Here in West Michigan, we love our pets. We buy them all the toys we can, feed them their favorite treats (sometimes when we shouldn’t), and try to take them wherever we go, whether it be for a nice walk or a car ride. And since most offices don’t allow pets (ours excluded), we sometimes need more to do with our four-legged friends. It’s nice to have cool places to meet people who love their pets just as much as we do. Luckily, West Michigan has plenty to offer in that department. Check out this list of fun-filled events to attend with your pets this year.
Bissell Empty the Shelters
April 2018, all day, free
In April, the Bissell Pet Foundation hosts its annual Empty the Shelters event. During this incredible event, all pet adoption fees are covered by Bissell, making it free for potential adopters to take home a pet at 69 different shelters. Last year, more than 5,000 lives were saved, and this year the Foundation strives to make an even larger impact.
Bissell Blocktail 2018
Mangiamo!, 1033 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids
June, 6-9 p.m, $100+
The Bissell Blocktail party happens each year around June (we just missed this year’s), hoping to raise significant funds to donate to West Michigan’s animal welfare organizations. The event offers numerous activities, including a silent auction, a photobooth and even pet caricatures by local artists. Bring your pet and have a blast, all for a good cause! Over the years, the party has raised more than $2 million for animal welfare organizations.
Paws, Claws & Corks
DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
March 12, 2018, 6-11 p.m, $100+
Hosted by the Humane Society of West Michigan, Paws, Claws & Corks brings together delicious foods, some of the best beer and wine in town, a chance to bid on amazing prizes and experiences, and the opportunity to support a great organization that strives for the better treatment of animals. The event typically takes place at the DeVos Performance Hall in March and tickets are usually around $100 per person.
Happy Cat Café Yoga
Happy Cat Café, 447 S Division Ave., Grand Rapids
Every few weeks, 11 a.m.-1 p.m, $20
Love yoga and cats? You’re in luck — Happy Cat Café often hosts an hour-long yoga session in its cat room with a chance for refreshments and cat play after. The event takes place every few weeks, and people of all levels are welcome to attend, no experience necessary. Participants must bring their own yoga mats.
Ales for Tails
Yacht Basin Marina, 1866 Ottawa Beach Rd., Holland
July 21, 6-10:30 p.m, $10
Hosted by the Harbor Humane Society, the third annual Ales for Tails is an event no pet lover can miss! Offering a wide variety of things to do — food trucks, craft beer, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and amazing local bands — Ales for Tails hopes to create a wonderful event for people to have a fantastic time and support a worthy cause.
4th Annual Wag n Walk
Jaycee Dog Park, 200 Monroe St., Allegan
Aug. 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m, $25
The Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance is hosting its fourth annual dog walk and pet expo, Wag n Walk, to raise funds for the Allegan County Animal Shelter. Participants will receive free T-shirts, goody bags and giveaways, along with entry to the pet expo, which will feature a number of tents with food (for both humans and pets alike), crafts and prizes. The walk itself goes from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the expo is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by to have a great day for both you and your furry loved one!
Fido & Stitch Block Paw-ty
Fido & Stitch, 820 Monroe Ave. NW #140, Grand Rapids
Aug. 26, 12-3 p.m, free
Help support the Kent County Animal Shelter by attending the fun-filled Fido & Stitch Block Paw-ty hosted by Fido & Stitch pet store and Green Dog Photography. The paw-ty will have loads to do, including a photo contest, raffle, delicious food and product samples (including ice cream) for your pets! Stop by for a great time and to support a worthy cause with tons of local businesses, including City Built Brewing Co., Furniture City Creamery, GR Dog Adventures and many more.
Baby Ready Pets?
West Michigan Humane Society, 3077 Wilson Dr. NW, Grand Rapids
Sept. 9, 12-2 p.m, $10 suggested donation
The Humane Society of West Michigan is offering a behavior class for pets in families who are soon expecting a baby. Help your pet become accustomed to having a baby in the house by taking them to this beneficial training session. The class is free, but there is a suggested $10 donation to the Humane Society.
Bark in the Dark
Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Oct. 7, 5-9 p.m., free
This October, the Humane Society of West Michigan is hosting its fourth annual Bark in the Dark 5k fun run! This glow in the dark event allows participants to raise money for a great cause while having fun and getting in some exercise with their pets. After the run, there will be a celebration featuring fantastic food and a beer tent where each participant will receive a free drink. Register online to begin raising funds and winning prizes before the event even begins!
Fetzer Center, 2350 Business Ct., Kalamazoo
October 21, 5 p.m, $100+
Feeling lucky? Take your chances and try out the Reverse Raffle, a thrilling game of chance created not only for the entertainment of participants (one of whom will win a whopping $3,500), but to help Kalamazoo Humane Society combat pet overpopulation. Attendees will be treated to dinner, drinks, live music and the opportunity to mingle with other pet lovers.