They’re going home.
Last Saturday, the Bissel Pet Foundation kicked off their annual “Empty the Shelters” event at 57 different shelters across Michigan, where adoption fees at these shelters were waived. With still two shelters waiting to report their final adoption results, over 1,900 cats and dogs were adopted during the event, saving new cat owners $60 and new dog owners $150. Instead, owners were only responsible for paying the licensing fee for their new friend, which ranges in price from $7 to $12 depending on the county. The nonprofit Grand Rapids based organization set a goal of 1,200 adoptions for the event, and managed to set a record for the largest one-day free adoption event in the state of Michigan’s history. Donations to the fund primarily came from PetSmart Charities and the Offield Family Foundation (a Chicago-based foundation running since 1940), as well as from helpful partner organizations and personal funding from families.
This isn’t the only adoption event in Michigan. For example, every fourth Saturday of the month, the PetSmart in Roseville, Michigan holds a pet adoption event through the Michigan Humane Society. PetSmart Charities also has four National Adoption Weekends at all their locations in the United States and Canada, each store featuring their own local adoption organizations. From their data, more than 15,000 pets find homes every adoption weekend held, on average. These events include more than cats and dogs, but also provide birds, rodents, reptiles, and more with new homes over these weekends. Most PetSmart stores also have available pets for adoption every weekend, depending on the pets that come to their stores during that week.
It may seem a bit strange that it costs so much for pets to be adopted from shelters, but there are actually several components that need to be considered before you can bring your furry (or maybe scaly or feathered) friend home. For dogs and cats, these fees include medical care expenses while they wait for a new home, as well as initial food and transportation. These costs are actually usually some pretty nice deals, too. Many shelters and rescue groups will cover the basic veterinary costs to ensure that the pet is healthy enough for a new home. These can include wellness visits, spaying/neutering procedures, and certain vaccinations and treatments (such as rabies, heartworm, and fleas and ticks). The actual costs for all of these treatments can be up to several hundred dollars, but very few shelters will actually ask that much for their adoption fee. That’s where these events come in. Through donations of other organizations, you can find a perfect pet for you, and can both bring them home that day and also don’t have to worry about any starting costs.
While this may be really cool to essentially find a new pet for a very cheap price, adding a pet to your life can be a big responsibility. Sure, they bring joy and love to their owner’s lives, but they also add a lot of new stresses to your life that need to be taken into consideration before bringing in another living creature into the mix. Certain life stresses such as marriage, divorce, moving, financial problems, death, health changes, changes in working status, and becoming pregnant/having a baby are all events that can have an effect on how well adding a pet to your life would go.
It's hard to resist those faces, though.