortable place until that home finds them.”

BISSELL also is giving back through the purchase of its products. For every new BISSELL pet product purchased and activated online at bissell.com/savepets, BISSELL will donate $1, $5 or $10 to the BISSELL Pet Foundation. And pet product purchases on bissell.com  through the end of the year will net between $2 and $20 — double its normal donation — for the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

For information on the complete line of BISSELL pet products, cleaning tips and more, visit the online Pet Lovers Community at bissell.com/pets. If you want more information about the BISSELL Pet Foundation, check out their site at bissellpetfoundation.org.

Those who participate in the Pinning for Pets event will be entered into weekly prize drawings for a chance to win various pet clean-up products, as well as a $250 donation to their local Petfinder.com shelter. Visit pinningforpets.com to join the campaign!

Don’t pity a ‘pittie,’ adopt one at humane society’s Luv-a-bull event

Reporter Jon Mills had a nice story on WZZM-TV13 about the Humane Society of West Michigan‘s Luv-A-Bull adoption event taking place on Saturday. The story aired Wednesday night.

HSWM (3077 Wilson NW, Grand Rapids) is holding the event from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise awareness about pit bulls. Because the breed is so misunderstood, shelters’ kennels are often full of them. People may have preconceived notions about pit bulls  based on misinformation. HSWM seeks to educate people about the breed and show that pit bulls can be very loving members of any family.

If you’ve been looking to add a dog to your household, you might consider a “pittie.” As should be the case with any breed of dog, take the time to learn all you can about them. Attending Saturday’s event is a great way to start.

The Luv-A-Bull event also includes pricing specials: $75 for all dogs and just $99 for all puppies, which includes obedience classes! For more information, be sure to visit HSWM’s website.


UM or MSU? Kent Co. Animal Shelter wants to know

It’s homecoming week for both University of Michigan and Michigan State University football, and the Kent County Animal Shelter is getting in the spirit by hosting a “Tail Waggin’ Tailgate” on Saturday.

Stuart, our Jack Russell terrier, clearly is a UM fan and isn’t afraid to show it.

Before the BIG game next week in Ann Arbor, KCAS wants to know: Which school has more animal-loving fans, Michigan State, or Michigan?

Fans are encouraged to attend the event at KCAS (740 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids) sporting their team’s color, jersey or logo gear and show support for their school by adopting a dog or cat during the tailgate. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last adoption at 3 p.m.

Adoptions will count toward the animal shelter’s “saves” in the ASPCA/Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, which currently shows KCAS ranked 22nd. Adoption special pricing — $50 for dogs (plus $12 license fee) and $5 for cats — from the contest is good through the end of the contest on Oct. 31. Cost includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Stuart’s “little brother,” (they really were littermates) belongs to Michigan State graduate Amy Snow-Buckner and her husband, Mike Buckner of Grand Rapids.

Fans who adopt on Saturday also will receive an engraved pet tag and their family photo with the newest member on the IC Pawz website and Facebook page. Carly Luttmann, program supervisor at KCAS, said it’s a chance for fans to show their support for pets in need of a home as well as for their team. She’s even making a little competition out of it.

“We realize the game isn’t until next weekend, but we’re not going to have this event then, because no one will show up,” Luttmann said. “We want to find out who’s a bigger fan of animals, UM or MSU? We will be tracking who adopts and make a competition out of it. When we post the photo to IC Pawz it will indicate which school they’re for. People can hold up banners or whatever they want.”

There’s more to Saturday’s tailgate than just the competition (as if outdoing your rival isn’t enough). Visitors will be treated to:

  • Cider and doughnuts in the morning
  • Pizza by Georgio’s starting at 11 a.m.
  • Prizes from BISSELL
  • Games for the entire family

Adoption applications may be filled out ahead of time by downloading an application from the “how to adopt” page on the animal shelter’s website.  For more information on Saturday’s event, call KCAS at  (616) 632-7300.

To find out more about the $100K Challenge or to view featured pets at KCAS, visit the official website, icpawz.com.


Frankenweenie, Howl n’ Boo and help humane society, all at once!

Admit it. Although we’re adults, we LOVE kids’ movies. And as animal lovers, we especially enjoy movies made for kids that feature animals. My personal favorite? My Dog Skip, since I’m a Jack Russell owner. Yes, it leaves me bawling every time, but I adore the movie.

I also am a sucker for the many animated movies featuring dogs, like Up (“Squirrel!”), 101 Dalmatians, the Fox & the Hound, Lady & the Tramp… the list goes on.

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And now, there’s Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” an animated/computer generated take on the classic story of Dr. Frankenstein, but with a young boy bringing his faithful companion dog back to life.

Full disclosure: I’m an employee of ESPN.com, which is owned by Disney, the company behind Frankenweenie and a gazillion other great movies. But that’s not why I’m encouraging you to load up the kids and go see this movie.

I’m encouraging you because by taking the family to see Frankenweenie at Celebration! Cinema North on Saturday, Oct. 20, you can help the Humane Society of West Michigan and see a great movie.

HSWM is holding a fundraiser at the theater that day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It includes a private screening of Frankenweenie and access to HSWM’s mini version of “Howl n’ Boo,” featuring carnival games, treats, crafts and more.

The movie starts at 1 p.m., so families should arrive early to enjoy “Howl n’ Boo.”  Tickets are $15 per person or $50 for a family of four. Admission includes the private screening, free pop and popcorn (that alone would cost a family of four more than 50 bucks!) and the “Howl n’ Boo” entrance.

The event is open to people of all ages, since the movie is rated PG. Don’t have kids? Do what I do … borrow some! What friends or relatives wouldn’t jump at the chance to have someone take their kids to a great event?

Whether you bring kids or go solo, enjoy the show and help the animals awaiting adoption at HSWM at the same time.

To reserve your seats and purchase tickets, contact Nicole Cook, HSWM Marketing and Events Coordinator at (616) 791-8089 or  ncook@hswestmi.org.


West Michigan happenings: Humane society up for ‘Grand’ prize via ArtPrize

ArtPrize isn’t the only thing going on in West Michigan these days, but there’s no question it’s the biggest event in town. Aside from the animal-related art (there are some cool exhibits for animal lovers to check out), one area animal advocacy group, the Humane Society of West Michigan, has its paws in the prize as well.

HSWM was selected as one of three non-profit organizations (Kids’ Food Basket and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks are the others) competing for proceeds netted from a $25,000 necklace, “The Grand,” entered as an ArtPrize exhibit.

The non-profit receiving the most online votes will receive 80 percent of the proceeds from the eBay auction of the necklace. The other two organizations will split the other 20 percent.

So far, HSWM is off to a spectacular start with 57 percent of the vote! To vote for HSWM or one of the other non-profits, go to grandrapidsgem.com and click … yes, it’s that easy! You can vote once per day until Oct. 8, so tell your friends.

For those who want to see the necklace in person, it’s on display at ArtPrize venue Craft Revival. Photos of the necklace, which include icons of the city of Grand Rapids, also accompany a story on MLive.com.

There are a few other events happening around west Michigan, so be sure to check them out, too.


Harborfront Dog Wash: From 1 to 4 p.m. at the Harborfront Hospital for Animals parking lot, 807 W. Savidge, Spring Lake. In the event of inclement weather, the dog wash will move indoors! Also includes a bake sale. A suggested $10 donation will benefit Love Inc. and HHFA friends Jim and Pam Koop and Brenda Blahnik. All dogs get a bandana and a treat once they ‘re spiffed up!


The Dushanes benefit concert: Next Friday, the popular local alternative country band is putting on a show to benefit the Bellwether Harbor animal shelter and training facility in Fremont. The event is from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Bellwether, 7645 West 48th St. in Fremont. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the gate. Food provided by Smokin’ Good Time BBQ. For tickets, call 231-924-9230. Please note Bellwether’s hours on their website, bellwetherharbor.org.


ASPCA/Rachael Ray $100K Challenge: Kent County Animal Shelter director Carly Luttmann reported a problem with their drive to “save” 300 more animals during the three-month Challenge than last year: KCAS keeps running out of adoptable kittens! It’s a great problem to have. Luttmann’s organization has adopted out 181 dogs and cats so far in the Challenge, which began Aug. 1 and runs through Oct. 31. That’s a 235 percent increase over the same period last year. They’ve “saved” a total of 377, including animals from KCAS transported to other facilities and adopted out as well as found animals returned to their owners via animal control officers. To check their progress and see pictures of all of the pets who found forever homes through the event, go to the official site, ICPawz.com or visit the IC Pawz Facebook page. Please note that IC Pawz is the official site of KCAS on Facebook. A Kent County Animal Shelter page has been created but is not part of the organization.

ArtPrize: There are a few exhibits that feature animals, including one I recently wrote about, Kent Ambler’s Running Dogs. Another exhibit worth checking out is Aimee Brumleve’s “Steps Toward Independence.” Brumleve used puppies from Paws with a Cause, the national organization headquartered here in Michigan that trains assistance dogs nationally for people with disabilities, to create the painting. Brumleve is the national breeding coordinator for PAWS, which encourages independence for people with disabilities by providing a lifetime of support with PAWS dogs.