Starting Monday and for the next month, homeless dogs and cats are being offered for adoption at lower rates to encourage Riverside County residents to open their hearts and homes to new four-legged friends.

The county’s two busiest animal shelters are participating in the “Clear the Shelters” event, during which abandoned and neglected canines and felines are available to take home, according to Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.

He said adoption fees have been slashed to a base rate of $20. Typical fees for dogs run $105, while cats cost $25.

The fees include spay/neuter surgeries, rabies vaccinations and microchipping. County pet owners, however, will still be required to purchase dog licenses, which are $25.

Prospective pets are available at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms and the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley. The Blythe Animal Shelter is not participating, and the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus remains closed due to budget constraints.

The adoption bonanza, now in its seventh year, will continue until Sept. 19.

In addition to the two county-run shelters, nearly 70 municipal shelters and nonprofit rescue organizations are participating countywide.

More information is available at www.ClearTheSheltersFund.org.

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