Pet adoptions do not only help animals find forever homes, but they can also help make humans happier.
Recent studies show that the bond people build with their pets can bring more happiness into their lives.
“Let’s face it, most people are happier when they have a companion animal in their life,” said Jenny Schlueter, Chicago Animal Care and Control spokesperson.
Owning a pet can help lower stress levels, increase fitness, and open new opportunities for social interactions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Animal shelters across the U.S reported adoption spikes during the coronavirus pandemic as people were confined to their homes.
“The silver lining of the pandemic has been that pet adoption has gone up significantly,” Schlueter said. “There are more people willing to foster animals which is really, really great.”
However, as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and people return to work, shelters are beginning to see their pet populations rise once again.
"Right now, what we're working on is how do we keep the momentum going," said Schlueter, echoing calls for help from shelters across the country. "Who can't use the type of unconditional love that you get from a companion animal."
NBCUniversal is teaming up with hundreds of shelters to host its annual Clear the Shelters pet adoption drive. The nationwide event kicked off Aug. 23 and runs until Sept. 19 with waived or discounted adoption fees.
Click here for more information on Clear the Shelters and to find a participating location in your neighborhood where you can adopt or donate.