Three-year old Raymond (top) awaits you at True Friends Animal Welfare Center in Montrose. He is a real sweetheart but needs and experienced owner without kids or pets to learn some manners. He is one of many dogs and cats, like three-year old Peter (above), currently available for adoption for which the Bissell Pet Foundation will cover a good portion of the bill through May 17.
Localized from submitted information
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 is once again aiming to Empty the Shelters across the country, by appointment only, starting Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 17.
More than 120 organizations in 32 states are participating, including True Friends Animal Welfare Center in Montrose, Susquehanna County.
Marci Zeiler, intake and adoption coordinator at True Friends is happy that people have both the time and interest to take in new cats and dogs. The shelter in Montrose is low on dogs at the moment, but that’s not a bad thing, Zeiler insists.
“We don’t want to have dogs in shelters. We want them to have homes,” she said of the remaining canines that shelter staff refer to as the quirky kids. “Some of them have special needs, like preferring a home without kids or cats, and need a little more TLC. It doesn’t mean they deserve a home any less.”
More importantly, True Friends is participating in the Bissell promotion for the sake of their cats, of which they always have plenty. “We want to bring attention to them while people are home and have time for the cats to get used to them before they go back to work,” Zeiler related.
She understands also that budgets for many families are strained at the moment, so she is hoping that the Bissell offer will help get cats and dogs into loving homes where they will be happy long after the coronavirus pandemic has passed. “We’re happy that people are turning to animals in this time of crisis,” Zeiler stated.
Families and individuals can adopt a pet from one of the 120+ participating organizations for $25 and BPF will sponsor the remainder of the adoption fee. Plus, for one week following this Empty the Shelters promotion, BPF will also cover the same cost for new foster families who fall in love and decide to adopt their pets. All adoptions will be facilitated by appointment only to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Shelters are struggling with decreased foot traffic and fewer available staff and volunteers to care for their animals. As vulnerable populations become ill, pets inevitably will be surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. The combined impact is devastating for those trying to keep pets alive. BPF is encouraging prospective pet parents to consider adopting from their local shelter or rescue first.
“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.”
Adoptable pets can be found on shelter websites or Facebook pages. Once an online application is submitted for a pet and approved, Zeiler explained, shelter staff will work with potential adopters to schedule an in-person appointment with safe distancing in mind.
If you’re unable to adopt, please consider supporting BPF’s upcoming virtual walkathon, Walktail, “the Best DOG-GONE Walk in the Country,” which will raise critical funds for shelters and the animals in their care. This is essential to the mission to end pet homelessness amidst the cancellation of scheduled fundraising events due to COVID-19.
True Friends Animal Welfare Center can be reached at 570-278-1228 for any additional questions.
About BISSELL Pet Foundation:
BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501©(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and emergency support. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with over 5,000 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org.