If there’s a silver lining in the wake of the pandemic, it’s the increase in adoptions and foster families stepping up to take a pet into their home at a time when it’s needed the most. After successfully finding forever homes for 3,325 pets in the past month, BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF) is aiming to “Empty the Shelters” across the country again, starting on Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 17.
The combined impact of decreased foot traffic, fewer available staff and volunteers, and owners needing to surrender their animals because they have become ill, has put a strain on shelters throughout the country and the North Shore.
“As a foundation, we pivoted quickly to help ensure adoptions continue,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “I am extremely proud of our incredible shelter partners who are adapting to this new norm of virtual visits, online paperwork, and adoptions facilitated by appointment only.”
Two of the more than 120 participating shelters are right in your backyard— Heartland Animal Shelter in Northbrook, and Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods. Adoptable pets can be found on shelter websites or Facebook pages. Once an online application is submitted for a pet, shelter staff will work with potential adopters to schedule an in-person appointment with social distancing in mind. To encourage adoption, BPF has committed to cover any remaining adoption fees over $25 at participating shelters. Better yet, even if you are unsure of adoption, the foundation is extending the Empty the Shelters promotion until May 24 for new foster families who fall in love and decide to adopt the pets they foster.
However, if you’re unable to adopt but would like help, BPF is hosting an upcoming virtual walk – athon, Walktail, “the Best DOGGONE Walk in the Country,” which will raise critical funds for shelters and the animals in their care.
For more information, or to view all participating locations, visit bissellpetfoundation.org/ets