AC&C Foster Parent or Kitten Nursery Volunteer​

​We are always looking for foster parents who are willing to take animals home to help with various health or medical needs. Among those needs are kittens; both weaned kittens who just need time to grow/be socialized and neonates who need to be bottle fed. There are 2 ways that you can help us: become an at-home foster parent or become a kitten nurse in ​​our neonate kitten nursery. The lists below describe our current fostering programs.

Volunteers can help in the nursery AND can help as a foster parent!

Can't foster or be a kitten nurse but still want to help? Go to our Make a Donation​ ​page to find our wish list as well as make a monetary donation online!

​Open your home and your heart to our animals that are in need of a nurturing environment for a period of rehabilitation or time to mature. Help save our dogs and cats by joining our fostering team. The animals that might be in need of foster care: Puppies and kittens that need to mature, heartworm po​sitive dogs, dogs with kennel cough and cats with URI, and dogs and cats that need to get out of their kennels and cages for socialization and training.

Fostering an animal in your home can be a rewarding experience that not only saves lives but provides animals a caring environment until they are adopted. Fostering an animal truly means saving a life and helping that animal makes a huge difference in the lives of animals and the people who adopt them. It’s fun, rewarding, and a wonderful experience.​​

As you decide whether to become a foster parent please consider the following:

Can you separate your foster animals from your own?

Many of the animals coming to the shelter have never received vaccinations or even been to a veterinarian.  While we make every effort to assure that only healthy animals are placed into foster care, some do become ill.  We do not want any diseases to be transmitted to your personal pets so isolation of foster animals for the first few weeks is important.  This also will allow time for your pets to acclimate to the presence of your foster animals.

Are you prepared for the time investment of fostering?

No matter what type of animal you are interested in fostering there will be a time commitment of at least several hours each day.  This will entail feeding the animals, cleaning up after them and socializing them.  In addition you will need to make multiple trips to the shelter so that the veterinary staff can monitor their health.

Are you able to monitor the health of the foster animals?

When we entrust you with the care of our animals we will be relying on you to watch them for signs of illness or injury.  You will have to learn what is normal for your foster animals to be able to recognize what is abnormal and report that to us as early as possible so that we can treat the animal accordingly.

Can you get to us quickly in the event of an emergency?

If an animal in your care needs medical attention you must be able to transport the animal to the shelter or a designated veterinarian.

Can you place your trust in staff to decide what is best for an animal?

Sometimes adoption is not an option even after an animal has been in foster care.  This can be hard to manage emotionally.

Can you tell your friends that they must go through normal adoption procedures?

While we hope that you will network with your friends and family to find your foster animals a home they will need to come to the shelter to complete the adoption transaction- these animals cannot be adopted out from your house.

Are you emotionally prepared to return the animal after the foster period is over?

Many people who foster animals become attached to them and have difficulty letting go once it is time to return the animals for adoption.  You will have lavished love and attention on the animals in your care and then, one day, they are no longer around.  However, you can take comfort in knowing that they have the chance to find a loving home because of the work you did.

If you have answered yes to all these questions then we are excited to have you take the next step to become a foster parent!

You must be at least 18 years of age before applying but you do not have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.

Note that our greatest foster needs are for: bottle baby kittens, weaned kittens that need socialization and weight gain, and momma cats nursing babies.

There are several different types of fostering that are needed:

  • Kittens: too young for adoption but too big for the kitten nursery.
  • Cats: adults who have been in a kennel for a long time and need a break
  • Puppies: too young for adoption. This is a rare foster need but they do come in on occasion.
  • Dogs: adult dogs that need a break from the kennels, have heartworms, medical problems, or minor behavior concerns.

We also have a short-term foster program called "Staycation". This program was made for specific dogs who need a 3-5 day vacation out of the shelter kennel/environment. Tap the next dropdown menu to more details on this program.

In order to qualify as a foster parent, you must read the Foster Guide​lines where you can also find the following:

  • Specific fostering needs for each animal
  • The online application form to sign up

Once approved you'll be contacted by our foster coordinator, Amy Yeager, to get you started. If you have​ any questions you may contact her at ayeager@cmpd.org​


*Please note that this foster program is only for our shelter animals in need of foster care. If you own a pet that you need to find a foster home for, you need to contact rescues groups to see if they can assist or go to the iCare Program through the Humane Society of Charlotte. We cannot foster owned pets.*

scraggly kittens growing up big and healthy thanks to a foster home

Some people don't have the time to fully commit to at-home foster care. This is why Animal Care & Control has built a brand new neonatal kitten nursery at the shelter.

When people find kittens they usually don't know what to do. Most kittens found outside have a mother cat that is likely feral (not tame). It is always best for babies to be with their mothers, however we know that's not always possible. When neonates (4 weeks and under) come in to our shelter, they require almost round-the-clock care and it falls on staff members to provide the every 2 hour feedings they need along with other care. Though spaying and neutering is a HUGE part of bringing down the cat population and managing how many kittens are born, neonates are still being brought to the shelter. With your help, we can save them!

Last year AC&C's kitten adoption rate increased by 38.7%., the transfers of kittens to other rescue groups and organizations increased by 34.5%, and the euthanasia of kittens decreased by 42.3%. With the addition of the kitten nursery, the goal is to save even more lives, specifically kittens under the age of four weeks.

Our neonate kitten nursery was created to help house these animals when our foster homes are full. The nursery can house at least 20 litters at a time. Volunteers are needed to help feed and care for these little ones until they are old enough, and big enough, to go onto the adoption floor.


  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age before applying but you do not have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.

  • Volunteers must be ready to provide a minimum of 2 hour of care per week in the nursery.

  • The nursery is open 7 days a week from 6:30am to 1:30am the following morning. It is closed between 1:30am and 6:30am.

  • The nursery is anticipated to run from April to the end of November.

  • The nursery is inside the AC&C shelter at 8315 Byrum Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217.

  • First, volunteers must read the Nursery Guide​lines and then complete the application. Once we receive your application, it will be processed and a background check will be performed. Once approved, volunteers will be contacted to schedule a mandatory orientation/training session. You may NOT receive an email/confirmation that your application has been received but you WILL be contacted when you are approved to attend a training session.
    Note: the background check is required for all potential volunteers, however, only serious or animal related offenses will disqualify people from volunteering.

  • Please be patient as the application and background checks are processed.

If you have​ additional questions you may also contact Lori Todd at ltodd@cmpd.org

Thanks to the George D. Patterson Family Fund for their generous grant to help support the 2018 operation of the kitten nursery and the feline adoption campaign “You’ve GOT to be KITTEN me!”

Want to help keep our kitten nursery fully stocked with all the food and supplies we need? Go to our Make a Donation​ page to find our wish list as well as make a monetary donation online!

volunteer in our kitten nursery to help save lives

kitten being bottle fed replacement milk

two dogs with suitcases and a cloud heart 

Got room in your heart for a dog? Join our Staycation Foster Program! As a Staycation Foster, you get to show our dogs a taste of the good life. Our dogs stay with you for a 2-5 day commitment. You get to enjoy the company of one of Charlotte's cutest dogs... And our dogs get a much needed break from the shelter!

What it's all about:

An #ACCstaycation is a field trip for a shelter dog. It can be hanging out at your house, going for a hike, a trip to your favorite fast food drive-thru, a nap on your couch, whatever you and your Staycation dog are up for!

Why this is so great for our dogs:

Staycation is a vacation from shelter life. No matter how progressive a shelter is, animals thrive best in a home environment. The dogs selected for Staycation will greatly benefit being away from the stress of the shelter; even if it's only for a few days. A study of 52 dogs in foster at Fairfax County Police Department Animal Control found that the rate of retention for dogs adopted after foster was higher than the rest of the population.

Help us help them:

We'll give you a postcard to fill out and return so you can report your observations. This report will greatly help us market the dog to ultimately help them find a new forever home.

We'll also give you a bingo card and ask you to take photos to post to social media with the #ACCstaycation hashtag and tag us on our following pages:

Facebook @animalscmpd
Twitter @CMPD_ACC
Instagram @animalscmpd

Each square in the Bingo card is a photo opportunity. Make sure your pictures are public so we can see and share them! This will greatly help us market him and you may even be the match maker! You can play classic bingo, the outside border, or fill in the entire card. Turn in your card at the end of your #ACCstaycation for a chance to win prizes!

How it works:

We post our dogs who qualify for Staycation on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. So be sure to follow us! You can also come to the shelter and find all of our Staycation approved dogs on the board in our lobby. Present the 7 digit animal ID number to the staff, meet the dog in one of our interaction rooms, sign a waiver, and that's it! Take that lucky pup home and report back with your findings at the end of their stay. Remember to bring your bingo card and postcard back!

Consider doing a good deed for a dog in need!

How to Find Us:

8315 Byrum Dr
Charlotte, NC 28217

Monday - Friday 11am - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday 11am - 5pm

Please no later than 30 minutes of our closing times. This way we have enough time for interaction and paperwork completion.

If you would like to foster a dog longer 5 days, you'll need to fill out the full foster application, be officially approved as a full time foster parent, and can keep them up to 60 days.