If you’re looking for that special pet, perhaps this special day will bring the two of you together.
Saturday is Clear the Shelters Day, an annual nationwide one-day event in which nearly 900 animal shelters — including more than 70 across North Texas — join forces. Adoption fees are waived and pets are provided that have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and even have a microchip.
This year’s event begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until either 5 or 6 p.m. (check with your local shelter).
And it started right here in North Texas in 2014 with 38 shelters. The Fort Worth shelter has adopted out more than 1,200 animals since, with many others throughout the area.
“Each year we try to beat ourselves and save more lives than the year before,” Weatherford Animal Services Manager Ashley Woolnough said. “We hope that families far and wide can join us to find their new best friend.”
Due to the birthing cycle, shelters often find themselves greatly overcrowded in the summer. To address the overcrowding, North Texas shelter managers joined forces to create the adoption campaign. Since 2015, when the day went national, more than 150,000 pets have been adopted across the country through the event, with NBC and Telemundo coming on board to help with publicity.
Last year alone, more than 80,000 animals were adopted.
“This is just such a huge event and an awesome opportunity for everybody to be a part of,” Weatherford Animal Shelter Director Dustin Deel said.
“The summer months are notoriously the time when we have the most intakes,” said Dr. Tim Morton, assistant director of code compliance for Fort Worth Animal Care and Control. “But this year has been a huge challenge for us with higher than normal number of animals entering the shelter. We’re confident our community will come out and support this great adoption event.”
While finding an animal to adopt is the mission of Clear the Sheltera Day, there will be plenty more to do for folks attending. It has become a fun family outing.
For example, Keller will have Cornhole games, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and more. In Fort Worth, PetSmart and the Fort Worth Police Department will bring Batman in for a special appearance.
“Last year we adopted 440 pets into homes, and we fully expect to exceed that number this year,” said Cassie Lackey, community relations manager for Humane Society of North Texas, which manages the Regional Animal Adoption Center in Keller.
“We had been number one in adoptions until last year when another shelter whooped us,” she added with a laugh. “But hey, we love competing for getting pets into homes. I’m just saying we’re gonna win this year.”
Volunteers are also welcome to help with the event. Contact your local shelter to see how you can help.
Susan Schrock, Arlington communications coordinator, said that more than 60 volunteers already have signed up for the city. Also, crafts will be available created by Golden Paws volunteers.
During the past four years, more than 330 animals have been adopted from the Arlington Animal Services Center during Clear the Shelters events.
“We encourage Arlington residents and those who live in surrounding communities to join us during this day of action,” Arlington Animal Services Manager Chris Huff said. “This important national initiative will give dozens of homeless animals in Arlington — and millions across the country — a chance at a new life.”