CHARLOTTE, NC (News Release) — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control’s (AC&C) dog kennels are all filled with dogs waiting for their Christmas miracle, a home.
For the past 15 months, AC&C has sent out numerous pleas for adoptions, fosters, and breaking news about the kennels being near or over-capacity while the staff is tasked with making debilitating euthanasia decisions due to the overabundance of stray and owner-surrendered dogs coming into the shelter from the Charlotte Community.
“On a day that we are happy to have 20 dog adoptions/fosters going out the door, at the same time we have 15 strays/owner surrenders coming in and sadly we see no light at the end of this very long tunnel, says Melissa Knicely, Communications and Outreach Manager at AC&C. Currently (at the time this news release was written) we are caring for 208 dogs at the shelter, 47 dogs in foster care, and 27 dogs on a Staycation, a total of 282 we are caring for.”
Below, you can see that the CMPD AC&C canine intake continues to rise:
Due to this massive lack of space issue and capacity for care, as of December 20, 2022, AC&C is suspending accepting owner-surrender dogs.
“We simply do not have room for them, said Dr. Fisher, Director of Animal Care & Control. “ACC officers are doing everything they can to get lost pets’ home in the community before bringing them into the shelter, but between lost dogs that we are unable to find an owner, long-term case dogs, and dogs that pose a public safety risk to our community, our kennels are at capacity.”
According to North Carolina General State Statutes (G.S. 19A-32.1), stray/lost animals received by an animal shelter or an agent of an animal shelter shall be held for a minimum holding period of 72 hours in order to allow time for the owner to find their pet.
AC&C has the following housing areas for dogs: stray/lost, bite quarantines, treatment for sickness, investigations/cases, and adoption kennels. Stray/lost dogs are not able to transition into adoption kennels until after the legal 72-hour hold is complete. However, the shelter does not have any room in adoption kennels to move approximately 41 dogs that have completed their 72-hour hold, have had a medical exam, and are ready to move into adoption.
CMPD AC&C has 7 stray/lost dogs that are just coming into the shelter, and only have 2 open kennels available. All of this means there is no room for dogs to be owner-surrendered, which is why they are currently halting all owner-surrenders for dogs.
In the future, CMPD AC&C will be basing owner surrender requests on available kennel space, which at the rate the dog intake is climbing, they won’t have space for surrenders for the foreseeable future and will not be booking any future appointments at this time.
What if I already have an appointment booked?
You will be receiving a call from an AC&C representative to cancel those appointments as well as a link to our websites that provides websites to post your pet for adoption, a guide for making flyers, and places to share them.
How can I help combat this situation?
- Ensure your pets are spayed and neutered (low-cost Spay/Neuter options in the Charlotte Community)
- Have your pets microchipped and make sure the registration is up to date and in the AC&C local database.
- Make sure your pet wears an I.D. tag at all times. (Come by AC&C for a free tag)
- If you find a lost pet, take it to a vet or one of our Microchip Checkpoint Stations to have it scanned for a chip.
- If you find a lost pet, the report is to AC&C, and then foster it while you continue to look for its owner.
- Foster a dog (which frees up a kennel here at the shelter for the next dog)
- Adopt a dog (a win for the dog, for the next dog waiting on a kennel, and an amazing win for you!)
- AC&C is running an adoption special on all animals through December 31