ROGERS, Ark. -- National 'Clear the Shelters' day happened Saturday, Aug. 19 across the nation in an effort to help shelter animals find loving homes.
According to the American Pet Products Association, only 27 percent of all pets in homes are adopted.
At the Rogers Animal Shelter, volunteers and employees began work early in the day to change that statistic.
"We find all these dogs that have been abandoned out in the rural areas and have no homes, and then we put them in a new home," said Clayton Morgan, the director of the Rogers Humane Society. "We put them in their forever home."
The goal of the Clear the Shelters campaign is to reduce adoption fees, so shelters can more easily advocate for the animals they house. Shelter representatives said the goal of their message is simple: Educate the community on the positives of choosing adoption.
"Come to the shelter, because all the dogs here came from a breeder at one point in time," Morgan said. "They may be a mixed breed now, but at one point in time, they were a purebred dog. Shelter dogs are healthier and in fact, have less genetic problems."
The summer is one of the busiest seasons for shelters, which see more animals dumped and dropped off than at any other time in the year.
Not only does the Clear the Shelters campaign hope to help animals find homes, but it also aims to help people find the animals they may not yet know they need in their lives.
"Adoptive pets offer a great opportunity to bring a new family friend into your home in a very easy way," said Ben Christensen, the director of category leadership for Nestle Purina. "You've got a lot of great pets that are here that could be a great addition to anybody's home."
One Rogers resident contends that shelter pets have something special, perhaps garnered through the time spent waiting to find a home.
"When adopting animals through the shelter, they just have a different personality," said Lisa Allis, an adoptive pet parent. "They are sweeter; they need a home; they need someone to love and to care for them. It feels more fulfilling than just buying a dog--there is more meaning behind it," Allis said.
Adoption fees were lowered to only $10 for the duration of the event.
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