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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care over capacity, stops accepting dog drop-offs

Dog held Charlotte Animal Care & Control shelter
Sam Carnes
Queens University News Service

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control has a full house at its dog kennels. Due to a "massive lack of space issue and capacity for care," as of Tuesday animal control won't accept new dogs surrendered by their owners.

Animal care has been warning about its kennels being near or at capacity for more than a year. During that time, the shelter has been dealing with an overabundance of stray and owner-surrendered dogs in Charlotte.

At this time, the center has 208 dogs at the shelter. Staff is dealing with "debilitating euthanasia decisions" to put down dogs due to lack of space, a spokesperson said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control

“We simply do not have room for them," said Josh Fisher, director of Animal Care & Control.

While there have been some recent adoptions, spokesperson Melissa Knicely said they're not keeping pace with the inflow of animals.

“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,” Knicely said in a statement.

She said that the agency is euthanizing dogs daily. Right now, they are focused on dogs with behavioral issues such as a history of biting, or untreatable medical cases. She said decisions about euthanizing dogs because of space happen when "we literally are not able to shift dogs around in kennels and make room."

"That is when the heart-wrenching decision on who gets euthanized unfortunately has to take place," said Knicely.

If you’ve lost your pet in the Charlotte area and it's picked up by the AC&C, at the minimum the kennel will have to hold it for 72 hours.

“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," said Fisher.

Officers also recommend that if you are a pet owner be sure to have them microchipped and have their information updated in thelocal database.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.