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 positive 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 Guidelines where you can also find the following:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.*