It’s Never Too Late: Spay/Neuter Program Leaves Animal Control Officer Overjoyed

BISSELL Pet Foundation partner, Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership (C-SNIP), received a $52,500 grant for Spay/Neuter fee assistance. This grant provided by proceeds from the 2015 BISSELL Blocktail Party allowed 1,748 dogs and cats to be spayed/neutered. Inspired by the BISSELL  Pet Foundation’s encouragement for collaboration, C-SNIP quickly saw the value of getting vouchers into the hands of those who have the most interaction with at-risk animals. Two programs were piloted as part of these efforts. The first and most surprising was when they put ten vouchers into the hands of the surrender intake desk staffers at the Kent County Animal Shelter. Those pets referred by local Animal Control Officers may be the most pivotal, immediately saving their lives and keeping them healthy and home. The second was to ensure that Animal Control Officers had an easy and efficient way to refer animals for free spay/neuter surgery as they investigated complaints and made follow up visits.


A beautiful dog who directly benefited from this grant is Lil’ Smoke, an adult male Pit Bull and a prolific breeder for a local backyard kennel. The owner was proud to show Animal Control Officer Jensen how many puppies Lil’ Smoke had created and even showed off his breeding website with emphasis on the dog’s masculine attributes. ACO Jensen worked with Lil’ Smoke’s owner for two years, recognizing and returning the dog when he strayed and taking photos of shelter dogs to see if they came from his litters. ACO Jensen received spay/neuter vouchers as a part of C-SNIP’s pilot collaboration with Kent County Animal Shelter. Jensen took one of the vouchers to Lil’ Smoke’s owner. With the voucher in his pocket until it was about to expire, the owner finally brought his most prized breeder into C-SNIP to be neutered. It was a remarkable coincidence that ACO Jensen was doing a ride along with a new volunteer the same day and recognized Lil’ Smoke in the kennels. The sight filled ACO Jensen with joy. After continually witnessing the worst animal welfare transgressions in our community,  seeing the most unlikely dog waking up from a neuter surgery was a beautiful moment.

C-SNIP has done a wonderful job increasing live release rates through its spay/neuter programs and voucher partnerships with local animal controls. Not only has this grant impacted the lives of the animals who now have a second chance to find a forever home, but it also has increased community awareness and support for spay/neuter to prevent pet overpopulation. BISSELL Pet Foundation is proud to partner with organizations like C-SNIP who save lives daily through innovative programs.

Lives changed during EMPTY THE SHELTERS

Wonderful stories from EMPTY THE SHELTERS keep coming to us.  So many lives were changed on May 7th—the pets that were adopted, the families giving them a second chance and the tireless workers who have made the second chance possible.

We’d like to share some of those stories, and we’d love to hear your story too!



Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven shared Scramble’s story with us. A husband and wife had just lost their dearly-loved, 15-year-old cat and weren’t thinking about getting a new pet, although the wife was ready. The husband brought his wife and son to EMPTY THE SHELTERS at BISSELL Headquarters telling her that they were just coming to visit with one of our volunteers.  But her husband had a secret plan.  He had hidden the cat carrier in the car unbeknownst to her and knew they would be coming home with a new family member. They looked over all the cats and talked about them and then her husband surprised her by telling her they were going to adopt Scramble, a beautiful little Tortie.  It was a great surprise and happy ending for everyone!

Snow and Amaya

Snow and Amaya

Heaven Can Wait also shared an amazing story about Snow and Amaya.  An awesome couple came in and said they wanted to adopt a cat that needed it the most. These selfless adopters wanted to make sure the neediest cat got a home. Every cat had a history that made it worthy of their attention.  However, after hearing all the stories they decided to take Snow, a beautiful white and tabby mix.  Then, they decided they could save two lives and also took Amaya, a very sweet calico that had raised a litter of kittens in a cold garage before she was rescued.   What a great ending for both of these sweet girls thanks to the incredible adopting parents.  You can tell by the way Amaya is looking up at her new owner in the picture that she knows they are going to a loving home.

Lovely-one of the senior Cockapoos adopted

Lovely-one of the Cockapoos adopted

Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance had an incredible day at BISSELL Headquarters and at their Allegan facility on the EMPTY THE SHELTERS day.  They had taken in 6 senior Cockapoos two months before from an owner who passed away and brought them all to BISSELL that day.  They were adorable dogs, and several of them were adopted right away.  However, two of the dogs were blind and would need a special owner to care for them, so they waited a little longer.  Incredibly, they were adopted by neighbors whose children play with each other. So the two Cockapoos, Otto and Inky, are now neighbors and will be able stay together for the rest of their lives visiting every day!  Amazing!



Cooper had a great day at Wishbone in Allegan.  A young couple from Pennsylvania was visiting Michigan for their niece’s prom in Detroit. They saw the advertisement for EMPTY THE SHELTERS and filled out an application the night before. Wishbone was able to process it first thing in the morning, including reaching both their references and landlord.  When the couple arrived, they saw Cooper, a Beagle mix, being walked by one of the dog walkers and knew that was the dog they want to meet. Cooper had been a bit aloof with the staff, but when Cooper met the couple, it was love at first sight for both of them. Cooper ran to the man and his wife. As they visited in the adoption room, Cooper just melted at their feet. He is now home in Pennsylvania being loved as part of his new family.



Harbor Humane Society in West Olive is extremely grateful about Happy’s adoption.  Happy is a Rottweiler-Boxer mix who had been in the shelter for over a year.  It’s so hard for both the pets and their caretakers to have such an extended shelter stay, so this adoption filled everyone’s hearts with joy!

When the shelters are emptied, hearts are filled

A note from Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation.

Adoption is central to the mission of BISSELL Pet Foundation.  Of course, it’s about getting pets out of shelters and into happy homes.  But it’s even more than that.  Pet adoption is a movement of passionately connected people who have adopted, volunteered or lovingly cared for a shelter or rescue pet.  It changes you.  If you haven’t adopted or been close to adoption, it might be hard to comprehend.  But all adopters know the effect, and they never shop again.

It isn’t every day that you have an opportunity to change even one life. On May 7th 2016, EMPTY THE SHELTERS had a major impact on hundreds of lives.  BISSELL Pet Foundation made possible an amazing, free adoption day with 24 shelters participating across the state of Michigan.

Blog Photo

Animals end up in shelters for numerous reasons; the list is endless and tragic.  These poor animals want nothing more than to give unconditional love and they don’t know what they did to end up at the shelter. They wait their turn hoping they will be noticed by someone who will welcome them into their hearts and home before it is too late.  So from a pet’s perspective, an adoption day like EMPTY THE SHELTERS is a second chance at life.

Leading up to the day, EMPTY THE SHELTERS created a buzz and generated advanced visits to participating locations.  Many people toured a shelter at that time and decided to take a pet home for fear that the one they wanted might go home with another family.  Shelters saw increases in adoptions and were able to bring in more pets from neighboring counties or cities for EMPTY THE SHELTERS day. So, the advantage of an adoption day is that it creates demand before the event, so even more lives were saved than our numbers reflect!

Happy Dog

The event day saw 605 pets find their forever homes. This was an incredible number and in line with what we were hoping with 24 shelters and the estimates they provided. A critical part that most people don’t realize is that now the shelters are empty and they are able to move pets from other shelters that are having a difficult time with adoptions or from facilities where the pets would never make it to a home.  This is a beautiful thing!!!

I felt challenged and inspired to create and adoption day like EMPTY THE SHELTERS and once we had the idea, we went full force. The result was our largest, one-day, free adoption event in Michigan.  We hope to do this again in the future!

Adopting my first dog changed my life and in turn has helped me change the lives of so many pets. Let adoption change your life. Rescue a pet and allow the pet to rescue you back…thank you.

Just What is AdoptBox™ and How Can I Get One?

For the past 5 months, BISSELL Pet Foundation has been working on something pretty incredible. Our Founder, Cathy Bissell, wanted to make an even bigger impact on adoption and make new adopters’ lives easier, so she created AdoptBox™.AdoptBox logo BISSELL

AdoptBox has three main goals:   to provide information about pet wellness to keep pets happy and healthy in their new homes; to provide needed items that will be useful and enjoyable for pet owners and pets; and to make the transition to pet ownership a little easier with products pet owners can really use.  BISSELL Pet Foundation carefully selects the items to be included in AdoptBox, connecting new pet owners with the best pet products available.  BPF stocked each AdoptBox with one month free insurance; healthy treats, tools and toys; great BISSELL pet products to help owners clean up after their pets (just in case); valuable coupons just for pet owners; and a BPF leash, collar and pet ID tag. A wellness booklet outlines the best care and keeping of pets in regards to veterinarian visits, vaccines and preventative medicine.   Our ‘focus group’ loved it, and so did the adopting families who received AdoptBox at EMPTY THE SHELTERS, our free adoption event in Michigan on May 7th!


As AdoptBox grew bigger and better, we knew that adopting families would love it, and so would everyone else!   Now AdoptBox, with a retail value well above its purchase price, is available on for $19.99 with free shipping!  AdoptBox makes an amazing gift for your friend or family member who is adopting a pet– or you could even treat yourself and your pet to all of the incredible goodies inside! And when you purchase AdoptBox, all proceeds will go to help homeless pets find loving, forever homes.

Check out the ‘pawsome’ contents!

BISSELL Pet Pretreat Sanitize & Spray Odor Remover
BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser® Tool
BISSELL Stomp ‘n Go® PadBISSELL Pet Foundation AdoptBox
30 Days of FREE Pet Insurance from Pet First
BPF Leash
BPF Collar
BPF Doggie Bag Dispenser
ID Tag
Food Sample
Toy from Meijer
Toothbrush Kit & Dentastix
Flea & Tick Preventative
2 Dog Bowls
Wellness Booklet

BISSELL Pet Pretreat Sanitize & Spray Odor Remover
BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser® Tool
BISSELL Stomp ‘n Go® Pad
30 Days of FREE Pet Insurance from Pet First
BPF CollarBissellAdoptBox-4437
ID Tag
Food Samples
Flea & Tick Preventative
Nail Clippers
2 Cat Bowls
Wellness Booklet

*AdoptBox Dog comes in 3 sizes—Please be sure to order the correct size, so the flea & tick preventative will be appropriate for your dog.

We hope you will try AdoptBox!  When you buy an AdoptBox you help fund the adoption costs for a pet to find a forever home!!

Shop AdoptBox here!

Beauty Finds her Forever Home at EMPTY THE SHELTERS

Meet Beauty.  Beauty is a Treeing Walker Coonhound who came to Al-Van Humane Society in South Haven with obvious signs of having been overbred.  She was found with distended, raw nipples and tested heartworm positive, both signs of too many litters and too little preventative care.  Fortunately, Beauty’s path in life took her to Al-Van HS in time to get ready for EMPTY THE SHELTERS, a free adoption day in Michigan made possible by BISSELL Pet Foundation.


Al-Van provided Beauty with much-needed care.  She was spayed to prevent future litters, and for the benefit of her own health.  She was also put on a course of heartworm treatment to prevent the insidious disease from taking her life.  She was with Al-Van for several weeks when suddenly her former owners came to claim her.  While this has the makings of a happy ending with dog and owner reuniting, the story took an unexpected turn.  When the owners learned Beauty had been spayed, they left her at Al-Van HS, for they had no interest in the lovely dog other than for puppy making and profit.  Happily for Beauty, she had already found her start to a better future and was being prepared to become a beloved pet in the second chapter of her life.

Beauty 1

Beauty came to EMPTY THE SHELTERS at BISSELL Headquarters with some of the Al-Van team and spent the morning charming the volunteers while she waited for her new family to arrive.  She saw other dogs picked first, but knew she would need a special family to take her, so she was patient.  Soon a mother arrived with two of her four daughters and declared that they needed another girl in the house– and Beauty was just the right fit.  It was obvious that the new family would make up for the previous years of neglect when they showered her with love and hugs. As they took pictures with their new family pet the mom stated, “This is completing our family.”  Happy furever after to Beauty!