CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Many Charlotte area animal shelters are often at capacity and all average about a 50 percent kill rate. The push is to get away from euthanasia, and get more dogs adopted faster.
Charlotte is now one of four cities nationwide taking part in a move to make that happen. A dog trainer is spending a year at the shelter in hopes of getting dogs adopted out faster.
Scotch was a shelter dog who now has a new family. She was at the shelter longer than most other animals because she didn't always put on a good show.
“It definitely is in the presentation,” said dog trainer Karen Owens.
Lots of dogs just don’t like being caged, but how those dogs show that is often a red flag for potential owners
“If they haven't had any training, it can be a major barrier,” Owens said. “People see an animal. They may be jumping and pulling and acting obnoxious.”
“You’re going to look at that dog and go ‘I’m going to have trouble with that dog when I get home,’” said the shelter veterinarian Dr. Mary Blinn.
Owens actually trains dogs at Charlotte's shelter. The goal is to get the dogs manners so they get a new home.
“When we can showcase a dog with great skills and personality, the potential adopter is seeing the true animal and not all this craziness from being in a kennel,” she explained.
Owens is in Charlotte thanks to a $40,000 grant from Petfinder.com. Charlotte is one of only four shelters in the country that got money to try this approach.
“The pressure is on to stop euthanizing animals,” said Blinn. “If you do that, that means longer kennel stays for a lot of animals.”
“I’ve been working with Bear a month and he’s really calmed down,” the trainer said.
She says Bear has been a perfect student.
“He’s come so, so far, I’m so proud of him.”
She's hoping Bear soon ends up like Scotch, on his way home.
Click here for more information on all of the dogs up for adoption from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control.