“It takes a village.” It’s a saying that’s utilized to inciting social change in cities, elevating a toddler and preventing viruses. It’s additionally the mindset that helped a municipal animal shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina, obtain its first-ever No-Kill neighborhood designation.

“No shelter can do it with out the assistance of the neighborhood,” says Melissa Knicely, public info specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Management (AC&C).

To realize the designation, AC&C needed to attain a 90% save charge for animals it took in throughout the 12 months, which might embody something from a canine hoarding case, a pet who’s misplaced from his house or a harmful unfastened animal. If it appears like an ideal feat — discover ing a house for 90% of animals that come into the shelter — you’re proper. In response to Greatest Pals Animal Society, solely 37% of all communities with sheltering providers have reached a No-Kill designation.

AC&C, which is a department of the police division, has been working towards this aim for years, says Melissa, ending 2020 with a “900 countdown” marketing campaign that concerned assist from the native media, partnerships with native rescue teams and collaborating with a world social media influencer to get as many animals — as near 900 as potential — adopted.

Assist from the neighborhood is a giant a part of AC&C’s success.
©Photographs Courtesy AC&C

These citywide efforts will be seen throughout the nation as almost 40 shelters have carried out community-supported applications to maintain pets out of shelters and cut back euthanasia charges.

The initiative is pushed by Human Animal Help Companies (HASS), a coalition created final 12 months by Texasbased nonprofit American Pets Alive! in an effort to foster the bond between animals and folks and rework the best way communities work together with their sheltering methods.

Right here, the AC&C staff, which has now set a 92% save charge aim for 2021, walks us by means of the applications it put into place to assist attain its save charge aim and the way different communities can, too


The staff began this non permanent foster program two years in the past to present canines a break from the commotion on the shelter. Households look after a canine as much as 5 days and report again on a postcard about any outings and actions the canine participated in and the way she dealt with them.

Not solely does the shelter get perception into how a canine behaves in numerous settings, which helps to make profitable adoptions, however about 50% of the canines ended up being adopted by the foster dad and mom.

“It’s been actually useful with our success,” Melissa says.


There’s a 72-hour window after an animal is discovered earlier than the shelter can spay or neuter or put the animal up for adoption. This may trigger a bottleneck scenario within the shelter, Melissa explains, and may also enhance the possibility of kennel ailments spreading among the many animals.

To hurry up the adoption course of, AC&C gave folks the choice of paying the adoption charge earlier than the 72 hours is up, so the canine can get spayed or neutered and adopted the identical day he turns into authorized.

©Photographs Courtesy AC&C

Microchip Checkpoints

AC&C is working with native pet shops to get microchip scanners put in, so misplaced animals will be scanned, as a primary resort, with out having to name the AC&C or a vet.

Wellness Packages

The staff goes into the neighborhood and gives canines with free vaccines, heartworm checks and preventives and a microchip.

Different discounted and free medical providers the shelter plans to implement this 12 months embody an inner spay-and-neuter program, waived adoption charges for senior residents, low cost prescription playing cards and flea and tick drugs.

Melissa says, “When an proprietor surrenders an animal as a result of they’ll’t afford to go to the vet, we are able to provide options.

#PawsForThisCause. What YOU Can Do

  • Share adoptable canines on social media: Clicking one button can save a life.
  • Get to know your municipal shelter: Metropolis animal management can get a nasty repute. Assist unfold the phrase that identical to different shelters, the aim is to reunite animals with their homeowners.
  • Advocate in your neighborhood: Unfold the phrase about HASS’s mission and encourage your neighborhood shelter to get entangled.

For extra info: Go to charlottenc.gov, and click on on the Undertake a Pet hyperlink.

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