“Empty the Shelters” pet adoption event coming in October

Sep 25, 2023, 12:00 PM

Dundee, a 4-year-old American pit bull mix, peers through his kennel at Salt Lake County Animal Ser...

Dundee, a 4-year-old American pit bull mix, peers through his kennel at Salt Lake County Animal Services in Millcreek. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Bissell Pet Foundation has partnered with a number of Utah’s animal shelters to host its Fall National “Empty the Shelters” event. The nationwide reduced-fee pet adoption event is meant to combat spikes in post-pandemic euthanasia rates. 

According to Bissell Pet Foundation, the following Utah animal shelters will be participating in the pet adoption event:

  • Animal Care of Davis County
  • Heber Valley Animal Services 
  • Nuzzles & Co. Pet Rescue and Adoption 
  • Weber County Animal Services
  • West Valley City Animal Shelter 
  • Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab

The Bissell Pet Foundation will sponsor reduced-fee pet adoptions at over 345 shelters across 42 states. The event will run from October 1 to October 15. 

“Our nation’s animal shelters are facing an overcrowding crisis unlike anything we have experienced in more than a decade. The devastating increase in owner surrenders and stray intakes has left tens of thousands of socialized, house-trained, and leash-trained pets desperate to find a home,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of Bissell Pet Foundation.

The press release said that not every shelter will be participating for the duration of the event. Those interested in adopting should visit the Bissell Pet Foundation‘s “Empty the Shelters” website to confirm details for their nearest participating shelter. 

Pet adoption crisis

According to the Bissell Pet Foundation, the nation’s animal shelters are in crisis. An uptick in owner surrenders and stray intakes has caused shelters to become overfilled. 

Vox reported that millions of Americans adopted pets during the early days of the pandemic when they were stuck at home. However, since 2021, adoptions have decreased again. 

Shelters across the U.S. began to fill back up in 2021 as people began leaving their houses again. Many shelters have reached capacity, forcing an increase in pets euthanized due to a lack of space and staffing at shelters. 

Bissell Pet Foundation said its “Empty the Shelters” event is the largest funded adoption event in the nation. Nearly 190,000 pets have found homes across the U.S. since it began in 2016. 

Those who are unable to adopt can donate or foster a pet. 

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“Empty the Shelters” pet adoption event coming in October