It was a beautiful sight: a row of empty cages and smiling faces at the BARCS Animal Shelter in Baltimore. The staff took this photo to celebrate the successful nationwide adoption campaign, Clear the Shelters, that resulted in 45,000 adoptions on Saturday. Thirteen shelters were completely emptied, said Valari Staab, president of NBC Universal, which worked with Telemundo and 480 shelters to make it happen. At least 682 animals were adopted in the Chicagoland area alone, according to NBC Chicago.
“Empty cages! Happy, happy tears. All of these doggies [including Stanford pictured above] found homes today during Clear the Shelters!” reads the BARCS Facebook post. “We did 37 adoptions, and another 35 adoptions pending in just 6 hours. What an incredible day! Thank you to all of our adopters, volunteers and staff. A truly lifesaving day for 72 pets!”
All of the Kittens and cats at Stonington Animal Rescue Project in Connecticut found homes, according to the group’s Facebook page. “Clear the shelters was a success ! All we have left are barn cats.” The event was publicized by NBC stations across the country working with 480 shelters in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Ruben Echeverria Hernandez adopted one of the dogs at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. He named him Ringo. Ruben was diagnosed with AIDS and the dogs keep him happy and busy. Every year, 7.6 million animals end up in shelters nationwide — and only 2.7 million are adopted, according to the ASPCA.
Participating shelters waived or reduced their adoption fees. Homes were also found for parakeets, rabbits and even an iguana named Charizard. “Our entire division of NECN, Telemundo and NBC stations and our corporate staff are overwhelmed and thrilled with the extraordinary results of this year’s Clear The Shelters event,” said Staab, of NBC Universal Owned Television Stations.