Finding Forever Homes on August 18, 2018

More Than Cats and Dogs: Charizard the Iguana and Other Unusual Pets Find Homes

Creatures great and small leaves shelters across the country

Adoption Tracker

About Clear the Shelters

NBC and Telemundo owned stations are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 18 to help find loving homes for animals in need. Over 80,000 pets found their forever homes in 2017.



Photo Galleries

    Iguana Finds a Home on Clear the Shelters Day

    An awesome mom adopted an iguana for her son's 16th birthday. (Published Saturday, July 23, 2016)

    Parrie Henderson-O'Keefe's son Peirman has a surprise waiting for him for his 16th birthday: an iguana named after a rare Pokemon character that he met at an animal shelter in Washington, D.C.

    He took to the 2-year-old iguana, Charizard, as soon as he saw her at the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League on Thursday, scratching her neck as she shed an old layer of skin. She crawled onto his shoulder when he picked her up.

    The shelter was one of more than 680 shelters participating on Saturday in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive sponsored by NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo. Shelters offered no-cost or reduced-fee adoptions or waived spaying and neutering fees.

    Among the other more unusual animals adopted Saturday were chickens, a pigeon, two fire-bellied toads, ferrets, rabbits, parakeets, guinea pigs and mice.

    There was also an American Alligator at a shelter in Pasadena, California. Tina, who stretches nearly 7 feet long and weighs more than 100 pounds, isn't up for adoption. She was born in captivity but ended up at the shelter when a wildlife exhibit closed and large zoos didn't take her.

    Henderson-O'Keefe, who lives in Washington, D.C., learned about Clear the Shelters in an email from the shelter. She went early to look around with Peirman and his sister, 12-year-old Eldie. When they left, Peirman told Henderson-O'Keefe he wanted Charizard the iguana for his upcoming birthday.

    Peirman, who hope to study amphibians and reptiles, then left for a camp in Ohio, and Henderson-O’Keefe and Eldie decided to adopt Charizard as a surprise.

    "He's going to be thrilled. Ecstatic," said Henderson-O'Keefe, who planned to call her son to give him the news. "That’s all we've been talking about since he saw her."

    "He's probably going to make us FaceTime the reptile," she added.

    Charizard was at the animal shelter for three months before being adopted, Henderson-O'Keefe said. The iguana's previous owners trained her to be walked on a leash. The shelter did not know why she was given up, according to Henderson-O'Keefe.

    The Luxurious Lifestyle of New York's Poshest Pooches

    [NATL-Cozi] Ashley Roberts Sees the Luxurious Lifestyle of New York's Poshest Pooches

    Ashley and Cooper get a taste of the high life, New York style. From a five-star hotel exclusively for dogs to a puppy pool party in the Hamptons, it's clear that NYC really has gone to the dogs!

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017)

    Henderson-O'Keefe said she will keep Charizard in a cage on the balcony with her tortoises and feed the iguana food from her rooftop garden. Right now, she said, Charizard is calm and not moving much as she gets used to her new home. She will become more active as she gets settled, Henderson-O'Keefe said.

    "She'll probably be very happy up there," Henderson-O'Keefe said, who played with the iguana outside and said Charizard seemed to like being around people.