As it turned out, each facility ended up with a flurry of activity, combining to adopt out 100-plus animals that day.
Because of that success, the two organizations decided to purposefully hold events simultaneously. And thanks to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, adoptions at both will be free for one day, this Saturday. BPF is sponsoring 100 percent of the adoption fees at both facilities. In addition, BISSELL Homecare, Inc., will give a cleaning product to every family that adopts a new pet during “Adoption Day Grand Rapids.”
The Kent County Animal Shelter will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, while the Humane Society of West Michigan’s event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In place of adoption fees, families are asked to bring in donations of canned pet food or new blankets. Those adopting dogs will be required to purchase a Kent County dog license, which costs $12.
“We work to fund programs that will make the biggest difference for the millions of homeless pets available for adoption,” Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation, said in a news release. “Research has shown that free adoptions greatly reduce euthanasia rates by raising awareness for pets available in shelters.”
KCAS and HSWM are west Michigan’s two largest shelters and frequently collaborate, often via social media promotion, to help find homes for shelter animals here.
“They are all our animals” said Trudy Ender, executive director of the Humane Society of West Michigan, said in the release. “By working harmoniously with our county shelter, we can make a significant difference for pets in the community.”
Carly Luttmann, program supervisor at KCAS, said she’s working to bring in dogs from other area rescues to help fill the need she anticipates Saturday. Luttmann said the shelter currently has about 20 dogs available, and she hopes to have 30 to 35 on hand this weekend.
“I’d like to do 50 (animal adoptions),” Luttmann said. “We have about 20 to 30 cats right now but we under 20 dogs so I’ll be concentrating on transferring in dogs from some municipal agencies.”
Luttmann said while the goal is to adopt out as many animals as possible on Saturday, the bigger picture goal is to make potential adopters aware of the two facilities and the animals available.
“Our biggest goal is to raise awareness of pet adoption in our community,” Luttmann said. “Between us and Humane Society of West Michigan, we have lots of the animals available in our community. We want to get people out and into our facilities so they can see they’re good places to view animals. We have clean, well-taken care of facilities with nice animals in need of homes.”
Those planning to head to either KCAS or HSWM (or both) should plan ahead by filling out and sending in an application ahead of time. The administrative work to process applications is best done on weekdays, ahead of Saturday’s event. Renters hoping to adopt will have to have approval from their landlord, and calls to veterinarian offices for previous pets’ records are necessary.
“We want people to be prepared so when they come in, everything is ready to be approved and we won’t have to go to the next person (for a potential adopted animal),” Luttmann said.
Applications for the Kent County Animal Shelter can be found here. To fill out an application for the Humane Society of West Michigan, click here.