More kennels and room to run: New home for dogs and cats opens at Humane Society

·4 min read

Dogs and cats at the old Humane Society of Charlotte animal shelter will have a new home by the end of May — a 27,000-square-foot center funded by $15 million in donations.

The new Animal Resource Center, at 1348 Parker Drive in west Charlotte, is a project that’s been in the works since 2010, according to Shelly Moore, the nonprofit’s CEO and president.

“This has been a long journey,” Moore told The Charlotte Observer.

The Humane Society of Charlotte had operated out of a shelter on Toomey Avenue, near Remount Road and Interstate 77, since the ‘90s. That shelter was built by the city in either 1978 or 1982, Moore said.

“That building belongs to the city of Charlotte,” Moore said.

After Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control moved to Byrum Drive in the ‘90s, the city leased the building to the Humane Society of Charlotte for $1 a year, according to Moore.

RELATED: CMPD Animal Care shelter more than dogs and cats

“The Humane Society has been able to convert and utilize that building up until probably the last decade to be able to adequately serve the community,” she said. “We were no longer able to meet the demand in that space.”

The old shelter was not designed to house animals for adoption or rehabilitation, Moore said.

“It served the community well for a long time, but it does not meet today’s current needs,” she said.

Community funds change

Moore said she didn’t want the new center to be a place that people only went to if they wanted a pet. The Parker Drive facility also will offer low-cost and emergency veterinary care, outreach programs, and educational and youth programming, she said. It’ll have a pet food bank for families in need.

“We’ve looked at addressing all these core areas,” Moore said. “There’s so many more needs for the community in serving them and supporting them with their pets.”

Examination tables in the medical facility at the new Humane Society of Charlotte building in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.
Examination tables in the medical facility at the new Humane Society of Charlotte building in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.

The center also will include recreational spaces for animals and pet owners across its 17 acres of land, a public dog park and a cat café, according to Moore.

The Humane Society of Charlotte bought the land for almost $1.7 million in 2016, county records show. Construction on the center started in March 2021, she said. Donations began in 2017 and have allowed the nonprofit to enter the center debt free, she said.

The Blumenthal Foundation, former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and wife Stephanie, the George D. Patterson Family Fund, the Rachel Ray Foundation and more than 100 others all donated to the center.

“We’re very appreciative of the community support for this project,” Moore said.

More space, more animals

The new center will increase capacity by about 40%, Moore said. The new center will have 24 large, tempered glass suites and 36 indoor kennels for dogs, compared to the 50 chain-link kennels facing each other outside the Toomey Avenue site, she said.

The kennels and suites will help segregate the dogs so they don’t get stressed out from seeing one another so often, Moore said.

“When animals get stressed out, it can create health and behavior issues,” she said.

Outdoor dog kennels at the former Humane Society of Charlotte building on Toomey Avenue in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. Dogs will be housed indoors at the new facility which opens later this month.
Outdoor dog kennels at the former Humane Society of Charlotte building on Toomey Avenue in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. Dogs will be housed indoors at the new facility which opens later this month.

Cats will have three times the free-roaming space with access to the outdoors, according to Moore.

The cat adoption area in the new Humane Society of Charlotte building in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.
The cat adoption area in the new Humane Society of Charlotte building in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.

The Humane Society’s 64 employees can also now work under one roof — something that wasn’t possible at the original 10,000-square-foot shelter, according to Moore.

“We know this is going to be a great place to work and for the community once we make that transition,” she said.

Opening date for the center

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Animal Resource Center is scheduled for Thursday, but Moore said the facility won’t officially be up and running until the end of May.

Animals previously housed at the original shelter are in foster homes or Pet Palace on Wilkinson Boulevard, Moore said. They’ll come into the center once it’s ready, she said.

Cesar Puerto, of Charlotte, N.C., works to paint door trim in the new medical facility at the new Humane Society of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.
Cesar Puerto, of Charlotte, N.C., works to paint door trim in the new medical facility at the new Humane Society of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 12, 2022. The new 27,000 square foot facility located on Parker Drive will provide spaces such as a cafe and a new medical facility when it opens later this month.

Adoption fees at the Humane Society are based on the animal’s age, size, breed, and temperament, according to the nonprofit’s website.

People can still donate to the Humane Society of Charlotte in various ways — including monetarily, with supplies or by hosting a third-party event.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting