BISSELL Pet Foundation announces first nationwide Empty the Shelters free adoption day, Greenbrier Humane Society included

After successfully placing nearly 10,000 cats and dogs in loving homes through nine free adoption events in the last 24 months, BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF) announced its next Empty the Shelters (ETS) event will take place in 13 states on May 5.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based nonprofit will pay all adoption fees at 112 shelters and rescue organizations including Greenbrier Humane Society and Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association in West Virginia. BPF will thank families for choosing adoption by providing a leash, collar, valuable wellness information and coupons for new pet owners, while supplies last.

“We are a small organization doing our best to give every pet a loving home,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Getting animals out of shelters and into homes is critical. Empty the Shelters does just that by encouraging people to choose adoption first.”

Nationwide, approximately 2.7 million pets are euthanized each year because they can’t find homes. Currently, only 23 percent of dogs and 31 percent of cats in family homes come from an animal shelter or humane society. BPF’s events have demonstrated that waiving fees motivates quality adopters. Surveys from previous ETS events found 99.4 percent of adopters have already, or plan to, recommend adoption to family and friends; 52 percent of adopters were first-time adopters.

“This event will give national attention to the importance of adoption,” continued Bissell. “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.”

Shelters and rescues taking part in ETS are required to partner with other animal welfare organizations to help fill the empty spaces once pets have been adopted. Families adopting at ETS will be required to pay licensing fees for their pet – costs may vary by county. Standard adoption requirements will apply. Adopters are encouraged to review those requirements prior to May 5.

The Greenbrier Humane Society says, “We welcome everyone and we cannot wait to help you find the perfect addition to your family! Here are some tips to be prepared for the Empty the Shelter Event:

  1. Bring your ID.
  2. If you have a dog at home, please bring your dog with you. We require a meet and greet with all dog adoptions and we will not hold an animal for you to go and get your dog.
  3. If you rent we must have a letter on a letterhead from your landlord, stating that you are allowed pets and the specific pet size you are allowed to have.”

This year, BPF is appealing to people to choose adoption and find the pet of their dreams or to help give the gift of a family to a pet through a donation. 100% of donations for the event will fund adoption fees for homeless pets in the 13 participating states. For more information about Empty the Shelters, including a list of participating shelters and rescue organizations, and to donate, please visit

BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc. Up to $10 for every pet product purchased helps fund the foundation’s mission.

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