Fostering a pet is not a lifetime commitment; it’s a commitment to save a life.
We are always looking for foster parents who are willing to open their home and hearts to take animals home to help with various health, behavior, or medical needs. One special need among fosters are neonate kittens; both newly weaned kittens who just need time to grow/be socialized and neonates who need to be bottle fed.
It’s fun, rewarding, and a wonderful experience.
You do not need to be a full CMPD Volunteer to be a foster parent. Being a foster parent can include actively looking for a new home which means that the animal could be listed as available and your contact information will be listed on the website. Potential adopters will be able to contact you directly.
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:
- Small and large dogs who need socialization
- Large dogs who need a break from the kennels
- bottle baby kittens
- weaned kittens that need socialization and weight gain
- 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.
Find the guidelines and application online.
Once approved you'll be contacted by our foster coordinator, Amy Yeager, to get you started.
*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.*