​Foster Guidelines

You must read all of the guidelines below BEFORE filling ​out the online version of the foster application.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control Division Foster Program Guidelines

From time to time CMPD Animal Care & Control will receive animals that may be in need of special care.  This could range from young puppies and kittens to animals with chronic illnesses or injuries with a long convalescent period.   Since housing space at the shelter is limited and these animals most often do better outside the shelter environment, foster homes can be a good alternative.  These animals might normally be euthanized so it is also our hope that foster care will give these animals the chance to grow up or recover from their injuries and be placed up for adoption.



  • Any Charlotte area citizen, Animal Care and Control Division ("CMACC") employee or volunteer may participate in the foster program after the fostering application is approved and the fosterer has attended the appropriate training class.

  • Participation in the program is entirely voluntary and there will be no monetary compensation.

  • Fostering is NOT part of the employment duties of any employee of CMACC.  Participation or lack of participation in the fostering program shall in no way affect, positively or negatively, an employee's employment stats, duties, evaluations or any other aspect of employment.

  • It shall be within the sole discretion of CMACC Fostering Staff which animals are available for foster care.

  • The foster's current experience level will determine whether they are able to foster animals with behavior needs. This will be determined by CMACC fostering staff along with the trainer.

  • There will be no permanent fosters.  Long term fosters will be sent out on a case by case basis and must be approved by CMACC fostering staff.  Long term fosters include but are not limited to:  hospice, mange, heartworms, medical and specific behaviors.

  • Behavior fostering for scared, timid and stressed animals (including R&R) will be for no longer than 60 days.  After 60 days, the animal will be returned to adoption or otherwise dispositioned.  (i.e. adopted by the foster parent or a rescue or will be humanely euthanized)

  • If a current or previous foster animal bites, the animal will not be placed back in foster care. The options are for the foster parent to adopt the animal with a behavior waiver or for a rescue to adopt the animal, otherwise the animal will be humanely euthanized.

  • Puppies and kittens must be at least two weeks old with their eyes open before they can be fostered unless the foster has attended the required bottle feeding class through CMACC.

  • Puppies and kittens must be fostered in groups of two (2) or more unless there are less than two in the original litter.

  • The limit of foster animals per foster home include: 1 large dog per home (40 pounds and up), 2 medium dogs per home (20-39 pounds), 4 small dogs per home (1-19 pounds), 9 kittens/puppies per home (under 4 months of age), 4 cats per home (4 months of age and over). If taking a mixture of the above animals, it must be approved by CMACC fostering staff beforehand.

  • All fostered animals will be given a medical chart showing when their vaccinations, dewormings, health checks, etc. are due.  It is the fosterer's responsibility to keep this schedule.

  • The fosterer must return the animal(s) to CMACC:  for all veterinary appointments (as set out in the Medical Care Schedule); when the CMACC Vet Staff deems the animal(s) is ready for adoption; and/or, at any other time upon the request of CMACC Vet Staff.

  • A foster animal(s) shall never be left outside unattended.  The foster parent must walk the animal(s) on a leash or be physically present outside in a fenced-in yard with the animal(s).

  • Normal adoption policies pertain to fostered animals.  There can be no sign-ups on foster animals while they are in foster care.

  • If a foster animal(s) has remained in foster care for six (6) months (i.e. heartworm treatment or other medical needs), CMACC will determine why the animal(s) has yet to be adopted and whether the animal(s) should continue to be fostered.

  • Once the animal is deemed to be available for adoption by CMACC fostering staff, the foster parent contact information (phone number and/or email address) will be made available online to potential adopters of the foster animal(s). ​

By continuing to go to the online foster application you acknowledge that you have read the above guidelines and agree to abide by them fully. You understand that failure to comply with them may result in the loss of your approval to foster animals.


 Complete the online registration below (scroll down)​ or you can print out the foster application and it mail to:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control
c/o: Trisha Lopez​
8315 Byrum Dr.
Charlotte, NC  28217

Once we receive your application we will contact you to schedule a mandatory orientation/training session which are generally held once a month, however, depending on the current demand for foster parent needs our foster coordinator may be able to do a quick session once your application is approved. This is to help get you into the foster care program quickly so you can start fostering and saving lives right away.

If you have​ any questions you may also contact Trisha Lopez at 704-336-6693 or tlope​z@cmpd.org​