Saturday was a good day for shelter animals across the country.
Aug. 18 marked the fourth annual “Clear the Shelters” campaign ― a nationwide event in which hundreds of shelters offer discounted, or totally waived, adoption fees for their animals.
The initiative was spearheaded by NBC and Telemundo television stations, which promote and broadcast the efforts of local shelters. This year, more than 1,200 animal shelters were participating, and more than 70,000 pets had found new homes as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Clear the Shelters website.
Clear the Shelters, along with other low or no-fee adoption events, can be controversial, partially because some people worry that adopters drawn to these events might be acting impulsively, might not be committed enough to a new pet, or even worse, may be abusers looking to get an animal for free.
But research conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on shelter cat adoptions suggested that eliminating adoption fees does not “devalue” animals in the minds of adopters.
And many animal welfare advocates point to these kinds of events as an effective way to help pets find homes who might otherwise get overlooked ― or even euthanized in the case of shelters with high populations and low resources.
That said, any potential adopters should always make sure they’re prepared to care for their new companion for life. Head over to the Humane Society of the United States’ website for more information on what kinds of questions you should ask yourself before adopting a new best friend.
Keep reading to see more photos of animals meeting their new families.