clear the shelters

More than 130,000 pets—and counting—have been adopted through the 2020 Clear the Shelters virtual Adopt & Donate campaign. The campaign, which is put on by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo), has also raised more than $1.185 million to benefit shelters and rescues.

In an effort to help individuals and communities continue to practice safe social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ sixth annual pet adoption campaign took place virtually in August.

“We are excited that our first-ever virtual Clear the Shelters campaign has helped thousands of animals find new homes, and for shelters to get the funding they need to continue their work,” said Meredith McGinn, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign leader and senior vice president of NBCLX, COZI TV and LX.TV. “Year after year, our campaign inspires people to open their homes and hearts to deserving animals, and this year’s effort only reinforced the magic of Clear the Shelters. Congratulations to all the new pet parents on finding your new best friend. To our show hosts Ryan Eggold, Telemundo’s Stephanie Himonidis and Armida Mier and SNL’s Melissa Villaseñor, thank you for joining our campaign and using your platforms to raise awareness about pet adoption issues.”

NBC’s “New Amsterdam” star Ryan Eggold joined the campaign this year as host of the half-hour “Clear the Shelters” special that aired on NBC stations on Aug. 28, which shared this year’s most heartwarming pet adoption stories. Telemundo stations aired a half-hour special for Spanish-speaking audiences on Aug. 29, which was hosted by Telemundo’s Stephanie Himonidis and KVEA-Telemundo 52’s Armida Mier.

This year’s pet adoption drive included the participation of more than 1,164 animal shelters/rescues, 125 NBC and Telemundo owned and affiliated stations and several sponsors and partners including third-year returning national sponsor Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and returning media partner and No. 1 social media animal brand The Dodo / El Dodo, officials said.

The campaign’s virtual donation partners included WeRescue and 24PetWatch, while GreaterGood.org made it possible for individuals everywhere to donate to shelters/rescues through their dedicated campaign donation site. Matching donations were provided by The Animal Rescue Site and Heartgard.

In addition, Clear the Shelters partner iHeart Dogs and SNL cast member Melissa Villaseñor teamed up to raise funds for shelters/rescues. Villaseñor helped create a T-shirt for iHeartDogs with all the T-shirt sales profits going to GreaterGood.org’s Clear the Shelters fundraising campaign.

To help future pet owners meet-and-greet their future pet, NBC and Telemundo owned stations teamed up with Google Meet to present “Bark Week,” a weeklong virtual event that took place from Aug. 10-14 and featured shelter pets from Chicago; Huntington, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Pasadena, Calif.; and Irving, Texas.

“Clear the Shelters is made possible thanks to the unwavering support from NBC and Telemundo owned stations and our partners including NBC affiliate stations, over a thousand shelters/rescues, our media partner The Dodo / El Dodo, national campaign sponsor—Hill’s Pet Nutrition and our digital campaign partners WeRescue, 24PetWatch, GreaterGood.org, iHeart Dogs and Google Meet,” McGinn said. “Together, we helped to make Clear the Shelters another memorable year.”

Some of the animals that found new homes during Clear the Shelters 2020 include Dennis Quaid the cat, who was adopted by actor Dennis Quaid. In Pasadena, California Bon-Bon, an older dog who is blind in one eye, also found a new home. Kayda, a bearded dragon from Irving, Texas, was also adopted, while in Trenton, N.J., Brooklyn the pit bull found a new home after living in a shelter for seven years, according to officials.

“The NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear the Shelters 2020 campaign reached more than 39 million social media users throughout the month of August,” officials said. “Clear the Shelters reached an average of 1.17 million people per day on social media through the entirety of the campaign. An additional 22 million people were reached via external blogs, news articles, forums, podcasts and reviews. Social media posts that mentioned Clear the Shelters / Desocupar Los Albergues received more than 10,000 shares and 100,000 likes across social media. Online, NBC and Telemundo owned stations websites and apps generated a combined total of 941,000 page views in August for content dedicated to the Clear The Shelters / Desocupar Los Albergues campaign, with nearly 75,000 page views generated on August 10.”