Happening today: Clear the Shelters seeks forever homes for shelter pets

Clear the Shelters

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – SICSA, The Humane Society of Greater Dayton, and other shelters team up for the annual Clear the Shelters animal adoption campaign on August 17th. The one-day event gives adopters the chance to name their price for animals up for adoption at four area shelters.

SICSA Pet Adoption Center and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton are participating in the event as well as two new locations at Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and Greene County Animal Control. 2 NEWS will be at all four locations from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm.

The animals are available at a first-come first-serve basis, though 24-hour holds may be placed on select animals at the discretion of the shelter.

The goal of the event is to responsibly clear as many animals out of shelters in one day as possible. Although pricing is reduced, owners are still required to go through the full adoption process and ensure each animal is a proper match for that home. 

Adopters should expect to be asked questions regarding the kind of pet they may want, the size of their home, and other questions aimed at determining if the situation is right for the pet as well as the owner. 

“People are looking to adopt,” said Jessie Sullivan, SICSA’s Director of Adoption and Placement Services. “They want to save the life of a homeless pet, which is really incredible.”

Some adopters come in with a specific idea in mind of what size or breed they want while others come in unsure. Sullivan says those who are unsure often provide great opportunities to staff. 

“That gives us the opportunity to learn a little bit more about an adopter and what they’re looking for,” said Sullivan. “We try to get to know the animals as well as we can while they’re here; their likes, their dislikes, what kind of family they might be a good fit with, so that we can make recommendations along those lines.” 

Last year’s Clear the Shelters event resulted in 54 animals being adopted over the course of the day across the two shelters. This years addition of two new locations is aimed at increasing the number of adoptions. 

“All of our animals are spayed and neutered, they’re micro-chipped, they’re vaccinated, they’re basically ready to go home,” said Sullivan. “If we can clear all the available animals and take a picture at the end of the day with all those empty kennels wide open, that would certainly make our day.” 

The number of animals adopted per year has steadily declined thanks to events like Clear the Shelters.

Clear the Shelters has been responsible for over 150,000 adoptions nationwide since 2015. 

According to The American Society for the Prevention of Animals, an estimated 6.5 million cats and dogs are placed into shelters nationwide per year. The number of animals has steadily declined over the years thanks to an increase in interest in adoption as well as modern technology increasing owners abilities to track their pets. 

Dogs account for 3.3 million of those sheltered while cats account for an estimated 3.2 million. Since 2011, those numbers have steadily decreased 9.7% from the 7.2 million animals placed in shelters that year. 

Of those 6.5 million animals placed in shelters, around 1.5 million are expected to be euthanized. These animals are often euthanized for reasons such as old age, aggressive behavior, illness, or overcrowding. 71% of those euthanized are cats due to them being less likely to have owner identification. 

The number of euthanized animals has steadily decreased over the decade but animals remain at risk. The animals being adopted from shelters plays a much larger part in keeping euthanizations down compared to purchases from stores or private breeders. 

Technology such as micro-chipping has allowed owners to better track their lost animals. According to The National Council, even with those technological advances, the likelihood of an animal being reunited with their owner remains low with only 15% of dogs and 2% of cats being reunited. 

Steps adopters can take before attending Clear the Shelters that will increase the speed of adoption. 

Lines can be long and animal adoption is not always a quick process. To ensure that each adopter has the opportunity to move quickly through the process, each location makes pre-adoption questionnaires available on their website for each animal they have posted. 

If any animals posted on the websites seem like a good match, adopters are encouraged to select the animal and fill out all preliminary information.

Animal’s availability are subject to change.

Shelters are also emphasizing the importance of research before adoption. Visitors are encouraged to check shelters prior to adoption to get a general sense of what is available at that time and what is best for the family’s needs. 

Families with a clear understanding of what animal they can properly house as well as the minimum requirements of ownership will likely move more swiftly through the adoption process than families without a sense of what specific animal they’re looking for. 

For more information about the pet adoption campaign, visit ClearTheShelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ClearTheShelters.

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