BISSELL Pet Foundation’s 'Empty the Shelters'

More than 28,000 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 relief from overcrowding and to ensure as many pets as possible found homes, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsored adoption fees from July 11-31. During this event, 11,774 cats and 9,808 dogs were adopted. Those adoptions created room for an additional 6,539 pets to be transported to the newly open spaces, bringing the total number of pets impacted to 28,121.

"We extended our event in direct response to the nationwide crisis," said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. "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. Factors include evictions and housing restrictions, lack of spay/neuter services, staffing shortages, and financial challenges due to inflation. The “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.

“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.”

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 special adoption moments included pets who had waited months or years for their chance, more than one pet adopted by families, and senior cats and dogs getting a chance to live out their golden years in loving homes.