WEST MICHIGAN. — Pet adoptions were way up in 2020! That good news is due in no small part to the work of groups like the BISSELL Pet Foundation, who helped facilitate about 8,000 more adoptions in 2020 than in the year prior.
Cathy Bissell started the BISSELL Pet Foundation in 2011 to help facilitate a variety of services that benefit pets and their well being.
As we near the 1 year mark since the start of the pandemic, FOX 17 wanted to look back at some of the brighter moments of the last 12 months.
Well, there were plenty of bright moments for the world of pet adoption in 2020.
For instance, the BISSELL Pet Foundation helped make about 8,000 more adoptions happen in 2020 than in the year prior.
"Last year was a crazy year," Bissell told FOX 17 Monday afternoon.
“We're always pivoting and dealing with all sorts of things at the foundation. I kind of pride ourselves on being small because we can do that.”
When you donate to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, that money is used to fund and facilitate services at the 5,000 different partner shelter organizations— adoption events, spay and neutering programs, micro chipping, and others.
Another bright spot for pets in 2020— there were more cats adopted out than dogs, which is not typical. Bissell says cats and dogs are usually adopted out at about the same rate.
"People are always like, you're always talking about the dogs, but really, the cats go out in equal numbers," Bissell said Monday.
"But during COVID, people adopted 2 cats, instead of just 1… so more cats went out than dogs.”
This is noteworthy, as we often see shelters in West Michigan reach capacity in the spring, unable to take in more cats.
While the BISSELL Pet Foundation was still able to help hold several events, such as their Empty the Shelter adoption events, they did alter their approach.
“We continued our adoption events, but we did them a little bit differently. We extended them, and we did them by pre-approval applications," Bissell told FOX 17 Monday.
“And we can then extend everything a little bit longer than we had in the past, so instead of the events being a day, they can be 3 weeks, they can be a week.”
The foundation is always looking for donations, but Bissell says there are always other ways to help support animals in your area.
"The best way to get involved, honestly, is to get out to a shelter near you, and check out the animals because they need love," Bissell said.
"It has to touch their hearts, and the only way it touches is if you get involved, and it's never too late to get involved."