homepage logo

‘Empty the Shelters’ initiative under way

Pet adoption fees waived

By CJ HADDAD - | Jul 9, 2024

Lee County Domestic Animal Services is taking part in a nationwide initiative with BISSELL Pet Foundation, waiving adoption fees as part of “Empty the Shelters.”

The foundation is promoting a national call for adoption with its annual Empty the Shelters waived adoption fee event that began Monday and runs through July 31. LCDAS will participate, alongside more than 390 shelters in 44 states. To help shelter pets find loving homes, the foundation sponsors waived adoption fees during each nationwide event.

“Lee County Domestic Animal Services has participated in the BISSELL Pet Foundation event for years,” said Lee County spokesperson Tim Engstrom. “The organization is one of Animal Services’ great partners is does an outstanding job of putting a national spotlight on the importance of pet adoptions.”

Empty the Shelters is the largest funded adoption event in the country, according to the foundation. The event began in 2016 with a goal of encouraging more families to choose adoption. More than 253,000 pets have found homes since its inception. Empty the Shelters is the foundation’s largest program, partnering with 742 animal welfare organizations in 49 states and Canada to reduce adoption fees.

“It’s always a great time to adopt when individuals or families are looking to add a pet to the household,” Engstrom said. “The waived adoption fee is a nice incentive to consider adopting now rather than later. Lee County Domestic Animal Services staff and volunteers are ready to help you find the perfect new family member.”

Engstrom said LCDAS has been typically busy this year following a very active spring kitten season. Overall, recent activity has been comparable with a year ago, with 213 adoptions in May, compared to 206 in May 2023.

As for why adopting a pet a fulfilling life decision for those interested in adding another member to their family, Engstrom said, “Welcoming a new pet to the household adds a new dimension of fun and affection. While it is a responsibility to care for a pet, the benefits are enormous. A Harvard professor this year even concluded that pet ownership has a positive effect on life expectancy.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation and LCDAS urge families to research the pet they are interested in adopting, as well as adoption requirements.

For more information on adopting or donating to Empty the Shelters, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters.

LCDAS is at 5600 Banner Drive in Fort Myers, with the adoption center open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m.

All interested adopters can find more details online at www.LeeLostPets.com.