Bissell Pet Foundation: the Veterinarian Shortage

by Elysian Magazine

In the previous article in ELYSIAN’S ongoing series on the pet adoption and shelter crisis in America, we highlighted the efforts of BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters Program.

Shelters are overflowing with homeless pets awaiting veterinary spay/neutering care before being adopted. To address this ongoing crisis, BPF sponsors high-impact community spay/neuter clinics to help push through the number of adoptable dogs and cats—and ease the growing burden on shelters. The shortage of veterinarians has made this harder, though.

In May, BPF received a call about a large-scale neglect case in Center Ridge, Arkansas. Unfortunately, the local shelter couldn’t handle this many animals, so BPF connected with Cabot Animal Support Services (CASS) to assist. They quickly stepped up to save 17 dogs and three cats. Bear was one of the last dogs removed from the property and was found to be in very poor shape upon intake. However, with the support of the incredible team at CASS, Bear was able to begin his journey to recovery and find a loving home during BPF’s Empty the Shelters event this past May.  (Read more about Bear here: Great Pyrenees Rescued From Dire Neglect Finds Home Through Empty the Shelters – BISSELL Pet Foundation)

Bear was lucky. He received the medical care that saved his life. However, there are countless adoptable pets who cannot receive the necessary care to insure the same happy outcome as Bear, the Great Pyrenees.

It is estimated that there is a shortage of approximately 7,000 veterinarians nationwide and the problem is expected to grow. Some rural shelters don’t even have a vet in their county. During the pandemic, non-essential veterinarian services such as spaying/neutering came to a complete stop. There is now a backlog of animals that must be spayed or neutered before they can go to families, slowing adoptions and continuing to move pets in animal shelters needing nonemergency medical care to the back of this ever-growing line.

How BISSELL Pet Foundation is helping

It’s a domino effect: without vets to provide regular and timely spaying/neutering services, the number of adoptable pets continues to increase, overcrowding grows, and there seemingly is no end to the resources needed and the strain put on staff and volunteers, and the need for everyday staples such as dog food, cleaning materials, and medications.

BPF is fully engaged in furthering solutions to these problems. On staff is a high-volume spay/neuter veterinarian who also performs basic surgeries needed to ready pets for adoption. As this veterinarian travels around the country to where there are the greatest needs, the BPF team is providing spay/neuter vouchers, organizing clinics, and funding shelters on community spay/neuter. Last year, BPF distributed more than $1 million in grants specifically for spaying/neutering, making it possible for hundreds of trusted partner organizations to spay/neuter tens of thousands of pets each year.

BPF grants allow shelters to both safely spay and neuter pets before adopting them out to families and provide these important services to their community members. This key strategy to end pet homelessness prevents unwanted litters and dramatically decreases the number of pets entering shelters. BPF continues to prioritize this lifesaving program to address the root cause of overpopulation, but it cannot meet the need. Each year, it receives far more grant requests than it can fund— your support can help BPF do more. Community Spay/Neuter Clinics Many shelters, especially in rural areas, are continuously overflowing with homeless pets, reflecting the lack of access to spaying/neutering in their communities.

You can help! Be a Hero to Homeless Pets by donating to BISSELL Pet Foundation and help make a difference. Each year, BPF receives far more grant requests than the foundation can fund—your support can help them it do more. Every donor, every dollar, and every day counts. 100% of your contribution to BISSELL Pet Foundation goes directly to shelters and rescues to support its mission. As good stewards of your resources, BPF directs funding to make the largest possible impact to help every pet find a home.

Funding for BISSELL Pet Foundation is made possible through generous donations from BISSELL Inc., and from donors like you. Because BISSELL is dedicated to helping pets, the company absorbs administrative costs for BISSELL Pet Foundation enabling 100% of every donation to further the Foundation’s mission to reduce the number of pets in shelters and rescues through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, vaccinations, microchipping, and crisis and disaster response support.

Donate – BISSELL Pet Foundation

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