Berkeley Humane and BISSELL Pet Foundation Fight Shelter Overcrowding by Reduction Adoption Fees

As our nation’s shelters face unprecedented overcrowding, Berkeley Humane and BISSELL Pet Foundation have teamed up to do our part in taking homeless pets from kennels to couches by sponsoring reduced adoption fees of $50.

Berkeley Humane is part of 250+ shelters participating in summer “Empty the Shelters” event

July 25, 2022

Contact: Elizabeth Ottinger
Director of Development & Communications 
(510) 845-7735 X211

Berkeley, Calif. July 25, 2022—As our nation’s shelters face unprecedented overcrowding, Berkeley Humane (Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society) and BISSELL Pet Foundation have teamed up to do our part in taking homeless pets from kennels to couches by sponsoring reduced adoption fees of $50. The “Empty the Shelters” event will take place Friday–Sunday, July 29–31, 11am–4pm, at 2700 Ninth Street in Berkeley. Berkeley Humane is one of 250 shelters in 42 States participating in the Summer National “Empty the Shelters” event.

“Thanks to our long-term partnership with the BISSELL Pet Foundation, Berkeley Humane is pleased to participate in ‘Empty the Shelters,’” said Jeffrey Zerwekh, Executive Director at Berkeley Humane. “Adoption saves two lives–the adopted pet and the one who takes their place at the shelter.”

Shelters across the country are in crisis with overcrowding, prompting a national call for adoption. “Empty the Shelters” helps homeless pets find families by making adoption affordable for prospective pet owners.

“Shelters are calling me daily and BISSELL Pet Foundation is feeling the burden of overcrowding. With the euthanasia of homeless dogs up 22% in just the first quarter of 2022 alone, we knew we had to act quickly to help at-risk pets,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Empty the Shelters is the largest funded adoption event in the country; we hope we can help meet the immediate need to save lives.”

While these past couple of years have been incredibly challenging, the volunteers and staff at Berkeley Humane continued to find ways to overcome barriers, save the lives of animals, and support the people who love them. In the past five years, Berkeley Humane has provided medical treatment and found homes for nearly 5,000 animals who have been neglected, injured, or abandoned. “This grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation will help us stay on track with our goal this year to save lives,” said Zerwekh.

Every animal adopted at Berkely Humane receives behavioral and medical evaluation and treatment. The adoption package also includes $250 worth of medical care at VCA Animal Hospitals, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, and optional discounted pet insurance. For more information about Berkeley Humane and the “Empty the Shelters” adoption event, visit

About BISSELL Pet Foundation

BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501©(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, 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 5,600 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit

About Berkeley Humane

With its origins dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of a dedicated and talented volunteer and staff team, Berkeley Humane intakes animals from municipals shelters around the Bay Area who are often in need of medical care, improved nutrition, enrichment and lots of love. Learn more at

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