Adopt A Pet

Sample of the goodies(PDF, 1MB) provided when adopting.

dog button
Adoptable dogs!

cat button
Adoptable cats!

other pets button
Small and farm pets

When viewing the adoptables, note that their picture is clickable and will provide more information if we have it, such as: foster contact info (if in foster), personality profile, pictures, and videos.

Adoption process:

  • Come visit!
    8315 Byrum Dr, Charlotte NC 28217
    Monday-Friday 11am-7pm
    Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm


  • Bring your ID and form of adoption payment. Also remember to bring a leash/collar set for dogs, and/or carriers for cats and small pets.

  • You are more than welcome to check out the kennels and do not have to wait in line. When arriving, head toward the front desk, make a slight right, down the hall, and turn right. Both doors on the right are open for adoptable dogs. The first door is adoption; walk around the outside of the kennels in a giant loop to see everything we have. The second door is our lost kennels but there are dogs available for adoption and pre-adoption. Go around the outside of the kennels on both sides to see all the dogs. Go find your new friend!

  • When you find a pet, you are interested in meeting, take a picture of the kennel card (white or yellow paper hanging on the door) and head to the customer service desk (where you came in!). If there's a line, you'll need to wait in line.

  • Staff will provide any and all information we may have listed and then bring the pet to you. If there's more than one pet you'd like to see, make sure you provide the ID numbers to the customer service staff so they can give you info all at once and have you on the list to meet with a maximum of 2 pets, so you don't have to get back in line for a second greeting.

  • When you fall in love and ready to adopt, keep the pet in the room, and go back to the staff. If there's a line, you'll need to wait in line.

  • You'll need to provide your ID, phone number, and email address to complete the adoption process. From there staff will talk you through the rest of the paperwork. As long as the pet is spayed or neutered, they can go home same day! Otherwise, you'll adopt but they'll have to stay to get that done. Staff will let you know their surgery day and time of pickup.

  • Adopters visiting during regular shelter hours will have the right to complete the interaction and adoption process on a first come-first serve basis with no interruption from other adopters for the same pet.

  • All adopters in attendance at that time secure an equal position regardless of how early they arrived. If there are 2 or more adopters at the shelter at the same time, for the same pet, starting at 11am, then a priority order drawing will take place.  The selected first adopter will have a determined amount of time to interact with the pet and make a decision about adoption. We encourage the other adopters to stay nearby in case the first adopter does not complete the adoption.  We also encourage them to tour the other animals available for adoption while they are here. 

  • In the best interest of assisting everyone before closing time, we will be stopping interactions 30 minutes before closing every day. If you wish to interact with any of our adoptable pets, please get to the shelter no later than 1 hour prior to closing so we can assist you with interaction and completing adoption paperwork.

  • If you an adoptable pet here, make sure you take a screen shot and/or have the 7-digit ID number written down to provide to the staff upon your arrival. 

A lot of our adoptable pets have no background history, and no notes based on behavior around dogs, cats, kids, or house training. However, a lot of our volunteers know a little more about our dogs based on the walks they provide, and our fosters have the most knowledge about the dogs in their care. If you need assistance with finding the best match for you, your family, and lifestyle fill out our adopter profile form. We will send this form to our fosters and volunteers. If they feel they have found a match for you, they will contact you directly. This form is not meant for alerts when an animal you may be looking for comes into our shelter as we do not have the means to keep track of such information.

Visiting Reminders

When visiting from ACC please note the following:

If you don't have a cat carrier, we can provide one for a $5 donation.

If you don't have a leash/collar set, we can try to find one for you, but we are very low on these sets and may not always have something available.

Due to safety reasons, we cannot allow dog/cat, cat/cat, or dog/dog interactions.

Keep in mind that the animal shelter is an unnatural environment. The shelter dog most likely has some level of stress and a family dog coming to the shelter may experience stress. To set both the shelter dog and the family dog up for success, we recommend doing a meet/greet outside of the shelter environment, on neutral ground.

If you bring your dog to the shelter, know that they CANNOT go into the dog kennels. It would be best to leave your pet at home or have someone come with you to hang out with your dog if you plan to go offsite for a dog/dog interaction.

Pet Store Partners

We are very grateful to the local pet stores located throughout Mecklenburg County who have graciously agreed to partner with us and not only house our adoptable cats, but also help find them new homes.

While looking over the adoptable cats on our site you might find some that are listed as Pet Super or PetSmart. Click on their picture and there will a note saying which store they are located. You are welcome to contact them to make sure the cat is still available for adoption; you are then encouraged to go to the store in person to meet them.

1. PetSmart in Cornelius
8301 Magnolia Estates Dr, 28031

2. PetSmart in Cotswold
206 S Sharon Amity Rd, 28211

3. Pet Supplies Plus
2001 E 7th St, 28204

Cats are $30 each.

Small pets found at Cotswold include Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, and Rabbits. Gerbils are $2 each; Guinea Pigs are $10 each; Rabbits are $45 each. An extra $5 is required for a boxed carrier for the small pets.

We thank our pet store partners for helping us find furever homes for our adoptable kitties and small pets!


The pre-adoption program is the fastest track to finding an animal a new home.

Select animals are eligible for pre-adoption after passing a health and behavior assessment when they arrive at the shelter. In order to fast track these animals into a home as quickly as possible, you can pre-adopt them while they wait their stray hold time. If they are not reclaimed by an owner adopters will be contacted when they are ready to go home.

To meet the dogs eligible for this program, you must come to the shelter to see/visit/adopt. No animals will be placed on hold if you call/email/text/chat/message on social channels.

The pre-adoption process is the same as a regular adoption. The only difference: the timing. When you pre-adopt, the animal must remain with us until the hold time period is up.
Day 1: the pet arrives
Day 2-4: the pet is made available for pre-adoption but must stay through closing on day 4. If you pre-adopt on any of these days, staff will walk you through the spay/neuter and pick up process.
Day 5: if not reclaimed, the pet becomes our property and your adoption is completed. You'll be notified if the pet is reclaimed before day 5.

Know that all fees that are paid cannot be refunded. However, if that animal is reclaimed, your fee will be credited for another pet.

Staycation does NOT apply to pre-adoptions. If you wish to take a dog on a staycation to make sure that they work in the household and in your family, you will not be allowed to pre-adopt and you'll have to wait until the due out date. This means that another party could pre-adopt the dog.

Dog/Dog Intros


There are several important steps to successfully and safely introduce a new dog into the household. First, it is important to take into consideration the personality of the dog already in the home. Do they want a companion? Are they dog friendly and dog social? How do they typically greet other dogs on walks or at the park? These bits of information can help tell you if and how we should introduce a new dog into the house.

            It is important to get the dogs used to each other on neutral ground before trying interactions in the home. Baby gates, exercise pens, and sturdy dog crates are necessary for preventing any greetings too soon.

Start with a walk on neutral ground. Have each dog on a leash with a calm, relaxed adult handler. Keeps the leashes loose; tension on the leash can communicate anxiety to the dog, which can cause them to become anxious or fearful about the other dog. Walk with a safe distance between the dogs, down either side of a street works well. Walk in the same direction for a bit before crossing paths and turning. This allows the dogs to smell where the other has walked.

            If everything goes well, no barking, snapping, pulling, or other tense behavior; proceed with allowing the dogs to meet. It is best if they do not meet head on. We can facilitate a more correct greeting by encouraging them to walk circles with each other or even just slowly decreasing the distance while walking parallel. It can be VERY helpful to have another person present to simply observe the body language between the dogs, especially if either handler is unsure what to look for.

            If the dogs have not shown hostility when meeting and everyone is relaxed, it is time to take them to an enclosed area, drop their leashes, and give them some space so they can get to know each other. Human interference at this point is only necessary in a few circumstances. If the dogs become overexcited in their play, we can help by asking them to settle or separating and walking them apart a moment until they relax. Or, if one dog becomes overbearing or ignores correction from the other. Then we can step in and calm the situation or remove the offender for a few moments. Otherwise just step back and give gentle verbal praise for appropriate and social play.

            Important body language to watch for: Tension in the face/lips. Leaning far forward over the front feet. Hair standing up along the back/neck. Direct, sustained eye contact between both dogs. These are all signs of tension or anxiety. If this body language is present during greetings, it is best not to continue without the help of a dog behavior professional. Dogs with relaxed wiggly bodies, who glance at each other then turn their heads, and paw or play-bow to each other are calm and ready to interact. Praise this behavior and enjoy watching them play.

Remember, some dogs are very vocal during play. While all that growling, barking, and snorting may sound like a problem; it is important that we ignore the noise and keep a close eye on the body language. So long as both dogs are happily enjoying themselves, the noise is just that, noise.

            Once the dogs have successfully interacted on neutral territory, it is time to start integrating them together in the house. Pick up any high value toys or chews and put the beds away in a closed off part of the house. The greetings in the home should be done the same as the neutral ground meetings. This way if either dog shows signs of territory aggression or resource guarding, it is much safer to separate them. If they greet well on leash in the house, drop the leashes and allow them to play.

Monitor all interactions in the home closely, especially when adding back the toys, chews, and beds. Remember, it takes time to learn to live with a new family member. We can help keep tensions down by management of resources. Ensure there are more than enough to go around and no one dog hoards or guards valued items. If certain things are highly coveted, they are best given when the dogs are easily separated into rooms or crates.

If there is more than one resident dog in the home, take the time to do a separate introduction as outlined above with each individual dog, both on neutral ground and in the house. Slowly bring them together starting with the most easy-going of the existing family.

The most important part of this process is to TAKE TIME. When we work at a pace where the dogs are comfortable, the results are better and longer lasting. Also, not all personalities are meant to live successfully together. Do not feel bad if it does not work out.


Our early budget does not allow us to purchase and supply treatment for heartworms. Your generous donations help us keep this program going! Help us treat heartworms by making a monetary donation!

How we treat heartworms:

ACC is dedicated to treating as many heartworm-positive dogs as we can in order to ensure that these dogs are able to be adopted into happy homes. The number of heartworm-positive dogs in our community is overwhelming! Because of this, we are using a unique approach to heartworm treatment that allows us to treat far more dogs than traditional treatment would allow.

Medications Used:
Advantage Multi is a topical heartworm preventative that also treats active hookworm infections. It has also shown potential as a heartworm treatment alternative in cases where traditional treatment is not feasible.

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is used for 28 days to rid the heartworms of a bacteria called Wolbachia that causes more adverse reactions during treatment.

This treatment will not interfere in any way with a traditional treatment plan should you choose to pursue that once you have adopted.

The Process:
You will be provided with a treatment sheet that you can use to help remind you of the dates to apply the Advantage Multi. When the last dose has been given, please schedule an appointment for a heartworm test with us using our WaitWhile appointment system.