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Charlotte animal shelter volunteers push for more funding


CMPD Animal Care and Control euthanizes animals often due to space constraints, volunteers said.

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

On Monday night, several shelter volunteers took their concerns to city leaders in the process Charlotte City Council Public hearing on the upcoming annual budget.

The proposed fiscal year 2025 budget allocates more than $600,000 so Animal Care and Control can create 10 new jobs at the shelter. However, volunteers said the help is not nearly enough.

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

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

Related: A fundraiser in Charlotte seeks to keep dogs out of an overcrowded shelter

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

“Animals are euthanized every day there because of this,” she said.

Volunteer Christine Lasprilla echoed these concerns to council members during the hearing.

“Clearly the system is broken,” Lasprilla said.

The budget calls for the creation of 10 new shelter positions, including a veterinarian and several kennel attendants. However, volunteers said more staff and space are still needed.

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

Joseph is happy to see the additional jobs but is concerned about the loss of lives without expansion.

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“We need to take action now,” Joseph pleaded.

The shelter’s director, Dr. Joshua Fisher, told WCNC Charlotte that designs were created to expand the current shelter. However, the city estimates the project will cost about $200 million.

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

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