This Saturday, the annual Clear the Shelters event will take place at animal adoption centers throughout the state. During this time, adoption fees at local shelters in Aiken County will be waived completely.

Both the Aiken County Animal Shelter on Wire Road and the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare on Willow Run Road will be participating in Clear the Shelters. 

“Every year that we’ve participated in this special and unified effort, we’ve adopted every animal on the adoption floor and we’re hoping to repeat that success on Saturday," said Jennifer Miller, President of FOTAS. “It is a wonderful opportunity to add a dog or cat to your home, while taking part in a massive national effort to provide homes for strays and surrendered animals.” 

Every cat and dog in the Aiken County Animal Shelter can be adopted for free on Saturday, Aug. 17. The shelter will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The same adoption deals are being offered at the SPCA Albrecht Center. 

"We will be offering fee-waived adoptions on all adoptable pets, and we will be open during normal business hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.," said Albrecht Center Development Director Claire Grimes in an email.

Both the Aiken County Animal Shelter and the Albrecht Center have taken in a high volume of stray or surrendered cats and dogs this year. The county shelter took in 534 cats and dogs during July, and the Albrecht Center came close to using euthanasia for the first time in seven years in June due to a critical overpopulation of stray cats.  

Clear the Shelters is a national campaign that was created by NBC and Telemundo in an effort to get adoptable pets out of shelters and into good homes. Over 250,000 pets nationwide have been adopted out during Clear the Shelters Day since the event was started in 2015.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter is located at 333 Wire Run Road. For more info, call 803-642-1537.

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is located at 199 Willow Run Road. For more info, call 803-648-6863.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.