Why August 17 Is the Best Day to Adopt a New Pet

Why August 17 Is the Best Day to Adopt a New Pet

Every day is a great day to give a shelter pet a forever home.

When you adopt a rescue pet, you are saving two lives: that of the pet you are bringing home, and that of the homeless pet who gets to fill the spot at the shelter. On Aug. 17, it will be even easier to be a superhero to animals, because it’s Clear The Shelters.

Each year, this national pet adoption campaign partners with hundreds of animal rescues and shelters across the United States and Puerto Rico to offer waived and reduced pet adoption fees for one day. This means you could bring home a new best friend for free on Aug. 17.

Clear The Shelters, now in its fifth year, is supported by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, and they make sure the program gets bigger and better every year.

For 2019, NBC and Telemundo stations in 160 markets are partnering with 1,400 shelters to offer more animal lovers than ever the chance to partake in Clear the Shelters.

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One of the shelters that will be participating in this year’s Clear the Shelters is the Women’s Animal Center (WAC) in Philadelphia — the first animal shelter in the United States.

The WAC, originally known as the Women’s Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was founded on April 14, 1869, by a group of forward-thinking women who were outraged with the way homeless pets were treated.

“They would be history makers even if they were alive today,” says the WAC’s current CEO, Catherine Malkemes, of shelter’s all-female founders. “They didn’t have their own voice to vote, and here they were advocating for animals.”

Now, 150 later, WAC is still saving the lives of homeless and abused pets, and Clear The Shelters is making it easier than ever.

“Last year, we had the highest single day of adoptions on Clear The Shelters day, and August 2018 was the highest month for adoptions,” Malkemes shared. “That’s a direct result from Clear The Shelters.”

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Everyone can see the direct results of this year’s Clear The Shelters by watching the campaign’s TV special. Clear The Shelters will reveal how many pets were adopted through the program this year in a 30-minute special hosted by Kelly Clarkson. The special will air on NBC stations beginning Aug. 23 (check local listings).

Clarkson, 37, whose new daytime program The Kelly Clarkson Show starts on Sept. 9 on NBC, is excited to celebrate pet adoption with the nation.

“Shelters are doing a great job at helping to match families with their new pets,” the Grammy winner told PEOPLE. “But we also need to do our part to support shelters and encourage more pet adoptions.”

To do you part and adopt a pet on Aug. 17, Clear The Shelters’ day for 2019, visit cleartheshelters.com to find participating shelters near you.