NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 once again teamed up with our partners across the nation Saturday, to help in the annual “Clear the Shelters” event and help animals find their forever homes.
Since 2015, NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48’s Clear the Shelter campaigns have helped more than 23,000 animals at shelters find new forever homes in the Bay Area. Nationally, more than 700,000 pets have been adopted through the program.
“When we opened at 10 a.m., we basically had a line down the street,” said Berkeley Humane Executive Director Jeffrey Zerwekh.
Zerwekh said that this year’s campaign has been especially successful.
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“We’ve had more animals available than we’ve had in the past couple of years. Part of it is that people are ready to come out and adopt, and part of it is that the shelters are very full. At Berkeley Humane, we had over hundred animals, or at least we did this morning,” he said.
By early Saturday afternoon, there were only two dogs left for adoption compared to 98 when they opened in Berkeley. 96 dogs already had new homes, along with dozens of cats.
One of the adopted dogs, named Akamu, is now headed to a new home in Santa Rosa, where the family chose a new addition specifically from a shelter instead of a breeder.
“Because we want all of these animals to have lovely homes where they’re cared for and loved. They just deserve it,” said Santa Rosa resident Maureen Nicholas.
Some of the animals were named after NBC Bay Area anchors and reporters who have been working to spread the word about Clear the Shelter events.
“So, I’m here to adopt Marcus Washington, who is the little kitten over there. I initially saw him over at the Oakland Animal Shelter, and I absolutely fell in love with him,” said Victoria Schaefer.
Schaefer said she was set on rescuing “Marcus" as she said she did her research, learned he’d be here and came early to adopt him before he was gone.
“I’m so excited. He’s going to have so much love,” she said.
The free adoption, Clear the Shelter event at San Jose’s Animal Care Center was also a great success as dozens of animals found their forever homes Saturday.
While NBC Bay Area doesn’t have final numbers from all of the shelters as of Saturday evening, it’s safe to say many Bay Area pets are now enjoying new homes and new families thanks to this annual effort.