First Coast Focuses on Ferals

The mission of First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP) is to end the euthanasia of dogs and cats in shelters in its community, northeast Florida and the nation. So, when the BISSELL Pet Foundation granted the organization with $5,000, it was earmarked for use in its Feral Freedom program.

 Feral Freedom Transport Van

Feral Freedom Transport Van

The Feral Freedom program picks up feral cats from three county shelters, brings them to their facility where they are spay or neutered, ear-tipped, vaccinated, and after they have recovered, returned to their home. Because of this program, feral cats are no longer euthanized at shelters simply because they are feral.

FCNMHP Feral Release BPF

The release of a fixed & healthy feral

When the Feral Freedom program was introduced in 2008, it was the first public-private collaboration in the nation to save feral, stray, outdoor and community cats that entered the city’s shelters. The program currently saves the lives of about 5,000 cats per year in Jacksonville, but the impact doesn’t stop there.  FCNMHP also mentors other organizations on how to start similar programs.  As more and more communities adopt the model, an estimated 20,000 additional lives have been saved across the country as a result.

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate NowThe 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 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership.


BPF Awards Emergency Funds for Puppy Mill Rescue in Tennessee

ARC Puppy Mill Rescue TNThe BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded an emergency grant to the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) to fund the rescue of animals from a puppy mill in Humboldt, TN. With the assistance of the Gibson County Sherriff’s Office, ARC rescued an estimated 100 dogs and newborn litters of puppies. The dogs were suffering from untreated, painful eye infrections, respiratory conditions, dental issues, and severe matting that limited their mobility and vision.

TYorkie Rescue ARC BPFoday, ARC safely removed the animals from the property and transported them to an emergency shelter. Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any neccessary medical treatment. ARC will provide daily care until the court determines custody of the animals. If the animals are awarded to ARC, they will be placed with shelter and rescue organizations across the country that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.

We will continue to post updates on the progress of these dogs as time goes on.

Read more  press about the raid:
Jackson Sun: Nearly 100 dogs rescued on their way to new home 11/13/14
Jackson Sun: Alleged puppy mill raided in Gibson County 11/5/14
WZTV: Almost 100 Animals Rescued in Puppy Mill Raid 11/5/14


Corridor of Cruelty Becomes Corridor of Caring

The Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) in Houston, Texas was thrilled to receive a $10,000 grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation to help fund their mobile spay/neuter clinic project in the Corridor of Cruelty and Neglect. This area is a well known underprivileged area in Houston where people abandon their animals. These helpless pets are left to die from starvation, disease, or injury from passing cars. SNAP visits this area regularly to provide spay/neuter surgeries for those who have taken in these animals but can’t afford the surgeries. They also help established pet owners care for their pets to prevent further abandonments. The BISSELL Pet Foundation grant sponsored several trips by SNAP to the Corridor to assist these low-income individuals.

Kathryn BISSELL Pet Foundation SNAPOne woman helped by the grant is canine rescuer, Kathryn. A disabled Navy veteran, Kathryn came to SNAP’s Corridor of Cruelty & Neglect location with two lively, seven-month-old puppies she found starving in a ditch in the Corridor area. Patch, a white female with spots of black, had an injured rear leg and difficulty walking. Her brother, Black, a tri-colored pit mix, seemed to lack any serious trauma. With the exception of Patch’s limp, the young dogs appeared in fine form when Kathryn brought them to the mobile clinic for their spay-neuter surgeries. Being seven months old, Patch would soon come into heat, and Kathryn was thrilled to be able to have both of them seen on the same day (something they normally cannot do).

While in the Navy, Kathryn had been on top of a helicopter, performing maintenance, when a strong gust of wind caused her to fall, resulting in permanent injuries. Knowing that her muscles become weak, she carried a chair to the mobile clinic site. It wasn’t too long before she had to sit down. Trying to control two young dogs can be challenging, but the dogs are wonderful companions to Kathryn, and they keep her active. It was obvious to all that she adores them and that they feel the same about her.

SNAP mobile clinic Texas

Families wait outside the mobile clinic

Through the $10,000 grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, SNAP was able to spay/neuter 96 animals including Patches and Black in the Corridor of Cruelty and Neglect area. These procedures will lessen the amount of future unwanted litters and in turn save lives of animals that might otherwise be discarded and left to die.

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate NowThe 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 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership.


Bullseye’s Second
Chance

Bullseye BFASMeet Bullseye, a precocious pit bull terrier mix. Bullseye began his journey to adoption when he came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, as an energetic two-year-old. At the Sanctuary, Bullseye was enrolled in an intensive training program for dogs with behavioral challenges. The program, named Maggie’s Mercantile after the building at the Sanctuary where it takes place, creates a living environment in which all human-dog interactions are training opportunities.

The program can accommodate 12 dogs at one time, and each dog is given specialized training to help him overcome the behavior issues that are keeping him from being adopted and to learn the skills that will help him be successful in a home. Once the dogs master these skills, their adoption opportunities increase exponentially.

In 2013, the BISSELL Pet Foundation helped support this program through a grant, and this support has played an important role in the program’s success.

One great example of that success is Bullseye. When he entered the program in late March 2013, he was overly energetic, couldn’t focus on his caregivers because he was so excited, and exhibited a number of fear behaviors. He also didn’t have very good social skills around other dogs. Despite all this, the experts at Maggie’s could see his potential and formulated a plan for him.

bullseye2First, the trainers and caregivers at Maggie’s worked with Bullseye to teach him how to play nicely with other dogs. He wasn’t very skilled at meeting other dogs politely or reading their calming signals. Through careful and intensive work, such as walks and selective play groups, Bullseye learned how to meet and play with dogs appropriately, and stay calm when seeing other dogs at a distance.

At the same time that the trainers and caregivers were working on Bullseye’s dog-to-dog skills, they were also teaching him to focus, relax and respond to cues. Bullseye was so energetic that it was hard to get his attention, but that just meant they had to find innovative ways to reach him.

Eventually, after months of training, Bullseye learned that it was OK to stop and take a break. His ability to focus improved, too, largely as a result of the clicker training he learned at Maggie’s. His on-leash behavior went from unbridled energy and pulling to sitting and waiting for treats after walking calmly beside the person on the other end of the leash. Finally, Bullseye was taught to be comfortable in a crate, something that all dogs at Maggie’s are taught so they can be transported safely once adopted.

After Bullseye had learned all these skills, he was on the road to adoption. And the right person had her eye on him. A Best Friends Animal Sanctuary volunteer met Bullseye shortly before he moved over to Maggie’s. She took him on a walk, an outing and a sleepover, and fell in love, but was worried about Bullseye’s dog-reactive and frenetic behavior. She already had two special-needs dogs at home.

She couldn’t get Bullseye out of her mind, though, and kept in touch with the trainers at Maggie’s. She visited Bullseye again after six months; he had made a lot of progress, but still needed some time in the program. Even so, she knew that he was her dog and filed the adoption papers.

Bullseye BFAS BISSELL Pet Foundation adorableIn March, after Bullseye had spent a year in Maggie’s, his adopter visited him again. By that point, Bullseye walked great on a leash, was much more relaxed and had learned dog-to-dog social skills. He could also sit on cue, drop toys and leave them on cue, and trade toys for treats. To make sure the adoption would be a good fit, his adopter and the trainers identified dogs at the Sanctuary similar to her dogs at home for Bullseye to meet and work with. Meanwhile, his adopter went home, hired a trainer, and began working with her dogs to prepare for Bullseye’s arrival.

After several more months of preparation, his adopter flew to the Sanctuary and drove Bullseye home just in time for her May birthday.

Today, Bullseye is doing great and is getting along well with his new brothers. He continues to receive training and his adopter works with him several times a day on both relationship building and general obedience, along with new skills, such as grooming. He loves car rides, snuggling with his new people under a blanket, and meeting new dogs.

Bullseye’s transformation has been utterly amazing. His adopter says, “If Bullseye had not had his training plan [at Maggie’s] he would not have been able to go to the home he did. Best Friends saved his life. If you put in the time and work, you will have success. A dog can be trained to live in a home and have a happy life.”

Bullseye has come a long way since his early days at the Sanctuary. Thanks to the trainers and caregivers at Maggie’s, and support from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, Bullseye received a second chance and is now in a loving forever home.

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate NowThe 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 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership.


The Humane Society of the United States making “Pets for Life”

Recently, the BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for the care of 50 animals in their innovative Pets for Life Program. Using a community outreach approach, the HSUS provides critically-needed pet care services to low-income communities.

Miss Betty - HSUS

Miss Betty – HSUS

Miss Betty is one recipient of these services.  She lives on a fixed income in North Philadelphia, a target neighborhood for the Pets for Life program. For many years she had been feeding and providing whatever medical care she could for the stray cats in her neighborhood, but unfortunately they continued to breed. Even though Miss Betty was an animal lover and long-time advocate, she lacked access to even the most basic pet services. When HSUS offered to help to cover the costs of spaying and neutering her dogs, an amazing relationship was born. Miss Betty became a one woman outreach team, helping to refer her neighbors on a daily basis, amounting to more than 200 pets so far! Through The HSUS, Miss Betty is now a resource to initiate change in her community and share information to loving pet owners who have long gone unseen by the animal welfare community.

Pets for Life Philadelphia EventFrom January through June, the Pets for Life program has provided:

  •   free spay/neuter to 6505 pets that would have not been serviced without intervention
  • food/supplies/vaccines to an additional 23,333 low-income pets

These under-served neighborhoods represent millions of unaltered pets. By closing this gap, we can decrease unplanned litters that drive the cycle of homeless pets. With your continued support, we can keep pets in their homes and reduce the influx of animals brought into shelters and rescues.

About the BISSELL Pet Foundation

Donate NowThe 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 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership.