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2nd Annual NBCUniversal Clear The Shelters Event Giving Thousands Of Animals A Second Chance At Adoption

Ali Friedlander

Brandy, one of Southhampton Animal Shelter's many adorable animals looking for a home. (Courtesy Photo)

Any pet owner can tell you that there is nothing like the love a pet can bring to a home and for the second year in a row, NBCUniversal's "Clear the Shelters" campaign aims to get pets out of shelters and into forever homes. After an unprecedented success in 2015, when over 20,000 animals were given a second chance at life when NBCUniversal partnered with animal shelters across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to find permanent homes for shelter animals, the annual Clear the Shelters event returns on Saturday, July 23rd. Once again, NBCUniversal will be "working with hundreds of local animal shelters once again to help save the lives of thousands of deserving animals."

The event, which was inaugurated last year, aims to encourage people to adopt animals from shelters as well as raise awareness for many animal rights issues, such as shelter overcrowding. In an effort to promote adoption, on the day of the Clear the Shelters event participating shelters will either waive or significantly reduce adoption, spaying, and neutering fees, making it easier for as many people as possible to take home an animal to love.

"Clear the Shelters took the nation by storm last year and inspired thousands of families to open their hearts to animals in need. I'm very excited that our stations are working with hundreds of local animal shelters once again to help save the lives of thousands of deserving animals," noted Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "Having recently adopted a Puerto Rican rescue dog, I know well how a pet's love can impact a family. Help us 'Clear the Shelters' and let's make change happen once again to give deserving pets a chance at a new life."

In addition to the reduced cost of adoption and care, the event will be promoted by NBCUniversal and Telemundo through special programming aired on local networks focused on raising awareness about both the event itself as well as the issues it is combating, and live coverage of the event. All this will be happening in an effort to recreate the massive success of the Clear the Shelters 2015 event.

Emory is also available for adoption. (Courtesy Photo)

Even those who were not able to adopt last year got involved in the effort to raise awareness, as the event garnered the attention of various celebrities, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, Extra's Mario Lopez, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Bravo's Andy Cohen, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, singer and songwriter Rob Thomas, and more, and inspired them to join in by sharing pictures of them and their favorite animals, encouraging those who could to adopt from shelters near them.

This year, they are making it easier than ever for Hamptonites to participate in Clear the Shelters and get a fuzzy new friend, as NBCUniversal has joined forces with the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) again. "Clear the Shelters is a great adoption initiative that we at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation are happy to be a part of. Animal shelters all across our country will be joining together to help shelter cats and dogs find their forever homes," said Kate McEntee of SASF. "Last year's event helped thousands of pets find loving families and we are looking forward to #cleartheshelters 2016!" The non-profit organization is "dedicated to providing for the welfare of homeless pets in our community and, in turn, placing them in permanent caring homes."

Following the event, there will be a TV special celebrating the day of adoption and the forever homes these animals have found, hosted by soon-to be Access Hollywood host, Natalie Morales on Friday, July 29th. There will also be Clear the Shelters SnapChat filters activated on July 23rd for pet adopters and supporters to document their day, and each pet who finds a new home will receive a special blue NBCUniversal bandanna and family photo upon adoption to commemorate the event.

For more information about the national pet adoption drive, visit www.cleartheshelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ClearTheShelters.

You can visit Southampton Animal Shelter during Clear the Shelter on Saturday, July 23rd from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Southampton Animal Shelter is located at 102 Old Riverhead Road West in Hampton Bays. For more information, call 631-728-7387 or visit www.southamptonanimalshelter.com.

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