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Empty the Shelters: Teamwork is the Dreamwork!

We are still pinching ourselves. 3,207 pets were adopted on May 5 making room for 3,207 pets in need to take their places in shelters and get a second chance. 6,414 lives saved in just one day! There is so much we want to share with you about our first national Empty the Shelters (ETS)!


Breakdown by state: 

Caring and sharing:  BPF couldn’t make this happen this without help from thousands of people, most of whom we will never know. The shelter workers, foster parents and volunteers dedicate their lives to saving pets. The adopters selflessly open their homes to a soul whose past they will never know but whose future they promise to make bright. Our friends on social media share our posts and help us get the word out to adopt, not shop. Donors believe in our mission, supporting us, so we can do more. Others behind the scenes do their special part. This is true teamwork. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Rescue to the rescue:  So many adopters shared with us that they have been grieving the loss of a pet, or even a loved one, and know that rescuing a pet will rescue them back. Pets are looking to give love and be loved…and so are the adopters!

The early bird gets the worm…and the cat and the dog:  Families visited their local shelters in the days leading up to ETS and didn’t want to risk losing the pet of their dreams they had just met. They paid the adoption fee instead of waiting for the free event. These adoptions aren’t part of our count but based on reports from our partners, hundreds of pets (possibly thousands!) were adopted before May 5 because of the event’s publicity.

You complete me:  Amazing people came out to find a pet who would complete their family. Maybe they already had a pet or two, but they opened their hearts and minds to save another life and multiply the love in their home. With help from their shelter’s staff, families carefully selected the right pet to fit their personalities, their lifestyles, and their current pets to ensure a happily ever after.

It’s not over until every pet has a home:  While we are thrilled with the results of ETS and will be sharing lots of happy tails with you, some pets did not find their forever homes. Many animals are still waiting to be loved. There are wonderful cats and dogs of every size and breed in our nation’s shelters, where we encourage you to go find the pet of your dreams!


We want to give a big thank you to BISSELL whose generous financial support helped make ETS possible. When you purchase a BISSELL pet product, up to $10 is donated to BISSELL Pet Foundation to help save the life of a pet. #BuyBISSELLSavePets

Follow us on social media to see ETS happy tails!