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Bullying Shelters is not Acceptable

I am sure many of you are aware of the large-scale placement underway for the 4,000 beagles from a Virginia testing facility. My team has brought to my attention that some shelters taking in beagles from this massive case are facing bullying for accepting this unfathomable task. Therefore, I feel compelled to speak up for the shelters.

It is essential to understand that 4,000 pets needing placement is a nationwide disaster in animal welfare. When a hurricane strikes or massive floods devastate a region, shelters from all over the country step up to take pets from the disaster zone. Shelters support their peers and work to save pets. The 4,000 beagles are no different. These souls have lived a terrible life in confinement and are now free. We must support the shelters that are making room to help.

However, the timing of this case could not be worse. Shelters are experiencing drastically increased intake for various reasons including the housing and rental crisis, as well as struggling with staff and veterinary services. Let’s face it, our nation’s shelters are fatigued beyond measure. Despite all of these challenges, shelters are finding ways to help these sweet beagles on their journey to loving homes.

If you still feel like you need to be angry because your community is struggling with an abundance of homeless pets and now beagles are in the equation, consider these facts:

  • There is an annual national demand in the US for seven to nine million dogs. The 4,000 beagles may feel like they will have significant impact on placement, but they will not.
  • BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters, our nation’s largest-funded adoption event, is just wrapping up and began before the beagle placement. In the first week alone, shelters moved 6,000 pets into loving homes. Many of the shelters now taking beagles are participating in Empty the Shelters. We expect nearly 20,000 pets will find loving homes during our Summer National event from July 11-31.
  • The beagles will move quickly into homes. They are a special situation, and the media has brought beagle lovers all over the country out to adopt!
  • The increased traffic in shelters from those interested in meeting these beagles will create “beagle collateral,” as Kat Rooks of Kentucky Humane Society is calling it. Families may come to adopt a beagle but fall in love with another dog in the shelter. Many shelters will strategically house the beagles where the community must pass by all the other shelter dogs to access them. Any positive attention on our shelters saves lives, and the data backs it up.
  • Finally, where exactly would you expect these dogs to go? Wouldn’t the best strategy be to spread them out across the country, drawing people into our shelters, and not putting the significant burden in one place (we do see you, Homeward Trails in Virginia!)

Please join BISSELL Pet Foundation in supporting our shelters, the beagles, and the enormous effort by so many. Do not allow bullying of animal shelters in your social newsfeed, taking away their platform. Show compassion for fellow shelters and rescues during this enormous time of need.

I had many beagles when I was growing up. These are wonderful family pets who are gentle and love to communicate. If you are looking for a dog that is curious, intelligent and enjoys exercising, please consider a beagle.

Thank you to each and every organization that took in beagles. What an incredible effort to save lives!

Until every pet has a home,