NBC and Telemundo stations across the country will team up with hundreds of shelters on Aug. 17 for the fifth annual Clear the Shelters animal adoption drive.
Actress Lake Bell, one of the stars of the animated movie "The Secret Life of Pets 2," notes that the event is "the purrr-fect day to find your perfect pet." Bell, who voices Chloe the tabby cat in the Universal sequel, knows the benefits of pet adoption. She has a rescue dog named Texas, among other critters.
"It's unconditional love," Bell said.
Every year, millions of companion animals end up in shelters across the country. And while shelter adoption rates have been steadily rising since 2011, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 1.5 million animals — 860,000 cats and about 670,000 dogs — are still euthanized each year due to overcrowding.
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. And, by adopting a shelter animal, you actually save two lives.
"Every single pet that is adopted frees shelter staff up to work with and prepare the next pet for potential adoption," said Kenny Lamberti, director of strategic engagement and companion animals for the Humane Society.
Last year, more than 100,000 pets were adopted from over 1,200 shelters across the country. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped 256,688 pets find forever homes.
So if you’re thinking about taking home a new furry friend, consider heading to a local animal shelter to adopt during Clear the Shelters on Aug. 17 when hundreds of shelters will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive.
"Every pet deserves a loving human," said "Modern Family's" Eric Stonestreet, who voices Duke in "The Secret Life of Pets 2."