GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the entire month of August, WOOD TV8 and NBC are partnering to help animal rescues across the country Clear the Shelters. Now through Aug. 31, you can adopt and donate to help local animals find their forever family.

Animal shelters in West Michigan tell WOOD TV8 they are seeing a reflection of a national overcrowding crisis. Harbor Humane Society in Ottawa County says it has 476 cats and dogs ready for adoption. It has had to limit intake for rescued animals from southeastern states to accommodate an increase in local animal intake.

“I think it’s hard for people to understand the sort of numbers that we can see,” Jen Nuernberg of Harbor Humane Society said. “Ten cats in 10 minutes yesterday coming in as strays and that’s a reality here. I think right now we’re averaging around 25 to 30 dogs per week coming in and 70 to 80 cats. And so the numbers are hard to balance.”

While animal intake has risen, adoptions have slowed. That’s why Nuernberg and other local shelters believe the Clear the Shelters campaign is happening at a perfect time.

“We just really need our community to show up and consider adoption. And even if you’re not ready to commit to an adoption for, you know, during Clear the Shelters, even fostering helps us open space here,” Nuernberg said. “Whether you’re adopting or fostering, you’re not only helping the animal that’s going home, but you’re clearing a space for one here that is also in need. So we always say you’re helping, not just one animal, but two at least.”

Check in with local shelters from WOOD TV8’s 2022 Participating Shelters map to learn more about the incentives they’re offering this month to help animals and families find each other. The monthlong event will culminate with a one-day adoption event on Saturday, Aug. 27. Harbor Humane plans to celebrate with a two-day event on the 26th and 27th, offering $50 dog adoptions and “you name the price” cat adoptions.

“You can walk through our dog kennels, you can walk through our cat spaces and take a look and even meet the cats, meet the dogs if you fill out an application,” Nuernberg said “It’s a simple process. We just encourage people to come out to consider giving shelter animals a chance. They’re not secondhand pets and they’re phenomenal and they’re all unique personalities and looks.”

Learn more about the shelters across the state participating and the Clear the Shelters campaign here.