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Requirements: What Do I Need to Foster?

1. Be 18 years or older.

2. Have your household pets up to date on vaccines and preventions.

3. Have permission from your landlord to house an animal if you don't own your home.

4. Be willing and able to bring your fosters into the shelter for regular updates and vaccinations.


We provide all of the food, supplies and medical services as well as all of the support you could ask for. All these animals need from you is love, attention and a little space in your home.



1. What is a pet foster parent?

Foster caregivers for homeless animals provide a temporary and loving home for an animal prior to their adoption. Fostering animals is a rewarding and fun way to contribute to saving homeless animals. The most common animals needing foster homes are dogs and cats, but occasionally we also need foster caregivers for small animals like gerbils, rabbits, or guinea pigs.

2. Why do animals need Foster Care?


There are many reasons an animal needs foster care, and our staff will be upfront about the reason for your particular foster animal. Here are some reasons an animal may need a temporary foster home:

  • Kennel space is needed when our facility is full.

  • Some animals don't thrive in a shelter environment, and do better in a home.

  • Newborn animals who need to be bottle-fed require the attentive care of a foster caregiver.

  • Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury.

  • Some dogs may require a foster home during their heart worm treatment.

3. Would I be a good foster caregiver?

If you want to help homeless animals, fostering is a flexible, fun and rewarding volunteer job! Not only do you get to enjoy the company of your foster friend (or friends!), but you also know you're helping to save lives in a big way...and that's really cool! Taking an animal into your care until their adoption requires a special kind of person, and if you think you're right for the job we want to hear from you.

4. How much time does fostering take?


The specific care needs of your foster animal will determine how much time is involved on your part. For example, newborn and orphaned kittens must be fed every few hours. A fearful animal who needs socialization will also require added time to gain trust and build confidence. We encourage you to discuss your availability with our staff to determine what type of foster animal is best suited for your lifestyle.


5. Do you provide food and medical care for the animal?


Our organization sends all well and age-appropriate animals to their foster homes current on their vaccinations, dewormer and flea prevention. Our dogs, with the exception of dogs needing or undergoing heart worm treatment, are also current on their heart worm prevention. If further medical supplies are needed, our staff will send you home with everything you need.

Food for your foster animal can be provided by our organization if needed. Foster caregivers are also welcome to provide their animal with a healthy food on their own.

6. What about my own pets?


Please consider how your own pets will adjust to having a foster animal in the home. Some animals do very well with a temporary friend, and can help to socialize the foster animal! On the other hand, some pets may have a hard time with new animals added to the family dynamic, but only you can judge what's best for your family.

7. Will the foster animal have accidents in the house or cause damage?


Foster animals, like any other companion animal, may have bathroom accidents or chew on valuable items. Supervision and preparing a safe place in you home will help prevent most accidents. Crate training for dogs can be especially helpful to keep them safe and out of mischief.

8. Will it be difficult to return the animal to the shelter when the foster period is over?


More than likely, you will become emotionally attached to your foster animal but you can take comfort in knowing the incredibly important part you have played in helping that animal find the loving permanent home they deserve.


Worst case scenario they have already found their forever home with you and that's fine. We prefer our fosters not to adopt so that they can continue to foster for us but we completely understand that sometimes you just can't help falling in love.

9. How is the adoption handled?


Every animal's adoption is handled through the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina. All foster animals remain ours until their adoptions, which are conducted by our staff. We encourage foster caregivers to market their foster animals. The adoption and adoption contract are handled in our facility with an approved adoption application.

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