GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Hundreds of animal shelters around the country, including Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement (ACE) are close to full capacity every day.
Clear the Shelters in August 2023 is a nationwide pet adoption and donation campaign aimed at helping solve that dilemma.
Those looking to add a fur baby to their family lined up outside the Gaston County shelter most of the day on Saturday. Elizabeth Henderson, an employee at Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement, said over 100 animals were available for adoption.
"Some of these guys have been with us for 30 plus days, 40 plus days," Henderson said. "It's a joyous moment for us because this is our biggest event of the year. We look forward to it every year."
By the end of the day, she said 45 animals went to their forever home - 19 dogs and 26 cats. Paola Gomez was one of those homes that welcomed a new furry friend.
"It's a great opportunity for the community, for us," Gomez said. "This was an easy day for us. We were here less than two minutes and we adopted."
Aimee Thompson also stopped by to give an animal their forever home.
"They're inexpensive, but they need homes," Thompson said. "Not everybody can afford an expensive dog. I just think it's the way to go."
In addition to the free adoptions, people also gathered for the food trucks and other vendors for everything to know about pet care. Henderson said if people missed out today, they can still take advantage of the discounted adoption fee of $25 until August 31.