GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Animal Shelter is taking part in the Bissell Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event from October 1st through October 14th.
The nationwide event subsidizes adoption costs, allows animal shelters to offer adoptions at a lower rate than usual. While a cat usually costs $50 and a dog costs $150, they will be adopted for just $10 and $25 during this period, respectively.
“All animals adopted out of the animal shelter are going to be microchipped, spayed or neutered and up to date on all of their vaccinations,” Laramie Smovir, volunteer coordinator at the Great Falls Animal Shelter said, “So all that cost is covered in the cost of the adoption. So the $10 cat, $25 dog, all of that is covered. So your animal is going to be set and ready to go with no additional care needed unless, of course, you adopt one of our special needs animals.”
The Great Falls Animal Shelter is the only shelter in Montana participating in the event. Although the Bissell Pet Foundation is based in Michigan, the Great Falls Shelter got in touch while searching for grants to help lower the burden on taxpayers. They hope that by offering lower adoption fees, they will be able to help more stray animals while also saving taxpayers’ money.
“Bissell Pet Foundation helps us out a lot with these Empty the Shelter events because we do get full,” Smovir said, “We work specifically with the stray animals of Great Falls, and you would not believe how many stray animals there really are. We are currently almost full. We're almost at capacity, which means that we need to get these guys moved out of here so that we can get them into their forever homes. They can be healthier, they could be happier, but also so that we have room to bring in more stray animals and keep our community and these animals healthy and safe.”
If you want to help the shelter but can not adopt an animal, you can donate to the shelter’s Guardian Angel Fund, where the money goes to help pay for services the animals may need.
“We have our Guardian Angel fund,” Smovir said, “And then this last month, we've had to pay for two major emergency medical surgeries. So that fund has been pretty well depleted. So you can always donate money to that fund to help with the medical care of these animals.”
You can also sponsor an adoption for someone else, allowing someone to adopt an animal completely for free, or attend fundraiser events hosted by the shelter, such as the "Raise The Woof" comedy night at 7:00 P.M. on October 7th.
“By attending those events and doing some of those things, all of that money does come back to the shelter so that we can then continue doing the work that we do, even without the grants that we are applying for,” Smovir said.
The Great Falls Animal Shelter is at 1010 25th Avenue NE. For more information, call 406-454-2276, or click here to visit the website.