UPDATE: August 23, 2017

This year’s “Clear the Shelters” day was the most successful yet, with more than 73,000 pets adopted! More than 900 animal shelters across the country discounted or waived adoption fees on August 19 in a lifesaving effort to inspire the community to adopt. Since the first event in 2015, more than 146,000 animals have been adopted from shelters.

“We’re excited that we helped over 73,000 pets find new homes this summer,” said Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, which presents the event. “We are grateful to the generosity of thousands of families that opened their homes to shelter pets and the support we received from our partner shelters, affiliate stations, and sponsors Petco and VIP Petcare.”

News personalities and celebrities also helped with a social media campaign to raise awareness about adoption, and the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and its Spanish equivalent, #DesocuparLosAlbergues, reached millions of users on Facebook and Twitter.

“Together, we helped to make Clear the Shelters a memorable pet adoption drive and we cannot wait to do it all over again next year,” said Staab.

If you’re inspired by this lifesaving effort, you don’t have to wait until next year to help cats. Consider getting community cats out of shelters and back to their outdoor homes by using Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). It saves lives all year round.

Original Post

If you’re considering adding a feline or two to your family, this Saturday might be the perfect day to do it. Hundreds of animal shelters across the country will waive or discount their adoption fees as part of the third annual “Clear the Shelters” day, a national effort aimed at emptying their cages and kennels.

The event, which will be held on August 19, also raises awareness about the millions of animals who enter shelters each year. The initiative is presented by NBC and Telemundo-owned stations and sponsored by Petco and VIP Petcare.

“Our pet adoption campaign has become a favorite event for communities nationwide and also helped cast a national spotlight on shelter pets,” says Meredith McGinn, senior vice president of COZI TV and LX.TV Productions for NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “We are excited for another successful Clear the Shelters day.”

More than 53,000 pets were adopted during last year’s Clear the Shelters events, in which nearly 700 shelters participated.  Since the campaign began in 2015, some 73,411 pets have found homes.

This is especially important for cats because 70 percent are killed in shelters nationwide—and that number rises to nearly 100 percent for community cats. These unowned, outdoor cats are not socialized to people, and therefore, they are not adoptable.

That’s why another way to clear the shelters is to ensure that these facilities have humane community cat policies. When animal shelters support or have their own Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, community cats don’t end up in shelters and are free to stay in their outdoor homes, where they live long, healthy lives.

Animal shelters that implement TNR and other humane policies for community cats save lives—and have more time and resources to focus on other, adoptable animals.

Help clear the shelters! Find a participating organization near you to adopt a feline friend. And consider becoming an advocate for cats in your community! Our activist toolkit will guide you through speaking up for cats and encouraging your local shelter to implement programs that save cats’ lives.