Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter to host 'Empty the Shelters' event Dec. 6-20

·2 min read

If you're looking to give an animal a new home, the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter has a variety of pets available for adoption just in time for Christmas.

Prospective pet owners will not only have the opportunity to add to their families, but can adopt a pet at a reduced rate.

The "Empty the Shelters" event is reducing the regular adoption fee to $35 for cats and dogs from Dec. 6-20. The normal adoption fee is $80 for dogs and $70 for cats.

Shelter director Stephanie Mullins said this is the shelter's second time this year participating in the Bissell Pet Foundation event. The first was Oct. 4-10.

The organization is covering adoption costs at 230 shelters across 41 states, as well as Canada.

"They reimburse the parish the rest of the money, so the parish isn't losing any money, but the citizens still get the animals at a discounted rate," Mullins said.

Pets like this one are available for adoption at the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter in West Monroe for a reduced fee during the "Empty the Shelter" event Dec. 6-20.
Pets like this one are available for adoption at the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter in West Monroe for a reduced fee during the "Empty the Shelter" event Dec. 6-20.

Mullins said the shelter has 72 kennels but only has three currently open and not every dog out of that will be available for adoption.

The shelter depends on donations and assistance from the public to help animals, especially for dog food and cleaning supplies. The volume of dog food alone costs between $25,000 to $30,000 per year, Mullins said.

More: New Ouachita Parish animal shelter breaks ground

The Bissell Pet Foundation was founded in 2011. The organization's "Empty the Shelters" campaign has helped 67,758 pets find homes across the country and in Canada since its first event in 2016.

"Shelters are overcrowded and in desperate need of support due to slowed adoption rates and increased length of stay for pets," Cathy Bissell, founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation, said in a news release. "With so many people seeking to add pets to their family around this time of year, our 'Empty the Shelters - Holiday Hope' event is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community by saving a life and creating space to give another homeless pet a chance."

The shelter is located at 417 Well Road, West Monroe. It's open for adoptions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Want a pet? Help clear Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter Dec. 6-20