Skip to main content

13,504 Pets Find Loving Homes During Spring National Empty the Shelters

With a goal of finding every pet a loving home, BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Spring Empty the Shelters set a new seasonal adoption record during the May 2022 event. More than 13,500 shelter pets were adopted during this two-week event held in a record-setting 280 shelters in 45 states.

From May 2 – 15, approximately 6,035 cats and 7,469 dogs were adopted. An additional 3,653 pets were also impacted by Empty the Shelters—either adopted in the days before the event, transported in thanks to newly open space, or adopted during the event time period but not part of the promotion—bringing the impact total to 17,580! We extended Empty the Shelters to include an additional week to ensure as many pets as possible made it out of shelters and into loving homes. Shelters across the country currently face unprecedented overcrowding due to slowed adoptions and pandemic-related issues such as lack of spay/neuter services, staffing shortages, and more. BPF sponsors adoption fees, allowing participating shelters to charge $25 or less per cat or dog, which gives a needed boost to their adoption rates.

“Right now, shelters are so full, and pets are experiencing longer stays. Our partners are reporting that ‘Empty the Shelters’ is driving even more adopters into their facilities. With the decline in transport, local adoptions have become our primary lifesaving tool,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “This is an expensive program for our small foundation, but it is a proven success, and we can’t turn our backs when we know we can save thousands of lives in one event.

Our mission to find every pet a loving home is the driving force behind Empty the Shelters. In 2016, BPF created this reduced-fee adoption event—hosted at just a few Michigan shelters in the beginning—to make an immediate impact on the nation’s ongoing pet homelessness problem. Since then, this event has grown to be our most prominent program and the country’s largest funded adoption event. To date, Empty the Shelters has helped find homes for 96,068 pets and provided more than $7.6 million in direct funding to shelter partners to support pet adoptions.

Here are just a few Empty the Shelters success stories:

Male adopter holding his new catJingle, a cat who was impacted by Hurricane Ida and made her way to Big Sky CARES in Folsom, LA, found a loving home after receiving lifesaving mammary cancer surgery while in the shelter’s care.

Pip, a shepherd mix, waited 156 days at Houston Humane Society in Texas before his new family fell in love and adopted him during “Empty the Shelters.

A family from Louisiana drove seven hours to Missouri to adopt Bo the Boxer at Southeast Missouri Pets in Cape Girardeau. After searching for months for a Boxer through local shelters and rescues, they decided to expand their search to more states and were lucky enough to adopt Bo on Mother’s Day.

Lilly, a mostly blind and deaf 13-year-old Jack Russel mix, came to Sanilac County Humane Society in Carsonville, MI, after her loving owner passed away. Fortunately for Lilly, her story won the heart of her adopter after it was shared on social media. They sealed the deal and adopted her during the event!

Your support is needed now more than ever to keep Empty the Shelters going and growing. 100% of your contribution will help a shelter pet find a forever home! Give a meaningful gift today.