Around 65 facilities in Southern California will take part in the national Clear the Shelters campaign. More than 11,000 pets found forever homes last year in Southern California as many shelters slashed fees to $20.
“It’s insanity all day and we love it,” said Cortney Dorney, director of operations with Wags Pet Adoption in Westminster. “Last year we did about 45 adoptions, we’re looking to at least 60.”
“On a normal Saturday for us we’re excited if we get 12.”
Dorney says she’ll have all hands on deck for staff and volunteers because the line will be out the door for most of the day.
“People maybe aren’t able to put out the regular adoption fee which can be anywhere from $150 to $250 at some shelters,” she said. “But they have no problem with the upkeep. With the cost of food and the vaccines.”
"But that first initial chunk of adoption fees can be hard for some families," she said.
The event can be chaotic but Dorney says the payoff is worth it.
“The people get to go shopping and get the new collar and leash,” she said. “They can't wait to take their family picture, they’re already thinking of brand new names.”
“The hugs and kisses that are happening out the door give us all goosebumps all day,” she said.
Fees to adopt have been cut to less than $5 in Riverside County.
Clear the Shelters estimates more than 175,000 pets have found forever homes nationally since the campaign started in 2015.