Cathy Bissell, founder and chairman of the Bissell Pet Foundation, and her crew recently visited Franklin County Animal Control and Animal Harbor to witness and praise the good work being done at the local facilities in caring for and finding homes for abandoned and lost pets. Pictured, from left, are Franklin County Animal Control Officer Junior LaFevers, Cathy Bissell, Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller, Animal Control Officer Heather Snyder, Animal Control Director Brent Perry, Animal Control Board Chairperson Darbie Sizemore, Animal Control Officer Justin Isbell and Tommy Habeeb, executive producer of “To The Rescue,” a television series that features heartwarming stories of rescue dogs. In the bottom left photo, Emily Holland, executive director of Animal Harbor, welcomes Bissell. In the bottom center photo, the Bissell crew and others get together inside the shelter. In the bottom right, Bissell and Habeeb enjoy meeting a new furry friend.

The chairman and crew of the Bissell Pet Foundation and the producer and film crew of the television docuseries “To The Rescue” recently spent the day visiting Franklin County Animal Control and Animal Harbor.

The Bissell Pet Foundation is renowned for its work in the care and placement of abandoned animals. One of the objectives of its visit was to document the success stories going on in both shelters.

The organization’s visit started at Franklin County Animal Control, where Cathy Bissell, chairman of the foundation, praised Brent Perry, director of Franklin County Animal Control, and his officers for their work in caring for and finding homes for lost, abused, neglected and abandoned pets.

In attendance at Animal Control were Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller and Animal Control officers.

The productive visit included an exchange of ideas with Fuller and Perry about improving the overall situation at the local Animal Control facility.

Bissell praised Animal Control officers, calling them “incredible people,” for transforming a euthanizing dog pound into a rescue-and-recovery shelter.

Animal Control has a 97 percent rescue rate for its animals with only dangerous or sick animals being euthanized.

“Franklin County Animal Control and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Cathy Bissell and staff for their recent visit,” Fuller said. “And thanks to Tommy Habeeb and his crew for filming and documenting the visit.

“And thank you to the staff at Animal Control for all the hard work and effort that has made Franklin County Animal Control a very productive and efficient place for the care of abandoned and unwanted animals.”

The foundation also visited Animal Harbor to acknowledge the great work being done there. Animal Harbor is a no-kill shelter.

Bissell said she was pleased to see the two shelters work together to save so many lives.

“Director Emily Holland is incredible,” Bissell said. “She wears many hats and saves many lives. She does it all with a smile.”

Holland was pleased and grateful for the visit.

“Cathy and the foundation crew poured so much time and love into their visits,” Holland said. “To be recognized for the collaboration between the two county shelters is so rewarding to the staff, Board of Directors and volunteers at Animal Harbor.”

Gail Castle, Animal Harbor Board of Directors member, said she is delighted with the hard work being done at the shelter.

“So proud of the work that Emily and all of the Animal Harbor staff and volunteers do for 365 days every year,” Castle said. “Also, so proud to work together in collaboration with Heather Akin Snyder and the team from the Franklin County Sheriff Department’s Animal Control.

“These staffs and volunteers from both organizations are some of the great heroes of Franklin County.” 

Animal Harbor recently enrolled in the Bissell Pet Foundation’s transport partner program to get more animals moved to partnering rescues in the North where homeless pets are not as plentiful and where the pets can be placed in loving homes.

The foundation’s 2020 grant award to Animal Harbor provided a SNAP program benefit to reach 150 percent more families in need and allowed copays for the spay/neuter program to be reduced to $10 for low-income Franklin County residents.

“We thank Cathy Bissell and the foundation for all the work they do to help keep the Harbor light burning,” Holland said. “Thank you for all the ways you support and highlight the work. It is people and foundations like yours that make the work of saving lives possible.”

 The foundation left gifts with both shelters with promises of more to come to help support their efforts.

To find out more about adoptable pets in Franklin County, call Franklin County Animal Control at 931-967-5389 or visit the organization’s Facebook page.

To reach Animal Harbor, call 931-967-4472 or visit

About ‘To The Rescue’

“To The Rescue” features veteran TV producer-personality Tommy Habeeb as he shares astonishing stories of dogs and the humans who rescue them.

The half-hour weekly syndicated TV series airs in over 200 markets nationwide.

Each episode follows stories that intertwine the work of animal-rescue organizations, municipal animal shelters, transporters, behaviorists and foster families to reveal what it really takes to help the most at-risk dogs find their forever families.

About Bissell Pet Foundation

The Bissell Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and to support organizations dedicated to the humane care and treatment of animals.

Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, the Bissell Pet Foundation is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare.

With support from Bissell Homecare Inc., the foundation aims to be a key leader in advocating for lost, abused, neglected and abandoned pets.