Within minutes of doors opening at animal shelters across the Chicago area Saturday for Clear the Shelters, several animals had already found their forever homes.
Just 30 minutes into the big adoption event, the first pet adoptions had been reported at PAWS Chicago, the DuPage County Animal Care & Control, Tails Humane Society in DeKalb and many more.
Several hours later, success stories continued to pour in from dozens of shelters as long lines of people remained hopeful they would find a new family member to take home.
Lines formed outside numerous shelters hours before doors opened for the massive event with families hoping to bring home a new furry friend.
Outside the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, nearly a dozen people were waiting just after 9 a.m. for their chance to meet the 48 cats and 24 dogs available for adoption Saturday.
At the DuPage County Animal Care & Control, lines of people had formed with just 30 minutes until the start of the event.
Shelters across the city, the suburbs and northwest Indiana opened at 11 a.m. for Clear the Shelters, which continues until 4 p.m.
As of 5 p.m., 660 animals had been adopted and at least one shelter - Magnificent Mutts Animal Rescue in Hillside - was cleared, with numbers expected to grow.
Last year, 53,000 animals were adopted during the nationwide adoption campaign, with more than 1,000 of them being from the Chicago area. In total, six of the participating shelters were completely cleared.
This year, nearly 30 Chicago-area shelters are participating, with hundreds of animals available for adoption.