LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - WALB teamed up with local animal shelters to help dogs and cats find their forever homes over the weekend.
This was the second year for the "Clear the Shelters" campaign. The Lowndes County Animal Shelter participated in the event for the first time this year.
"We got here an hour and a half early to make sure we would be here and first in line," said Angela Gallagher. She went to the Lowndes County Animal shelter looking to adopt a kitten.
Gallagher wasn't the only person anxiously waiting to find a new pet, folks lined up at the Lowndes County animal shelter hours before the event kicked off.
"It is amazing! We have never had such a large turnout for an adoption event," said shelter director Linda Patelski.
On July 23, 2016, shelters across Georgia waived the adoption fees.
"There's a lot of good people here that I know would give them a good home, but they couldn't afford the adoption fees. I'd rather have that than they put them to sleep," said Dorothy McMutt, she adopted a puppy.
The day started with 55 cats and dogs, and within hours all the dogs had new homes.
"I adopted a beautiful bloodhound puppy! He's just adorable and I can't wait to make him a part of our family," McMutt said about her new puppy.
This is the second time in 2016 the Lowndes County Animal Shelter adopted out all its dogs. However, the kennels weren't completely emptied for the cats, but the shelter only had 6 left.
"I feel so excited! We already have a cat tower coming and studded collar with rhinestones," Gallagher said after adopting her kitten.
Officials say the event was more successful than they ever imagined. Now, they plan to do it every year.
"When we have those pets go to good homes it makes me feel like we're doing something good for that dog," said Patelski.
Even though the adoption fees were waived, all pets still had to be spay or neutered and up to date on shots before they could go to new homes.
There were three other shelters that joined the campaign.
Best Friends Animal Shelter in Worth County was among many other shelters to participate in the event.
Some of the dogs at the Lee County Animal Shelter had been there for a while.
11 dogs and 20 cats and kittens found new homes.
During the national "Clear the Shelter" Day, participating shelters, like Lee County, adopted out their animals for free.
"It's always just been a thing for my family, us trying to get things out of the shelters to give some a chance rather than go to a pet store where you don't know where it came from. If you get it out of the shelter, get it a home, get it a loving family and sometimes they do better about pet mill bets," said attendee Geoffrey Keefe.
There are still 17 cats up for adoption at the Lee Co. Animal Shelter.
The Moultrie-Colquitt Humane Society also participated in the campaign.
Families filled up the shelter picking up their animals.
This was the shelter's first year taking part in the event.
If you missed the event in Moultrie, the shelter is open from Tuesday through Saturday.