Scary Shelter Facts: North Carolina Animal Shelters Need Help

Posted by Daniela Lopez on October 10th, 2023

shelter dog stares out of fence
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control / Baxter – A1217590

Most of us associate October with Halloween, but it’s also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Though the two events might not seem like they have much in common, the truth is they do: both give us plenty of things to be scared about. Instead of ghouls and ghosts, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month reminds us just how many dogs out there need homes — and how far too many never find them.

The situation is particularly dire in North Carolina. That’s why we’re headed to Charlotte this month to raise awareness about some of the scary stats below.

Over 5,510 dogs have entered Mecklenburg County shelters in 2023 alone.

The county that includes Charlotte, North Carolina, ranks second out of all North Carolina counties in terms of the volume of dogs shelters have taken in this year, according to Shelter Animals Count.

4,885 dogs who entered shelters in North Carolina didn’t make it out.

Sadly, this year alone, thousands of dogs have already failed to make it out of North Carolina shelters alive. Around 1,300 of those dogs were in Mecklenburg County. 

Nearly 20% of shelter pets in North Carolina never find a home.

According to Shelter Animals Count, that’s over 11,000 pets who never make it to their forever homes. 

North Carolina has one of the highest euthanasia rates in the country.

North Carolina’s total “save rate” of pets that enter their shelters is 76%, one of the lowest in the country, according to Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS). The state is considered a high-priority state for BFAS’s work helping shelters achieve “no-kill” status; only 38 of 120 shelters in the state are “no-kill,” meaning they save at least 90% of animals who enter their shelters. 

Are you a North Carolinian who’s ready to welcome one of these deserving dogs into your home? You can find your BFF on Adopt A Pet right now.


*These estimates are based on data from Shelter Animals Count for 2023, except where specified.

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