NC among worst states for shelter pet killings, new study says. How to help in Charlotte

North Carolina is one of the worst states in the country for the number of animals killed in shelters, a new study published by a veterinary group found.

The report comes after a year Charlotte’s city animal shelter repeatedly issued pleas for the public to adopt and foster more animals to help alleviate overcrowding.

That overcrowding led to an uptick in dogs being put down in Mecklenburg County, a previous Charlotte Observer analysis found.

Here’s what to know about shelter animal euthanization rates in North Carolina and how to help save shelter pets in the Charlotte area:

NC ranks No. 2 in shelter animals killed

A March study by found that North Carolina was third in the nation for the number of animals killed in shelters.

The study, which was based on “data from 3,261 animal shelters in the U.S.,” concluded that “28,790 animals are killed in North Carolina shelters in a given year.”

“North Carolina also ranks No. 2 for the percentage of shelter animals killed each year at 14.3%,” the study said.

The two states with worse numbers were Texas and California, the group said.

Charlotte animal shelters face overcrowding

Shelter capacity in Charlotte has been an issue in recent months, leading to an uptick in euthanizations, a previous Charlotte Observer story found.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control officials repeatedly raised concerns throughout 2022 about overcrowding in the city’s animal shelter.

Over the summer, that fueled a 40% increase in the number of dogs that were put down or euthanized from the previous summer, according to the Observer’s analysis of public records.

No-kill animal shelters in Charlotte

Those looking to help alleviate shelter overcrowding can adopt pets from the city shelter.

There are also multiple options for being a long- or short-term foster parent to a shelter pet.

Additionally, there are also multiple “no-kill” animal rescues and groups that take in pets from “high-kill” shelters in the Charlotte area you can support, including: