One of my favorite nationwide events is happening this weekend at select humane societies around the country: the Clear the Shelters event, where adoption fees are waived and your family can welcome a new family member into your home totally for free.
A lot of my friends have been telling me about their recent buys from breeders, and I have to say, my heart falls a little bit each time I hear they’ve purchased an animal. If you have done this in the past or currently, I am by no means implying you’ve done anything wrong—but I will say, with all of the amazing shelter pets in the world right now, it's a wonderful act to rescue an animal that desperately wants and needs a life free from a cage.

Many shelter pets have been rescued off the street, from unsuitable homes, and from other unsavory past experiences, which is what makes including them in your life and welcoming them into your home a much more rewarding experience. One example is the story of my family’s shelter pets—Sadie and Scarlett.

Sadie and Scarlett are my parents’ dogs, but they are a huge part of my lfie just like the other shelter pets I’ve grown up with. Sadie came to us as a puppy (yes, you can find puppies at shelters if that’s something you want!) and Scarlett was a curmudgeonly 3-year-old broad who just wanted to sit and relax on someone’s couch (and look pretty

doing it). These two made an outstanding pair: Sadie is a true farm dog, able to give my dad some company while he’s out in the garage or gardening, while Scarlett is essentially a cat in dog form—she likes to sit on the couch with my mom while she watches the news, and cleverly awaits scraps of food my mom will sneak to her during the 9:00 broadcast. When they’re together, they like to play and cuddle like true sisters do…even though they aren’t technically related by blood.

What I mean to say is that you can find what you want at a shelter, whether that’s a farm dog or a drama queen or a kid-friendly pup to entertain your little ones. Shelter officials will help you with your search and if you don’t find the pet you want, there’s always the chance that what you want will come along soon. Rescuing an animal is a great way to feel like you’re doing some good while also having an incredible companion who you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

That being said, let’s find the Clear the Shelter event near you—and share your shelter stories with me in the comments or on our Facebook page! Happy adopting.