The dog days of summer are here and as the mercury rises, so does the spirits of shelter animals around the country.
That's because Clear the Shelters is back. NBC and Telemundo stations' are teaming up with shelters nationwide on Aug. 17 for the fifth annual animal adoption drive.
More than 1,400 shelters and rescues have already registered to participate in this year's campaign.
"Clear The Shelters is a summer tradition that communities everywhere look forward to," said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "We’re proud to join with animal shelters and rescues, as well as our affiliate station partners and sponsors, [Cat's Pride, Hill's Pet Nutrition and our digital media partner The Dodo] to present this annual event that celebrates animals and helps shelters match families with their new furry best friend,”
This year, Grammy award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson will host the 30-minute program recapping the Clear the Shelters campaign. "The Voice" coach and host of her own daytime program, "The Kelly Clarkson Show," which premieres this fall, said she's excited to recount the stories of cats and dogs who have been waiting for "A Moment Like This" to find their forever home.
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"I am a huge animal lover and can tell you from personal experience that when you open your heart and home to a rescue animal, your pet will thank you every single day of its life. It’s the most beautiful and purest form of unconditional love you can ever have. I’m so excited for people to discover this feeling when they find their perfect pet on August 17, and to tell all the amazing pet adoption stories from this year’s Clear The Shelter’s campaign,” added Clarkson.
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.