As the Nation views the devastation of Hurricane Ian, many animal lovers have wondered about the thousands of displaced pets that have been affected by the loss of homes and shelters. A Michigan pet foundation has broken into action and begun to clear animals from shelters in Naples and Sarasota, Florida. 

The shelter pets were originally evacuated from communities that were devastated by Hurricane Ian and transferred to the Humane Society of Naples and Humane Society of Sarasota County to await evacuation to eight shelters and rescues across the country. The Bissell Pet Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was quick to respond to the massive undertaking, by funding a flight carrying over a hundred pets from Florida to New York, Tuesday, October 4th. The increasing number of displaced pets made the move necessary in order to make room for new arrivals. 

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The October 4th flight is just the beginning of the Bissell Pet Foundation’s efforts to come to the aid of the stranded furry orphans. The organization is also providing placement incentive grants for organizations accepting pets that were homeless before the storm, facilitating placement with partner shelters and rescues, and coordinating food distribution. 

The foundation was founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell after she adopted a black Labrador retriever named Bear, back in 2008. He was 6 years old when he came from the local Humane Society and quickly became a beautiful fit with the family. It was Cathy’s first adoption of a pet and her biggest regret is that she didn’t adopt sooner. Since she couldn’t bring all homeless pets that are in shelters home, she started Bissell Pet Foundation as the next best thing. The foundation’s goal is to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and rescues and to find a loving home for every pet. One of the foundation’s regular goals is to help empty animal shelters across the nation and Canada of homeless pets, finding them homes with loving families. They have organized a program where they fund shelters and enable families to adopt a pet for no more than $50 and local license fees. 

Cathy Bissell is grateful for the many shelters participating in the relocation, saying, 

Shelters are full across the county, but we are grateful for the organizations making room for Florida shelter pets during this difficult time. The BISSELL Pet Foundation team is honored to have the support of these shelters and rescues as they take in pets on this transport. Together, we are providing much-needed relief for the shelters throughout in the impacted areas.

Following the initial October 4th flight, following flights will transport pets to eight shelters and rescues located in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Ontario, Canada to get a second chance at adoption. 

Bissell Pet Foundation Rescues Strays From Hurricane Ian

 

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