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Record-Setting Number of Pets Find Homes through BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than 29,000 shelter pets were impacted through adoption and transport during the nation’s largest funded adoption event, BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters.” The Foundation’s national shelter crisis summer event was extended from one to three weeks to encourage adoption through reduced adoption fees at 282 shelters in 42 states. 

To provide additional support to shelters seeking critical relief from overcrowding and ensure as many pets as possible found homes, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsored adoption fees from July 11-31. During this event, approximately 12,104 cats and 10,061 dogs were adopted from participating shelters. An additional 7,215 pets were also saved by “Empty the Shelters”—transported thanks to newly open space—bringing the total number of pets impacted to 29,380! 

“BISSELL Pet Foundation is thrilled to have set a new impact record for our ‘Empty the Shelters’ event during a time when our shelter partners and their pets are struggling with longer stays and slower adoptions,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “We extended our event in direct response to the nationwide crisis. We knew we could save more lives with an additional two weeks of sponsorship, allowing more time for community members to visit their local shelters. We are overjoyed that thousands of pets are now in loving homes thanks to wonderful adopters.” 

Shelters across the country are experiencing unprecedented length of stay and slow adoptions for pets due to evictions and housing restrictions, lack of spay/neuter services, staffing shortages, and financial challenges brought on by inflation. BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” program provides funding to participating shelters for each pet adopted so the reduced fee of $50 or less is not a financial burden for their organization. Reduced fees generate more interest from adopters providing a much-needed boost to save lives.

“We are beyond grateful to BISSELL Pet Foundation for the largest ‘Empty the Shelters’ event to date! In just 21 days, we adopted 978 pets including 30 transferred from overcrowded partners,” said Dr. Steven R. Hansen, President and CEO of Arizona Humane Society. “Shelters are over capacity with pets that need homes, and we can’t thank BISSELL Pet Foundation enough for focusing its resources where we need it most. BISSELL Pet Foundation is the leader in adoption events, and for this we are grateful. Nobody has ever done what they are doing!” 

During the event, participating shelters from Hawaii to New York shared a continuous stream of heartwarming adoption stories. Pets of all abilities, breeds and ages received their “Gotcha Days” after being chosen by loving families. Some extra special adoption moments included pets who had been waiting months or even years for their second chance, adopters bringing home more than one pet and senior cats and dogs getting a chance to live out their Golden Years in loving homes.  

“Empty the Shelters” cannot continue growing without donor support. The foundation is seeking donations to expand to more shelters in more states. Every donation to BISSELL Pet Foundation is maximized and directly benefits pets in need. Because BISSELL Homecare Inc. is dedicated to helping pets, the company absorbs administrative costs for BISSELL Pet Foundation, enabling 100% of every contribution to fund adoptions through Empty the Shelters.

Learn more about Empty the Shelters or make a lifesaving donation by visiting bissellpetfoundation.org/ets.

About BISSELL Pet Foundation:

BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501©(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and emergency support. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with more than 5,600 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc. where every purchase saves pets. To learn more and donate, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org.

About Empty the Shelters:

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s mission to find every pet a loving home is the driving force behind “Empty the Shelters.” In 2016, BISSELL Pet Foundation created this reduced-fee adoption event to make an immediate impact on the nation’s ongoing pet homelessness problem. Since then, this event has grown to be BISSELL Pet Foundation’s most prominent program and the country’s largest funded adoption event. To date, “Empty the Shelters” has helped find homes for 137,193 pets at 512 shelters in 47 states and Canada and provided more than $7.6 million in direct funding to shelter partners to support pet adoptions. For more information, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters.

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