Dogs and cats at the old Humane Society of Charlotte animal shelter will have a new home by the end of May — a 27,000-square-foot center funded by $15 million in donations. The new Animal Resource Center, at 1348 Parker Drive in west Charlotte, is a project that’s been in the works since 2010, according to Shelly Moore, the nonprofit’s CEO and president. “This has been a long journey,” Moore told The Charlotte Observer.

The Humane Society of Charlotte had operated out of a shelter on Toomey Avenue, near Remount Road and Interstate 77, since the ‘90s. That shelter was built by the city in either 1978 or 1982, Moore said. “That building belongs to the city of Charlotte,” Moore said.

After Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control moved to Byrum Drive in the ‘90s, the city leased the building to the Humane Society of Charlotte for $1 a year, according to Moore. “The Humane Society has been able to convert and utilize that building up until probably the last decade to be able to adequately serve the community,” she said. “We were no longer able to meet the demand in that space.” 

Moore said she didn’t want the new center to be a place that people only went to if they wanted a pet. The Parker Drive facility also will offer low-cost and emergency veterinary care, outreach programs, and educational and youth programming, she said. It’ll have a pet food bank for families in need. “We’ve looked at addressing all these core areas,” Moore said. “There’s so many more needs for the community in serving them and supporting them with their pets.”

The center also will include recreational spaces for animals and pet owners across its 17 acres of land, a public dog park and a cat café, according to Moore.

The new center will increase capacity by about 40 percent, Moore said. The new center will have 24 large, tempered glass suites and 36 indoor kennels for dogs, compared to the 50 chain-link kennels facing each other outside the Toomey Avenue site, she said.

The kennels and suites will help segregate the dogs so they don’t get stressed out from seeing one another so often, Moore said. “When animals get stressed out, it can create health and behavior issues,” she said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Animal Resource Center took place May 19, but the new facility won’t officially be up and running until the end of May. Animals previously housed at the original shelter are in foster homes or Pet Palace on Wilkinson Boulevard, Moore said. 

They’ll come into the center once it’s ready and soon be available for adoption.

This article has been edited for space limitations. It appears courtesy of our media partner the Charlotte Observer.