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Looking for a new pet to add to the family? Take advantage of Clear the Shelters day Saturday, August 19.

County Animal Services is joining shelters around the region in waiving adoption fees for the day in a coordinated effort to get as many pets as possible into homes.

Qualified applicants can choose from dogs, cats and rabbits. Even some chickens, turtles and guinea pigs will be available! Dogs and cats will be altered, vaccinated and microchipped; rabbits will be altered and microchipped, all at no cost to the adopter.

“Our animals are safe and well cared for but that is no substitute for a forever home,” said County Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa. “They need to become part of a caring family, and in return their owners will get the unconditional love that only a pet can give.”

Clear the Shelters is part of a campaign by NBC-owned television stations and Telemundo to find loving homes for the millions of pets who end up in the nation’s shelters each year. Cities across the country take part in the event. Since the one-day Clear the Shelters adoption drives began in 2015, more than 73,000 pets have been adopted.

Several local shelters take part as well. The final tally for our region last year came to 777 animals. At the County’s shelters, 304 animals found homes during the 2016 drive, an increase of 16 from the year before.

Currently, more than 300 animals are available at the County’s three animal care facilities located in Bonita, central San Diego and Carlsbad.

If you’d like to see the animals, stop by the shelter or visit the adoptions page. If you absolutely fall in love with one, don’t wait. Adopt at the full price so you don’t miss out!

If you prefer to come out on Clear the Shelters day, the County animal facilities will have the free offer in effect their full operating hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To speed up the process, go online, download the adoption application and fill it out at home. Renters should also bring a copy of their lease to show it’s OK to have a pet at their home.

You may also want to consider several animals in case one is adopted before it’s your turn.  Finally, bring your patience, some water and a hat! Each adoption could take a couple of hours not including time spent in line.

For more information about County Animal Services, visit or call (619) 767-2675.


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