The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is one of about 200 shelters nationwide partnering with the Bissell Pet Foundation for the “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” event.
The event, which runs from Monday, Dec. 6 through Monday, Dec. 20, will include reduced adoption fees of $25, sponsored by BPF. This is also part of the Albrecht Center’s “Forever Home for the Holidays” campaign.
Barbara Nelson, president and CEO of the Albrecht Center, said research has shown that after 21 days, animals become more stressed in a shelter.
“Even in a shelter like this, which is really a state-of-the-art shelter, it is very difficult for an animal to be confined. Even though our cats are in colonies and the dogs are in big rooms, it’s still sort of like being in jail,” she explained. “They need to get out and they need to be adopted and get into a home and socialize with humans continuously.”
The BPF was started in 2011 and the first “Empty the Shelters” event was held in May 2016. Since then, nearly 68,000 pets in the United States and Canada have found homes.
“Shelters are overcrowded and in desperate need of support due to slowed adoption rates and increased length of stay for pets,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BPF. “With so many people seeking to add pets to their family around this time of year, our ‘Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope’ event is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community by saving a life and creating space to give another homeless pet a chance.”
“We sincerely appreciate the Bissell foundation and other foundations like that because what they do is they create that level of awareness to the public,” said Nelson. “As much as we put out marketing materials and say, ‘Please come adopt,’ a foundation like Bissell gives us more exposure and it gets us out into the community and exposes our poor animals to the community.”
The Albrecht Center at 199 Willow Run Rd. in Aiken is a no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter that finds homes for over 95% of the more than 1,300 animals they take in every year.
The center will be open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the event. More information is available on the website.
Nelson knows what she would like to see on Dec. 21.
“I would like to see every cat and dog in this facility adopted to a good home. We have 150 cats that are here and need to find a home and we have 25 dogs on the adoption floor and others in holding that need to find a home,” Nelson said. “Ideally, at least 50% of these animals are moved on to a place where they can bond with a human and live the life that they deserve to live.”