When you think of going to the Humane Society your first thought probably has nothing to do with summer camps or 5k fun runs but that is exactly what the Humane Society of West Michigan aims to provide. The Humane Society of West Michigan is a family-friendly animal haven that offers many programs and events designed to engage and educate pet owners and animal lovers of all ages. There’s something for everyone at the Humane Society to get involved with while also making a difference in the lives of both people and animals!
If you’re like me and in the position where you’d really like to have a pet but can’t responsibly bring home a pet because of your living or financial situation, you might consider volunteering with your local Humane Society. Volunteering at whatever level (daily, weekly, monthly) is a wonderful way to get the puppy kisses and kitten cuddles you’re looking for while also helping out. Dog walkers are always welcome to come and take the dogs outside for a walk around the pond and cat attendants can pet, play and love on the cats for as long as they’d like. If volunteering with the Humane Society of West Michigan sounds like something you’re interested in, sign up for a quick volunteer orientation and fill out a volunteer application.
The Humane Society is always looking for people to provide foster homes for potentially adoptable animals while they recover from illness or injury, gain weight, mature or nurse litters. The “Weekend with Fido” program allows foster families to take a dog home over the holidays or for a weekend when there are dogs in need. If you’re interested in these opportunities, feel free to shoot Volunteer and Foster Coordinator Ashley Dahl an email or give her a call at 616-791-8088. I’m sure Ashley would be delighted to speak with you about the program to see if it is a good fit for you, your family and the dog!
You certainly don’t have to make any permanent commitments to get involved- there are plenty of events taking place over the summer that will interest both adults and kids. This summer marks the 12th season of the Humane Society’s Summer Camps, which were designed for children of all ages to engage, entertain and educate. Each of the week long camps are based on varying themes for differing age groups. Thanks to the help of animal experts in the West Michigan community and the dogs, cats, and critters from the Humane Society’s shelter, it’s a “dog-gone” good time! Take a look at the list of Summer Camps and consider signing your kids up. Younger children can get in on the fun too with the Toddler Tails program, which encourages families with kids ages 2-4 to come and learn about animals and the Humane Society. A session takes place at the Humane Society of West Michigan every second Tuesday of each month and will keep your toddler engaged through animal interactions, stories, crafts, and other activities.
Now I know all of that sounds like a lot of fun for kids, but what about a little fun for adults? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of it to go around! With all of the recent 5K hype, the Humane Society has developed their very own glow-in-the-dark run/walk called Bark in the Dark scheduled on October 11, 2014 at 7pm. Registration is $30 regardless of if you’re running or walking and kids under 5 are free! Registration fees and any donations raised will be given directly to the Humane Society to help with its mission to “promote the humane treatment and responsible care of animals in West Michigan”. Last year’s Bark in the Dark raised over $20,000! This October, bring your dog, walk with a friend or even grab a stroller and have the whole family join in! Bark in the Dark is for anyone who owns a pet, wants to walk in memory of a pet or is simply looking for a fun 5K to participate in for a good cause!
Have you ever visited the Humane Society of West Michigan or participated in a 5K with your pet? What are some of your other favorite ways to have fun with your family and your pets?