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My Town: Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer with dogs July 15

My Town: Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer with dogs July 15

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Celebrate the Dog Days of Summer with your favorite canine and help the Humane Society of West Michigan Tuesday, July 15.

Participants who bring their dog for a run around Reeds Lake at 6 p.m. can get a post-run root beer float, dog treats and prizes, courtesy of Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids, Lolë Grand Rapids and Asics.  Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of dry or canned dog, treats and gently used blankets or towels for the animals at Humane Society of West Michigan.

Participants are encouraged to register by visiting the event page on Facebook.

My Town: Free adoption weekend a success for Humane Society of West Michigan

My Town: Free adoption weekend a success for Humane Society of West Michigan

WALKER, Mich.-- More than 100 animals have new homes, after a free adoption event at Humane Society of West Michigan.

Nicole Cook with HSWM says 106 animals were adopted during the "Wipe Out Our Shelter" event Friday and Saturday, including 57 cats, 31 dogs, seven hamsters, five guinea pigs and six rabbits.  That's 17 more animals adopted than during last year's inaugural event.  

Jauxer, who has been at HSWM for about 2.5 years, was among the adopted dogs, as well as Pinky, who has been at the shelter since February.

Cook is calling the Wipe Out Our Shelter event a huge success and says HSWM is already planning to bring it back again next year around the same time, when there is typically an influx of cats and kittens.  

My Town Walker: Humane Society of West Michigan offers free adoptions to 'Wipe Out Our Shelter'

My Town Walker: Humane Society of West Michigan offers free adoptions to 'Wipe Out Our Shelter'

WALKER, Mich.— Humane Society of West Michigan is looking for adoptive families to help “Wipe Out Our Shelter” next week.

On July 11 and 12, cat and kitten adoptions at HSWM will be free.  Visitors can also name their price for any small critter they’d like to adopt, and dogs four months and older will be $50. 

HSWM officials say the goal of the adoption deal is to find permanent homes for as many animals as possible.  Right now the shelter is extremely full.

When HSWM first introduced its Wipe Out Our Shelter Adopt-A-Thon special last July, 94 animals found homes, including 81 cats/kittens, 11 dogs and two rabbits.  

My Town: Lowell teacher donates his shag to charity

My Town: Lowell teacher donates his shag to charity

LOWELL, Mich.—A teacher’s head is a little lighter this summer, after winning a very hairy bet to help others.

As a retired Army officer, Rob Stevens had always kept his hair trim; that’s why his friend Steve Cannady thought he could win an easy bet by challenging Stevens to growing his hair to at least ten inches.  If Stevens could resist the urge to pick up a pair of scissors, Cannady promised to donate $20 an inch to the charity of Stevens’ choice.

Earlier this month, Stevens celebrated his first hair cut since November 2012, during an assembly at Cherry Creek Elementary, where he teaches fifth grade.  The Humane Society of West Michigan was on hand to accept the $200 donation.  The hair will go into a wig for Children With Hair Loss.

New Dog Park on Grand Rapids' West Side

New Dog Park on Grand Rapids' West Side

Grand Rapids has a new dog park near the corner of Covell & Bridge St. NW, just above the track of Union High School. This area was a former public tennis court, built about 20 years ago, when the sport of tennis was at it's peak.

This former tennis court area was converted into a dog park due to the hard and dedicated work of residents Jessica Kooistra and Ryan TerBush. They have raised money over the past year for an escape-proof gate and to build a shelter on the property. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 17th and is now the second dog park in Grand Rapids. 

Mike Fraser, of Out on a Limb Playhouses, located in Grand Haven, donated his time last week to build the shelter.

The park is free to all dog owners and has been funded by donations from local businesses and residents. For additional information on the park, visit the dog park's Facebook page at facebook.com/GrandRapidsNwDogPark.

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

WYOMING, Mich.—The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is extending its hours and  teaming up with John Ball Zoo, the Kent County Animal Shelter and Blandford Nature Center to provide spring break staycation solutions for children.

From Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, kids can take part in activities like three-on-three basketball tournaments, dodgeball, bounce houses and art activities.  Animals from John Ball Zoo, the Blandford Nature Center and the Kent County Animal Shelter will also visit the Kroc throughout the week.    Children will also get more time to enjoy the climbing wall, pool and game room throughout the week.

My Town Walker: Paws, Claws & Corks fundraiser surpasses HSWM's goal

My Town Walker: Paws, Claws & Corks fundraiser surpasses HSWM's goal

WALKER, Mich.--  Humane Society of West Michigan’s biggest fundraiser of the year is being deemed a success.

HSWM spokesperson Nicole Cook says at least $121,500 was raised during the annual Paws, Claws & Corks event at DeVos Place last week.  Cook says more than 600 people turned out for the benefit.

Last year, HSWM raised $84,000 during Paws, Claws & Corks.  This year, organizers set a goal of $90,000, which they greatly surpassed.  The funding will go into HSWM’s operating budget, which pays for building repairs, animal care, veterinary emergencies, etc.