Clear the Shelters Day is a nationwide adoption event from August 1st to the 31st. Depending on the animal shelter, you can get discounts on adoption fees to encourage you to adopt this month. You could be lucky enough to have the adoption fees waived in some places!
For those looking to adopt, this sounds way too good to be true. However, Clear the Shelters is on a mission to clear the shelters, so facilities participating in this adoption event accommodate anyone who may have wanted to adopt beforehand.
So, let’s dig into Clear the Shelters to understand where this idea came from and how you can raise awareness to help shelter pets this month!
How Did Clear the Shelters Get Started?
Clear the Shelters is an annual, nationwide event in the United States. It started as a campaign by NBC Universal Local, which is a division of NBC Universal. Every year, NBC Universal Local’s NBC and Telemundo stations partner with animal shelters and rescues in local communities to run Clear the Shelters adoption events.
The original Clear the Shelters campaign was inspired by a local NBC and Telemundo radio station's pet adoption event held in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2014. Dozens of animal shelters in the area participated, resulting in the most pet adoptions in one day for North Texas!
Since the second year of Clear the Shelters in 2015, over half a million pets have found forever homes in North Texas! That's a fantastic feat, so how can you get this adoption event going in your area?
How to Help Clear the Shelters
Let's say your local area has no Clear the Shelters events this month. How can you get the animal shelters involved and save more pets? On the Clear the Shelters website, you can contact shelters and send them a link to the registration page to hold an event.
There, your animal shelter representative can read over the information and requirements to fulfill for a Clear the Shelters event. Don’t worry that we’re halfway through August, either. You can still get your shelter to sign up if they’re interested.
The event doesn't go through the entire month in any area: most places do one day or a few days for adoption. However, having the event go through the whole month nationwide encourages shelters to pick a day or two that works best to prepare the available pets.
If you want to volunteer to get involved in the process, you'll have to ask your local shelter if you can help. Most likely, the animal shelter will love having volunteers, so ask and see if you can bring some friends or family members along to volunteer with you.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot volunteer for the day, there are other things you can do to help. Ask about foster opportunities if your local animal shelter is holding a Clear the Shelters event.
When shelters get overwhelmed with pets, it's helpful to foster at least one animal. Fostering relieves the stress on the shelter's crucial resources like food, living space, and medical care.
By fostering a pet, particularly a dog, you're also helping the dog by giving them a stable environment. A loving home, even temporarily, helps shape good behavior in dogs.
When you foster a dog, it makes the dog more eligible for adoption. So, you could be approved to foster a dog (or a few!) and get them ready in time for any Clear the Shelters event in your area!
While fostering, you could post about your foster dog on social media to raise awareness for Clear the Shelters. Who knows? Maybe this foster dog will find a forever home within your circles of friends, family, or coworkers!
If you’re unable to foster a dog, you can still help raise awareness of dogs that other people are fostering. Offer your volunteer services at the animal shelter to take photos of dogs for social media.
Make flyers to post online and in real life to spread the word about the event. If given permission, put photos of dogs available for adoption on the posters. List their names, breed, and a fun fact about each dog. When people can create a personal connection through the photos and names of the dogs, they’re more likely to adopt!
Donating is another way to help shelters, no matter how much you're able to contribute. Every little bit helps, so give what you can afford and ask friends and family if they want to donate to a good cause. If you volunteer with the shelter, ask them if you can walk around with a donation jar to collect cash proceeds from attendees.
If you’re feeling crafty, ask the shelter if they would like to put bandanas on the dogs reading, “ADOPT ME!” This is a cute and fun touch to add to the available dogs. Plus, if people bring their dogs to the adoption event to meet other dogs, having an eye-catching way to separate dogs with homes and dogs waiting to be adopted.
Choosing the Best Day & Time
Whether your animal shelter is throwing a Clear the Shelters event for one day or several, choosing a day and time is more important than you might think. After all, think about how different the crowd size could be on a Monday versus a Saturday.
Try to schedule events on days when most people aren't working or on days where their schedule could be more flexible. For example, think about Fridays, where most people tend to "check out" of work by the afternoon. Depending on the workplace, some people would be more likely to be able to leave work early to attend an event.
So, consider the day and time for the event because it can make it or break it. Observe when more people are out and about in your area. These observations can help choose the best day and time for a Clear the Shelters event.
Lastly, ensure you or someone else keeps track of the number of adoptions. This way, you can see how successful the event ran and compare the adoption numbers for the following year.
After all, the goal is to get as many pets adopted as possible throughout August. So, apply these tips to your volunteer strategy or do as many as the shelter allows.
Have you ever held a Clear the Shelters event in your community? Do you have any extra volunteer tips or creative ideas to get people excited about adopting? Let us know in the official Porch Potty Facebook group. We love hearing from you!