Shelter from the storm

    Bissell Pet Foundation airlifts 250 pets impacted by Hurricane Ian
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    The Humane Society of Naples and Bissell Pet Foundation prepare rescued animals to be airlifted from Naples, Florida on Wednesday, Oct. 5th, Erik Kellar photography courtesy photo

    The Bissell Pet Foundation lists as one of its many key missions, “crisis and disaster response.”

    This week the Grand Rapids based organization proved that mission is more than just words on paper when it airlifted pets displaced by Hurricane Ian out of the danger zone. 

    On Oct. 4, the foundation organized a rescue mission that transported 40 cats to Tennessee and on Oct. 5, 120 cats and dogs were transported from Florida shelters by plane to safe havens at BPF’s partner shelters in numerous states and Canada – the largest pet transport flight to leave Naples, Florida since Hurricane Ian hit.

    “The BPF team is working tirelessly to support shelters in impacted areas. We are currently coordinating other transports and I will share updates as soon as I have firm details,” said company spokesperson Brittany Schlacter. 

    To date, Bissell Pet Foundation has coordinated and funded the transport of more than 250 dogs and cats since the start of the natural disaster, along with partners from the Humane Society of Sarasota County and the Humane Society of Naples. 

    The internationally known pet rescue nonprofit received pre-evacuation requests for shelter pets in the path of Hurricane Ian. Since the hurricane made landfall, Bissell Pet Foundation has been working to assess needs and coordinate and fund transport to shelters with capacity for care in collaboration around the clock with Code 3 Associates, a professional animal disaster response and training organization involved in animal related law enforcement and emergency response. 

    “The Bissell Pet Foundation team is honored to have the support of these shelters and rescues as they receive pets from this transport. Together, we are providing much needed relief for the shelters throughout the impacted areas and saving lives,”  said Cathy Bissell, Founder of Bissell Pet Foundation. 

    Cats and dogs from impacted shelters have been airlifted to New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Canada at a time when shelters are already crowded.

    “Shelters are full across the country, and we are grateful for the organizations making room for Florida shelter pets during this difficult time,” said Bissell.

    In addition to animal related disaster response, Bissell Pet Foundation is dedicated to reducing the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, supports spay and neuter programs and microchipping. 

    Make a lifesaving donation here

    Erik Kellar Photographer

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