More than 65 dogs and cats found their forever homes during the Irving Animal Care Campus’ “Clear the Shelters” event on Saturday, Aug. 19.
The Irving City Shelter, in conjunction with the DFW Humane Society, waived adoption fees for all pets on Saturday, drawing a huge crowd of would-be pet owners. The dogs and cats at the shelter were already spayed or neutered, given up-to-date immunizations, and provided microchips. By removing the adoption fee, the shelter hoped find homes for all their animals in a single day.
“Clear the Shelters” first got its start in Irving in 2014. In the next few years, the event spread nationwide with over 900 shelters across the country participating. This year, nearly 7,000 pets were adopted in North Texas alone, and seven DFW-area shelters were completely emptied. Unfortunately, the Irving Animal Care Campus was not completely empty by the end of the day. In total, over 72,000 pets were adopted nationwide on Saturday.
“It’s so wonderful to come here and see that everybody’s got a home,” Laura Bookbinder, a volunteer with the DFW Humane Society, said. “There are many, many good dogs and cats here, and they deserve better than being in a cage. For them to get a home and be loved, that’s the ultimate goal.”
North Lake College student Katlyn Peck found a new friend in Outlaw, a Jack Russell terrier mix. Peck said the event attracts people who otherwise would not be able to afford adopting a pet.
“This is a really good cause for all these dogs and animals,” Peck said. “It also gives people a chance who can’t afford for dogs to be fixed and have chips so that if they lose them, they can find them.”
Nicole Tate from Dallas welcomed two new kittens to her family. She stressed the importance of adopting pets from an animal shelter as opposed to purchasing them from a pet store.
“We have too many strays right now,” Tate said. “We have too many puppy mills out there. [Adopting from a shelter] is the best way to get a pet. They’re perfect little bundles of joy all ready to go.”
Stormy Aguilar from Irving took home a terrier mix as a companion for his dog. Aguilar said it is important for these animals to get a second chance at a family and a loving home.
“There are so many dogs in the shelter that are sitting there and waiting for somebody to get them,” Aguilar said. “It’s sad when you see two dogs sitting in a cage with no one there. They deserve a second chance, everybody does.”
If people are unable to adopt a dog or cat, they can still help out the animals. Laura Bookbinder suggests that in addition to monetary donations, coming out and spending time with the animals is a great way to help.
“Maybe you can’t spend a lot of time with a dog or a cat, but it’s 15 minutes more love than they normally would be getting, so it’s worth it,” Bookbinder said. “You’ve done something good, and it makes you feel good. My first suggestion is donate, then volunteer, and don’t forget to spread the word.”