CHARLOTTE, N.C. — During the summer months, shelters across our area are constantly battling being over capacity. 

CMPD Animal Care and Control have made it easier for people to help them by launching a "staycation program".

"We have a lot of dogs that have a longer term stay here, and they get kennel stress," said spokesperson Melissa Knicely said. 

The best way to alleviate that stress is to get them out and about.

"It really does the dog a lot of good," Knicely added. "There is a lot of mental stress for a dog when they are sheltered." 

Here's how the program works: You just bring your license to the facility during the week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., sign a waiver, and walk out with a pre-approved "staycation" dog.

If you want to keep the dog overnight, or even for a few days, you can. If you cannot commit to that, you can sign up to be a "staycation" walker which allows you to take a dog out for a few hours. 

The idea is to give the dog a break, as well as the staff, but also for getting people to think about adoption. 

We met a "staycation" volunteer who said the program was a great way to see if the dog was a good fit. She ended up adopting the pet.

"We've had 85 'staycations' and 54 of those turned into adoptions by the 'staycation' family," Knicely told NBC Charlotte. 


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