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When Is Clear the Shelters 2024? Full Guide & How to Participate

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

woman adopting a dog from shelter

Every year, as the calendar flips to August, a unique and heartwarming event takes place called Clear the Shelters. It’s an event that takes place the entire month of August, that’s not just about raising funds but also about finding forever homes for shelter animals, giving them a second chance at a happy life.


What Is Clear the Shelters?

Clear the Shelters is a national event that was launched by NBC and Telemundo-owned television stations in 2015. Its mission is simple: to provide resources for animal shelters and rescue organizations to help animals in need find loving homes. Since its inception, Clear the Shelters has helped more than 860,000 pets find their forever homes, creating countless heartwarming stories of love and companionship.

When Is Clear the Shelters?

Clear the Shelters runs from August 1st through 31st and features both in-person and virtual pet adoptions. Participating shelters and humane groups offer incentives such as reduced or waived pet adoption fees, making it even more accessible for potential adopters to welcome a furry friend into their lives. Additionally, virtual pet adoptions are returning for a fifth consecutive year, allowing individuals to find their perfect match from the comfort of their own homes.

Cat and woman owners holding cats in shelter to adopt
Photo Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Raising Funds for Shelters

Fundraising is an integral part of this event. Shelters rely heavily on donations to provide care for the animals they house. From food and medical supplies to maintenance costs, running a shelter is no small feat. To support the shelters in their vital work, various fundraising initiatives are organized, ranging from traditional charity runs and bake sales to online crowdfunding campaigns. These creative fundraising ideas not only generate funds but also raise awareness about the importance of supporting animal shelters.

Adoption Drives

In tandem with fundraising, shelters also hold mass adoption events throughout August. These events create opportunities for shelter animals to connect with potential adoptive families, showcasing their unique personalities and spreading joy to all who attend. Not only do these adoption drives help clear shelters, but they also give animals a chance to live in loving, permanent homes, where they can thrive and be cherished.

A Special Day in August

While the entire month is dedicated to this cause, there’s one day that stands out – International Homeless Animals Day. Falling on the third Saturday of August, this day sees an increase in events and activities aimed at raising awareness about the plight of homeless animals. It serves as a reminder that there are still many animals in need of a safe and loving home, and it motivates individuals to take action and make a difference.

two woman adopting dogs at animal shelter
Photo Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Making a Difference

This August event has seen incredible success over the years, with numerous heartwarming stories of animals finding their forever homes. For instance, LifeLine Animal Project waives the adoption fees for dogs over 25 pounds each Friday of summer through September 1st, making it easier for families to adopt and encouraging more adoptions. Meanwhile, organizations like BARCS Animal Shelter take their adoptable pets to local stores to increase their visibility and give them a better chance of finding loving families.

The Impact

The impact of this annual event is far-reaching. It doesn’t just change the lives of the animals that get adopted; it also has a positive impact on the adopters’ lives. Adopting animals from shelters can have a profound influence, creating a bond that enriches the lives of both the pet and the owner. The unconditional love and companionship that shelter animals provide bring immeasurable joy and happiness to households across the nation.

Ways to Involve the Whole Family

Clear the Shelters is the perfect opportunity to involve the whole family in this nationwide pet adoption and donation campaign, which runs throughout August. Here are some ways you can engage your family in this heartwarming initiative.

  • Visit Your Local Shelter: Plan a family visit to participating shelters. It’s an excellent way for children to learn about different breeds, the importance of pet care, and the process of adoption.
  • Foster a Pet: If you’re not ready to adopt, fostering is a great option. It not only provides a temporary home for shelter animals but also gives your family a taste of what it’s like to have a pet.
  • Participate in Fundraising: Join the fundraising campaign hosted by Greater Good Charities. Organize a family yard sale or bake sale and donate the proceeds to the campaign.
  • Use the ‘WeRescue’ App: Involve your tech-savvy kids in the pet search using the WeRescue app. They can search by zip code to find participating rescues and available pets.
  • Adopt a Pet: If your family is ready for a long-term commitment, consider adopting a pet. Make sure to involve all family members in the decision-making process to ensure the pet fits well with your family’s lifestyle.
  • Volunteer at a Shelter: Older children and teenagers can volunteer at local shelters, helping with daily tasks or assisting during the Clear the Shelters events.
  • Spread the Word: Encourage your kids to spread the word about the campaign among their friends and on social media. The more people know about it, the more pets can find their forever homes.
  • Make Donations: Collect unused pet supplies around the house or purchase new ones to donate to your local shelter. Even small items like food, toys, and blankets can make a big difference.
  • Educate Each Other: Use this campaign as an opportunity to educate each other about responsible pet ownership and the importance of animal shelters.
  • Celebrate Adoption Stories: Share heartwarming stories of adopted pets from the campaign with your family. It helps to reinforce the positive impact of pet adoption.

Remember, no effort is too small when it comes to helping animals find their loving homes. By involving the whole family in the Clear the Shelters campaign, you’re not only helping animals in need but also teaching your family valuable lessons about empathy, responsibility, and community service.

woman holds in her hands a brush sphinx cat and a papillon dog
Photo Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock


Worthy Shelters to Donate To

Here are five admirable shelters that are doing incredible work and could greatly benefit from your donations:

Every donation, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in the lives of these animals.

Renegade Paws Rescue

Renegade Paws Rescue is a remarkable non-profit organization based in the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia. With unwavering dedication, they work tirelessly to rescue, foster, and find loving forever homes for at-risk dogs. Every precious pup that comes under their care is given a second chance at life, receiving the love, care, and attention they deserve. Through their compassionate efforts, Renegade Paws Rescue is making a significant impact on the lives of these vulnerable animals, ensuring they have a brighter and happier future ahead.

North Shore Animal League

Renowned as the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, the North Shore Animal League, located in New York, has been passionately championing the cause of animal welfare since its establishment in 1944. With a rich and storied history spanning over several decades, they have tirelessly worked to provide a safe haven for countless animals in need, ensuring their well-being and finding them loving forever homes.

Best Friends Animal Society

Operating from their headquarters in Utah, the Best Friends Animal Society is a highly regarded nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization. Devoted to their mission of saving animals’ lives, they proudly manage the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Committed to promoting compassionate and responsible pet ownership, they strive to create a world where every animal is treated with kindness and respect.

a woman hugging a cat in a shelter
Image Credit: V2505, Shutterstock

Austin Pets Alive!

Situated in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, Austin Pets Alive! is a dedicated organization that has revolutionized the approach to animal sheltering. Driven by their unwavering commitment to saving lives, they have spearheaded innovative programs and initiatives to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of Austin’s adoptable dogs and cats. By providing comprehensive care, rehabilitation, and adoption services, they have transformed the lives of countless animals and inspired lasting change within the community.

PAWS Chicago

As Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter, PAWS Chicago goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets. With a comprehensive range of services, including adoption, medical care, and behavioral training, they ensure that every animal receives the love and attention they deserve. Moreover, they actively engage in community outreach programs, educating and empowering individuals to become responsible pet owners. Through their tireless advocacy efforts and collaboration with policymakers, they strive to implement effective measures that reduce the number of homeless pets and create a more compassionate society.



The August drive to Clear the Shelters is a testament to what we can achieve when we come together for a common cause. It’s a reminder that every animal deserves a loving home, and every little bit helps to make that a reality. As we step into August again, let’s remember the shelters and the animals they house. Whether it’s by donating, volunteering, or adopting, we can all play a part in this noble cause and make a lasting difference in the lives of shelter animals.


Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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