BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Animal Incident Management (AIM) team deployed to Missouri in the first days of October to support National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) with a backlog of commercial breeder surrenders and a shutdown. The team prepped over 170 dogs for transport to our incredible shelter partners. Like the pets waiting in our nation’s animal shelters, these dogs were unwanted without any place to go. Most were small dogs and moving them into animal shelters drives public interest in adoption. Shelters that receive dogs from these cases report an uptick in adoptions of dogs already in their programs, sometimes even long-timers. It’s a win-win.
AIM exists to support animals and the people caring for them during crisis or disaster. We coordinate, facilitate and fund resources such as veterinarians, search and rescue responders, transporters, and other essentials needed to address the situation. In addition to our most recent mission with NMDR, AIM supported hundreds of dogs in September following the closure of a puppy mill in Iowa. The AIM team facilitated vet care and health certificates to prepare these dogs for transport, as well as coordinating placement and funding transport to BPF shelter partners. Additionally, following the Maui wildfires in August, AIM served as a liaison for government and private entities and assisted with search and rescue efforts. AIM also stepped in to help ACCT Philly when they had a disease outbreak requiring boots-on-the-ground support and staff training in April.
What makes AIM different from other national responders? AIM responds through our vast network of partners, allowing us to offer a broader reach and a more flexible and agile response. The backbone of the program is BPF’s National Shelter Alliance, which includes more than 60 shelters nationwide with the expertise to address both crisis and disaster. When disaster strikes (hurricane, chemical spill, flooding, tornadoes), our partner Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) takes the lead. During times of crisis (large–scale cruelty cases, disease outbreaks, shelter evacuations), BPF takes the lead. Whether BPF or ASAR is leading the charge, the focus is always on collaboration and supporting the shelters, communities and animals that need us the most.
As we continue to grow AIM’s capabilities, we are excited to welcome new mass care partners. Mass care is the component that keeps families together, focusing on human care during a disaster. The partnerships ensure all family members are covered, including the ones with paws and hooves. Animals are a vital part of our families and communities and AIM works to preserve the human–animal bond. AIM programming recognizes that keeping pets with their families provides emotional support and accelerates recovery.
Until every pet has a home,