“Clear the Shelters” give pets a second chance to find their forever home

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Animal shelters across Wisconsin teamed up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find forever homes for pets in need.

"Clear the Shelters" takes place at animal shelters across the country on Aug. 17, 2019.Photo: Max Pixel

On August 17, 2019, thousands of shelters across the country participated in “Clear the Shelters.” The event raises awareness about the benefits of pet adoption and aims to reduce the animal overpopulation at local shelters.

NBC15 News is working to gather adoption totals from all the participating shelters in our viewing area. Here's the numbers so far from the promotion:

Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin
21 cats
9 dogs

Madison Cat Project
1 cat

Dane County Humane Society
1 dog
1 rabbit

Several organizations across South Central Wisconsin participated in the event. They include Little Orphans Animal Rescue Inc. of Montello, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS), Madison Cat Project, Iowa County Humane Society, and the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin.

“We have so many animals in need in our community and they really are looking for a second chance,” said Dane County Humane Society spokeswoman, Marissa DeGroot. “You can find a variety of different types of animals, different breeds, and different personalities. “You might not find the right match right away, but if you come back and continue to look at a shelter we guarantee you you’ll find somebody who is the right fit for you.”

DCHS has a “Lonely Hearts Club.” These are animals that have been at the shelter for 30 days or more. Most of the animals at DCHS are at the shelter have a short stay, and DeGroot credits that to a community that values animal adoption. DeGroot estimates many animals that have been adopted were there for about a week.

John Mutchler, a volunteer and former Iowa County Humane Society, aims for 20 adoptions a month.

“If we can get 20 animals in a month that’s really, really good,” said Mutchler. “As we are adopting out 20 and 10 we pick up another 10 to 15 to 20. So it seems like there’s always that cycle of movement. But, hundreds of animals we’ll adopt out a year here which were really proud about.”

Mutchler said he hopes they clear the shelter during the event, but said the process will likely start over.

“Obviously that’s not going happen but ideally it would be fantastic if we could connect up anyone just one adoption would be great. Two would be better 10 would be 10 times better so any kind of adoption that comes out of it would be great.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), estimates there are six to eight million cats and dogs entering shelters each year across the country. They estimate four million cats and dogs are adopted each year.

“Clear the Shelters” is an initiative led by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. Since 2015, “Clear the Shelters” has resulted in more than 250,000 pet adoptions nationwide.

You can learn more about the pets available for adoption through the Little Orphans Animal Rescue Inc. of Montello, by clicking here

You can learn more about the pets available for adoption through the Dane County Humane Society by clicking here. They will be open all day Aug. 17 for “Clear the Shelters.” Adoption fees are waived for “Lonely Hearts Club” cats and rabbits. There will be a $100 adoption fee for “Lonely Hearts Club” dogs.

You can learn more about the pets available for adoption through the Madison Cat Project by clicking here. All adult cats more than a year old will have their adoption fee discounted to $15. If you are interested, they will be at the Mounds in Sun Prairie from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 17 or you can adopt from MadCat on Mineral Point Road in Madison from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

You can learn more about the pets available for adoption through the Iowa County Humane Society by clicking here. There will be reduced fees on all adoptable kittens and cats. They will be open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.

You can learn more about the pets available for adoption through the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin by clicking here. They will be open on Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be special adoption fees for dogs and cats older than 6 months, as well as all kittens. No puppies or pets marked 'Adoption Guaranteed' will be a part of the “Clear the Shelters" event.

NBC15 News is working to get adoption totals from across our viewing area. This story will be updated with totals as they come in.