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CARE does not have a physical shelter. All of the animals in our care stay in foster homes until adopted by their forever family. We can only help as many animals as we have space for in a foster home. Our foster homes are always full, sometimes past full. When rescues are full, homeless animals have no place else to go but the local kill shelter. County shelters do not have the option to be "no-kill", and when they get full, pets are euthanized to make room for new ones coming in. Fostering buys the pet time until their forever family comes along.   

What do pet foster parents do?

Pet foster parents are very much like child foster parents. They care for a homeless pet as if he was their own until he is adopted. Shelter environments can be extremely stressful for dogs. It is much more comfortable for them to stay in a home environment. They are able to get more individualized care in someone's home. It also gives them better socialization skills, which makes them a more well-adjusted pet. Also, the foster parent is able to learn about the pet's personality, likes, and dislikes so that he can be better matched to the right forever home. Most importantly, pet foster parents save lives!

If you join our foster program, we will match you with a suitable pet to foster. For example, if you have a female dog who does not get along with other females, we will only have you foster male dogs. If you work full time and cannot care for young puppies, we will only have you foster adults. We train you to screen potential adopters to determine if they are a suitable match for your foster pet. You will then get to experience the joy of helping a homeless animal find a loving family of his own.

All Veterinary care is paid for by CARE. Any trip to the Vet must first be approved by the CARE President. You provide shelter, food, transportation to and from Vet appointments, training, and plenty of love!

How long will I keep a pet?

It's impossible to predict how long an animal will remain in foster care. Some pets are adopted within 24 hours of becoming available. Others wait years for a home. CARE does not euthanize an animal for taking too long to be adopted. Our animals stay with us for as long as it takes. If you cannot commit to this kind of unpredictable long-term care, you might wish to help in other ways. We expect our adopters to never give up on their pets, so we expect the same from our foster parents. 

What if I get attached?

Getting attached to your foster pet is normal. After all, we do this because we love pets! The most common question we as foster parents are asked is how we can give them up. The answer is simple. It saves lives. It is hard to say goodbye to a pet we've fallen in love with, but the alternative is even sadder. We get the satisfaction of helping a previously lost and unwanted animal find a loving forever home. That makes it all worth it. The trick is to get attached with velcro and not glue.

If you do decide that you can't give up an animal, that's ok, too. Foster parents can go through the adoption process and pay the adoption fee just like any other adopter. The important thing is to think about what is in the animal's best interest. Sometimes, even if we love them, the best thing for the pet is to let them go.

How do I become a pet foster parent?

If you feel you can help in any way and live in the Carolinas or North Georgia, please submit an application for the type of animal you are interested in fostering. If you have specific questions about our foster program, please contact us. If you see a particular pet on our website who you would like to foster, please contact the current foster parent via the email in the animal's profile. Even if the animal is not in the Needs Foster list, if you want to foster a certain pet, ask! We may or may not be able to accomodate a specific request, but we will certainly try! All foster homes are screened in the same way as adoptive homes.



Cat Foster Application .doc

Dog Foster Application .doc

Multi-Species Foster Application .doc 

To learn more about what it is to be a foster parent for dogs, visit

P. O. Box 715 •  Lexington, SC 29071  •  (803) 622-9813 •  caretoadopt [ at ]