Today is the day! NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago teamed up with animal shelters across the Chicago area to help pets in need find fur-ever homes.
It's all part of the pet adoption initiative known as Clear the Shelters, which takes place nationwide from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as hundreds of shelters will waive or discount fees during the one-day adoption drive.
More than 1,400 shelters and rescues have already registered to participate in this year's campaign.
Every year, millions of companion animals end up in shelters across the country. And while shelter adoption rates have been steadily rising since 2011, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 1.5 million animals — 860,000 cats and about 670,000 dogs — are still euthanized each year due to overcrowding.
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them.
Last year, more than 100,000 pets were adopted from over 1,200 shelters across the country. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped 256,688 pets find forever homes.
Get to know the Chicago-area shelters participating in the 2019 event here. Adoption policies for each shelter still apply during the Clear the Shelters event.
See a full list of participating shelters here.