Hundreds of pets adopted during the Empty the Shelters event

Hundreds of pets adopted during the Empty the Shelters event.

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Dozens of organizations across Michigan took part in the Empty the Shelters event thanks to a West Michigan non-profit working to reduce the number of animals in shelters.

People filed through the SPCA of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo with the hopes of finding that perfect pet.

Katie Timber, executive director at the SPCA of Southwest Michigan, said, “We had people line up last night, around 7 o'clock. Several hundred people showed for today. We adopted out all of our cats. We have one dog left, apparently, but it looks like she's going to go.”

As many as 300 people showed up to the SPCA of Southwest Michigan for the Empty the Shelters event, but the location was just one of more than 50 shelters waiving adopting fees on Saturday thanks to the Bissell Pet Foundation.

The Grand Rapids non-profit works to find homes for displaced and homeless animals and organizers said the event was expected to help more than 1,000 pets.

Timber said, “A pretty exciting day. Well over 50 animals. Last time we did this we did closer to 90, but the interesting part is our adoptions have been up all this week because we had this event and people wanted an animal before they were all gone.”

According to the Bissel Pet Foundation, 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats are euthanized due to a lack of space or resources to care for them.

Timber said, “Whenever our hard-to-place dogs go it's pretty incredible. We are a limited No kill (shelter) so our animals live with us for a year or a year-and-a-half until they're adopted, however long it takes. So we had a couple dogs that have lived with us far too long, find homes today.”

The SPCA of Southwest Michigan emptied the shelter after adopting out 40 dogs and 17 cats. The Kalamazoo Animal Rescue adopted out 68 animals to their fur-ever homes.

The Bissell Pet Foundation said across 57 shelters they adopted over 1900 pets.

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