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Yes, CMPD Animal Care & Control is taking in more animals than it has in the last 3 years

The agency acknowledged to the public it might sound like it's 'crying wolf' about capacity issues, but the numbers Verify found back up that message.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In recent weeks, Charlotte Mecklenburg's Animal Care & Control staff has posted urgent messages to the public to adopt, foster, or take an animal for a 'stay-cation' to relieve capacity constraints.

It's a repeated message: The care facility is in crisis. But what do the numbers show?


Is CMPD Animal Care & Control taking in more animals in 2022 than it has in the last three years?


  • Melissa Knicely, communications director with CMPD Animal Care & Control
  • The agency's recent 'state of the shelter' report


This is true.

Yes, CMPD Animal Care & Control is taking in more animals in 2022 than it has in the last three years.


It's important to first point out the agency houses animals for a variety of reasons and is compelled to hold certain ones until they are cleared.

"We've got really an increased intake of dogs that are lost or stray, that are coming in," Knicely said. "And unfortunately, we've got a lot of dogs that are here for hold on for court cases on rabies holds and things like that."

Credit: WCNC

Data, as shown above, reveals how many animals the facility took in during the first six months of 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

The pandemic, according to Knicely, helped reduce the number of animals coming in throughout 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, there was a rise in new animals -- more than 4,000 in the first half of the year.

"We are critically full," Knicely said. "And it's not necessarily what people think people think we're full, because we have no kennels left, that's part of it, right? We only have a few open kennels to juggle around."

Knicely said staffing shortages also mean a reduced capacity to care for animals. Add in not enough people adopting and fostering and she calls it a perfect storm.

"The amount of animals that we have now in our care... now we need a lot more people to be able to handle all the cleaning and all of the feeding and just alone, that's a huge job," Knicely said.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify. 

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