CHARLOTTE -- According to the most recent numbers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Animal Care and Control, fewer dogs and cats are being euthanized while more are being adopted into loving homes. They said that this is a trend they've been seeing since 2002, despite the large population growth in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Kelly Waugh is no stranger to CMPD Animal Care and Control.
"We saw that there was a little french bulldog mix and we wanted to come check her out, so we adopted her," said Waugh.
Tatum is the third dog she and her husband have adopted from the shelter, and she said that they love to give these dogs a good home.
"We just love them. We hate the thought of animals being put down, and if we can do anything to help, we want to give back as much as possible," said Waugh.
Waugh said that it's becoming the norm with her friends to rescue pets, but it's something Animal Care and Control is seeing, too.
"The good news is that we're down where we need to be down, and we're up where we need to be up," said Melissa Knicely, with CMPD Animal Care and Control.
Since 2009, adoptions and transfers have gone up at Animal Care and Control, while euthanizations have gone down. This year, there was an 8.5 percent increase in adoptions and transfers, and a 7.2 percent decrease in euthanizations compared to the last fiscal year.
"The biggest thing is there are so many programs in place under the surface, that probably a lot of the community doesn't even know that we have, that are taking place that are helping these efforts, and a lot of them are the rescue group program we have here," said Knicely.
Knicely said that it's things such as low-cost spay and neuter programs, adoption specials with cats, or obedience training for dogs at the shelter that are helping. But she said that it's really everyone, citizens, the Humane Society, and local rescue groups, working together for a common goal.
"We can't do it alone. We're merely the place where these animals, by law, have to come if they're homeless, but we need the community's help and I think the community is stepping up, and will continue to do so," said Knicely.
Knicely said that some animals brought to the shelter must be euthanized, due to medical issues or aggressive behavior, and some are older dogs brought in to be put down by owners who can't afford to do it at the vet. However, there are still some unnecessary euthanizations that take place.
To learn more about adopting from Animal Care and Control, go to http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/CMPD/organization/Support/AnimalControl/Pages/default.aspx