109 Lives Saved – Adoption Day Grand Rapids

Adoption Day Grand Rapids

photo credit Abigail Carlon

Saturday, April 25th, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsored 100% of all adoption fees at both the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan while BISSELL Homecare, Inc. donated a free cleaning product for new pet parents.

This event was the first dual adoption event in the Grand Rapids Area. A total of 109 pets were adopted breaking the record for the most adoptions in one day at the Kent County Animal Shelter. Thanks to Adoption Day Grand Rapids, the two largest shelters in the community were able to unite in a positive partnership to work together to find homes for many pets.

Adoption Day Grand Rapids

photo credit Nidal Kanaan

“Together with the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan, we were able to save the lives of over 100 hundred of pets in our community in just one day,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Many of the pets that were adopted might not have had a second chance at life had it not been for free adoptions. We are so proud of our community for understanding the importance of pet adoption.”

The breakdown of numbers:

Dogs: 64
Cats/Kittens: 43
Bunny: 1
Guinea Pig: 1

Adoption Day Grand Rapids

photo credit Nidal Kanaan

Read more from the press:

WOODTV8: Over 100 pets find homes during free pet adoption day 4/25/15
Fox17: ‘Free Pet Adoption Day’ breaks record at Kent Co. Animal Shelter 4/25/15
WZZM13: BISSELL Pet Foundation to cover adoption fees Saturday 4/24/15
Press Unleashed: BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsoring free adoptions at West Michigan’s two largest shelters Saturday 4/22/15
WOODTV8: Free pet adoptions at 2 animal shelters Saturday 4/19/15
Women’s Lifestyle: Free Adoption Day Courtesy of BISSELL Pet Foundation 4/13/15
WZZM13: BISSELL Pet Foundation Cleaning out Shelters with Grand Rapids FREE ADOPTION day! 4/10/15


BISSELL Pet Foundation on the Scene – Puppy Mill Rescue in Kankakee, IL

OperationSpringBreakRecently, the BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded an emergency grant to the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) to fund the rescue of animals from a puppy mill in Kankakee County, IL.  Tuesday, April 7th, the BISSELL Pet Foundation team was on hand to assist the Animal Rescue Corps with the raid.

81 dogs and 2 cats were found living in neglectful conditions at a breeding facility at a home in Kankakee County, IL, about an hour south of Chicago. Adult dogs and newborn litters of puppies of a variety of small breeds, including Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, and Poodles were found crowded into small pens with plastic wire flooring, exposed to extremely high levels of ammonia.  The dogs were suffering from untreated and painful eye infections, respiratory conditions, and dental issues.

Scotcharoo BISSELL Pet Foundation ARC“The conditions were typical of a puppy mill, where animals live in inhumane conditions and are treated as nothing more than breeding machines.” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. “Dogs have been suffering here for a long time but they are finally reclaiming their lives.”

This case began when ARC received a tip concerning the alleged neglect of the dogs from The Puppy Mill Project. ARC has been working with Kankakee County Animal Control, the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office, and The Puppy Mill Project to obtain documentation, which revealed violations of county and state animal cruelty codes, in order to secure a search warrant.

“Closing down an operation of this scale takes an enormous amount of resources,” said Julie Boudreau, Administrative Director of the Kankakee County Animal Control and Adoption Center. “By working with Animal Rescue Corps, who provided most of those resources, we did just that – we closed this notorious puppy mill down for good.”

ARC BPF dog rescueARC safely removed the animals from the property and transported them to an emergency shelter set up by ARC for this rescue, dubbed Operation Spring Break. Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatment. ARC will provide daily care until the dogs are placed with approved shelter and rescue organizations around the country that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.

The BISSELL Pet Foundation is proud to have participated in the raid with amazing organizations including: the Animal Rescue Corps, Kankakee County Animal Control and Adoption Center, the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office, and The Puppy Mill Project, PAWS Chicago, and Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills.

BPF ARC

Check out this amazing video from Operation Spring Break:

Read more from the press:

Chicago Now: Adrian’s Puppy Paradise: Closing a puppy mill 4/19/15
WGN: 80 mistreated dogs rescued from puppy mill near Kankakee 4/7/15
Daily Journal: Alleged puppy mill in St. Anne raided, 80 dogs taken from owner 4/7/15
Examiner.com: 80 dogs rescued from dank Kankakee basement puppy mill operation 4/7/15
ChicagoNow: 80 dogs rescued from Kankakee County puppy mill 4/7/15

 


TNR – Helping Cats and Their Caregivers

Spay/neuter initiatives are one of the most important means of addressing the devastating pet overpopulation problem.  Recently, the BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the Lansing, MI based Capital Area Humane Society’s Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program.  As a result, 125 cats and counting have been spayed or neutered in just 6 months. This funding not only impacted area cats, but also the people who cared for them.  The Capital Area Humane Society shared the following incredible story of a woman, Margaret, who spent 15 years struggling to care for cats in her community until she found support through the BISSELL Pet Foundation TNR grant.TNR - CAHS

The Capital Area Humane Society writes:

We had gotten in touch with Margret through one of her daughters-in-law, who had called our entry department asking us to take what she described as “around 30 cats”. When a call like that comes in, we go out to the home to assess the situation as soon as possible. The sooner that we can intervene in a situation that is out of control and only getting worse, the easier it is for both us and the cat parent. So we travel out to see if the cats are adoptable, and if they are fixed. In this case, they were neither.

I was surprised when we drove up to the house that I didn’t see any cats in the front or from the road. Then one peeked it’s head around the corner of the house, and then another. A sign on the garage asked us to go to the back door, and as we rounded the corner, we found the cats! Grays, dilute torties, and orange cats scattered as we approached, each finding what they decided was a safe distance and position to watch us come. I crouched down and called, waited a few moments, and no one came to me. They were all pretty wild.

Margaret is exactly what you would imagine when I tell you that she is an 83-year old country grandmother. She had on slacks and a floral shirt, and her home had floral wall paper and felt warm and inviting. We sat down at the kitchen table to talk, and she offered us tea. She smiled when she talked, although when we started discussing the cats she immediately seemed more tired.

She explained sheepishly that she didn’t have the constitution to let anything starve, but that things had definitely gotten out of hand. She was embarrassed by the situation and did everything she could to keep the cats living behind the house and in the barns, not visible from the road. Her husband had made homes for them to sleep in one of the barns before he passed away. She said that each winter some would wander away and not return, but then every spring there would be kittens and kittens and kittens. She had called a local vet, but was quoted $150 per cat to fix them, which she said she would never have been able to afford. And so the cycle continued. She said that she had been feeding the cats for around 15 years.

I explained that we wanted to get the cats fixed and vaccinated for her. I told her about the ear-tip that we give outside cats, which keeps them safe from Animal Control, and she agreed immediately. Since we had first found out about her through our intake program, I tried to gently let her know that these cats wouldn’t be good candidates for adoption, and asked if she would be interested in keeping them, as long as they were “fixed”. She agreed immediately. I asked how many she thought that there were, and she predicted 20. We headed outside to set traps.

Margret doesn’t get around very well, so she feeds them right out the back door. We set 12 traps the first night, most in that area and some by the barns where they sleep. Sadly, we did find an orange kitten that had died over the winter behind a trellis, and moved his body to the back of the property.

The cats looked rough. A few had lost the tips of their ears to frostbite, and others had crinkled ears due to ear mites. I really like getting involved with colonies like this, because altering the cats tends to vastly improve their quality of life – once the females aren’t putting resources into birthing kittens twice a year, they become much healthier.

We caught 14 hungry cats the first night; two of the traps had two cats in them. The torties were clearly identifiable as females, but we had a number of cats where the sex would be unknown until we got them out for surgery. The first day we fixed nine females, four of them in early pregnancy, and five males. The second night we caught five more, three males and two females, for a total of 19 cats. She didn’t have names for most of them, so when they came in for surgery we gave them description names. Lanky Orange was a male. Beautiful White was a female.

The cat that I felt the best about was one we called Torti-One-Eye. Her left eye had clearly been damaged by something and was infected. When we put her out for surgery, we cleaned out her wound and applied triple-antibiotic to the eye, and provided a two-week antibiotic shot. We make a measurable impact on all of the lives of the cats that we fix, but I can’t help feeling like her quality of life is much better because we were a part of it.

We had Margret watch outside the day after trapping to see if any more cats came to eat. We were thrilled when she called and reported that none had; we had caught all of the cats in her colony! After keeping them for two nights to let them begin the healing process, they were returned home to a happy Margret. She asked us to pass on her thanks to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, with tears in her eyes. Thank you so much for touching all of these lives, feline and human!

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate Now Join UsThe BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and to support organizations dedicated to the humane care and treated of animals through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, the BISSELL Pet Foundation is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported to BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a 138-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership


Suncoast Basset Rescue Reminds Us that Foster Care Saves Lives!

Maise SBRSuncoast Basset Rescue is a volunteer-based foster network which works to save Basset Hounds from abuse, abandonment, and neglect. Most of their rescues are senior hounds which often require a great deal of costly medical treatment. Through a BISSELL Pet Foundation Grant, Suncoast Basset Rescue was able to place six neglected, senior Basset Hounds in foster care and provide medical treatment.

One lucky dog was rescued by Suncoast Basset Rescue after being found roaming the side of a busy highway in Orlando, Florida. Maise, an 11 year old Basset Hound was saved from the dangerous traffic and taken to the nearest veterinary clinic. The pressure in both of Maise’s eyes was off the charts and she needed surgery as soon as possible. The BISSELL Pet Foundation grant provided Maise with necessary medical attention.  A loving foster home took her in and she eventually had surgery to remove both of her eyes. A year later, Maise is very active and gets around perfectly, thanks to her keen sense of hound smell!

Sadly, many shelters do not have the resources required to tend to the needs of senior and ill pets which is why organizations like Suncoast Basset Rescue are so important.  By providing needed care and a temporary home for dogs like Maise, foster networks are able to free up much needed space in shelters saving even more lives!

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate Now Join UsThe BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and to support organizations dedicated to the humane care and treated of animals through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, the BISSELL Pet Foundation is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported to BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a 138-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership


No Shortage in Spreading Love and Hope

Christmas in JulyWhen it comes to sharing stories about their pets, our BISSELL Pet Foundation Facebook followers aren’t shy by any means. Our giving and winning campaigns, Christmas in July and Hope for the Holiday, not only showcase stories of pet owners and their furry friends, but also give our followers a chance to win an amazing BISSELL product. The best part is winners are able to choose a BISSELL Partners for Pets organization close to their heart to be the recipient of a $1,000 donation from the BISSELL Pet Foundation! Below are the lucky selected organizations that were able to bring more hope to their pets in 2014.

Christmas in July Winners:

Don’t Bully Me Rescue, Lago Vista, TX
Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP), Highland Heights, KY
Tri-County Animal Rescue Center, Shippenville, PA
Women’s Humane Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, Bensalem, PA
Paws To Love Me, Bella Vista, AR
Rikki’s Refuge, Rapidan, VA
Austin Humane Society, Austin, TX

Hope for the Holiday winners:

Animal Aid For Vermilion Area, Abbeville, LA (2 time winner)
Ohio Pug Rescue, Inc., Columbus, OH
Waggin’ Tails Dog Rescue, West Bloomfield, MI
Jacksonville Humane Society, Jacksonville, FL
Michigan Animal Rescue League, Pontiac, MI
Fairy Tail Endings, Inc., Sarasota, FL
Southern States Rescued Rottweilers, Inc., Calhoun, LA
Carolina Boxer Rescue, Hempstead, NC (2 time winner)
White River Humane Society, Bedford, IN
German Shepherd Rescue Of Orange County, Newport Beach, CA

Thank you to all of our BISSELL Pet Foundation Facebook fans for participating in our campaigns, supporting our BISSELL Partners for Pets members, and most of all, for giving pets another chance at a forever home!