DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Every year, 2 NEWS takes part in a nationwide event called “Clear the Shelters.” We partner with animal shelters all over the Miami Valley to help get adoptable pets into loving homes.

This year, the need is great and shelters are facing new challenges brought on by the pandemic.

A year ago, we introduced you to the Preston family. Beth, Adam, and little Willow Preston brought a new shelter pet into their home right in the middle of the pandemic. It started with a visit to the Animal Resource Center.

“Willow walked into the room and tank walked over to her and licked her all the way from her chin to her forehead,” Willow’s mom, Beth, said. “And I was like, ‘Okay! This is the dog!’”

They were one of many families who happily added a pet during the stay-at-home order. Animal Resource Center director, Robert Gruhl says so many families did so, that shelters are now facing a new problem.

“Recently, adoptions have slowed quite a bit,” Gruhl said. “I think there has been quite a bit of saturation of the dog market over the last year, year and a half. Particularly when people were home.”

As families are getting back into a more normal routine with school, activities, and social lives, fewer people are looking for pets. Gruhl says there’s no better time to adopt a shelter pet from the ARC.

“We are completely full and we need to get these animals— these good dogs— into loving homes,” Gruhl said.

The ARC recently added a Behavior Modification and Enrichment Coordinator. It’s a person whose entire job is to get to know the animals, work through any issues, and help you find a dog with the personality you’re searching for.

“Our dogs are no different than any other dog that you would get from a breeder,” Gruhl said. “Or a pet store. In fact, in some instances they’re more well taken care of.”

And they’re looking for a home like yours, right now.

You can see a complete list of dogs available at the animal resource center here.