clear the shelters

San Diegans adopt 400+ pets in one day during annual Clear the Shelters event

As of Saturday night, San Diego Humane Society has adopted out 2,042 pets throughout the month-long campaign. And there's still time! Scroll down to learn how you can participate

Scroll to learn how you can participate

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Monica Montano took one look at Caifanes and knew she was going to bring him home.

“I was so happy because the dog was just so happy to see me, and it looked like the dog wanted to be adopted. I couldn’t walk away without getting him,” she said minutes after adopting the friendly and energetic pit bull terrier mix.

Monica Montano with her newly-adopted dog Caifanes at San Diego Humane Society's campus on Gaines Street.

Caifanes was just one of 423 pets who found their forever homes during NBC 7 and Telemundo 20’s annual Clear the Shelters event on Saturday. The numbers were up from last year's one-day-only event where pet adoption fees were waived at all San Diego Humane Society's campuses across the county.

Montano was the first to adopt a dog on Saturday at the humane society's campus on Gaines Street. She says she got to the shelter 1.5 hours early to beat the long line that had already formed by the event's start time at 10 a.m.

Photos: 2023 Clear the Shelters main adoption event at San Diego Humane Society

Not only was she early, but she was also prepared. Days before the event, she and her fiance looked through dozens of available pets online to find the best fit — that’s when she wrote down Caifanes’ ID number.

“We like a very active dog,” Montano explained. “Me and my fiance were just looking for the perfect dog, and honestly, he’s the right one. We’re really excited about it.”

The day was filled with individuals and families eagerly seeking a furry friend. Smiles were glued to people's faces as dog tails wagged uncontrollably and little kitten paws stuck out of cages. Guinea pigs shyly peeked out of their plastic igloos, hoping someone would take them home.

At the Gaines Street location, where the main event occurred, visitors picked up free pet-related items at the NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 booths. Team members from both stations came to support.

It's not too late to clear the shelters

Although this special event was only for one day, Clear the Shelters is a month-long initiative. As of Saturday night, San Diego Humane Society has adopted out 2,042 pets throughout the campaign.

San Diegans have until the last day of August to bring home dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from any San Diego Humane Society campus for 50% off adoption fees.

Jasmin Belisario, who has worked at San Diego Humane Society for three years, says adoption has never been more needed than right now.

“We are at the highest amount of animals we’ve ever had before in our history,” she said. “Right now, we are at 1,000 animals across cats, dogs and small animals. We’re definitely over capacity, and we have been over the past couple of months.”

San Diego Humane Society’s full list of available pets can be found at Its shelters are closed on Mondays and operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

NBC 7 and Telemundo 20's Ana Cristina Sánchez offers some tips on what you should consider before adopting.

All San Diego County shelters participating in 2023 Clear the Shelters

North County

Rancho Coastal Humane Society
389 Requeza St, Encinitas, CA 92024

Rescue Fenix
10131 Sage Hill Way, Escondido, CA 92026

San Diego Humane Society - Escondido Campus
3500 Burnet Dr, Escondido, CA 92058

San Diego Humane Society - Oceanside Campus
2905 San Luis Rey Rd, Oceanside, CA 92058

San Diego Humane Society - Oceanside Campus - Airport Road Location
572 Airport Rd, Oceanside, CA 92058

San Diego Central

The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center
1006 Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

San Diego Humane Society - San Diego Campus
5500 Gaines St, San Diego, CA 92110

East County

Friends of Cats, INC
15587 Olde Hwy 80, El Cajon CA 92021

Humane Society of Imperial County
1575 W. Pico Ave, El Centro, CA 92243

San Diego Humane Society - El Cajon Campus
1373 N. Marshall Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020

South Bay

County of San Diego Department of Animal Services
5821 Sweetwater Rd, Bonita, CA 91902

Chula Vista Animal Services
130 Beyer Way, Chula Vista, CA 91911

Riverside County

Animal Friends of the Valleys
33751 Mission Trail, Wildomar, CA 92595

Find your nearest participating Clear the Shelters location below:

For more information, visit and Follow the latest updates on social media @NBCSanDiego and @Telemundo20 using #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

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