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Clear the Shelters campaign launches as area shelters reach crisis levels

Area shelters are seeing the highest animal intake numbers in years.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As area shelters reach critical levels, a nationwide campaign is launching to help clear the shelters and find forever homes for as many pets as possible.

Donate money to help Clear The Shelters

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control is asking for the public's help as rising pet intake, staffing shortages and population growth in Charlotte put the shelter in "crisis" mode.

After the COVID-19 lockdown drove intake numbers down and more families to adopt new pets, the center is now facing a perfect storm of straining factors: A rising human population, also bringing new pets to the area, the highest intake numbers in years and staffing shortages.  

RELATED: How to help animal shelters, rescues in the Carolinas

Clear The Shelters is an annual, nationwide pet adoption and shelter donation campaign that is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Local, a division of NBCUniversal. Each year, NBCUniversal Local’s NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations, plus affiliated stations, partner with animal shelters and rescues in their communities to host Clear The Shelters events. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

Here's a look at which area shelters and rescues are participating in Clear The Shelters during August:

CMPD Animal Care & Control

  • 8315 Byrum Dr, Charlotte, NC 28217
  • View adoptable pets
  • Here's how you can help:
    • Take a dog on a Staycation for a long weekend:  A Staycation is available to people who cannot commit to adopting a pet but want to help by taking a dog home for up to five days to give it a break from the shelter environment and provide it the benefits and experience of living in a loving home. Visit the CMPD Animal Care and Control shelter on Byrum Drive in Charlotte. Pick out an adoptable dog, show ID, sign a waiver, and take them home for up to five days.  
    • Foster a dog: Consider a longer-term foster assignment. Fostering reduces the long-term boarding of animals who can suffer from kennel stress which often leads to behavior issues. Foster-centric is a trending term that describes a new model for animal sheltering. It puts animals who are ready for adoption in homes in the community, leaving space at the shelter for the animals who need special care or management. Fill out an application online to foster.
    • Adopt:  If you have been thinking about adding a furry friend to your family, there is no better time than now.  Adopting one animal will save two lives: by saving the one you adopt and the one who takes its place. Details on the adoption process are online.  Visit CMPD Animal Care & Control this Saturday to adopt.

York County Humane Society

Humane Society of Charlotte 

  • 1348 Parker Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • To schedule an appointment to meet available animals, please click the button on the Adopt A Dog or Adopt A Cat page OR follow the link at the bottom of the animals’ profiles to schedule your appointment. You must be 18 or older to adopt and have a valid form of identification.
  • View adoptable pets  

Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement

Lancaster SPCA 

Greater Charlotte SPCA

Catawba County Animal Services

  • 201 Government Services Drive, Newton, NC 28658
  • View adoptable pets
  • Go to http://www.petharbor.com
  • Type in the zip code 28658
  • Click “Catawba County Animal Care and Control”
  • From that menu, you can view all the animals currently at the shelter

Zach's Rescue

North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue

Lincoln County Animal Services 

Heart of the Foothills Animal Rescue 

Rusty's Legacy Dog Rescue 

Watauga Humane Society of Boone 

Donate money to help Clear The Shelters

This year, Clear the Shelters was a month-long campaign, finding homes for animals across the Charlotte area who need a forever family. Donations can be made online with 100% of the money going to the shelter or rescue. WCNC Charlotte has teamed up with 11 shelters and rescues to support the annual adoption campaign. 

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.

Also new this year are the opportunities to find pets online and via the WeRescue app and to donate to hundreds of other shelters that are not able to remain open during the COVID-19 crisis, but still desperately need help to care for animals and place them in homes.  

To help individuals and communities continue to practice safe social distancing measures, WCNC Charlotte's month-long “Adopt & Donate” effort will feature virtual pet adoptions and make it easy for people to donate online to participating shelters and rescues. The campaign runs from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31.

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