Cass County Animal Control to host Empty the Shelters event

CASSOPOLIS — Thursday morning, Cass County Animal Control Director Ron Butts struggled as he tried to hold a wriggling, 30-pound cat in his arms.

“He’s hard to keep a hold of,” Butts said, laughing as the cat jumped to the floor. “He wants to get down. I think he’s ready to go home.”

Soon, prospective adopters will have a chance to give him that home at a deeply reduced rate.

Next week, Cass County Animal Control will partner with BISSELL Pet Foundation for the ninth time to host an Empty the Shelters event. From Oct. 1 to 4, interested adopters can take home a new furry friend for $25. All pets adopted out during Empty the Shelters will be spayed/neutered and microchipped.

Empty the Shelters was started by BISSELL Pet Foundation in 2017, and since then, has helped facilitate more than 40,550 adoptions. During next week’s event, BISSELL will be working with 150 participating shelters across 33 states.

“We are excited to be a part of BISSELL’s push to get animals into their forever homes,” Butts said. “This is just another event to call to light the need to adopt homeless shelter pets. It’s important to make that your first option when considering a pet.”

Since Cass County Animal Control first participated in an Empty the Shelters event in 2017, Butts said the program has proven successful, and the shelter’s partnership with BISSELL has also grown beyond just the adoption events. Through the foundation, Cass County Animal Control has developed relationships with transfer partners, which give shelter animals more exposure and a greater chance of adoption.

The Empty the Shelters event will mark the first adoption event Cass County Animal Control has hosted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the inside of the shelter will be open, staff will also be allowing for curbside adoption services for those who wish to social distance outdoors.

“We started doing curbside adoptions when everything was still closed [due to COVID-19], and it worked out very well,” Butts said. “We are prepared to do something like that if the need arises. If someone wants to stay outside the building, we can bring a pet to them.”

During the Empty the Shelters event, Cass County Animal Control will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, if an interested adopter cannot come during that time, Butts encourages them to call the shelter at (269) 445-3701 to schedule another time to go in.

Butts said he is hoping for a good turnout to next week’s adoption event and hopes to find forever homes for as many animals as possible.

“We want to do everything we can to help get the animals placed out,” Butts said. “We want to encourage people to bring home a pet that is going to be a good fit for their home.”

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