Around Town

Skip the pet store: The case for adopting or fostering dogs and cats

Once a pet ends up in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, many don’t make it out. No matter how hard they try to network available pets online and in events held at SouthPark mall.

For the 2014 fiscal year, 7,124 dogs and cats were euthanized. (Note: This number does not account for shelters in surrounding counties — Gaston, Chesterfield, Union (SC) and Union (NC), among others — which have significantly higher kill rates due to their rural settings and lack of space.)


Charlotte has a plethora of animal rescues that work daily to save as many pets as possible by pulling from some of the highest-kill shelters in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

With that in mind, forget about pet stores and breeders.

Check out these places the next time you’re looking to find a new furry friend:

Catering to Cats & Dogs: Dog and cat rescue based in Cornelius.

Dog Days of Charlotte: Organization that helps local rescues find fosters.

Greater Charlotte SPCA: Local rescue with main focus on dogs, some cats, based in Charlotte.

Family Addition Animal Rescue: Dog rescue based in Huntersville.

Furever Angels Animal Rescue: Charlotte-based rescue with focus on dogs.

Halfway There Rescue: A Charlotte-based rescue that mostly pulls from high-kill shelters in South Carolina.

Humane Society of Charlotte: A dog and cat rescue at 2700 Toomey Ave. , Charlotte, that is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. every day.

Lucky Labs: A Charlotte-based rescue with a focus on Labradors and Lab mixes.

North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue: A dog rescue based in Harrisburg and serving North Mecklenburg County.

SAFE Animal Haven: A dog rescue based in Matthews that seeks long-term fosters.

– And, of course, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control.

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Since all of these rescues are nonprofits, they run off of donations and volunteers who help with events, fostering, applications, home visits and transporting animals from shelters or to vet visits.

The rescues fund trips to the vet for each and every dog that is saved. (Another bonus of adopting!)

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Can’t adopt? Consider fostering an animal. 


Foster homes are needed by every rescue.

Fostering a dog not only saves the life of the dog you foster — it also saves the life of a dog in the shelter that now has space, preventing a dog from having to be put to sleep for overcrowding.

Each rescue will provide food, crates, leashes and any medication needed for a foster pet, as well as cover the expenses of vet visits. The only thing required of a foster home is to give the dog a place to stay until it is adopted.


How long is a typical foster period? The time frame varies for every dog. Some only need a week, while others need months or even a year.

Most rescues will be able to give you a ballpark time frame up front so that you will know how long you’re committing.

Photos by Ashleigh White.

Ashleigh White
Ashleigh White