Media Alert: BISSELL Pet Foundation

“Empty the Shelters” Spring National Adoption Event

As our nation’s shelters are overburdened due to increased owner surrenders and longer stays for pets, BISSELL Pet Foundation is prompting a national call for adoption with its Spring National “Empty the Shelters” reduced-fee adoption event. From May 1-15, 2023, BISSELL Pet Foundation will partner with Dogtopia to sponsor reduced adoption fees of $50 or less at participating shelters nationwide. The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) is one of more than 350 organizations across the country participating in this lifesaving event to place deserving pets in loving homes.


BISSELL Pet Foundation has teamed up with Dogtopia to bring its Spring National “Empty the Shelters” adoption event to more than 350 shelters in 45 states from May 1-15, 2023, including the Humane Society of Harford County. As the nation’s largest funded adoption event, “Empty the Shelters” has helped nearly 140,000 pets find loving homes. During each nationwide event, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsors reduced adoption fees for $50 or less to make adoption affordable for prospective pet owners.


May 1-15, 2023


The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC)
2208 Connolly Road, Fallston, MD 21047


We hope you can visit us during one of our “Empty the Shelters” days to get photos, video and more of families meeting and adopting the new pets.

Media interested in attending can visit any time during our open shelter hours: Monday-Friday from 11am-6pm; Saturdays from 10am-5pm, and Sundays from 12-4pm. Contact Erin Long at [email protected] in advance for interviews.

Visuals at the adoption events includes HSHC staff and volunteers, potential adopters, animals available for adoption and more.


“BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters’ is proven to make a lifesaving difference, and we are thrilled to team up with Dogtopia, who shares our vision to give every pet their best life,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “This is a very difficult time for shelters across the country, with increasing owner surrenders due to the housing crisis and inflation as well as slowed adoption rates. With Dogtopia’s partnership, we are hopeful more pets than ever will find homes during this national event.”

“We are looking forward to participating in our first ever Empty the Shelters adoption event,” said Bob Citrullo, HSHC’s executive director. “We are also grateful to BISSELL Pet Foundation and Dogtopia for shining a light on pet adoption and making adoption affordable to so many in the community.”


Below are some talking points and additional facts about BISSELL Pet Foundation and HSHC.

  • BISSELL Pet Foundation was founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell.
  • “Empty the Shelters” is the nation’s largest funded adoption event and has helped nearly 140,000 pets find homes across the country and in Canada since its inception in 2016.
  • “Empty the Shelters” provides reduced adoption fees at shelters, typically ranging from $0 to $50 per animal adoption. Each participating organization has their own adoption process and requirements.
  • This is BISSELL Pet Foundation’s first “Empty the Shelters” event partnership with Dogtopia of Bel Air and HSHC.
  • Our nation’s shelters need your support. Please consider fostering or donating if you unable to add a pet to your family.
  • HSHC is a non-profit, 501c3 charitable organization that provides shelter, care, adoptions and community education on behalf of approximately 3,000 homeless, stray and abandoned animals. HSHC is not a county agency nor is it affiliated with any national or regional organization. Tax-deductible donations, bequests, and proceeds from events are crucial to HSHC’s life-saving efforts on behalf of the animals in the community.
  • Adoption fees at HSHC for dogs at least a year old will be $50 (regularly $160). Adoption fees at HSHC for adult cats aged 1 year and above will be just $20 (regularly $95).
  • Animals adopted from HSHC have received all their age-appropriate vaccinations, have been spayed or neutered, and have a microchip for identification purposes.
  • View all of HSHC’s available animals at The shelter is open to view and adopt the animals Monday-Friday from 11am-6pm; Saturdays from 10am-5pm, and Sundays from 12-4pm.
  • All dog adopters will receive a coupon for a free week of doggie daycare at Dogtopia of Bel Air in the Rock Spring Shopping Center, 1427 Rock Spring Rd, Bel Air, MD 21014.


Media contacts for BISSELL Pet Foundation:
Brittany Schlacter | Marketing & PR Specialist | [email protected] | 616-600-9470

Media contact for HSHC:
Erin Long | Marketing & Development Manager | [email protected] | 410-836-1090, x106