Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in Charlotte?

Are you looking for your next furbaby? Were you wondering where to adopt in Charlotte? You've come to the right place! We'll help you learn all about the adoption process.

How can I get a puppy in Charlotte, NC?

Adopting a new pet is one of the most exciting things you can do. You are not only saving a life, but you're adding that new loved one into your home. There are just a few things we want you to know ahead of time. This way, you'll know what to expect when you arrive at that animal shelter or rescue.

  1. Age minimum to adopt. You must be at least 18 years of age or older to adopt a pet. And some shelters or rescues will require the adopter to be at least 21 years of age or older. You will also need to bring a valid driver's license or I.D. and provide proof of your address. To find out the age requirements, you can check the shelter's website or call ahead of your arrival.

  2. Cost of adoption fees. It costs quite a bit for these shelters and rescues to care for all of their animals. Not only do they feed and shelter them, but they'll give your pup or cat medical care, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and sometimes they'll even microchip the pet if they go missing in the future. For pricing examples, check out the section below about possible pet adoption costs. Please be aware that these are only examples, and the fees can, and do, change frequently.

  3. Have a "meet and greet." Before adopting your new pet, you will typically do a "meet and greet" in person and spend a little time together. This will help you both see if you would be a good match for each other. It's also helpful to bring your whole family along — spouse, children, and even the other pets you have — to see how everyone gets along.

  4. Home visit. This is rare, but certain animal rescues will require a home visit before you can adopt your new pet. This helps ensure that your family and home are suitable for caring for your new cat or dog. Not only does this help to verify the safety and care of the pet, but it also helps prevent returning pets after adoption.

Charlotte Dogs on Trail

Where is the best place to find pets in Charlotte, NC?

There are many places throughout Charlotte, NC, where you could adopt a pet. But always do your research to ensure you are supporting a reputable and respectable organization. Check out what they stand for, what they provide, and what they charge for adoption fees. This list below is just the beginning of the numerous places you could adopt from.


PetFinder.com is the perfect place to search online from the comfort of your home for all the adoptable pets in your surrounding area. You'll be able to see cats and dogs from numerous animal shelters and rescues. And you'll be able to filter through the available pets to find the type of cat or dog you're looking for based on gender, breed, size, age, and whether or not they are good with children and other pets.

C.M.P.D. Animal Care & Control

The C.M.P.D. (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department) Animal Care & Control is a government-funded organization and support services group that helps to shelter animals, give them medical care, and help them to find new homes. "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."

Humane Society of Charlotte

The Humane Society of Charlotte is a private non-profit organization with a no-kill philosophy based on saving all animal lives who come into their care. "The Humane Society of Charlotte believes in working to improve our community by creating new, loving families and building a world where there are no more homeless and unwanted animals…We believe that no healthy, treatable, behaviorally sound animal should have to be euthanized in our community."

Charlotte Cat Ready to be Adopted

Greater Charlotte S.P.C.A.

The Greater Charlotte S.P.C.A. is a non-profit volunteer-based organization that has no shelter location. Instead, they use only foster families to house and care for these animals who need homes. "Many of our animals come from high-kill shelters and other rescue situations. We find that fostering gives us the opportunity to assess the animal's personality and needs. This allows us to best match them with the right adoptive family."

North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue

The North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill animal rescue whose goal is to help "end pet abandonment, abuse, and neglect." They have a thorough adoption process and strive their best to find the right match for you and the animals. And they will always take back any adopted pet, whether it's been two weeks or two years. They want to make sure these animals don't wind up abandoned again.

Carolina P.A.W.S.

Carolina P.A.W.S. (Pet Adoption & Welfare Society) is a volunteer-based non-profit organization and animal rescue. They are dedicated to helping find new, loving, forever homes for abused and abandoned cats and dogs. "Carolina P.A.W.S. volunteers can be found 'in the trenches,' rescuing animals at high risk - those starving on the streets, languishing in shelters, and suffering in abusive situations." Carolina P.A.W.S. promises them a second chance at life and a good home no matter the animal's needs.

Saving Grace

Saving Grace was founded in 2004 by Molly Goldston. After witnessing the never-ending cycle of unwanted pets, euthanasia, and the urgency of pets needing to be saved, "Molly sought to create a space where both dogs and humans alike felt more comfortable and at home, minimizing the stress of meetings in a standard shelter setting." This animal rescue is located on a family-owned farm. Molly works closely with animal shelters across 20 counties, bringing dogs to the farm every week to get the extra care they need and find their new forever home.

Charlotte Skyline Reflected in Water

How much does it cost to adopt a dog in Charlotte, NC?

Each animal shelter and rescue will have slightly different adoption fees based on their financial needs to care for these pets. Check out the examples below to get a general idea of what to expect. And always call ahead or check out the website of the location where you want to adopt before arriving. This way, you'll know what you're getting into before you fall in love with your next furbaby.

C.M.P.D. Animal Care & Control:

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 4 months): $384

  • Adult dogs: $414

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 4 months): $304

  • Adult cats: $334

Other animals

  • Birds, rabbits, and other small animals: $1-75

*Any livestock animals will be auctioned off and given to the highest bidder.

Humane Society of Charlotte:

  • Pricing isn't listed by the animal — just in price ranges and by an itemized list of care. Adoption prices range from $450-900.

  • Cats will also have a $25 charge for FeLV Testing.

  • If heartworm treatment is needed, add $500-1,000.

  • And all animals will be charged $100 per day for the length of their stay.

Charlotte Dog Waiting for Adoption

North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue:

Adoption fees vary from pet to pet. But the typical prices are $195, $225, and $250. All specific adoption fees are listed under the individual pet's description.

Greater Charlotte S.P.C.A., Carolina P.A.W.S., and Saving Grace:

Prices are not listed on these websites. Please call ahead of time for specific fees for your desired pet.

Charlotte Couple Adopting a Puppy

Adopt a pet in Charlotte today!

Now that you know where to adopt, the costs, and the process to adopt… It's time to adopt! There are tons of amazingly sweet dogs and cats waiting for their new, loving, forever home. And you're just the person to give it to them. But don't worry; you won't be alone in the process.

At Local Pet Care, we're here to help you find the best places to adopt and the best dog-friendly restaurants in Charlotte, the best dog parks in Charlotte, and even to help you find the best local pet care professionals right in your own neighborhood. With all of these resources, you will be set up for pet-parenting success!

Find Local Pet Care Charlotte CTA

For more great articles about dog-friendly activities and pet-parenting advice, check out the Blog at LocalPetCare.com.

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