WATERVILLE — Animal lovers can adopt pets at reduced prices or have adoption fees waived this weekend as animal shelters in Waterville, Westbrook and five locations around the state try to reduce the number of abandoned animals they are caring for.

The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, at 217 Landing Road in Westbrook, is taking part Saturday in the nationwide Clear the Shelters Day, hosted by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. Stations WCSH and WLBZ will take part.

Since 2015, the event has led to more than 70,000 pet adoptions nationwide, according to Lisa Smith, director of the participating Humane Society Waterville Area, located at 100 Webb Road. Smith said this is the first time the Waterville shelter has taken part and she hopes for a big turnout. It will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

“We are very excited to see a whole lot of people coming out to the shelter to adopt, and hopefully people we’ve never seen before,” Smith said. “We have a lot of wonderful animals – every age and size and color of cats and kittens – at half the price or fee-waived, which we have not done before, even on kittens. It’s not often that we do something like this but we want to see everyone get a home.”

She said the shelter is full, with 100 adult cats and 51 kittens, about half of which are ready for adoption. The shelter also has many dogs.

“We are looking for good, qualified adopters,” she said.

The animals are spayed or neutered, receive primary vaccinations, are dewormed and treated for fleas and ticks before they are put up for adoption, Smith said. Dogs are microchipped, which enables them to be found easily if they become lost. The adoption fee covers those items and the shelter is reducing some of the fees to encourage more adoptions.

“Last year we helped clear the shelter by working with a partner shelter in Westbrook and supplying cats to them for the Clear the Shelters event,” Smith said. “This year we decided we should participate.”

Animals available for a waived fee include those with special needs, according to Smith. She cited as examples a cat that is diabetic, one that requires special food, and “bonded cats … that seem to be co-dependent on each other and we feel would not do well if separated.”

The Waterville shelter is now open noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Those wanting more information about Clear the Shelters Day may visit ClearTheShelters.com. People may also follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #LoveMyPet.

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

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Twitter: AmyCalder17