Wake County Animal Center Faces Overcrowding Crisis, Waives Adoption Fees for Homeless Pets

Just one month after issuing an alert to the community that the Wake County Animal Center will begin euthanizing pets due to a lack of space, the shelter is once again on the brink of reaching its capacity. Staff is pleading with the community for help and waiving adoption fees to find loving homes for 182 homeless pets.

"If we take in 30 more dogs, the center will be completely full," said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. "We're quickly reaching a critical point where we won’t be able to shelter any more homeless pets. We urge our community to come forward and adopt. Your act of kindness can save a life and provide a loving home to a dog or cat in desperate need."

Any dog or puppy that has been on our adoption floor for 15 days or longer is available for adoption for $0. All adopted pets are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped before they go home. The regular adoption fees are $95 for dogs, $45 for cats under five years old and $15 for older cats.

Current numbers of homeless animals as of Tuesday, Sept. 12:

  • 83 dogs
  • 4 puppies
  • 19 cats
  • 33 kittens
  • 43 pets living with foster families
  • 14 strays (on hold for owners to reclaim)

The Wake County Animal Center is the only local shelter that never turns animals away. Owners who are giving up their pets to the shelter MUST have an appointment. The waiting time to surrender a dog is now 4–6 weeks, because appointments are fully booked.

“When we get close to capacity, we have to use our space differently,” said Dr. Jennifer Federico, director of the Animal Center.  “We divide up the kennels, so we can fit two dogs inside instead of one. It's not ideal as a crowded and noisy shelter can make our animals feel more stressed, both physically and emotionally.”

Animals that are brought in as strays for protective custody or bite quarantines must legally be held by the shelter. When pet owners make an appointment to give up their pet, shelter staff are fully transparent and explain that if the center runs out of space, it is animals on the adoption floor who will be euthanized first. We strongly encourage anyone who needs to surrender an animal to work to rehome their pet by using these tips.

Ready to adopt? Check out our adoption gallery or come by and see the sweet faces for yourself! The shelter is open for adoptions daily from noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week. The Wake County Animal Center is located at 820 Beacon Lake Drive, near the intersection of I-440 and New Bern Ave. in Raleigh.

Press Release