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10 Thing to Consider Before Empty the Shelters

This Saturday, October 6th is BPF’s second, national-scale Empty the Shelters adoption event. You know what that means…BISSELL Pet Foundation is paying the adoption fees at over 100 participating shelter/rescue organizations across America.

Looking for a forever friend? Now’s the perfect time to adopt. We hope you’re just as excited as the BPF team is to watch hundreds of pets find homes this weekend! If you’re ready to save a life and choose adoption, please make sure you are fully prepared prior to ETS.

The majority of ETS participants have a pre-approval process in place. We want the day to go as smoothly as 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 10 things to consider before ETS.


1. Get Pre-approved Before Saturday

Some shelters and rescues will require approved adoption applications before October 6. Please check your shelter’s requirements on our ETS page.

Getting pre-approved will allow you to get a sneak peak of the pets that will be available for adoption the day of ETS.

If you connect with a pet who you know you can’t live without, don’t wait! We recommend paying the adoption fee that day, so your special friend doesn’t go home with someone else before the event! Another perk of pre-approval is that you may be able to enter the shelter earlier than the general public.


2. Bring your ID

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


3. Bring your 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 the animal must be noted as some apartments/landlords will not allow specific dog breeds or may not allow pets at all. The intent behind this is to not adopt out an animal who will end up getting returned because of these renting restrictions.

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.


4. Make Sure all Family Members are Present

Since the pet you’re adopting will become a part of your family, it is important to make sure everyone in your home is onboard with the decision to love/care for a new pet. Plus, you want to make sure everyone in your home gets along with the pet.


5. Provide 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.


6. Purchase a 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.


7. Hold Meet-and-Greet with Existing Pets in Your Home

Similar to #4, you want to ensure that your new pet will get along with everyone in your home!


8. Identify Your Veterinarian

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.


9. Provide Personal References

These are the people that know you and your/your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you’re constantly busy and never home, maybe these references would suggest pet ownership is not the best option at this time.


10. Do Your Homework

Visit our Empty the Shelters page 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.