Humane Society of Harford County Waiving Dog Adoption Fees to “Empty the Shelters” May 1-15

410+ Animal Shelters Partnering with BISSELL Pet Foundation for Adoption Event

For Immediate Release

Erin Long, Marketing & Development Manager | Humane Society of Harford County | 410-836-1090, x106 |
Brittany Schlacter | Marketing & PR Specialist | | 616.600.9470

Vernon Dietz adopted a Rottweiler named Justice in 2023 as part of the Bissell Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters adoption event.

Fallston, MD (April 25, 2024) – With a shelter flooded with dogs, putting it at critical capacity, the Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) is partnering with the BISSELL Pet Foundation to waive adoption fees on all dogs older than a year (regularly $160) from May 1-15, 2024 as part of the spring “Empty the Shelters” nationwide pet adoption event. The adoption fee for cats one year and older will be $25 (regularly $95).

“Our nation’s animal shelters are facing a capacity crisis and need your help now. Adoptions have slowed while a surge in owner surrenders due to families facing economic and housing challenges has left tens of thousands of highly adoptable pets desperate to find homes,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Our Spring National ‘Empty the Shelters’ will support the adoption of thousands of pets across the country, helping shelters in this critical time. Opening your home to a shelter pet saves a life and creates lifesaving space to help another pet in need.”

“Empty the Shelters could not come at a better time,” said Bob Citrullo, executive director. “So far this year, we’ve taken in 1,000 animals, which is 17.6% more animals than the same time last year, and we only expect this space crisis to continue. We’ve already run out of kennel space, and early this year were forced to put up a temporary emergency tent to make room for all the new arrivals.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event is the largest funded adoption event in the country. This lifesaving event began in 2016 with a goal of encouraging more families to choose adoption. More than 226,000 pets have found loving homes since its inception. “Empty the Shelters” is BISSELL Pet Foundation’s largest program, partnering this spring with over 410 animal welfare organizations in 43 states to reduce adoption fees.

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During the 15-day mega adoption event, HSHC will be open weekdays from 11AM-6PM, Saturdays from 10AM-5PM, and Sundays from 11AM-4PM at 2208 Connolly Road in Fallston. Although dog adoption fees are waived, regular adoption procedures apply.

“Every adopter will receive a bag of goodies including coupons, freebies, and information to help ease the pet’s transition from shelter to home,” Citrullo added. “Our team is very excited to welcome visitors to the shelter, introduce them to our animals, and help them take home their next new family member.”

Animals adopted from HSHC are spayed or neutered prior to adoption and also include all appropriate vaccinations and testing for communicable diseases, de-wormer, flea & tick preventative, a microchip, a free sample bag of pet food, and a general exam.

View the animals’ photos and profiles and complete an adoption application in advance by visiting

About BISSELL Pet Foundation
BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, vaccinations, microchipping and emergency support. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with more than 6,000 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Inc. where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit

About the Humane Society of Harford County
The Humane Society of Harford County, Inc., is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 3,300 animals that come in each year. HSHC promotes the kind treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoptions, and community education. 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.