Makayla Biermann grew up with a Jack Russell dog as a companion. She wants her daughter to grow up with that same companionship, so she went to the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center to pick out just the right dog.

It turned out to be an 8-year-old blind Yorkie that came to the shelter as an owner surrender.

Biermann chose to give the blind Yorkie a forever home ahead of Saturday's Clear the Shelter event.

This is the fourth year the nationwide event has taken place, sponsored by NBC and Telemundo-owned TV stations.

Last year, more than 50,000 pets found forever homes through the event.

This is the first year Wayne County has participated.

"A lot of people showed interest in it," said shelter manager Wayne Benton. "So we're going to try it this year. If it's a big success, we'll continue to do it every year."

Benton said that when people come into the center Saturday, the staff will walk them through shelter. If someone sees a pet they like, the staff will get it out and the person or family can play with it.

"If they want it, we'll do the normal adoption paperwork," Benton said. "But there will be no adoption fee that day. It will be their responsibility to get them spayed or neutered. They will have to bring back proof that they did."

Everyone can take their pet home that same day.

Benton said if there enough staff Saturday, they'll do heartworm tests on the cat or dog. If it is negative, the adopter will receive a free month's supply of heartworm prevention.

Currently, the animal shelter has about 60 cats and 100 dogs of all breeds, all sizes and all demeanors.

"We're just trying to clear out the shelter and find them forever homes so they don't have to stay in here so long," Benton said. "We try whatever we can to get them homes. We just need a lot of adopters and a lot of volunteers that day.

"We don't have to say a whole lot to get someone to adopt a dog or cat. When the person comes in, they'll see that right one and I don't have to say a thing."

He said the animal and person pick each other.

Benton said this is the time of year when the shelter fills up fast, as is spring.

"All the cats and dogs are having kittens and puppies and I get the overflow here at the shelter," he said.

"I think people should definitely come out for Clear the Shelter," Ms. Biermann said. "I think people should adopt, not shop, as people say. These dogs needs homes."

She plans on giving her new addition to her family a loving home and a happy life.

"We picked her because the probability of her getting adopted was low," Ms. Biermann said. "We wanted to make sure she gets adopted."

Clear the Shelter will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center at 1600 Clingman St. For more information, call the shelter at 919-731-1439.