"Clear the Shelters" Event Finds Homes for More Than 18,000 Animals

August 17, 2015

During the “Clear the Shelters” adoption event on Saturday, August 15, four hundred animal shelters around the country reduced or completely waived adoption fees to help connect adoptable dogs and cats with loving families. Now the numbers are in, and we are thrilled to announce that more than 18,000 cats and dogs found homes during this nationwide event!  

The ASPCA granted $134,000 to 16 participating organizations for “Clear the Shelters,” which was sponsored by the NBCUniversal-Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal and Telemundo. Shelters also got a boost from their local NBC and Telemundo stations to promote their events.

At the ASPCA Adoption Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a line stretched halfway down the block.  To handle the heavy influx of adopters, staff set up hospitality stations and even a children’s activity table where kids colored pictures of dogs and cats as their parents waited patiently to look at available pets.


Irving, age 3, colored dogs and cats while his family waited to look at available dogs.

“It was an amazing day,” said Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Adoption Center, which placed 76 cats and five dogs in new homes. Across the New York tri-state area, 1,046 dogs and cats were adopted.

At the Animal Care Centers of NYC (AC&C), 148 adoptions took place, and the organization is extending the promotion for 60 days for anyone who came Saturday but didn't find their perfect match.

For Morgan Castilla, 21, a student at the Fashion Institute in New York City, the perfect match came in the form of a cat. “I dreamed last night that I would come home with an orange kitten,” said Morgan, who adopted an orange, two-month-old tabby that she named Harvey.


Morgan and the newly-named Harvey.

Vaughn Moore of the Bronx visited the ASPCA with his wife Marcia and daughters Brianna, 8, and Anyah, 10. They chose two long-haired kittens in memory of their 15-year-old cat, Muff Muff, a Turkish Angora who recently passed away after battling cancer. “We were crushed at her death,” Vaughn said, but matching grey tabbies Cobey and Coffee helped ease their grief.


The Moore family of the Bronx adopted two long-haired kittens, Cobey and Coffee.

“It feels like a dream come true,” said Corey Price, manager of Irving Animal Services who conceived and hosted ‘Empty The Shelter’ events in the past in North Texas. “I never thought I would see empty kennels,” she confessed. “I’m thankful so many caring and dedicated people were willing to take a chance on a crazy idea.”

Dallas/Fort Worth ranked No. 1 across the country with 3,045 total adoptions, followed closely by Los Angeles with 2,360 adoptions.

Despite the myth that fee-waived adoptions don’t yield good homes for cats and dogs, ASPCA and other research shows that eliminating adoption fees does not devalue animals in the eyes of the adopters.

Nancy Turner and her daughter, Nicole, 10, of the Bronx, had been thinking about adopting a cat when they decided to visit the ASPCA on Saturday. They waited patiently for four hours before leaving with a solid gray, three-month-old kitten whom Nicole named Mr. Boots.


Nicole, 10, of the Bronx, with her newly-named kitten Mr. Boots.

“It wasn’t just about being free,” said Nancy. “At the end of the day, what matters is you’re saving a life.