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Animal Rescue League of Berks County Partners with BISSELL Pet Foundation to Reduce Adoption Fees  

Animal Rescue League of Berks County Partners with BISSELL Pet Foundation to Reduce Adoption Fees  

by Animal Rescue League of Berks County

Pictured above: Buddy

The ARL joins 410+ shelters nationwide, participating in the “Empty the Shelters” reduced-fee adoption event.

BISSELL Pet Foundation, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending pet homelessness, is prompting a national call for adoption once again this spring with its “Empty the Shelters” reduced-fee adoption event May 1-15. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County will participate along with more than 410 shelters in 43 states. To help deserving shelter pets find loving homes, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsors reduced adoption fees of $50 or less per cat or dog during each nationwide event.


At the ARL, all cats and dogs over six months of age will have a reduced adoption fee of $50, and senior dogs and cats over eight years will be free to adopt. The event will include a mobile cat adoption event at Ridgewood Winery on Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All adopters must go through the ARL’s regular process to adopt, including the completion of an adoption profile and speaking with an adoption counselor to ensure that the pet they select is a good match for their home, family, and lifestyle.

Adopters are encouraged to bring their family members and other house dogs to meet the pet they are interested in before completing the adoption. Dog adopters will also want to bring cash or a check for a $7.20 dog license, which is required at the time of adoption under PA law. Adopters will also want to bring a cat carrier (or they can purchase one from the ARL for $5) and a dog collar and leash (or they can purchase one from the ARL).

All interested adopters can visit to view the available pets. For the mobile adoption event, adopters can go to the night before the event to see the pets that will be available at the mobile unit.

“Our nation’s animal shelters are facing a capacity crisis and need your help now. Adoptions have slowed while a surge in owner surrenders due to families facing economic and housing challenges has left tens of thousands of highly adoptable pets desperate to find homes,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Our Spring National ‘Empty the Shelters’ will support the adoption of thousands of pets across the country, helping shelters in this critical time. Opening your home to a shelter pet saves a life and creates lifesaving space to help another pet in need.”

During the last Bissell adoption event in December 2023, 52 pets found a home through the ARL.

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event is the largest funded adoption event in the country. This lifesaving event began in 2016 with a goal of encouraging more families to choose adoption. More than 226,000 pets have found loving homes since its inception. “Empty the Shelters” is BISSELL Pet Foundation’s largest program, partnering with 742 animal welfare organizations in 49 states and Canada to reduce adoption fees.

BISSELL Pet Foundation and the ARL urge families to research the pet they are interested in adopting, as well as adoption requirements. For more information on adopting or donating to “Empty the Shelters,” visit and

Buddy and Newt are available to adopt as of April 30, 2024.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County is a charitable 501c3 organization caring for nearly 5,000 animals each year to help them find second chances in a new home or to help reunite them with their grateful owners. For over 70 years, the organization has worked tirelessly to care for the sick, treat the injured, comfort the unwanted, and protect the abused. Whether helping people in need keep their pets through surrender prevention programs, offering low-cost veterinary services and clinics, as well as outreach and education events throughout the county, the ARL’s work goes far beyond the walls of the shelter.

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, vaccinations, 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 6,000 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Inc., where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit