Leaving with a smile: ‘Empty the Shelters’ events held across Michigan

Posted at 8:06 PM, Oct 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-14 23:25:48-04

WEST MICHIGAN -- It was a record setting day for animal shelters across the state on Saturday.

It was another "Empty the Shelters" day as the Bissell Pet Foundation waived adoption fees at more than 75 shelters and rescue organizations statewide. Officials say 2,103 pets were adopted as part of the effort, which is a new record.

Kim Thomas is the Media Communications Coordinator for the Humane Society of West Michigan.

“Everyone is very excited, everyone’s in a good mood," said Thomas. "They’re getting a new family member so everyone is leaving with a big smile. “

Shelters across the state worked to find every single animal a home over the weekend.

“By clearing the shelters, we make room for new pets to move into these non-kill shelters," said Erica Cederquist, of the Bissell Pet Foundation. "So, every pet adopted actually saves two lives so it’s very important for the pets and it’s very important for the community.”

Brian Peterson took part in the event and adopted a new pet to take home.

When you’re given the opportunity like this to give an animal like this a good home," Peterson said."That’s what I like to see is the one that need the homes to take the good homes and be given a good life.”

"This is awesome that Bissell does this," said Lori. "I think it was meant to be.”

According to a press release from the Bissell Pet Foundation, nationwide, approximately 2.7 million pets are euthanized yearly because they are unable to find homes. "Empty the Shelters" combats this problem by increasing adoption rates. The organization says 96.6% of adopters reported pets remained in their new homes; 52% of adopters were first-time adopters; 99.4% of adopters have already or plan to recommend adoption to their friends or family.