About us

We are a multi-faceted agency dedicated to providing the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County with animal care services.  We are an organization that values community partnerships and working jointly to build a better world for animals and the people who own them. 

Animal Services is a division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department under support services. It is recognized and emulated nationally as a leading model within the animal welfare community, and takes pride in initiating and implementing progressive programs and​ pr​actices.

The main facility is over 45,000 square feet. Included in the main facility are approximately 165 dog runs and 220 stainless steel cages. The building also provides an area for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Services Clinic operated by Animal Care & Control staff members.

Animal Control was established in Charlotte/Mecklenburg on July 10, 1944.

In 1983 The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County consolidated the Animal Control agencies, which then began functioning under the Operations Department of the City of Charlotte.

In 1990 Animal Control became a free standing department under the City of Charlotte.

In October of 1993 the Mecklenburg County Police Department consolidated with the Charlotte Police Department forming our organizational title as the “Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control Bureau”.

In 2007 City Council approved a name change, Animal Control was re-named to Animal Care & Control Division to better reflect their community outreach efforts and commitment towards animal welfare and saving the lives of companion animals.

Animal Care & Control is a multi-faceted agency dedicated to providing the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County with animal care services. We are an organization that values community partnerships and working jointly to build a better world for animals and the people who own them.

Animal Care & Control is a division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. It is recognized and emulated nationally as a leading model within the animal welfare community, and takes pride in initiating and implementing progressive programs and practices.

Animal Statistics

​In an ongoing effort to educate the public about the magnitude of the pet overpopulation problem, we are making available the statistics that show how many animals come into the shelter every month. The data given for all animals and then is broken down further for dogs and cats since that is what most people are interested in.

2018 Year in Review

Save Rates



Full 2020


Full 2021


Full 2022 

Animal Care & Control (AC&C) is part of the Support Services Group of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and currently consists of five units including: Field Operations, Animal Sheltering & Medical Services, Customer Service & Community Outreach, Communications, and Administrative Services.  In addition to providing regulatory services that contribute to community public health and safety, AC&C has many programs that focus on education, intake mitigation, pet management, adoption and animal health concerns. 

AC&C is dedicated to helping the people and pets of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County by providing a variety of medical and support services.  AC&C is also here to help educate the public about how to best care for animals and work to keep pets and people safe and together.

AC&C is proud to be a Tier 1 level shelter under the Human Animal Support Services national organization model.

Want to become a member of the team? Check out the Human Resources site to find the application, and instructions to apply. Click here to see what jobs the city is currently offering.

We also have various positions filled by temp agencies: Goodworks and Allegiance 


Animal Services Officer:
There are 39 allocations for Animal Services Officer positions and operates on a 20/7 schedule. ​Our Staff currently serves an ever increasing and diverse population of over 900,000 citizens. Some of the situations that our officers respond to include:

  • Barking complaints

  • Nuisance complaints

  • Dangerous animals

  • Injured animals

  • Abuse of animals

  • Restraint of animal complaints

  • Animal bite investigations

  • Disaster response (CART, SART, UASI)

  • Livestock containment via specialized unit referred to as the Large Animal Response Team (L.A.R.T.) and Herding Dog Officer

  • Extracting animals from contaminated environments via AC&C Haz Mat Unit

  • responding to calls for service to enforce local and state animal laws 

  • preparing investigative reports including bites and issuance of citations

  • preparing case files for written orders, dangerous dog declarations, nuisance declarations, and testifies in court as necessary.  

  • serve as members on specialized units such as the Large Animal Response Team

  • (L.A.R. T.), and the ACB Haz Mat Unit for response in extracting animals from contaminated environments.  

  • Officers’ conduct in depth investigations regarding animal cruelty to include dog and cock fighting involving felony prosecution.  

  • Officers participate in community neighborhood association meetings and community outreach programs to include humane education and various other customized instructional programs.     


Customer Service Representative:

Front line staff are positioned in the main lobby of the Animal Services Center and assist citizens when they come to the shelter for a variety of reasons:

  • Animal intake (strays and surrenders)

  • Animal adoptions

  • Animal reclaims

  • Payments (citations, pet licenses, etc.)

​Animal Health Technician:

Animal Care Tech’s perform health checks, give medicine, be able to help injured animals, and be able to handle euthanasia on daily basis.


Staff must handle daily data entry, citizen/owner assistance, and filing paperwork.

Public Information Specialist:

This specialized staff member must handle the media, marketing and creating adoption specials and adoptable animals, as well as creating and coordinating events.

Information Technology:

This specialized staff member must be able to work on computers, and create reports within the local Chameleon database system.

Animal Care Technician:

The attendant’s clean cages, feed animals 2 times a day, process stray animals upon entry, clean/wash bowls and do laundry on a daily basis.

Other jobs within Animal Services:

• Division manager

• Shelter Manager

• Animal Trainer

• Veterinarian

• Variable amount of positions created by two temp agencies

​Have you recently interacted with our staff? We'd love to hear your feedback. Fill out the form.

​The goal of the Fear Free Shelter Program is to improve the experiences of animals by educating shelter, rescue, and animal welfare employees and volunteers like you about their emotional needs. We aim to empower you to apply key strategies and techniques designed to reduce the negative emotional states that are commonly experienced by shelter and rescue animals—including fear, anxiety, stress (FAS), and frustration—and increase their enrichment opportunities. The Fear Free Shelter Program provides training suitable for all of the individuals involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals—from medical and behavioral staff to intake, reception, kennel, and cattery staff to animal services officers, adoption counselors, foster caregivers, and shelter volunteers.

Learn more.


We are proud to be part of the Humane Animal Support Services pilot program. We're working hard every day to help the pet owners in our community to keep pets with their owners.


This is the story of Officer Caffray, along with Officer's Rogers, Perry, Davis, and Fink working together to help two sisters. Ms. Gonzalez moves to Charlotte to be with her sister who was in a medical facility. She lived in a tent with her 3 seeing eye dogs when she met Officer Caffray. Caffray and the officers not only assist Ms. Gonzalez with her dogs but also her sister to make sure that they are able to help them get a new home.


Monday, November 9, 2020 - Charlotte, NC – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control (AC&C) launches a donation campaign to kick off the season of giving. HASS Giving is an initiative by the AC&C's Human Animal Support Services (HASS) Team that provides care packages of essential items to community members and their pets who need support during the holiday season.

Fulfilling the organization's goal of keeping pets and people together, the HASS team works closely with community members to help find viable solutions to animal care and ownership challenges. With the season of giving and cooler weather ahead, HASS team members will carry and distribute care packages to those needing additional support.

The HASS team will distribute the packages during the month of December.

Members of the public are invited to participate by making donations of small food and personal items to place in the packages beginning today through Monday, November 23. Items can be purchased through our Amazon Wish List.

Items may also be donated in-person at the shelter located at 8315 Byrum Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217.  Financial donations are also welcome. Be sure to check mark HASS Giving when making a monetary donation.

​Meet the management team at Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Services!

Dr. Josh Fisher - Director

Shannon Harkey - Shelter Manager

Bryan Harkey - Field Operations Manager

Melissa Knicely - Communications Manager

 Jessica Smith - Customer Service Community Outreach Manager

Caridad Sanchez - Business Services Supervisor


Cody Trespalacios - Volunteer Coordinator

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Earns "No-Kill" Animal Community Designation for Historically High Save Rates in 2020 

Charlotte, NC – January 6, 2021 - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control (AC&C) has put Charlotte on the map as an official "no-kill" animal community for the very first time. A special campaign, "900 Countdown", drove more than 900 animal adoptions in the past two months to reach a 90% "save rate" and earn the coveted designation. 

"Achieving the 90% goal fulfills our vision of offering a true safe haven for our community's homeless pets and for citizens who need assistance with keeping their pets," said Dr. Josh Fisher, AC&C Director. Although many groups across the country consider 90% to be the benchmark for a "no-kill" community, Fisher prefers to think of it as a sustainable community for pets and people. 

"Charlotte recognizes the power of the human-animal bond and has proven its commitment this year by ensuring we do all we can to save animals and keep people and pets together. We want to thank everyone who made this possible."

Fisher and his management team have strategically planned for this moment for years, moving the needle on animal save rates from 35% in 2011, to 79% in 2019 and today at 90%. Shelter leaders have launched its own movement and hashtag, #CLT90, to maintain momentum and embrace the animal-loving community spirit and culture of our city.

Everyone in the city has played a part in making history with AC&C, says Fisher. "Even with a global pandemic, our community stepped up for the animals through Staycation fostering, adoptioning, volunteering, promoting animals in need and generous financial gifts. All of this sustains our programs that support animal health, safety and successful outcomes."


How to Keep it Going

Maintaining the designation will require the same type of commitment throughout the coming years, says Fisher. "I believe the citizens of Charlotte will not be satisfied with a one-year designation. There is so much more we need to do as a community to prevent over-populations of animals, help people own and care for their pets in successful ways, treat sick and injured animals, find homes for pets in homeless situations."  


Want to Help?

  1. Adopt a pet. If you're looking for a pet, consider one at AC&C. View their animals available for adoption.
  2. Give a shelter dog a vacation. Host a dog for a few nights. You'll return your relaxed, furry friend with a report card that will educate prospective adopters about their personality and preferences.
  3. Support Human Animal Support Services (HASS). Help families in need keep the pets they love. Donate to the HASS Fund.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control is equipped with 2 Emergency Response Trailers.  The first trailer was purchased and equipped in the Fall of 2009, thanks to a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.  This trailer is part of the Urban Area Security Initiative.  Charlotte Fire Department played a large role in helping make this possible.

emergency response trailer

The UASI Program provides funding to address the unique planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.  Per the 9/11 Act, states are required to ensure that at least 25 percent (25%) of UASI appropriated funds are dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.

A second trailer was purchased to hold additional equipment and was added to the fleet in the Spring of 2011.  The trailers are fully equipped to be able to set up a mobile animal shelter which could house 100 animals.  The trailers are self-sustained with generators to power ac/heat and lights.  They also provide pop-up​ cots for sleeping quarters for the emergency response team.  One of the trailers can also serve as an exam room if the situation would arise where animals needed to be examined for injuries.  The trailers are also equipped with necessary veterinary medical supplies, kennel cleaning supplies.  There is a laptop system that has the ability to connect to our animal database software so we can set up a remote database to keep electronic inventory, medical records, identification photos of animals, and most importantly the ability to post to a website any lost animals.  There is also an emergency response team of Animal Care & Control staff that is trained and ready to deploy with the trailers if the need arises.

​100 percent of the grant money has been spent for this project.

emergency set up with tents and trailer

Animal Care & Control has a large Emergency Response Team. Members consists of front counter, vet tech, kennel attendant and officer staff. Pictured above is a little less than half of the members of the Emergency Response Team. They are trained and certified in sheltering and field rescue.

link to hsus emergency placement partner program

the shelter awning displaying the ac&c logo