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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

It Takes a Village to Keep Charlotte Area Pets Safe

Jan 02, 2021 01:26PM ● By Martin Miron

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control (AC&C) operates the Municipal Animal Shelter responsible for serving Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Established in 1944, Animal Control became a free-standing department under the city of Charlotte in 1983 and in 1993 it became a bureau within the Charlotte Police Department. In 2007 Animal Control was renamed as the Animal Care & Control Division to better reflect their community outreach efforts and commitment toward animal welfare and saving the lives of companion animals.

AC&C has many programs that focus on education, intake mitigation, pet management, adoption and animal health concerns. Communications manager Melissa Knicely says, “AC&C is also here to help educate the public about how to best care for animals and work to keep pets and people safe and together. All stray animals in the community come through our doors.”

AC&C is a Tier 1 level shelter under the Human Animal Support Services national organization model with 80 total employees in enforcement, sheltering, customer service/community outreach, business support and communications.

The field operations team is made up of 31 animal control officers  and five supervisors that are dispatched to handle calls for service that come in through 311. These calls can be anything from a loose dog, a dog bite, a nuisance animal call, suspected animal cruelty, etc. The Emergency Response Team and Large Animal Rescue Team are trained for special response.

A veterinarian and two supervisors manage seven animal health technicians and nine animal care technicians. The customer service manager has 10 customer service representatives that work at the shelter and the offsite adoption center located inside Petco in Huntersville. There is also an event coordinator, and animal trainer, a rescue/foster coordinator, and volunteer supervisor. The communications team has a social media coordinator and a temporary employee serving as a development specialist.

There is a monthly free spay/neuter event, free rabies vaccines and $10 microchip clinic. The adoption center is very successful, with a placement rate into homes between 4,000 and 5,000 animals annually. In 2011, only 35 percent of animals entering the shelter were leaving in a positive manner,” says Knicely. “This year, we are currently at 89.4 percent of animals leaving by way of going back home to their owner, being adopted or being transferred to an animal rescue group or organization. To give perspective, our 2020 goal was 82 percent because we knew the low-hanging fruit had been addressed and every percentage point becomes much more difficult to achieve. To say we are elated with 2020’s results is an understatement.”

Knicely explains that the national animal welfare organizations that help through grant funding, rescue groups that rescue animals with special medical or behavior needs, volunteers, donors, local businesses, the local media and social media followers are all part of the community fabric of support. She says, “2021 will be a pivotal year. We have to continue to work hard and depend on continued support from the community to make sure we can keep Charlotte a sustainable community for pets and people.”


Animal Care & Control is located at 8315 Byrum Dr., in Charlotte. For more information, call 704-336-7600 or visit

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control - 8315 Byrum Dr, Charlotte, NC

CONTACT US Phone: 311 If outside Mecklenburg County, call 704-336-7600 Address: 8315 Byrum Drive Charlotte, NC 28217 Read More » 


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