Each year in the US, more than 6 million pets enter the rescue and shelter system1. To help combat pet homelessness and abandonment, NBCUniversal Local hosted an event called Clear the Shelters from August 1st to August 31st, 2023. It was co-sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Greater Good Charities for this year. That makes nine years running that the program has been devoted to pairing dogs and cats in shelters with their loving forever homes.
Clear the Shelters partners with shelters and rescues all across the country each year, and rules are similar but may vary based on the city. Generally, though, adoption fees are outright waived or heavily reduced to “name your donation” amounts for the duration of the event, which is during daylight hours.
The goal of these adoption marathons, so to speak, is to literally “clear the shelters,” but sadly, it’s not always possible, and pets will always need new loving owners who are willing to care for and love them. That said, Clear the Shelters has helped more than 800,000 pets find forever homes since 2015. They also promote good pet ownership practices, animal health research, and work toward animal welfare goals.
About Clear the Shelters
Clear the Shelters was largely inspired by the great success of a pet adoption drive in North Texas in 2014, hosted by NBCS/KXAS and Telemundo 39/KXTX stations. Clear the Shelters acts as a sort of central donation and adoption hub for hundreds of shelters and Humane Societies around the country, funneling 100% of donations to the rescues and shelters that so desperately need the funds to operate.
Clear the Shelters offers pet education for new pet parents, even screening you to help decide the best size and breed of pet for your lifestyle. CTS events are typically also packed with reputable dog food vendors like Purina, who help you source high-quality pet food for your new furry pal.
Unlike smaller-scale initiatives, Clear the Shelters doesn’t discriminate by breed and partners with nearly any domestic pet rescue organization. To date, they’ve partnered with shelters, Humane Societies, organizations for rabbits, and more. Suffice it to say, if you know a shelter, they most likely benefit hugely from Clear the Shelter events and the organization in general.
How to Support Clear the Shelters
The most straightforward way to support the cause is to adopt a pet if it’s within your means. Adoption fees are usually waived for Clear the Shelter events, making the initial monetary cost of getting a new puppy negligible. You can channel those funds to making your new dog’s life as happy and loving as possible, or if you’re so inspired, Clear the Shelters is always happy to accept monetary donations that continue its expansion year after year.
Even if you can’t adopt a pet yourself, don’t worry! It’s easy to spread awareness about local rescues and pet shelters, including Clear the Shelter events, on social media. Use #CleartheShelters to spread awareness for the organization, even if you can’t support them by adopting or donating. The more people that know about programs like these and take the leap to adopt a new pet into their homes, the better.
What Are the Requirements to Adopt a Pet at a Clear the Shelters Event?
There are several requirements for would-be adopters at Clear the Shelters events. These prerequisites help to make the adoption process more streamlined and to get the best families matched up ASAP. Bear in mind that local events sponsored by Clear the Shelter may have differing requirements, and you should call ahead to make sure.
Clear the Shelter’s most recent event was held during the month of August 2023, when shelters around America came together and heavily reduced the requirements to adopt a pet for a short time. By removing the monetary barrier to owning a pet and helping to pair strays or abandoned pets with new owners, Clear the Shelters is making great headway on a big issue.
Featured Image Credit: Lena Ivanova, Shutterstock