In its sixth year, Clear the Shelters will focus on virtual pet adoptions and raising funds for shelters in needs for its 2020 campaign, which runs the entire month of August

By Kelli Bender and Johnny Dodd
July 31, 2020 09:00 AM
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There has been a surge in pet adoption and fostering over the past four months, as animal lovers decided to adopt some furry company to help through the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine, but there are still plenty of pets looking for homes.

If you’ve considered adopting a four-legged friend during these "socially distant" months, August is the perfect time to do it. For the sixth year, NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations are partnering with GreaterGood.org to help thousands of shelter pets find loving homes through their Clear the Shelters campaign — which to date has found homes for more than 400,000 adoptable pets.

"Adopting a pet is beyond worth it," says New Amsterdam star Ryan Eggold, who is hosting the Clear the Shelters TV special on Aug. 28 (check local listings). Eggold knows what animals can add to your life; he is the proud parent of a rescue pit bull named Jody. The 12-year-old pup had kept the actor company through months of social distancing and has kept him smiling too. 

Courtesy Ryan Eggold

"She’s just so sweet. It’s been great to have someone to play and hang out with during this pandemic," Eggold told PEOPLE about Jody. "If you’re going to be spending more time at home, it’s the best time to get a pet. You’ll have a whole new adventure to take on that will change your home life for the better."

This year, because of the pandemic, adopters can see their perfect pet on virtual platforms hosted by WeRescue and 24petwatch.com that simplify the pet-adoption process — and offer access to more than a thousand shelters across the country. For more information, and to find your perfect pet through Clear the Shelters this August, go to cleartheshelters.com. All of the animals included in this article, and hundreds more, are available for adoption. 

For those unable to adopt a pet at this time, but still looking to help animals, Clear the Shelters has you covered. Through the program's partnership with GreaterGood.org, there is now a Clear the Shelters Fund. By going ClearTheSheltersFund.org, animal lovers will have the option to search their favorite rescue and donate directly to that organization, or they can donate to the general fund which is shared amongst all of Clear the Shelters' rescue partners. To make your donation even sweeter, GreaterGood.org, with assistance from sponsors the Animal Rescue Site and Heartgard, will be matching $400,000 in donations fro August 1-31.

So whether you have room in your home and heart for an adoptable animal or an urge to help the pets you can't adopt, Clear the Shelters has you covered for the entire month of August.

To learn more about Clear the Shelters pick up the most recent issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now!