Humane Society of Charlotte

By Sasha Manley

Where in Charlotte can you bring your laptop to get some work done, grab some coffee and hang out with adorable, adoptable cats? Answer: the Cat Café in the Humane Society of Charlotte’s new state-of-the-art facility on Parker Drive in Charlotte.

For over 40 years, the Humane Society of Charlotte (HSC) has played a vital role in caring for area cats and dogs. Over the summer, they moved into a new 26,000-square-foot building less than a mile from its previous location on Toomey Avenue. 

The non-profit organization was outgrowing its old space and unable to make the necessary upgrades to expand, said Meg Doherty HSC Marketing and Communications Manager. So they decided to move. Now located at 1348 Parker Drive, this new resource center gives the organization more opportunities to continue its mission of serving pets and pet owners. “We are very focused on the human-animal bond and making sure that we foster that connection,”  Doherty said. 

“The space is very open, airy and bright,” Doherty said during a WBTV interview on the QC Morning show in August. “They’re just in a great spot with lots of great enrichment activities. We have great volunteers who come and walk our dogs every day. It’s been awesome to see the community descend on our new location.”

After a successful 5-year campaign, the HSCraised $15 million in community donations. Unlike the previous location, the new resource center has triple the space. The building only takes up a portion of the pristine 17 acres with open land for future expansion. The new HSC facility includes lots of amenities that are functional and fun.

Retail store and Cat café

This area includes a retail and refreshment area. Visitors can find items for their cats and dogs including treats, toys and outfits for pets. The café is also where guests can whip out their laptop, do some remote work while sipping on a latte and handing out with furry, friendly and adoptable cats.

Education Court

This spacious room has a classroom setup and provides instructions to adult and children on how to train their pet, and other resource opportunities.  

Wellness Clinic

The previous health space was operating out of a small room. Now in a larger building with increased capacity, there are multiple exam rooms to spay and neuter pets. Other medical services include rabies and leukemia vaccines, canine heartworm tests, microchips and more.

There are also isolation and intensive care unit rooms. Here they can watch animals that may come in sick or need specific medical attention. 

Cat and dog adoption areas

These two wings feature comfortable climate-controlled areas for the animals. The dog kennels are large enough to accommodate big or small doggies. The cat area can house about 12 cats per room and features an indoor and outdoor “catio,” withfun toys, a cat tree and a swing. Doherty describes it as an optimal area. She said, “We wanted it to be an enriching space for the animals while they are spending time with us and they can free roam.”

The center encourages everyone to come to hang out. Colorful and modern seating and gathering spots throughout the facility provide animal lovers and pet advocates with a welcoming atmosphere. 

Lists and descriptions of the adoptable cats and dogs are available for guests to see. This fall, the center plans to open a public park to extend its outdoor space for dogs. 

Programs and training

One of the major reasons HSC created the news facility was to enhance community engagement. Besides services for cats and dogs, projects for the public are ongoing. For example, the educational space will hold summer camps for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, host wellness sessions such as cat yoga, and collaborate with area groups and foundations for instruction. 

A free literacy buddy program is also underway. Children have an open invitation to read to the fun kittens and playful pups. It gives the animals opportunities for human interaction and helps readers advance their skills.

Doherty said the importance of the move goes back to the neighborhood. “Just being able to open our arms to the community and bring them in different ways that we haven’t been able to in the past is the big focus of the building,” she said.

Finding your new pet and clinic services

There are plenty of cats and dogs looking for a new home. The online adoption database updates every 30 minutes with available animals. It also walks you through the five-step adoption process. People interested in adopting HSC pets must be 18 years old and have valid identification.

What to expect during the adoption phase:

  • All pets are spayed/neutered.
  • Initial wellness checks and mandatory vaccines is provided through the clinic.  
  • Although the clinic is available for all pets in the community, after adoption, HSCrecommends that pet owners have a primary veterinarian for yearly checkups and specialized care. 

Visit the website for an extended list of wellness services and pricing and to make an appointment.    

Ways to support HSC

So much work goes into taking care of community pets. The center is always looking for volunteers to help with daily duties. HSC also has an Amazon wishlist. Some items needed are animal care products, food, supplies, treats and toys. Monetary donations also help keep the facility running. 

Not ready for adoption? There are opportunities to foster too. Fostering gives the pets more chances to get accustomed to in-home living and helps those needing a slower transition. 

Having a pet can boost mental health and create meaningful bonds. Visit for all the ways you can be a part of the Humane Society of Charlotte family.