Volunteer

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:

  • Kitten Fosters:  kittens too young to safely be placed for adoption.  Foster parents provide love and care while the kittens grow.  Once a kitten reaches the age and weight required for the adoption program, the kitten MUST be returned to the shelter.  The littles are easier to place! 

  • Cat Fosters: cats that have been in the shelter for a longer period of time need breaks from the kennel!  Also, cats that show behavior concerns in the kennel or in this hustle and bustle environment.  Length of time for fostering would be determined by foster coordinator.

  • Puppy Fosters: puppies too young to safely be placed for adoption.  This is a rare foster as we don't see much of this anymore (yay spay/neuter!).  But in the off chance that one might come in, the foster parent would provide love and care while the puppy grows.  Once the puppy reaches the age and weight required for the adoption program, the puppy MUST be returned to the shelter.

  • Dog Fosters: Adult dogs may need to be fostered for a variety of reasons: kennel stress, long length of stay in the shelter, heartworms, medical problems, and minor behavioral concerns.  You will work with the foster coordinator to determine length of time needed for foster.

We also have a short-term foster program called "Staycation". This program was made for specific dogs who need a 2-5 day vacation out of the shelter kennel/environment. Tap the next dropdown menu to more details on this program.

Find the guidelines and application online.

 

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 orphaned 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!

Our orphaned 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.

FAQs:

  • Volunteers must 18+ years before applying but you do not have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.

  • 16-17 year olds can apply to volunteer. However, at least one parent must be a volunteer and a waiver must be sign every time you come to the nursery. Children under the age of 16 cannot come into the nursery for safety reasons; even with an adult there with them.

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

  • The nursery is open 7 days a week from 6:30am to 12:30am the following morning. It is closed between 12:30am and 6:30am.

  • The nursery is anticipated to run from April to the end of November. These months can changed based on how many orphaned neonate kittens we have in our shelter.

  • 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. One application per person. 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.

  • The mandatory training session is accompanied by a required video to watch. So, while you are waiting to get approved, watch the Kitten Lady video on Youtube for bottle feeding tips and tricks and let Lori know that you've seen them.

  • Please be patient as the application and background checks are processed. It could take a couple of weeks to get them done.

Find the Kitten Nursery guidelines and application online.

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
 

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