CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – More than a thousand animals were rescued from local shelters during News 2’s annual Clear the Shelter initiative.

All month you heard the team at News 2 talking about why NBC stations across the country, like ours, team up for this lifesaving cause every year. Now, we are celebrating the success of another record-setting year.

This year’s Clear the Shelters campaign kicked off in downtown Charleston with a Cocktails for K9s party at Vintage Lounge and rounded out the month with our first annual Pet Fest at Sweet Grass Vodka Lounge, one of the largest adoption festivals the Lowcountry has ever seen.

1,165 animals were adopted from our local shelters during August. That means more than 1,000 new family members are out of a kennel and into home.

The Lowcountry is a community of animal lovers, and we heard the stories of people who chose to step up and give back by volunteering, fostering, and donating to our area shelters. In fact, our five local shelter partners received roughly $200,000 in donations and grants during the annual initiative.

It’s progress to be proud of, but the fight to end animal cruelty and overpopulation is always ongoing.

“Our shelter adopted over 540 animals which was phenomenal during the month, and the best part about it is shelters across the country, across our state, that may not get the exposure that we get with you guys every week, and other shelters here in Charleston get, they got that exposure, and it really helps to drive adoptions to the shelter, as well as donations,” said Kay Hyman with the Charleston Animal Society.

Hyman went on to say, “Spay/neuter is critical- that is a state law in South Carolina that if you adopt from a shelter or rescue, it has to be spayed or neutered, or you have to make sure it happens, and that is the key to ending the pet over-population problem.”

While the Clear the Shelters campaign is over for the year, the push to find animals forever homes in the Lowcountry does not stop there. Each day, News 2 presents a new pet up for adoption at one of our local shelters during News 2 Midday.