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After placing more than 13,000 pets nationally in three years, Empty the Shelters returns this week, hoping to give more pets a loving home.

This year, more than 90 shelters in 13 states, including Michigan, are participating in Empty the Shelters on Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Grand Rapids nonprofit Bissell Pet Foundation, which will pay all adoption fees during the event.

In Michigan, 56 shelters and rescues are participating. Families who adopt animals will receive a leash, collar, valuable wellness information and other materials for new pet owners, while supplies last. 

“Shelters across the country are over capacity with so many wonderful pets who deserve a second chance,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Getting animals out of shelters and into loving homes is critical. Empty the Shelters does just that by encouraging people to choose adoption first.”

During the last Empty the Shelters in May, 3,135 pets were adopted in less than 24 hours — 13,624 since the program's inception in 2016. 

Nationwide, 6.5 million pets enter shelters and 1.5 million of those pets are euthanized each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats).

All adoptable pets available during Empty the Shelters will be spayed/neutered in order to prevent unwanted litters and reduce the risk of more pets ending up in shelters, Bissell officials said. 

Shelter requirements vary. Contact the shelter directly to complete an adoption application and to learn more about their adoption process. 

Metro Detroit shelters participating in the event on Saturday include: the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit and Bottle Babies in Dearborn; Detroit Dog Rescue and Michigan Humane Society in Detroit; Saving Cats & Kittens in Livonia; I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Heaven in Warren; Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor; Almost Home Animal Rescue League in Southfield; Do Only Good Animal Rescue in Rochester Hills; Oakland County Animal Shelter in Pontiac; Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Macomb; and Macomb County Animal Control in Clinton Township.

Full list of participating shelters

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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