"Clear the Shelters" and similar events that promote either “no adoption fees” or “reduced adoption fees” may sound like great ideas and they provide the local shelters the “numbers” they desire to create a narrative of having a "No-Kill" city.
Unfortunately, the numbers that the shelters don’t track are the amount of dogs returned within just a few days or the ones that end up like Cargo/Valerie, adopted from the OC shelter during a give-a-way, and 2 weeks later dumped on the sidewalk. She died at the vet and it was suspected that she suffered trauma to her vulva and from blunt force trauma to her aorta (you can read more about her story here).
Additional problems can arise from giving dogs and cats away. For example, this allows adoptions from people looking to use these animals as bait dogs, to sell to testing labs, to sexually abuse them, or to use in ritual sacrifices. Those numbers aren’t tracked because we never find out about them. There is no follow up from the shelter, no application or contract, no need to show proof of having a place to live, no materials offered on how to properly care for a pet, etc. Rescue groups do such a thorough job of vetting potential adopters and we should require the same from the shelters.
We strongly believe that someone who can’t afford to pay a small adoption fee can’t afford to have a pet, with food costs and vet care.
This NY Times opinion article sums it up best: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/opinion/shelter-dogs-no-kill-policies.html?nytapp=true