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Because Every Homeless Pet Deserves a Second Chance

Every year, millions of lost and unwanted pets find themselves in shelters and rescues across the United States. The burden of care for these pets often rests heavily on the shoulders of the municipal animal shelters in our communities. It is not the fault of the shelters that so many animals face homelessness, but they are the ones tasked with fixing the problem. Sadly, nearly half of the animals abandoned at shelters face certain death because of the lack of resources available to care for these pets in need. That is why we exist. The mission of the BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF) is to support the animal welfare organizations that give their hearts and souls to address the pet overpopulation crisis, so more pets have a second chance to understand the love of a family.

Gary, Indiana is a community devastated by severe economic downturn in the area over the past few decades, and the City has been carrying the homeless pet burden for their community with almost no resources. The only municipal shelter facility in the City is nearly a century old. Overburdened and understaffed, it could neither provide the necessary care for the animals it received nor support an adoption program to open up much-needed space in the shelter. The only hope for an animal entering this shelter was that a rescue group would save him or her and provide desperately needed care until hopefully being placed in a forever home. This small hope was the only ray of light, until now.

After fully understanding the dire need facing the Gary Animal Shelter, we reached out to our trusted partner, Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), for assistance in creating a plan of action for the City. Together, we approached the City of Gary to offer a full shelter assessment, performed by ARC and funded by BPF. The City was thrilled to receive our assistance, and we moved forward as soon as possible, knowing that the sooner an assessment was done, the sooner we could begin to help the animals there.

“We are so glad that through our connections in this area the BISSELL Pet Foundation was able to recognize the huge need facing the homeless pets of Gary. We are incredibly thankful for ARC’s willingness to help us create life-saving change for the animals of this community. Together, we are providing hope for these lost, abandoned and abused pets.” Cathy Bissell – Founder, BISSELL Pet Foundation

Following the assessment, we joined ARC in recommending that the City of Gary utilize its current shelter staff to maintain animal control services for the public, but sheltering and placement of pets be handled by another facility capable of providing the highest standard of care for the animals. We are ecstatic to report that because of BPF and ARC’s work, care for the over 1,600 pets received by the Gary Animal Shelter each year will be transferred to the Humane Society Calumet Area (HSCA). HSCA is a progressive leader in animal welfare in Northwest Indiana. In addition to providing safe and adequate housing for these animals, they can also provide enrichment, behavioral modification and veterinary care to prepare them for a new, loving home. What a difference this will make for the homeless animals of Gary!

We believe all homeless pets deserve a second chance, which is why we stepped up to champion the homeless pets of Gary. BPF is constantly assessing the best ways to make the largest impact on the homeless pet population through our funding, and completely altering the outcome for EVERY homeless pet in the City of Gary, exemplifies our efforts to make a BIG difference. Sadly, our mission is wide spread, and the animals of Gary are not alone in their need. Please consider a gift to help save lives across the country. Every penny and every day counts. With your help, we can continue to make a big difference for pets in need!