'Clear the Shelters' Organizers Hope to Find Homes for Tens of Thousands of Pets

July 21, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

Last year's national pet adoption event resulted in nearly 20,000 pet adoptions. Organizers hope to top that number this year.

Veterinarians across the country could find themselves with lots of new patients when they show up to work on Monday.

Tens of thousands of shelter animals are expected to find new homes during a national adoption drive on Saturday.

NBC Universal Owned Television Stations and Petco are teaming up for the second national Clear the Shelters event. The campaign is designed to help clear space in animal shelters, and help give would-be pet owners the push to take the plunge.

About 600 shelters will be participating. Many of those shelters will waive some or all of their adoption fees for one day only. Last year’s event resulted in the adoption of nearly 20,000 animals.

“We're proud to be part of this lifesaving event and looking forward to helping more animal lovers become great pet parents by providing everything they need to create happy, healthy homes for their new family members,” said Brad Weston, Petco’s president, in a press release.

The event actually began in 2014 as a local project in north Texas. The success of that event led NBC Universal and Petco to take the program national last year.

In a post on NBC Universal’s corporate website, NBC Universal Owned Television Stations President Valari Staab said local TV stations will spotlight participating local shelters.

“The stations are also dedicating special programming and news coverage to promote Clear the Shelters and engage with their local viewers across all platforms, to help raise awareness about the national pet adoption day,” she wrote.

Organizers are using social media to promote the event, encouraging pet owners to use the #CleartheShelters hashtag.

Jack is my darling shelter dog. Help "Jacks" find new homes! #ClearTheShelters Saturday! https://t.co/ikU0wf7nmU pic.twitter.com/zTUmvMl0eR

— Valari Staab (@ValariStaab) July 17, 2016

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, about 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters each year. About 2.7 million are adopted each year. Another 2.7 million are euthanized.