NEW YORK, NY – (August 17, 2015) – According to a press release given out by NBC Universal, the initiative of the pet adoption drive that took place on August 15th, helped almost 20,000 homeless animals find a permanent home. The Clear the Shelters initiative, the first-of-its-kind pet adoption effort hosted by NBC and Telemundo local television stations across the country in partnership with over 400 animal shelters. The national day of action, which took place this past Saturday, was so successful that next year’s Clear the Shelters date has already been set for Saturday, July 16, 2016.
“I am so happy with the huge success of Clear the Shelters. Our NBC and Telemundo stations, and our 400 partnering animal shelters across the country, with the help of the ASPCA and our friends at Overstock.com, found almost 20,000 thousand animals homes. We are grateful to everyone who opened their homes and added to their families on this national day of action,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “Clear the Shelters is an example of how, together, we can save animal lives and make a difference in our communities.”
The Clear the Shelters initiative, was hosted by 29 NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (11 NBC-owned stations, 17 Telemundo-owned stations and the regional news network necn). While the vast majority of the nearly 20,000 animals adopted on Clear the Shelters day were cats and dogs, other pets like rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, ferrets, monkeys, donkeys, lizards, cows and pigs also found new homes.
At the Humane Society of Calvert County in Maryland, a pot-bellied pig named “Channing Tatum” was adopted as part of Clear the Shelters, as was “Linda,” a 12-year-old poodle mix, who had spent six years at the Upper Keys Humane Society in South Florida. At the SPCA of Texas in Dallas, a five-year-old boxer who had lived a life of abuse and had been used for breeding was finally adopted by a family from Mesquite, after being passed over numerous times. In Oyster Bay, New York a two-month-old kitten named “June” was adopted and taken home early in the day, while a family from Indiana was reunited with their pitbull, “Joe Cool” aka “Chief,” after he ran away from home. The family found their pet on Clear the Shelters day after they visited their local animal shelter.
One of the sponsors of #Cleartheshelters is Overstock.com. The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) gave a total of $134,000 to 16 animal shelters that participated in the pet adoption drive to help them offer no-cost or reduced fee adoptions or waive pet spaying and neutering fees.
“Clear the Shelters was an unprecedented event that inspired communities across the nation to open their homes to animals in need,” explained Matthew Bershadker, President & CEO, ASPCA. “Shelter personnel and volunteers went above and beyond to shatter adoption records and save thousands of lives. The ASPCA is proud to have been a part of this extraordinary effort and we’re grateful to the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations for helping shine a spotlight on homeless animals, exposing a broader audience to this important issue.”
“We are pleased and delighted by the success of the Clear the Shelters day. Working with the dedicated NBCUniversal Television Stations, we knew this event would rescue many homeless animals,” said Patrick M. Byrne, CEO, Overstock.com. “Whenever Overstock can leverage its technology to do good, we aim to do so.”
Online, the Clear the Shelters content that was posted on station websites, mobile web and on station apps received over four million page views from mid-July 2015 through August 15, including more than one million on the actual Clear the Shelters day. On social media, the hashtag #ClearTheShelters trended nationally on Instagram on August 15; on Facebook, the hashtag trended for two consecutive days, August 14 and August 15; and on Twitter, #DesocuparAlbergues, the Spanish-language version of #ClearTheShelters, trended in New York and in Puerto Rico on August 15. The Facebook post reach in the two-week period leading up to and including the Clear the Shelters day was over 200 million among the participating NBC and Telemundo stations.
Some of the celebrities that gave their support through social media included talk show hosts, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey and Meredith Vieira; extra’s Mario Lopez; NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt; NBC TODAY’s Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb and Weekend TODAY’s Erica Hill; MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; Chicago PD’s Sophia Bush; Bravo’s Andy Cohen and The Manzo family; former Hills star and 1st Look host Audrina Patridge; Talk Stoop host Cat Greenleaf; George To The Rescue’s George Oliphant; singer and songwriter Rob Thomas; actors Tommy Flanagan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Stacey Travis, Adam Savage, Jessica Szohr, Zac Posen, Regina Hall, Food Network’s Simply Delicioso star and Co-Host of Telemundo’s Top Chef Estrellas, Ingrid Hoffman; Telemundo’s Al Rojo Vivo host Maria Celeste Arraras and reporters Jessica Carrillo and Carmen Dominicci; Noticiero Telemundo’sVanessa Hauc and Telemundo network stars Carmen Villalobos, Sonya Smith, Carolina Sandoval and Vanessa Villela, among others.
On August 22nd, there will be a recap and 30-minute post-adoption drive special that will be hosted by Natalie Morales, News Anchor and Co-Host of NBC News’ TODAY. The Spanish network Telemundo, will also air a post-adoption drive show on the same day, with Elva Saray, Host of Telemundo 52 Los Angeles’ (KVEA) daily entertainment show, Acceso Total, serving as Co-Host alongside Jessica Carrillo, Host and Reporter for Telemundo network’s Al Rojo Vivo.
For more information about this initiative please visit www.ClearTheShelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter by using the hashtag #ClearTheShelters.