Pet adoptions hit record during Empty The Shelters event

Bissell Pet Foundation founder: 'Landmark day in the animal welfare world'

Empty the Shelters adoption event
A dog peers out of a kennel during the Empty The Shelters event on Oct. 22, 2016. (Bissell Pet Foundation)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 2,000 pets have new homes in a record-setting adoption event sponsored by the Bissell Pet Foundation.

The organization says at least 1,900 animals statewide found forever families during Saturday’s Empty The Shelters event, which was also supported by PetSmart Charities and The Offield Family Foundation.  That’s 700 more adoptions than the Bissell Pet Foundation had hoped for.

All adoption fees were waived as part of the one-day event, which was the largest free adoption event in Michigan, with 57 shelters participating, including 19 in West Michigan. Bissell said 133 pets found a home at their headquarters alone.

In a Monday news release, Bissell Pet Foundation founder Cathy Bissell called it a “landmark day in the animal welfare world,” with countless lives saved.

New owners who participated in Empty The Shelters day only paid pet licensing fees. As part of the program, they also received a free pet kit with their new companion.

While no plans are concrete, a spokeswoman for Bissell Pet Foundation said the organization plans to empty out shelters again next year.