Empty the Shelters event a success

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press Kennedy Paquin, left, and her sister, Ruby, hang out with adoptable kittens at the Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba Wednesday. These kittens, along with dogs and rabbits at the shelter, will have adoption fees waived during the Bissell Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Delta Animal Shelter.

ESCANABA — The Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba found homes for nearly all of its ­animals Saturday during the Bissell Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event. During the event, pet adoption fees were waived as Bissell sponsored all adoption costs.

According to Tonya Gartland, adoption specialist, 49 animals were adopted Saturday.

Prior to the event, the shelter housed 158 animals including various breeds of dogs, cats, kittens and even rabbits.

A full list of 61 adoptable animals was posted to the shelter’s Facebook page and website Friday to let people check out what was available prior to the Empty the Shelters event, making it easier for families to know which animals they were interested in adopting before attending.

Of the 49 animals adopted, 38 were cats, six were dogs and five were kittens, explained Gartland.

“That was great to see them get homes,” said Gartland, adding 11 cats still remain at the shelter.

Not only did the Delta Animal Shelter fair well during the event Saturday, 75 other shelters across the U.P. also experienced a successful Empty the Shelters.

“Over 200 animals were saved from shelters across the U.P.,” said Gartland.

Shelters in the U.P. that participated included the Copper County Humane Society in Houghton, Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter in Negaunee, Menominee Animal Shelter in Menominee, and Northwoods Animal Shelter located in Iron River.

Not only were families saving on adoption fees, but also some medical costs. All animals that leave the shelter are wormed, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. About $300 of medical care goes into each animal before leaving the shelter.

Overall, Gartland said she was happy with the turnout Saturday, adding she was glad to see so many deserving animals finally get forever homes.

“It’s a really great day,” said Gartland, adding she and other shelter staff extend their thanks to everyone who came out and adopted or just visited the shelter to see what it’s all about. Gartland also thanked the Bissell Pet Foundation for sponsoring the adoption fees to help save homeless animals.