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California's first-ever, free Adopt-a-Pet Day is here

June 1 is free Adopt-a-Pet Day in California
June 1 is free Adopt-a-Pet Day in California 02:03

SACRAMENTO — Saturday is a chance to pick up a new pet free of charge as animal shelters across California are participating in a new effort to help alleviate overcrowding.

Adelynn Bayne is getting a new furry friend from Sacramento's Front Street Animal Shelter.

"I do wish I could take them all home," Bayne said. "I have such a love in my heart for animals."

Bayne's new furry friend, Charlie, is a lucky one, but others like Phineas and Bentley are still looking for forever homes.

On Saturday, adopting all these animals will be free as part of a first-of-its-kind statewide effort called Adopt-a-Pet Day.

More than 150 shelters will be participating. It comes at a time when many shelters are facing overcrowding issues.

"We have 99 kennels for dogs and we have 150 dogs right now," said Johanna Crystal with Front Street.

Some animals are confiscated in criminal cases. Stanislaus County's shelter just had three back-to-back hoarding cases and is currently 90 dogs over capacity.

Overcrowding can also contribute to higher euthanasia rates.

"There are tough decisions that do need to be made but that's why events like this help because it helps make space for every animal," Crystal said.

For those who aren't sure if they want to adopt or can't have pets in their homes, some shelters offer a Doggie Day Out program, where people can pick up a pup for a few hours and bring it back at the end of the day.

"Sometimes, they take them out for a pup cup or picnics, even just to run errands with them, so it gives them a break from the shelter," Crystal said.

Whether it is for a day or for life, there are a lot of cute animals to choose from.

"This is a really good opportunity to come to the shelter and see what's available," Crystal said.

All pets come spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

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