North Carolina animal shelters killed more dogs and cats in 2018 than all but two other states, according to a study from the Best Friends Animal Society.
Best Friends Animal Society, founded in 1984, is a nonprofit organization that operates the nation's largest sanctuary for homeless animals.
The organization said North Carolina shelters took in 246,000 cats and dogs. Of those, 55,900 were killed. Only Texas (114,000) and California (111,000) killed more cats and dogs.
Wake County Animal Center Director Dr. Jennifer Frederico said the study's findings are frustrating because they don't show how far the state has come or highlight some of the underlining problems.
"We have a problem in North Carolina. We don't have any spay or neuter laws, and some of our counties are really poor. They're rural counties. And if people are upset by this, you want them to go help their county. Don't donate to your best friends. Go donate to your county shelter than needs your support," Frederico said.
Fostering these animals is one of the leading ways to help them avoid being executed. Here's information on becoming a foster family in Wake County.
Another way to help these animals is to volunteer for hosting events. In fact, Saving Grace in Wake Forest is having a hosting event August 2-4. Click here for more information.
The Wake County Animal Center will euthanize pets, but Frederico said it has been years since the measure has been taken to solely free up space in the center.
Right now, there is a sign reading "We are full" outside the facility and a staff member said the Wake shelter has been getting in 20-30 pets a day.
The group behind the study said it believes Americans want to save as many animals as possible. They hope the data from this study (which continues to be updated) will be used to further the cause.
Best Friends Animal Society set a goal to have all states qualify as no-kill states by 2025.