Imagine one day to empty U.S. animal shelters of all their animals because they’re adopted into great homes. Imagine. That’s the goal of the annual Clear the Shelters day. In it’s third year, the NBC and Telemundo-owned stations popular nationwide adoption campaign  is back on Saturday, August 19. And, they’re counting on us to help. So, whether you’re looking to add a furry family member or know someone who is; can share on your social media or can talk it up with your network of friends, Clear the Shelters is the time to focus on getting shelter pets a good home.

My fave local shelter is participating again this year. Abandoned Pet Rescue, Fort Lauderdale’s No Kill Shelter, has about 200 cats that need homes. 200! I’m going to be sharing that on my social. They have dogs, too, and anyone locally who is looking to adopt a dog, please come by the shelter, as well. But, kitties are traditionally harder to place and there’s just so many more of them.


A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!


Here’s what’s extra special about Clear the Shelters:

  • hundreds of animal shelters across the country offer low cost or completely waived adoption fees that day, to help families find and adopt a pet
  • while we need to focus on getting homeless animals out of shelters and into good homes everyday, it’s one day where, as a nation, we do focus on this and there’s great power in those numbers
  • case in point: since 2015, when it began, Clear the Shelters‘ stations and rescue/shelter partners have resulted in the adoption of over 70,000 homeless pets. Wow!

How does it work?


A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!

The Moore Family


Clear the Shelters is a nationwide pet adoption campaign that is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, that includes 30 NBC and Telemundo-owned stations, and hundreds of animal shelters.  For those not familiar, here’s how it works.

On this day, participating NBC and Telemundo stations run special programming encouraging their communities to adopt from their local shelters and to help raise awareness, both leading up to and on the day of Clear the Shelters, about the cause. Crews will be reporting from their local, participating shelters throughout the day, so you get to see families and hear their stories of finding their perfect pets and animals leaving the shelters going to their new homes.

The campaign has its own site, and you can upload an image of yourself with your pet or pets using the hashtags #LoveMyPet and #ClearTheShelters to join in the national fun and spread the word.

You don’t need to have an adopted animal to participate.  You can simply smile, snap a photo with your favorite furry or non-furry friend, list your reasons for loving your pet, and upload your post and photo to your social media channels.

But, if you do choose to adopt, Petco is a national sponsor again this year, and Petco partners will be present at some participating animal welfare organizations to answer questions from potential pet adopters and their families. Petco will also be distributing “Welcome to the Family” packets containing information for new pet parents along with coupons for pet supplies.

“With more than 50 years in the pet specialty business, Petco understands and celebrates the importance of the incredible bond between pets and pet parents,” said Charlie Piscitello, chief people officer at Petco. “Clear the Shelters allows us to extend our year-long animal adoption efforts and offers our immensely passionate store partners the ability to help even more families start out with the tools and knowledge they need to make their relationship with their new pet as rewarding as possible.”

VIP Pet Care is also returning as a national sponsor this year. They have a network of community clinics around the country that provide a range of services to keep pets healthy,  administered by licensed onsite veterinarians.

“VIP Petcare’s continued support of the NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear the Shelterspet adoption campaign will ensure that our stations and partner shelters deliver a memorable event for communities and pet adopters all across the country,” said Bruce Kallner, Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales and Marketing, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “We’re excited to work with a partner that values the importance of quality pet care and wellness and look forward to another successful Clear the Shelters day.”

The NBC owned station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area is NBC 6/WTVJ. APR’s own Larry Wallenstein went on air with adoptable kittens to talk up our “Caturday Saturday!” Clear the Shelters initiative. We’ll be watching NBC 6 for coverage of our local shelters and community members who’ll be adding a new furry member to the family.

How did this all start?


A North Texas pet adoption effort was picked up by NBC’s Dallas affiliate, KXAS and its Telemundo affiliate, KXTX. They did such a good job of creating a buzz, that word spread up the corporate ladder and in 2015, the first Clear the Shelters was born.

A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!

We covered it here on Bark & Swagger and you can see how much this has grown by checking out the very first story here.

Personal Stories

We all love happy ending stories about homeless animals that’ve found their furevers. Here are a couple inspired by last year’s Clear the Shelters.

Last summer, “Rose” a husky with a neurological syndrome who traveled from Turkey to a shelter in Briarcliff Manor, New York found a new home while “Tootsie,” a senior Shih-Tzu with one eye was adopted by a family from Chicago, Illinois.


A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!

Valari Staab with Jack


This one is from Valari Staab, President of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, who walks the walk of Clear the Shelters, too!  “I share my home and my life with a shelter dog.  Jack, a two-year old Shih-Tzu and Jack Russell Terrier mix that my husband and I rescued through the Animal Lighthouse Rescue was a street dog in Puerto Rico. Jack is a great dog with a lot of love. We rescued Jack the day after we lost our 17 year-old dog, Zach. He helped heal us from that loss. He is funny, sweet and loves his new life. We couldn’t be happier with him.”


A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!



I saw Coach while researching this story and thought, Oh Lordy, I can’t NOT adopt this dog. What a face! I had to take him home! Was it a good idea for me to add a 5th dog to our family? Nooo. Four is challenging enough and I’ve made my peace with knowing I can’t really take on anymore. But, that didn’t stop me from finding out where his shelter was located (Tampa/St. Pete, not too far from Fort Lauderdale), going onto their website and looking for him. I was actually getting excited, knowing all the while that this was a crazy move! Thank goodness (for both of us), Coach was adopted. ♥

For more information about Clear the Shelters and to access a list of shelters that will participate in Clear the Shelters events on August 19, please visit If you’d like to access the information in Spanish, please visit

Now, let’s get the Clear the Shelters message shared across all of your social networks, spread the word about Adopt Don’t Shop and be the difference for thousands of homeless animals this year!

Scroll down for a super cute special Clear the Shelters video!


A national pet adoption day is on Saturday, August 19th, called Clear the Shelters. Get involved!


***  “Save the Date for Clear the Shelters” video 


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Written by Jody Miller-Young
What does stylish mean to you? I’m passionate about animals, fashion, travel, home decor and rescue, and that's what you'll find here. After a recent move to Fort Lauderdale from NYC, we're loving our new life in the sunshine. Welcome to my world! Grab your favorite beverage, curl up and stay awhile.