‘She Had to Come Home With Me': Memorable Moments From #ClearTheShelters

"She's just adorable. I've been home for 10 minutes and she's already taken over the house," said one adoptive pet mom

Baywater Animal Rescue

It was her ears! 

Mandy Rickman fell in love with a 4-month-old puppy when she stopped by an animal shelter in rural Maryland during NBC's second annual Clear the Shelters drive on Saturday.

Rickman had just finished grocery shopping when she decided to stop by the Baywater Animal Rescue to look for a playmate for her dog at home.

Just as Rickman walked in, a litter of puppies was let out. Right away, she noticed a brown pup named Maggie with big, floppy ears. Maggie and her siblings had traveled all night from a kill shelter in Florida before landing in Baywater's care. 

[NATL] Your Photos: Pets Adopted Around the Country During Clear the Shelters

Rickman knew she had to take Maggie home.

"She's just adorable. I've been home for 10 minutes and she's already taken over the house," said Rickman, who lives in East New Market, Maryland. "I had been looking for another dog. I just lost a dog a year ago. I knew she had to come home with me." 

Rickman, a Ravens fan, renamed the puppy Poe after the Baltimore team's mascot. Her first order of business when she got home was to give Poe a bath and a walk.

For Baywater, Clear the Shelters has brought plenty of prospective pet parents through their front doors. 

"We are psyched," said Baywater executive director Maureen Scott-Taylor. "Families can pick out the dog they think is going to be their forever friend."

Poe is one of more than 45,000 pets to be adopted as part of Clear the Shelters this month. Pet parents who mentioned Clear the Shelters during the adoption process were included in NBC's count.

Other new pet owners shared photos of their once-homeless animals on social media Saturday, including a kitten from New Hampshire named Storm.

The Hussey family fell in love with Storm when they walked into the New Hampshire SPCA. Two-year-old Braelynn Hussey greeted her new furry friend with a kiss.

See other Clear the Shelters memorable moments from across the country:

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