Pet lovers were able to find free or reduced pets from shelters this weekend as local animal shelters participated in a nation-wide “Clear the Shelter” event this Saturday.

Sherman Animal Shelter and Denison Animal Welfare Group each held their own events part of an effort to help shelters clear their space so that they can deep clean following an uptick in animals coming into them over the summer.

Sherman Animal Services Manager Ty Coleman said was be the first year the Sherman shelter participated in the event.

“We’re waiving all adoption fees for Clear the Shelters,” Coleman said. “We hope to get out as many as we can so we can get the shelter cleaned. It is a good time for shelters to get as many animals out as possible. We never have time to fully clean the shelter as we always have animals in the shelter.”

The animals will came with all the same benefits as a paid adoption, including shots, spayed, neutered and a chip. Coleman said these thingsl help cut down on diseases which he said promotes good health for the animals.

Last month the shelter offered reduced fee adoptions the entire month due to overcrowding.

Coleman said things have improved tremendously since then. Between adoptions and animal rescues, 159 animals found new homes as part of the initiative, an now the shelter is where it feels comfortable in terms of capacity. The only dogs being paired with other dogs are the ones who come in together.

There have been more animals who found new homes this year over last year during the same month. Coleman did say that unfortunately the shelter still had to euthanize 81 pets, but most of them were due to aggressive behavior or medical issues. No euthanizatins were because of space limitations.

Clean the shelter, Coleman said, is an important event to participate in because it will help keep the shelter in the public’s eye while giving the shelter a chance to prepare for the next influx of animals.

DAWG President Stephanie Phillips said Thursday that DAWG has participated every year in the “Clear the shelter” event and is looking forward to finding homes for as many of the animals as they can.

“It is to try and help them keep animals in front of the public so they can consider adoption,” Phillips said. “When people are considering adding a pet to their family, we want to help out as much as we can. With a reduction of adoption fees, it will help people consider adopting. Owning an animal can be expensive, so this helps ease the financial burden on them a little bit.”

DAWG is offering a reduced adoption fee of $25 and both shelters will have staff available Sunday to answer questions and to help people find the pet that suits their needs.

Phillips said DAWG does what she referred to as conversational adoption counseling with the goal of finding an animal that will fit the individual’s lifestyle. She said it is important to match dogs with owners that will be able to handle their respective needs.

For example, someone who is active would do better with an active dog whereas someone looking for a lapdog might have a different reason for getting the animal. Phillips said dogs are still animals and their instinct is to defend themselves, and regardless of the breed, all dog owners with children should teach their kids how to be nice to the animal to promote


DAWG will had two adoption locations on Saturday. The shelter’s Saturday hours were from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the trailer was at PetSmart from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Sherman Animal Shelter will be at Petco from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.