(WMBD) — More than 250 animal shelters across the country, including eleven in Illinois, are reducing adoption feeds during BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” campaign.

Due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing shortages, and the current housing market, animal shelters nationwide are at risk of unprecedented overcrowding. The “Empty the Shelters” campaign says it hopes to create more room for incoming rescues while placing current shelter animals into loving homes.

“Shelters are calling me daily and BISSELL Pet Foundation is feeling the burden of overcrowding. With the euthanasia of homeless dogs up 22% in just the first quarter of 2022 alone, we knew we had to act quickly to help at-risk pets,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “’Empty the Shelters’ is the largest funded adoption event in the country, and by extending the event to three weeks, we can help meet the immediate need to save lives.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation was founded in 2011. The foundation began their “Empty the Shelters” campaign in 2016 and is reported to have helped more than 96,000 pets get adopted over the past six years.

During this campaign, running from July 11 to July 31, adoption feeds will be reduced to $50 or less for pets in participating shelters.

Participating Illinois shelters include:

Not every shelter is participating in the full length of the campaign. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit the campaign’s website to confirm details at their shelter of choice.