It is that amazing time in America during which animals find new homes. It actually takes place on August 18 every and the latest edition of ‘Clear the Shelters’ has successfully found homes and owners for over 250,000 animals.
In New York, almost 10,000 pets were rehomed, with officials already proclaiming the drive as the most successful ever.
Clear the Shelters was created by the NBC and Telemundo TV networks and, crucially, is the time of year that allows people to adopt their animal with a low fee or, sometimes, no fee at all.
“This was a record-breaking tri-state Clear the Shelters campaign. More adoptions were recorded at more tri-state shelters and rescues than ever before. Our WNBC team thanks everyone who adopted,” said President and General Manager of NBC 4 New York, Eric Lerner.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, almost half of the animals in the shelters were adopted, according to local officials.
San Diego County Animal Services director Daniel DeSousa declared: “Our first adopter arrived at the gates to our Bonita shelter at 5.45 in the morning. They had a specific pet in mind and wanted to ensure they had the first opportunity to adopt the animal.
“Every day an animal is adopted at our shelters is a good day but Clear the Shelters Day is a truly incredible day as we know that dozens of animals that were once in our care are now in permanent, loving homes.”
Clear the Shelters provides plenty of heart-warming tales, but it has been criticised in some corners for allowing people to adopt animals for close to nothing.
“The Clear The Shelters campaigns are short-sighted, at best, focusing on reducing the number of animals in the shelter by encouraging impulse adoptions at the low, low cost of $20 (£15),” wrote Orange County German Shepherd Rescue director Maria Dales.
“Such programs do not screen prospective adopters, and virtually anyone 18 or older who can fog a mirror is incentivised to adopt an animal on the spot in the pursuit of the program goal.
“A false send of urgency promotes sloppy adoptions simply so that the shelter can applaud itself for the ‘success’ of emptying the facility.”
She continued: “Logic defies the administration’s claims that these programs work. While undoubtedly well-intentioned, adopters who lack the means to pay minimal adoption fees to add a living, breathing family member are unlikely to have the financial means to provide proper vet care or training, two critical components of responsible animal stewardship.”