San Antonio residents who want to welcome a new furry friend into their home can do so at a discount at this weekend's Empty the Shelters event.
Taking place from July 10-12, the initiative is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the Bissell Pet Foundation. The organization is working with adoption agencies across Texas to reduce fees to give cats and dogs forever homes with reduced adoption fees.
In San Antonio, the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services is the only participating shelter. Throughout the weekend, all ACS dog adoption fees are $15 and all cat adoption fees are $5. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all adoption appointments must be made in advance. Reserve an appointment here.
In the early days of the pandemic, pet adoptions rose nationwide as people found themselves living under stay-at-home orders. But those statistics have leveled off, leaving thousands of cats and dogs without homes. Bissell notes that foster families stepped in fill the gap, and this weekend's adoption event will also honor foster-to-adopt cases that start as fosters during the weekend of July 10-12 and are finalized up to one week after the event.
The timing for the adoption push is simple.
“More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of Bissell Pet Foundation in a release. “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 bringing home a pet can visit Bissell's Empty the Shelters site for more details and check the Dallas Animal Services site for information on appointments and operating hours. All animals included in the Empty the Shelters promotion will be microchipped and spayed/neutered to prevent further pet homelessness.
Since the program began in 2016, Empty the Shelters has found homes for 37,394 pets and counting. During the COVID-19 pandemic alone, 6,231 pets were adopted during two previous Empty the Shelters events.