More Than 86,800 Pets Adopted from Shelters in One Month Thanks to New Event


Perhaps you’ve seen the news: On August 18, an event called “Clear the Shelters” was held. The goal? Well, it’s pretty much spelled out in the title.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, and all sorts of critters end up at animal shelters. Puppies are snapped up pretty quickly, as are common family breeds like Labradors and golden retrievers.

But older dogs, mixed-breed dogs, pit bull breeds and Chihuahuas can get overlooked. Shelters get overcrowded.

In 2014, the NBC and Telemundo stations joined forces with shelters in North Texas during the first “Clear the Shelters” event. As a result, over 2,200 animals were adopted on just one day.

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News spread fast, and in 2015 400 shelters participated, resulting in almost 20,000 adoptions. The single-day event turned into a month-long one, and in 2017 over 80,000 animals were adopted.

Many participating shelters either reduce their adoption fees or waive them altogether during this time in order to entice potential adopters to come and find their new best friend.

Not everyone is happy about the situation, with many people protesting that free animals often aren’t cared for, and that if owners can’t afford an adoption fee they won’t be able to afford an animal.

While there are certainly cases where this is true, and there need to be preventative measures put in place, the event has also encouraged people on the fence or who have already considered adopting to make a concrete decision and join the movement.

This year, over 86,800 pets were adopted during Clear the Shelters. That’s a lot of four-legged friends getting out of shelters and into families.

Plenty of people answered the call, and have spread the word about their new pups, cats, and other animals. Many adopters were not first-time pet owners, and were at a place in their lives where they were ready to move on from a departed pet or add to their menagerie.

“She’s a little bit shy, quiet,” a woman named Jane DeNoto said of the 11-year-old cat she just adopted. The feline reminded her of a former love: “When I saw her, I thought, ‘She’s another Gretel!'”

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“He’s a little broken, and I’m a vet, so I’m a little broken, so we’ll help each other,” said a woman who adopted a one-eyed shepherd mix. “And I just lost a dog in May so, I know he’s going to help.”

Even a news anchor, Norma Garcia, who was just at a shelter to cover the event got sucked into a set of pleading puppy eyes and went home with a pup herself.

Hopefully the proud new owners of these creatures will be putting in the time and effort to get their new family members adjusted, and realize that an animal’s worth is intrinsic, and not based on an adoption fee.

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