By Donna Weaver – founder of Catering to Cats & Dogs (C2CND)
A small animal rescue from Lake Norman, NC is fearful for the fate of animals in need in Lake Norman and other small communities after losing their adoption center home: Petco Lake Norman store.
After a long and very successful partnership Catering to Cats & Dogs (C2CND) founders and volunteers were shocked to find out they will be totally replaced as the Petco Huntersville adoption partner by the Humane Society of Charlotte (HSOC). HSOC will be bringing animals into the Lake Norman store from their Charlotte based operation and facility. It seems there is no plan for HSOC to do any intake of the animals in need from the Lake Norman and other small communities that are now served by Catering to Cats & Dogs.
Petco Huntersville NC has made the decision to replace a small well-known local animal rescue organization Catering to Cats & Dogs as their in-house adoption partner with the larger Charlotte based Humane Society. The president of C2CND fears this will devastate the animal rescue efforts for the needy animals they take into their foster and adoption program annually from Lake Norman and surrounding smaller communities. C2CND is a foster-based rescue, has no paid staff and 99% of the volunteers and foster homes hold full-time jobs. C2CND has responded to the local communities animals in need for the last 7 years through their adoption program partnership with Petco Huntersville. The organization has rescued, provided vetting, vaccines, spay/neutered and adopted hundreds of local cats and dogs annually though their adoption program with Petco. In 2014 C2CND adopted 698 animals mostly from the local Lake Norman area through the Petco Huntersville partnership. This year in 2015 they have already adopted 501 animals. C2CND was very happy on track to beat last year’s adoption numbers! This is another reason this is so disappointing for the rescue’s leaders, the foster homes, and the adoption volunteers as adoption numbers have steadily increased annually at the Huntersville Petco. (C2CND can provide exact annual numbers) It has taken a long time for C2CND to assemble a dedicated, reliable base of volunteers who wish to volunteer in their own community to help the needy animal population. Huntersville happens to be the highest performing pet store in the area, which could be the reason this store was chosen by the Charlotte organization.
Along with C2CND being displaced, Lincoln County Animal Shelter (LCAS), who also uses Petco Huntersville to place animals otherwise slated to be euthanatized at the animal control, They also were informed they can only bring animals for adoption 1 weekend day of the month instead of their current 3 or 4 adoption days a month. Sadly this is sometimes the only opportunity the LCAS animals will have to live. With the Huntersville store out of the picture, there is no other large avenue for Northern county rescues such as C2CND and Lincoln County Animal Shelter to have an outlet for their animals. Petco did offer the Mooresville or Concord stores to C2CND, but the Mooresville store where C2CND worked in previous years has proven not as cat adoption friendly. There is also a distance situation for many of the volunteers in using either of the stores mentioned. Plus C2CND moving to one of those Petco’s would just infringe on other organizations already in residence at those stores.
When initially meeting with Petco and HSOC, C2CND was led to believe that their avenue of adoption would continue with Petco Huntersville in cooperation with HSOC. But at a later meeting, it was stated that avenue would not be open to them as the new Adoption Center was not large enough to accommodate the C2CND program. It was also stated that the C2CND Saturday adoption events disrupted the Petco shoppers. Donna Weaver stated, “If we had any idea our events were disruptive to the store in any way we would have gladly taken measures to correct the issues”.
Over the years Catering to Cats & Dogs has generously donated financial support to other organizations such as Friends of Feral Felines, Paws & Claws, Cabarrus TNR, Spay It Forward, Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program, Friends of York County, Cabarrus Animal Shelter, Lincoln County Animal Shelter, Helping Animals To Survive, Safe Haven for Cats (SC). C2CND has helped these and other organizations on numerous occasions. In addition, C2CND has helped many private pet owners who were desperately in need of assistance rehoming local area pets, medication and veterinary assistance, spay/neuter assistance, cat and dog food, litter and other needed pet supplies. The loss of the Cattery Adoption Program privilege in Petco Huntersville means much more than a loss of venue to stage adoption events for C2CND foster animals to find new homes. It also means the loss of the financial support provided by Petco in-store fundraising events such as Tree of Hope, Photos with Santa, Spring A Pet ETC. C2CND was dependent on these monies to help provide medical and spay/neuter support for foster animals and local animals in need. In addition to the much needed financial support derived from being the Petco adoption partner, the loss of the cat and dog food and other supplies donated to the in house partner will greatly decrease the amount of support C2CND can offer to the other small organizations and individual pet owners.
C2CND has earned a wonderful reputation and is well known and trusted by those who choose to adopt their pet companions through this organization as well as by other rescue groups with whom they work closely. Donna Weaver, president and founder of states, “C2CND is to be proud to have a GuideStar “Gold” status. Donna goes on to state, “Even though the loss of the Petco Huntersville partnership is a huge blow, C2CND will find a new direction and continue to grow and assist other, less fortunate, rescues—not just because we are able, but because it is the right thing to do”.
Plans for the future: With the very productive adoption program C2CND has established over the years at Petco up in the air, plus C2CND not wanting to hurt another rescue group’s adoption programs by moving into a store with an established adoption partner, preliminary discussions have begun about establishing a private adoption center. C2CND will begin to look for an affordable, efficient building in the local Lake Norman area to serve as the adoption center. This adoption center will also offer them some much needed office space. They are putting out feelers for an underwriter to help with the costs of outfitting the building with the proper equipment and materials needed to have the building up to code.
This new building could serve the community in other ways such as an education facility for animal welfare and spay/neuter reform, and enlarging the efforts for TNR (TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN) programs, maybe hosting low cost vaccine clinics at the adoption center. “Sometimes when a door closes, a bigger one opens,” stated Weaver. She went on to say, “We want to thank Petco Huntersville for all they have done for us and the foster animals from our community over the years”. Although we know they have entered into a 3 year contract with HSOC, and if for any reason that does not work out, we would definitely consider working with Huntersville again”.
How can you help? Unfortunately at this time, C2CND has had to cease animal intake due to the loss of their long standing adoption partnership with Petco Huntersville. Currently C2CND has 140 cats and 85 dogs in private foster care needing homes with little avenue to place them in loving caring homes for the Holidays. They are pursuing other smaller adoption event options so if you are interested in adopting a cat or dog please email for an future event schedule email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in adopting a dog contact email@example.com, call 704-879-1PAW, Visit us at www.C2CND.org, and on FB.
Please Donate to help keep the Catering To Cats & Dogs programs in place and support the local community animals. You can send your tax deductible donation to: C2CND P.O. Box 123 Cornelius NC 28031.
Further information or direct comments please contact C2CND Founder Donna Weaver at 704-408-2350.
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