Cass County Animal Control to host adoption day event

DOWAGIAC — Holding a large, gray cat in his arms, Cass County Animal Control Director Ron Butts introduced the “star” of the Cass County Animal Shelter to the lobby of the building Monday morning.

“She’s been on the radio and things like that,” Butts said of the gray cat, named Sneakers, as he gave her a scratch on the top of her head. “We want to find her a good home.”

Sneakers may have her chance this Saturday as the shelter is hosting a free adoption event.

Cass County Animal Control is partnering with Bissell Pet Foundation to host an Empty the Shelters event on Saturday. At the event, the Bissell Pet Foundation will cover adoption and microchipping costs for potential adopters while the shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This will be our fourth event in two years with [Bissell Pet Foundation],” Butts said. “The reason we do this is to promote shelter pet adoptions. We want people to adopt instead of shop when they are looking for a new pet.”

On a typical day, Cass County Animal Control adopts out two or three pets. However, during the last Empty the Shelters event in May, the shelter adopted out 20 pets on the day of and 79 pets during the week of the event. Saturday, there will be between 16 to 20 dogs and 30 to 40 cats available for adoption.

“Having Bissell sponsor us gives our animals a better chance at finding a good home and raises awareness about shelter adoptions,” Butts said. “It’s so great to see the excitement with the amount of people here in the building, not just supporting shelter adoptions, but the shelter itself. This is a great thing not just for the animals at our shelter, but for animals across the United States.”

The partnership with Cass County Animal Control, as well as many other shelters across the nation, is Bissell’s way of encouraging shelter adoptions over pet purchases from breeders, according to founder Cathy Bissell.

The Bissell Pet Foundation was founded in 2011 with a mission to reduce the number of animals in shelters and rescues and to find a loving home for every pet, according to its website. To aid this effort, the foundation began offering the clear the shelters event. Since May 2016, Empty the Shelters events have taken place in 16 states and Canada at more than 100 shelters, and have resulted in more than 13,600 animal adoptions.

Butts said he is grateful to partner with Bissell for the adoption day, saying that without the foundation’s support, the event wouldn’t be possible.

Coming from a family of veterinarians, Butts said he has always loved animals and giving animals who have had a rough bout of a luck a second chance.

“It’s important to adopt not shop. There is a pet overpopulation, and there is no shortage of pets that need homes,” he said. “At the shelter, we are doing our best to provide these animals a second chance and get them a loving home that they need and deserve.”

With the Empty the Shelters event Saturday, Butts said he hopes his love of animals becomes contagious so that others will show up to give a shelter animal, like Sneakers, a home.

“If you are considering adding a pet to your home, please consider coming to us,” he said. “Adopt a shelter pet, and spay and neuter. It makes a difference.”