2018-08-09 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Saturday, August 18 is a special event called Clear the Shelters. NBC- and Telemundo-owned TV stations are teaming up with more than 700 shelters and rescues across the country to host the fourth annual Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to connect deserving pets with forever homes. Over 80,000 pets found homes in 2017. Animal shelters and rescues throughout the U.S. waive or reduce adoption fees in hopes of clearing the shelters of all adoptable pets.

Local 2018 Participants: Babylon, Hempstead, Brookhaven and Smithtown Town shelters plus Animal Care Centers (ACC) in NYC have joined the campaign. Last Hope is part of Clear the Shelters for the second time, and will be waiving fees for approved adopters of dogs and cats who submit their adoption applications at the Wantagh Adoption Center or any of the four cat satellite centers in Petco Wantagh and Syosset; Pet Smart Bellmore or Huntington Station on Aug. 18. Last Hope criteria for approved homes will remain the same even though fees are waived for the day. NBC wants all participating rescues to apply the same high standards for approving responsible homes as on any other day.


Sparkler a calico kitten came into Babylon Shelter with suspicious wounds on her neck right after 4th of July Sparkler a calico kitten came into Babylon Shelter with suspicious wounds on her neck right after 4th of July Right now 95 shelters and rescues in the tri-state area are signed up for Clear the Shelters 2018. Last year 4,515 pets were adopted in the tri-state region. Other area shelters involved in the event this year include Save-A-Pet, Bobbi & the Strays, Little Shelter, Long Beach Humane, ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society in Manhattan.

Humane groups without kennels or cattery facilities may be part of Clear the Shelters too. Some local rescues signed up, such as Shelter Link, do not have a brick and mortar shelter, but do have a satellite cat adoption center at Petco in West Babylon.

Background: Clear the Shelters first launched in the Dallas-Fort Worth region in 2015. Clear the Shelters delivers important relief to community shelters and rescues that have reached full capacity. To date, more than 900 animal shelters and rescues have participated in this initiative. In 2017, the Clear the Shelters effort resulted in dozens of animal shelters across the country being completely “emptied” on a single day.

Compelling Stories: NBC and Telemundo stations began promoting the event on July 30. They air commercials across the U.S. urging people to visit their local shelters on Aug. 18. NBC media personnel choose compelling background stories of available adoptable pets from participating rescues to feature in Clear the Shelters promos, especially if these stories point out a topic that enhances public awareness of homeless pets.

For example, NBC may consider using these back- ground stories: Sunrise is an eight-week-old kitten, recently spayed, who was rescued from the fast lane of Sunrise Highway in West Islip. Two Good Samaritans stopped traffic so they could grab her. Sunrise has a severe case of ear mites, a corneal scar in one eye, an ear-tip and was bruised. It appears someone TNRed (trap/neuter/returned) her. Did someone else toss her out of a car? Sunrise is now waiting to be adopted at Last Hope in Wantagh.

Or NBC may consider the story of Cleo from Brookhaven Town Shelter. On July 4, she was one of six Huskies to survive the sweltering heat with no food or water in a Selden hoarder house where four other Huskies died. Cleo is also at Last Hope.

Sparkler is a calico kitten who entered Babylon Town Shelter July 5 with two littermates who’ve been adopted. Sparkler is still bandaged and healing from wounds on her neck and ear. The couple who turned her in said the other kittens attacked Sparkler but our vet says she doesn’t have bite marks, so what really happened to Sparkler in that house?

Viewers can visit the interactive website, ClearTheShelters.com, to access a Shelter Locator Map and a list of participating animal shelter. A realtime pet “Adoption Tracker” – posted on ClearTheShelters.com – will record the total number of pets adopted across all participating states, and Puerto Rico. The numbers change because NBC staff call each rescue several times on Aug. 18 to get updates on adoptions and adoption applications as they happen throughout the day.

Clear the Shelters Sponsors: This year the two main sponsors of Clear the Shelters are Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Cat’s Pride®. Hill’s will be sending company reps to 320 participating shelters to distribute food samples and talk about pet nutrition. The rest of the shelters will have samples delivered before the event. Cat’s Pride® will have reps in 10 shelters; all the others will receive coupons.

Hill’s was founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, the mission of Hill’s Pet Nutrition is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Dr. Mark Morris, founder of Hills, created a kidney food to lengthen the life of Buddy, the first official guide dog in the U.S. From there, he developed other medical specialty food formulas.

Hill’s is dedicated to pioneering research, groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats, and support to the veterinarian community, based on a scientific understanding of pets’ specific needs. Visit HillsPet.com to learn about Hill’s and its Food, Shelter & Love program, which has provided over $290 million in Hill’s pet foods to shelters, helping over 9 million pets find new homes since 2002.

Cat’s Pride® is committed to improving its products, and the lives of cats and their people. As part of Cat’s Pride® Litter for Good program and expression of its long-time commitment to helping animal in need, every time a consumer buys a green jug of Fresh & Light litter, Cat’s Pride will donate a pound of litter to animal welfare organizations across America. To learn more, visit catspride.com.

You still have two weeks to plan your “new pet hunting” route on August 18 Clear the Shelters.

Last Hope Adoptables mentioned above include Cleo, the female Husky mix saved from the sweltering house in Selden, and Sunrise, the female kitten rescued from the fast lane of Sunrise Highway. Available at Last Hope, 3300 Beltagh Ave. Wantagh.

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Suffolk County Shelter Locator and Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool
The Shelter Locator and Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool