National “Empty the Shelters” event offering free pet adoption

National “Empty the Shelters” event offering free pet adoption

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-Photo courtesy of Bissell Pet Foundation.

The Bissell Pet Foundation is hosting its first national Empty the Shelters event on Sat., May 5 at 111 locations nationwide.

In Michigan, there are 66 shelters and rescues participating in the event. The Bissell Pet Foundation will cover pet adoption fees nationwide. Families who adopt on during Empty the Shelters will receive an AdoptBox which includes pet food, treats, toys and coupons for new pet owners.

Some Grand Rapids shelters require pre-approval prior to the event. For pre-approval, those hoping to adopt will be required to fill out an application. For a list of participating Michigan animal shelters and their pre-approval or application requirements visit the Bissell Pet Foundation Empty the Shelters page. Some shelters have a deadline to receive adoption applications prior to the event.

Cathy Bissell, founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation, explains the importance of finding shelter animals permanent homes.

“Getting animals out of shelters and into homes is critical,” Bissell said in a press release. “Empty the Shelters does just that by encouraging people to choose adoption first.”

The Empty the Shelters event was first held in 2016 in Michigan to help find homes for Michigan’s homeless pets in shelters. The first Empty the Shelters event helped home over 600 pets in one day. This year marks the third annual Empty the Shelters event, but this year will be the first nationwide adoption event.

“This event will give national attention to the importance of adoption,” Bissell said. “May 5 will be our largest Empty the Shelters event to date, and we expect it to have a significant impact beyond the states participating.”

The Bissell Pet Foundation is a Grand Rapids-based company founded by Cathy Bissell in 2011. Bissell founded the nonprofit after adopting Bear, her first rescued dog. Bissell’s love of animals and her desire to find them homes sparked the idea to open the Bissell Pet Foundation in Grand Rapids.

Since it began, the Bissell Pet Foundation has helped find homes for more than 136,000 animals, according to their website.

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