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“Empty the Shelters” event across Alabama helping pets find forever homes for the holidays


Animal shelters across Alabama are working to find pets in the state forever homes this holiday season. Six of these organizations are participating in the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Holiday Hope: Empty the Shelters” event. The national animal welfare organization is dedicated to ending pet homelessness.

The adoption event spans 380 participating organizations in 43 states, including in the Yellowhammer State. From now until December 17, adoptees can bring home a fully vaccinated, microchipped, spayed or neutered cat or dog for $50 or less. All interested adopters are required to go through the participating organization’s adoption process to ensure they are the best match for the pet. 

In a press release, the BISSELL Pet Foundation said the adoption event comes as more animal shelters experience unprecedented overcrowding due to increased intakes and slowed adoptions. This also comes as post-pandemic euthanasia rates spike due to the lack of space.

Brittany Schlacter is the Marketing and PR Specialist for the BISSELL Pet Foundation. She said adoptees get just as much out of bringing home a furry friend as the adopted pets.

“These events really are transformative, for not only animal shelters and saving the lives of pets and reducing the number of animals that are in the shelter, but they're also raising awareness for adoption,” she explained. “And really bringing some added attention to the fact that there are just so many pets in this country that are waiting for loving homes.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event is reportedly the largest funded adoption event in the country. The effort has helped more than 204,000 pets find loving homes since 2016, according to the organization. During BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” quarterly national events, an average of 1,225 pets are adopted daily.

"Our nation's animal shelters need your help as they face 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 deserving pets desperate to find a home," said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation, in a press release. "Our event is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community by saving a life and creating space to give another homeless pet a chance this holiday season."

Alabama shelters participating in the “Holiday Hope: Empty the Shelters” include:

--Greater Birmingham Humane Society

--Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, Inc.

--PURRfect Partners of Mobile

--Florence Lauderdale Animal Services

--HASRA Inc (Heart of Alabama Save Rescue Adopt)

--Lee County Humane Society

Although pets can feel like a gift in terms of the joy they bring to life, BISSELL Pet Foundation reminds prospective pet parents that adopting a pet during the holidays is a lifelong commitment. To find a participating organization near you or to donate to support “Empty the Shelters,” click here.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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