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Clear the Shelter
Golden Belt Humane Society joins national event
clear shelters 2020
Brother and sister Silas and Sadie are shown with their new dog, Kirby, Saturday morning at the Golden Belt Humane Society. The humane society held a Clear the Shelters event. - photo by Susan Thacker

The Golden Belt Humane Society opened its doors Saturday with 17 dogs and 24 cats — and a goal to find homes for all of them by the end of the day.

The shelter south of Great Bend was participating in a national event known as Clear the Shelters, which promotes animal adoption. People were encouraged to apply for pre-approval and then come to the shelter to choose a fur baby, often at no cost.

The event started at 10 a.m. but several people arrived earlier than that. Barbara Muldihill came from Salina after seeing a dog the GBHS staff called Howie on 

The website allows users to type in their zip code and how many miles they are willing to travel, and then refine their search by the type of pet desired.

“I was looking for a small dog, not a puppy but fairly young,” Muldihill said. “I saw him and thought he was adorable.”

GBHS Director Heather Acheson said the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita, which was also conducting Clear the Shelter on Saturday, started the day with 12 dogs and 24 cats. Great Bend’s shelter has had several adoptions this summer.

“We had to pull in more animal surrenders and pull transfers from other shelters,” she said.

Because of COVID-19, people were required to wear masks Saturday and to take a number when they arrived. The number of people allowed inside the shelter at one time was limited. But there was also a table set up outside, where the temperature was in the low 70s.

Throughout the month, 2,000 animal shelters across the nation have participated in Clear the Shelters events, resulting in more than 160,000 adoptions, according to