A dog watches the parade of visitors on at an earlier Clear the Shelters Day in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

More than a dozen animal shelters, rescues and sanctuaries across San Diego County will partner with NBC and Telemundo Saturday to encourage people to adopt a pet during the fifth annual Clear the Shelters day.

Clear the Shelters is a nationwide animal adoption event sponsored by local NBC and Telemundo affiliate stations intended to help as many shelter animals as possible find a forever home. Since the event began in 2015, more than 300,000 pets have been adopted during Clear the Shelters events.

The San Diego Humane Society‘s San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside campuses and the county of San Diego’s Department of Animal Services shelters in Bonita and Carlsbad will participate in the event and waive adoption fees for all animals adopted throughout the day.

At the county’s shelters and the humane society, animals available for adoption have been spayed or neutered, microchipped and brought up to date on their vaccinations, if necessary. Prospective adopters can save time by searching the available pets at a shelter’s website.

“People still need to go through the normal adoption process of filling out an application and doing a screening interview with staff. We just want to make sure their new owners are prepared and committed to an animal,” County Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa said.

According to the county, 81 animals were adopted during last year’s Clear the Shelters event, while more than 400 animals were adopted at the humane society’s three locations last year. According to San Diego Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman, more animals were adopted from SDHS than any other shelter in the United States.

“We use the phrase ‘clear the shelters’ endearingly to express our desire for every shelter pet to have a new home and family of their own,” Weitzman said.

In addition, an assortment of other shelters and animal rescues like the El Cajon Animal Shelter, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas and Wee Companions Small Animal Adoption will participate in the event. A map of participating locations and their hours can be found at cleartheshelters.com.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.