Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA hosting Empty the Shelters event

cat adoption
(© Kristina Blokhin –

The Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA is hosting an emergency Empty the Shelters adoption event next week, sponsored by the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

The Aug. 16-22 event is dedicated to ensuring large dogs (40 lbs. or more), adult cats (six months or older) and senior dogs (seven years or older) get adopted into loving homes.

As of now, the RHSPCA is the only animal shelter in Virginia that is participating in this event. The RHSPCA is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m with evening hours on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.

Adoption fees for all available animals will be lowered to $25 during this event. Potential adopters may make an appointment to visit the animals online at The shelter encourages potential adopters to submit applications ahead of time for pre-approval to quicken the adoption process.

“There are nearly 100 animals available for adoption with more coming into our care each year. It’s been a busy and rewarding summer with over 700 animals finding adoptive homes so far this year. We’re hoping to make August our busiest month ever for adoptions,” said Huck Nawaz, executive director of the RHSPCA.

The Empty the Shelters event began in 2016 as an effort to encourage more families to adopt a pet into their home. Since its inception, BISSELL Pet Foundation has expanded its “Empty the Shelters” reach to organizations in 45 states and Canada, partnering with a total of 414 shelters. The goal for this emergency adoption event is to find forever homes for pets often overlooked in animal shelters.

“Our nation’s animal shelters are struggling in the face of overcrowding, which makes BISSELL Pet Foundation’s ‘Empty the Shelters’ events an even more critical tool to ensure our shelter partners can find loving families for the pets who so often get overlooked,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “We hope this event and the facilitated animal transports can provide some much-needed relief for shelters in dire need of support.”

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