There's 1,200 furry friends out there, spread among six Silicon Valley animal shelters that have banded together in a campaign to find the animals permanent homes for the holidays.
According to shelter officials, only 25 percent of pet owners adopt an animal from such a facility, and that's something the Shelters First campaign aims to change.
"We need to raise awareness to the point where another 5 percent of owners adopt from our shelters," said shelter supervisor Brigid Wasson in a statement. "That will put thousands more animals in loving homes -- and forever eliminate shelter overcrowding."
The shelters are offering a December adoption special, which will have reduced $12 adoption fees through the month for adult animals. Baby animals are available at regular prices.
All six Silicon Valley shelters are overwhelmed, and have been working together on short-term solutions such as transferring animals between shelters and moving them into foster homes. Officials said the clear solution is to raise the rate that people adopt animals from shelters.
"Dogs and cats should not be in shelters," stated Beth Ward of the Humane Society Silicon Valley. "Our shelters are beautiful, but they're not homes. Our volunteers and staff are warm and wonderful, but they're not the same as a permanent, loving family.
Shelters First is a joint effort between the City of San Jose Animal Care Center, Humane Society Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, Palo Alto Animal Services, Santa Clara County Animal Shelter and Town Cats of Morgan Hill.
For more information or to view available animals, visit www.sheltersfirst.org.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.