Looking to Adopt during EMPTY THE SHELTERS? Here’s a list of requirements!

On October 22nd, BISSELL Pet Foundation is paying for pet adoption fees at 55 locations throughout Michigan with thousands of pets ready to go to loving homes. We want it to be the best day possible for you, so please take a look at the requirements of the organization where you plan to adopt. Requirements vary by location, but here are some of the things you might be asked to provide.

• Most shelters will require a valid form of identification or driver’s license.
• Adopters must be at least 18 years old.

Pre-approved Application:
• Some shelters and rescues will require approved adoption applications before October 22. Please check to see if you need to be approved in advance to adopt.

Renting or Leasing Approval:
• Most shelters and rescues require anyone renting or leasing to have written permission from their landlord before an adoption can be approved. Any restrictions regarding type or size of animal must be noted as some apartments/landlords will not allow specific dog breeds, or may not allow pets at all.

• Some landlords may not be available on a Saturday, so it is important to communicate with them in advance and come with all the potential answers to the questions above in writing, along with contact information for the landlord.

• You might be asked to provide verification that you have lived in your home or apartment for 3 months. Bringing a pet home can be a big adjustment, so it is important that you are settled in your home before adopting.

Employment Verification:
• Shelters and rescues want to know that the adopters have a job or a source of income that will allow them to properly care for a pet with needed vaccinations and veterinary care, in addition to daily needs.

• While shelters may ask for proof of employment, they also may ask for verification that there is someone to care for the pet during the day if family members are at work.

Veterinarian Verification:
• You may be asked to provide proof that you have selected a veterinarian who will be providing care for your new pet.

• Shelters and rescues often will ask for vet records for any other pets in the house to show that the adopter is responsible and staying up to date with routine visits.

Crate or Carrier:
• It’s a good idea to bring a cat carrier, as sometimes the shelters run low. Also, think about how your dog might travel home in your car. You and your pet will be happy if you have a plan in place for safe travel.

Other Possible Requirements:
• All family members be present at time of adoption
• Personal references
• Michigan residency
• Meet-and-greet with other pets in the home prior to adoption

Do Your Homework:
• Visit bissellpetfoundation.org/emptytheshelters/ to find the list of participating organizations, their hours and their requirements. It’s also a great idea to check out the website of the organization you plan to visit for more information. Shelters and rescues ask these questions to help make a great match for the pets and people involved, and to ensure a happy future together. Thank you for choosing adoption and for planning ahead to make it a great day for homeless pets in Michigan! Let’s EMPTY THE SHELTERS together!


‘Seniors for Seniors’ Gives Pets Love in their Final Years

Anyone who has an older dog or cat knows that they just get sweeter with age. Older pets that have been faithful companions for so many years, just want love and comfort in their final years. Unfortunately old age and frequent visits to the vet sometimes go hand in hand. We understand that true financial hardship might prevent a pet owner from caring for a senior pet. However, seniors are commonly left at area shelters by owners who just don’t want to deal with the expenses and problems associated with an aging pet. What a tragedy for the dog or cat after a lifetime of giving love!

Senior pets surrendered to shelters are at an extremely high risk for euthanasia. They are expensive for shelters to care for and prepare for adoption, and many adopters are looking for a long-term family companion. Pet Rescue of Maryland (PRM) is solving this problem in its community and BISSELL Pet Foundation is proud to be supporting their work.

PRM’s thriving ‘Seniors for Seniors’ adoption program saves lives by matching senior dogs and cats with seniors adopters. PMR makes sure the pets find good homes without burdening their new owners. To accomplish this, PRM waives adoption fees and fully vets the senior pets so they go to their new homes in good health. Often this involves extensive veterinary care including blood panels, dental work, and even cardiology consultation. Through a recent grant from BPF, PRM was able to save 6 dogs and 6 cats from area shelters to be in their ‘Seniors for Seniors’ program. The BPF grant funded the necessary medical costs so PRM could ensure these senior pets would live out the rest of their lives in loving homes.



Dorothy was among the 12 that literally got a second chance at life. Dorothy was found wandering the streets of downtown Baltimore as a stray. She was emaciated, had matted fur with infected skin wounds, and a mouthful of rotted teeth when she arrived at the local animal shelter. She had never been spayed, her nails were grown into her skin and she had severe intestinal distress. Like many seniors, she was labeled ‘rescue only’ because of the expensive costs for the shelter to make her adoptable. And with no rescue stepping forward to take Dorothy in, the shelter scheduled her euthanasia. Fortunately for Dorothy, a shelter worker who had grown fond of her called PRM to help.



Literally hours before her scheduled euthanasia, Dorothy was pulled from the shelter and rushed to PRM’s veterinarian. She was hospitalized overnight, received IV fluids, and the following day had a full-mouth extraction with filler inserted in her jaw where bone had eroded. She was placed in foster care while she regained strength before being spayed. After three months of recovery in foster care, Dorothy was adopted by a caring couple through ‘Seniors for Seniors’. Since then, Dorothy has brought much love and joy into her owners’ lives and is finally getting the care she always deserved. Thank you Pet Rescue of Maryland for finding homes for special senior friends!!

Dorothy with her new family.

Dorothy with her new family.

EMPTY THE SHELTERS is Back, and it’s Bigger and Better!

BISSELL Pet Foundation wants YOU to be the first to know our really great news. We are excited to announce our next record-breaking EMPTY THE SHELTERS event! On Saturday, October 22, BPF will pay for all adoption fees at 51 locations across Michigan! This will be an amazing day for rescued pets across the state and a huge opportunity to build awareness for the importance of adoption.


BPF’s EMPTY THE SHELTERS (ETS) event in May 2016 helped 605 pets from 24 shelters in Michigan find their forever homes.  It was an incredible day for all involved, but we knew we could do something even bigger. We expect 1200 pets will go to forever homes and finally get the second chance they deserve on October 22nd.

At BISSELL Pet Foundation, our ultimate goal is to help every pet find a loving home, so adoption is central to our mission. The screening protocol is the same as any other day to ensure the pets will be cared for properly.  And to further make sure the pets and pet owners get off to a great start, BPF will be thanking adopting families with the gift of its newly-released AdoptBox™. Each AdoptBox is stocked with toys and treats for dogs or cats, an ID tag, collar, leash, and BISSELL cleaning products. A wellness booklet outlines the best care and keeping of pets in regards to veterinarian visits, vaccines and preventative medicine.  Additionally, a “Gotcha Day” certificate will forever commemorate the special day you took home your new best friend. (AdoptBoxes vary and will be distributed while supplies last at each location, so get there early!)


Adoption is life-changing—not just for the pets, but for the pet owner too. If you live in or near Michigan, check out the participating organizations on the link below and consider adding another furry friend to your family!  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.  What could be better?!

Wherever you live, we hope you will encourage your friends and family to visit a local shelter or rescue and choose adoption first.  Let’s empty the shelters!


Calgary Humane Society and BPF Provide Needed Aid for Pets and their Owners during Fort McMurray Wildfire

In times of crisis, our partners consistently step up to save pets from dangerous natural disasters.  For approximately three months, the 2016 Fort McMurray fire in Alberta, Canada raged out of control, destroying more than 2000 homes and buildings and forcing an unprecedented evacuation.  Thousands of people were forced to escape, many unable to return to their homes, leaving thousands of pets in peril.  Neighboring Calgary Humane Society (CHS) made itself available to help in any way possible and used a $10,000 BISSELL Pet Foundation grant to provide emergency boarding and care for hundreds of pets until they could be reunited with their owners.

Pet owners were desperate and sad. Many evacuees could not return to their homes from work to get their family pets.  They had to hope and pray for the best that they might be reunited one day. Even the Fort McMurray SPCA had to be evacuated, leaving the nearby Alberta SPCA overwhelmed and in need of support.  Fortunately, CHS became involved, acting as much more than a shelter.

Marty Pants

Marty Pants

Marty Pants and his owner are grateful to be reunited by CHS.  Marty’s owner had been at work and attempted to return to retrieve her beloved cat, but the fires prevented her from driving into her neighborhood.  As a result, she tried to enter on foot to rescue Marty, but the police stopped her.  They attempted to escort her to her car, but it had been engulfed in smoke and was unable to be located.  Now without a home, car or cat, she was forced to go to a shelter knowing that Marty was in grave danger. Her prayers were answered as Marty later made his way to CHS where he was receiving loving care as he returned to health.  CHS kept Marty while his owner pieced her life back together to find a place for them to live.  Marty’s owner visited daily in the serenity room, giving cuddles and spending time that allowed them both to heal.



Buddy and Trigger

Many other owners and pets helped by CHS weren’t separated, but the evacuation left the pet owners unable to keep their pets with them for a short period of time.  CHS welcomed these pets into their boarding facilities with kindness and affection.  Pets like Buddy, TrIgger and Sophie were greeted with kisses and hugs and even placed with foster families, sometimes for months, while the pet owners regrouped and relocated.



In this time of unimaginable trauma, CHS provided exceptional care and comfort to both humans and pets.  They went outside of the scope of their normal work to ease the suffering of all involved.  CHS set a remarkable example and BISSELL Pet Foundation is so proud to support them.

KC Pet Project spreads the Christmas in July spirit!

When Kansas City Pet Project received $1000 from BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Christmas in July”, they decided to make it Christmas in July for over 40 cats in need! KC Pet Project used the funds to support a ‘Pick Your Price’ promotion during their “Love is Special” cat adoption event which took place at 8 locations over several weeks. The event focused on harder-to-place cats including FIV/FeLV positive cats, special needs cats and senior cats. The event highlighted pets that had been with KC Pet Project for an extended time to show the general public that these struggling cats deserve homes just as much as healthy cats and kittens. Every day a different cat was featured on KC Pet Project’s Facebook page displaying their beautiful markings, sweet faces and describing their loving and playful personalities. These cats are irresistible and have so much love to give!

Cat-Special-flyer-web Cloudy is the face of “Love is Special”. Thirteen-year-old Cloudy was surrendered to KC Pet Project when her owner’s health prevented her continued care. Cloudy immediately started showing stress when she arrived at the shelter, which is not uncommon for older surrendered cats. The staff worked hard and spent a great deal of time over many months to boost Cloudy’s confidence and make her feel loved. She eventually became a free roamer in the adoptable cat room, although still preferring to keep mostly to herself. During “Love is Special”, KC Pet Project chose Cloudy’s picture for all the promotional materials. She was a perfect example of the type of cat that needed a special home. Soon after, a man and his son found easy-going Cloudy and immediately fell in love with her. Cloudy is now happily placed in her forever home.



The BISSELL Pet Foundation grant helped with needed medical care for the cats in the event. Some required diabetes medicine, antibiotics, spay/neuter surgery, and more to help prepare them for adoption. The funding also helped to underwrite the normal adoption fees. During the “Pick Your Price” event, most families paid a lower amount than the standard adoption fee of $50 for adult cats. The BPF grant allowed families to set aside money for other needs that their new family member might require.
KC Pet Project knows that the best place for pets is in a loving home. They do everything possible to shorten a pet’s stay in the shelter and to find homes for pets who need a little extra attention. Everyone who opens their hearts to adoption receives so much in return, but those who take on a special needs pet find that the reward can be even greater. We encourage you to seek out the dog or cat in the shelter that others might overlook. KC Pet Project showed their community how truly special those pets are and we are glad to help them make a difference.

Congratulations to our 2016 “Christmas in July” Partner Winners!

Beaver County Humane Society
Humane Society of Pulaski County
Living Free Animal Sanctuary
Missing Bella Inc.
Pets In Need of Greater Cincinnati
Rusty’s Angel Sanctuary
Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance