Bissell’s ‘Empty the Shelter’ event to be held at four U.P. animal shelters

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The Bissell Pet Foundation is holding another “Empty the Shelter” event this upcoming week.

Four Upper Peninsula shelters will be taking part: Northwoods Animal Shelter in Iron River, Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) in Gwinn, Menominee Animal Shelter, and Copper Country Humane Society (CCHS) in Houghton.

All adoption fees are $25 (cats and small animals are free at UPAWS) and the event will run May 9 through May 17.

Northwoods Animal Shelter and UPAWS are requesting that putting in a pre-approval application prior to adopting an animal is strongly encouraged. Pre-approval applications are required at Menominee Animal Shelter and CCHS. All four are currently by appointment only due to COVID-19 restrictions. For more information on application deadlines, you can click here.

As for the number of pets up for adoption at CCHS, Shelter Manager Becki Clouthier said the shelter has seen an increase in adoptions during the pandemic, with very few pets surrenders.

“Our numbers are down for dogs and cats, and we’re hoping we can start opening up more and get some transfers from other shelters that need help.”

With only four employees at CCHS, social distancing isn’t a huge issue at the shelter. However the staff is taking precautions to ensure safety among the staff and its animals.

“When people need to surrender an animal or strays that are dropped off to the shelter, everything’s done outside. [The staff] wears facemasks. We are constantly washing leashes.”

CCHS is heavily reliant on donations and fundraiser events that help raise funds for the shelter.

“It’s unfortunate timing, especially with the winter months we don’t have much in the way of fundraising. Funds do get depleted, especially when you do have vet care, building costs, and everything else you have to keep up with.”

CCHS is accepting monetary donations, along with other needs such as bleach and cleaning supplies. The shelter is also having a t-shirt fundraiser to help raise funds for basic animal care during the pandemic.

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