“Empty the Shelters” and Choose Adoption!

empty the shelters BPFFinding a loving, forever home for every pet is the ultimate goal of BISSELL Pet Foundation, our partners and supporters. Sometimes we need to give our furry friends a little extra help, so to make a big impact BPF is sponsoring “Empty the Shelters”, a free adoption event in Michigan. On May 7th, BPF will be paying all the adoption fees at 23 shelters and rescue organizations in Michigan to encourage families considering a pet to choose adoption first. Adopting families will only be responsible for licensing fees, which vary from $7 to $12. BISSELL Pet Foundation will take care of all adoption fees, which average $150 for dogs and $60 for cats. With more than 1000 pets available, May 7th will be a great day for families and pets in Michigan!
adopt box As an added incentive, BPF will be thanking all adopting families with the gift of its newly-released AdoptBox™. BISSELL Pet Foundation teamed up with BISSELL, Meijer and Pet First Insurance to stock each AdoptBox with toys and treats for either dogs or cats, a selection of BISSELL cleaning products, coupons and 30 days of free pet insurance. A wellness booklet outlines the best care and keeping of animals in regards to veterinarian visits, vaccines and preventative medicine. Additionally, each AdoptBox will include a “Gotcha Day” certificate to commemorate the adoption, a collar and an ID tag to ensure pets are properly identified and are never homeless again. Adopting families are giving a pet the gift of a new home, and the AdoptBox is BPF’s way of saying ‘thank you’ and giving you some amazing things to help you and your new pet have a great future together.  After the event, AdoptBox will be available for purchase on bissell.com.

Adoption is so important in promoting animal welfare. Millions of pets are taken in by rescues and shelters across the country each year, and in Michigan alone, approximately 40,000 pets are euthanized yearly. We at BPF aim to make a difference around the country by supporting our partners’ efforts that will lead every pet to a happy home. We know from your stories that adopted pets change their owners’ lives. The love they bring will amaze even a life-time pet owner. You are giving your pet a second chance at life, but you will receive the greatest gift in return. Whether you live in Michigan, Maine or Montana, we hope that you will visit a local shelter or rescue organization and choose adoption first. Please help us “Empty the Shelters” on May 7th and every day!

Cats are the Teacher’s Pets in “Paws Fur Learning”

Paws6BISSELL Pet Foundation partner, Animal’s Best Friend Fund (ABF), accomplishes several objectives in a creative program designed for feral cats that also benefits high school students. ABF is committed to Trap Neuter Return (TNR) to combat cat overpopulation, and often come across litters of kittens.  Given time and patience, these kittens could be socialized to become family pets. To facilitate the transition for these kittens to become adoptable, ABF established a partnership with a regional education service agency and a Veterinary Science class at a local high school. The result is “Paws Fur Learning”, a program helping both the four-legged and two-legged participants!

Here’s how ABF makes it work. Semi-feral kittens discovered during TNR are taken in and placed in the care of the “Paws Fur Learning” high school class, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and an ABF board member. The class, part of an education for employment curriculum, cares for the kittens and helps to socialize them. Students with an interest in Veterinary Science gain exposure to the problem of pet overpopulation, the importance of spay/neuter and the necessary steps to prepare a pet for adoption. The impact has spread beyond a single class, giving other students in the school an opportunity to participate. In fact, caring for the kittens is so popular that it has been used to motivate students that were formerly disengaged. These students are incentivized to complete their assignments early so they can hold a kitten! As a result, the formerly homeless kittens are loved and handled all 7 hours of the school day. The “fluff therapy” provides great benefits for kittens and students alike. Students are more engaged in their learning and the kittens “graduate” as well-socialized pets, ready for adoption. It is truly a win-win plan!Paws4

Recently, BISSELL Pet Foundation supported ABF with a $4000 grant to spay/neuter 75 feral and free roaming cats. Four of the cats sterilized as a result of the BPF grant went into the “Paws Fur Learning” program in January of 2016, and all 4 have gone on to find fabulous, forever homes!

Animal’s Best Friend Fund is not only preventing pet homelessness through TNR, but they also are looking at the bigger picture. They are finding homes for pets, providing valuable hands-on experience for students interested in Veterinary Science, and even improving the education of at-risk students. BPF is thrilled to partner with organizations like Animal’s Best Friend Fund that are seeking creative solutions and having a real impact.

BPF Grant Advances the Mission of Dogs for the Deaf

For more than 35 years, Dogs for the Deaf has been rescuing dogs from shelters and professionally training them to assist and enhance the lives of people with a variety of disabilities and challenges. Dogs for the Deaf makes a lifetime commitment to each dog and person to provide ongoing guidance and help to ensure both are receiving maximum benefits from one another. They train the dogs for one of three different categories: Hearing Assistance Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Program Assistance Dogs.

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Dogs for the Deaf commits to having every dog spayed or neutered before being placed in a home. Thanks to a grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation, Dogs for the Deaf was able to spay/neuter 22 rescue dogs to prepare them for professional training and their new homes. As the dogs proceed through the training, some are found to be better suited for a “career change”. These dogs are wonderful pets that are happy and healthy, but are a better fit as a family pet instead of an assistance dog.  Dogs for the Deaf helps them find happy homes, like other shelters or rescues would. Of the 22 pets supported by BISSELL Pet Foundation, 9 of the dogs became Hearing Assistance Dogs and the other 13 took the Career Change path to find loving, forever homes.

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Chevy is one of the Hearing Assistance dogs helped by BISSELL Pet Foundation.  He was placed with a 33-year old man who lived in a house next door to his parents. When Chevy was in training, his adopter’s mother asked for a demonstration of the smoke detector training. She wanted to know with certainty that Chevy would indeed wake up her son if there was a fire. The alarm was activated and Chevy jumped up and down on his owner who was pretending to sleep. In fact, Chevy did not stop jumping until the man finally arose. Tears of joy and gratitude ran down the mother’s face as she realized she would no longer have to worry about her son’s safety in the event of a fire.  Chevy is just one example of the amazing assistance dogs trained by Dogs for the Deaf that are helping increase freedom and independence for their owners.



BPF Provides Spay/Neuter Vouchers to 76 Families in Gadsden County

You Can Make a Difference has strived for years to reduce the number of animals euthanized in Gadsden county. Since their inception there has been a steady decline in the numbers being euthanized each year and they have secured a name within the community as a proactive organization who provides residents within Gadsden county, and neighboring communities with assistance to secure not only low cost spay/neuter vouchers, but also low cost wellness vouchers as well as emergency veterinary assistance vouchers. In the future, they hope to continue to be able to provide low cost spay/neuter vouchers to low income residents in an effort to further decrease the numbers of animals euthanized. Their motto is: Make Gadsden Co. an example of outstanding pet guardianship and the BISSELL Pet Foundation stepped in to help them achieve this goal.

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BISSELL Pet Foundation stepped in to help reduce the overpopulation within their county. With the help of a BPF grant, You Can Make A Difference distributed 76 spay/neuter vouchers to low-income families. By spaying/neutering animals within the community, Gadsden county helped to reduce pet overpopulation within the area as well as prevented future unwanted litters. The members of Gadsden county were thrilled to be a part of this program and see a change being made within their community.

The Flint water crisis: What about the Pets?

All About Animals Mobile ClinicEveryone seems to know about the tragedy in Flint, Michigan.  In many cases, residents have been drinking lead-tainted water for over a year with potentially frightening side effects, especially in children.  But, what about the pets?  Sadly, many dogs and cats also were drinking contaminated tap water.  What does this mean for the pet population in Flint?

Thanks to a $10,000 BISSELL Pet Foundation grant to All About Animals Rescue in Warren, MI, the situation looks brighter for the future.  Today, pets are definitely suffering from lead toxicity.  Some of the side effects for pets include anemia, gastrointestinal distress, kidney failure, teeth and gum erosion, dulling of cognitive function, and many more serious health concerns.  The exposure can’t be reversed, but we can prevent it from being passed from cat and dog mothers to their litters.

All About Animals Rescue will be handing out 143 free spay/neuter vouchers with their grant from BPF.  This boost to a distressed community reeling from crisis will prevent a future influx of lead-exposed puppies and kittens.  Flint is a hard-working, low-income area where many pet owners are not able to use scarce resources on veterinary care.  These vouchers, in combination with free vaccinations also provided by All About Animals Rescue, have brought Flint residents to tears with gratitude.

All About Animals knows how to get things done.  In order to help their distressed neighbors in Flint, they are sending a transportation van once or more each week to pick up pets for sterilization and will care for the pets post-surgery until they are returned to their owners.  They are currently looking for ways to increase the number of transports and plan to take a mobile on-board surgery van to Flint this summer.  Their goal is to meet the needs of every pet parent in the area.

The Flint residents have so much to worry about and these vouchers take important concerns off their plate.  Not only will the spay/neuter surgeries prevent future litters from receiving lead toxicity from their mothers; they will also work toward solving the pet homelessness problem in the Flint area.  Fewer unplanned litters mean fewer unwanted pets ending up in area shelters.  While we can’t undo the past, the future for pets in Flint will be better thanks to this great work!