‘Clear the Shelters’ success: Nexstar helps nearly 20,000 pets find forever homes

Clear the Shelters

KXAN anchor Erin Cargile poses with her rescue dog.

DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — Nexstar Media Group announced this week its NBC stations aided the adoption of more than 19,500 pets during August’s nationwide “Clear the Shelters” event.

More than 30 Nexstar stations participated in the campaign which aims to clear out shelters and find forever homes for pets in need. Nexstar stations hit a new record for 2020 besting the 2019 mark of 15,500 adoptions.

Nearly 4,000 of those adoptions took place in Tampa, Florida in coordination with WFLA. The team utilized social media to help tell stories of pets in need of homes. Based on the overall adoption number, their efforts were a smashing success.

KXAN in Austin, Texas worked with Central Texas shelters to help find 2,500 pets new homes. They hosted a month-long promotional initiative and featured stories about pet adoptions throughout their August newscasts.

Like their parent company, KXAN saw a record-setting adoption figure for 2020. KXAN Marketing Director Dax Dobbs said it felt like “people just really want to help right now.”

As you can imagine, the pet adoption process looked a little different in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. While some shelters hosted in-person adoption events, others connected pets and new owners virtually through technology.

As a way to encourage its audience to adopt a pet during the pandemic, WOOD-TV spotlighted many of their anchors and reporters with their dogs and cats as part of a promotional campaign. The effort reached more than 240,000 users on social media and helped generate nearly 800 adoptions in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Across the country, the entire NBC effort helped find new homes for nearly 140,000 pets.

Clear the Shelters is normally a single-day pet adoption drive but was expanded to a month-long initiative due to the pandemic. More than 411,000 pets have found their forever homes since 2015.

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