Across our area, animal shelters are seeing record numbers of stray and unwanted cats and dogs.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control unit has been dealing with overcrowding issues for months. It’s currently maxed out caring for nearly 400 animals.
Melissa Knicely, Public Information Specialist for CMPD’s Animal Care and Control, said the numbers are astronomical compared to 2021, or even 2020.
“More animals since the year of COVID,” Knicely said.
Knicely said that compared to this time last year, the department is taking in around 250 more animals per month.
She added the Fourth of July weekend only made the problem worse. Fireworks are considered terrifying to many dogs, which contributes to them running away and winding up at the shelter.
The holiday added on to a problem that was already growing.
“We have all these animals on hold,” Knicely said. “We have an influx of animals coming in because of summer.”
Knicely said if you are missing your animal, be sure to check shelters first, because after three days it may be listed for adoption.
“We want to get animals home,” Knicely said.
To free up space, animal control said it is encouraging people to foster animals or even house them for five-day staycations. Knicely said that opens up space for the next animals that will come in.
“It’s a win for everybody. It’s a win for us because we have that extra space. It’s a win for the dogs that are waiting to come into the kennel and need that space, and it’s a win for that dog and family,” Knicely added.
You can find more information on how to foster or adopt an animal from the shelter here.
(WATCH BELOW: CMPD animal shelter asks for adoptions as it reaches capacity)