More than 4,600 pets were adopted at Chicago-area animal shelters since late July as part of NBC and Telemundo's Clear the Shelters initiative, and over 1,600 were adopted on Saturday alone.
According to NBC's latest numbers, a total of 1,632 pets were adopted on Clear the Shelters day across more than 40 animal shelters in the Chicago area. That helped bring the 2019 number since July 27 to 4,609.
The response was so big at Chicago Animal Care and Control that the shelter extended the event for another day and put a rain check policy in place to keep up with demand.
McHenry County Animal Control was "cleared" of dogs as of 2:40 p.m. and only had 14 cats left.
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.
That's why NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago teamed up with local animal shelters to waive or discount fees during Clear the Shelters and help pets in need find fur-ever homes.
More than 1,400 shelters and rescues across the country registered to participate in this year's campaign.
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.