Celebrate your furry family members this weekend!

Celebrate your pets and help out others this weekend by attending one or more of the various events happening in West Michigan.

One event in particular, the Pet Celebration Day on  Saturday, is happening practically in my back yard. The celebration at the Tractor Supply Company in Coopersville runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It includes an in-store photo contest, informational classes, fecal testing and goat polio testing. In addition, there will be items for sale, including homemade hand soap made from goat milk, homemade Jane Lees popcorn and hot dogs. There will be live animals on site, some available for adoption!

In addition, yours truly will be on hand for part of the day to talk about West Michigan’s free magazine, Dogs Unleashed. I’ll have copies of the magazine (also available inside the store) and hope to see you there!

FRIDAY

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

SATURDAY

Open house, run: As part of its 10-year anniversary celebration, Bellwether Harbor in Fremont will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the 8th annual Run Forrest Run from noon to 2 p.m. There also is a kids fun run. Other events include microchipping, tours, dunk tank, petting zoo, crazy pet trick contest, bounce house, agility for dogs, games, demonstrations and food! Call 231-924-9230 or visit bellwetherharbor.org.

ONGOING

ASPCA/Rachael Ray $100K Challenge: Kent County Animal Shelter has a challenge to “save” 300 more animals during the three-month Challenge than last year. 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. During the challenge, dogs can be adopted for just $50 and cats for $5. Visit KCAS to find your new family member!

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.

SATURDAY

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!

SEPTEMBER 28

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.

ONGOING

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.