Charlotte animal shelter volunteers push for more funding

Charlotte animal shelter volunteers push for more funding

Volunteers said CMPD Animal Care and Control is euthanizing animals far too often due to lack of space.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city says CMPD Animal Care and Control is the largest animal welfare organization in North Carolina. Yet, volunteers say it doesn’t have adequate space or staffing to handle the thousands of animals it cares for each year.

On Monday night, several shelter volunteers brought their concerns to city leaders during Charlotte City Council’s public input hearing about the upcoming annual budget. 

The proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget allocates more than $600,000 so Animal Care and Control can create 10 new positions at the shelter. However, volunteers said it’s not nearly enough to help. 

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Volunteers said the city’s animal shelter is overcrowded and underfunded. 

“We simply don’t have the amount of kennels that a city our size should have,” Kelsey Joseph, a board member of Friends of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Services, said.

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For years, Joseph and many other volunteers have begged the city to expand the shelter. Joseph told WCNC Charlotte the lack of space is costing lives.

“Animals are euthanized daily there because of it,” she said. 

Volunteer Krystin Lasprilla echoed those concerns to council members during the hearing. 

“It’s clear that the system is broken,” Lasprilla said.  

The budget calls for 10 new shelter positions, including a veterinarian and several kennel attendants. However, volunteers said there still needs to be additional staffing and space. 

“Volunteering for an underfunded shelter is a roller coaster of emotions,” Lasprilla added.

Joseph is happy to see the additional jobs but worries about the lives lost without expansion. 

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“We need action now,” Joseph pleaded. 

The shelter’s director, Dr. Joshua Fisher, told WCNC Charlotte that designs have been created to expand the existing shelter. However, the city estimates the project would cost around $200 million. 

Due to the cost, Fisher said the shelter is looking into the option of creating a second shelter instead. Once the concept designs are completed, officials will compare the two options. Fisher hopes to have a rough idea of the desired path forward by this fall.

Charlotte animal shelter volunteers push for more funding

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