Animal shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need.
The fourth annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held Aug. 18. Hundreds of shelters — including locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia — will waive or reduce fees as part of the one-day adoption drive.
The goal is to #ClearTheShelters by finding forever homes for as many animals as possible.
More than 61,000 pets were adopted during last year's event, including more than 1,300 in the D.C. area. One of those was a dog named Odysseus, then 10 years old. The odds weren't necessarily in his favor: He was a senior dog and also a large one, at 73 pounds. But the German shepherd went home with his new humans that day and found his happily ever after.
"He is a fully integrated member of the family," one of his new pet parents, Tammy Garrett, told NBC Washington. "He loves affection and loves to snuggle at our feet. If he sees my husband and I hug, he immediately wiggles in between us so he can get some hugs too!"
Photos: DC-Area Pets Find Their Forever Homes During Clear the Shelters 2017
Millions more pets remain homeless. Every year, 6.5 million animals end up in shelters nationwide — and only 3.2 million are adopted, according to the ASPCA.
But the number of dogs and cats going into shelters each year has declined in recent years.
The number being euthanized has also declined, and the ASPCA attributes the decline in part to an increase in the percentage of animals being adopted and an increase in the number of strays being returned to their humans.
Dozens of local shelters will take part this year in Clear the Shelters, searching for homes for dogs, cats, rabbits and even horses.
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We've listed them all below. You can also search on the interactive map above for the one closest to you.
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Animal Welfare Society of Howard County, Inc.
Anne Arundel County Animal Control
Baltimore County Animal Services
Baltimore Humane Society
BARCS Animal Shelter
Baywater Animal Rescue
Billy the Kidden Rescue
Chesapeake Feline Association
Cecil County Aninal Shelter
City of Manassas Animal Shelter
Equine Rescue League
Fairfax County Animal Shelter
Fancy Cats Rescue Team
Frederick County Esther Boyd Animal Shelter
Forgotten Felines of Culpeper
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue
Humane Rescue Alliance (New York Avenue)
Humane Rescue Alliance (Oglethorpe Street)
Humane Society of Charles County
Humane Society of Harford County
Humane Society of Loudoun County
Humane Society of Warren County
Humane Society of Washington (Md.) County
Loudoun County Animal Services
Paws for Seniors
Prince George's County Animal Management Division
Prince William County Animal Shelter
Prince William Humane Society
SPCA of Anne Arundel County
Spotsylvania Animal Shelter
Stafford County Animal Shelter
Tri-County Animal Shelter
Westmoreland County Animal Shelter