Animal news

Weekend event will help Dallas empty its crowded animal shelter

Weekend event will help Dallas empty its crowded animal shelter

puppy kitten biting
Bring a puppy, kitten, or both home this weekend for as little as $25. Courtesy photo

A new-to-Dallas event will allow residents to adopt pets and help make room at the city's animal shelter.

Called Empty the Shelters, it takes place July 10-12 and is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the Bissell Pet Foundation. The organization is working with animal shelters across Texas to reduce adoption fees on cats and dogs; in some cases, the fees will be as low as $25.

In the Dallas area, the only participating shelter will be Dallas Animal Services.

This is not the first "clear the shelter" type event. Since 2014, an annual event called Clear the Shelters takes place every August, and is hosted at numerous shelters across North Texas. Clear the Shelters is sponsored by NBC, the national news network, and adoptions on that day are free.

With Empty the Shelters, Bissell takes a more hands-on approach, including a follow-up survey to adopters, a spokesperson says.

The event is timed to follow 4th of July, says Cathy Bissell, founder of the Bissell Pet foundation.

"More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year," Bissell says in a statement. "The increase in shelter intake puts pressure on our partners, who are already working with limited staff and funding due to COVID-19. The best way for us to support them is to help their pets find loving homes."

Those interested in adopting a pet can visit Bissell's Empty the Shelters site for details, and check DAS' website for information on appointments and operating hours. All animals included in the Empty the Shelters promotion will be microchipped and spayed/neutered.

This weekend's event will also honor foster-to-adopt cases, IE if you're willing to foster first and then decide to adopt, a discount can be applied up to one week after the event.

Since the program began in Michigan in 2016, Empty the Shelters has found homes for 37,394 pets and counting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 6,231 pets were adopted during two previous Empty the Shelters events.