Once every three to four months the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter in Spanish Fork holds a special adoption day for their dogs, cats and other types of animal.

On Saturday, for the first time, the special adoption was supported financially by the Bissell Foundation. That’s right, the company that cleans your carpet helps animal adoption with its Empty the Shelters program.

“Saturdays are our best adoption days,” said Brandy Mortensen, shelter manager. “Today we are hoping for 10 to 20 adoptions.”

This time of year there are a lot of animals at the shelter, Mortensen said. Prior to Saturday’s event they had 100 cats sheltered with 40 being fostered in local homes. There were also 50 dogs at the shelter.

Several volunteers were on hand to help with the Empty the Shelters event. Teenagers with Latinos in Action from Freedom Preparatory Academy and Free Thought Forum helped walk the dogs and kept the cats cared for while adopting families were being matched to the perfect pet.

“We do community actions and then we had to do a service project,” said Zuri Montalda with Latinos in Action. “We called the shelter and came. This is the second.”

The sheltered animals come from a variety of backgrounds, but most are owner releases, according to Mortensen.

“Others are strays brought to the shelter that have not been claimed,” Mortensen said. “Some of them are new litters that are brought in.”

The shelter is not just in the dog and cat adoption business. They also have rabbits, hamsters, rats and currently a snake and a parrot.

A 50-pound tortoise is one of the most unique animals to be adopted from the shelter, according to Mortensen.

The shelter does need fostering families for kittens too young for spaying or neutering and shots. Many have left their mothers too early. Other cats in need of fostering have had surgeries that may include amputations.

The shelter also has a work release program with the Utah County Jail, located just east of the shelter. Selected inmates help at the shelter, but do not interact with the public.

The reduced cost for the special adoption event was $25, which included vaccinations, spaying or neutering, microchipping and a Utah county license tag.

"Our shelter partners continue to give feedback that Empty the Shelters is saving lives in their area," said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation, in a press release. "Not only do thousands of pets find homes, but shelter and rescue organizations of all sizes collaborate to make the greatest impact possible for pets. These relationships continue long after the event ends."

The Empty the Shelters program began in 2016 to capitalize on the foundation’s mission to find every pet a loving home.

South Utah Valley Animal Shelter is one of 132 organizations in 26 states that took part in the special adoption day.

To date, Bissell has impacted over 200,000 pets through grant funding for adoption, spay/neuter, microchipping and foster care.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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