Adopting or fostering an animal from a shelter can be a rewarding experience.
Unfortunately, the increasing cost of care due to inflation has resulted in many owners dropping their pets off at local shelters, which can lead to overcrowding, humane education specialist Julia Conner told The Charlotte Observer in June.
This scenario recently played out withPersephone, an eight-year-old black brindle pit bull terrier that was rescued from Charlotte streets. The dog waited 251 days at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control shelter before being adopted last month, the Observer reported.
It was the longest wait ever for a dog to be adopted from the shelter is just over a year, the agency said.
RELATED: Persephone’s long road home: She found family, they found healing.
While Persephone has found her forever home, many other pets aren’t so lucky.
As of Monday, there were 99 dogs, 136 cats, and four rabbits available for adoption at the shelter or in foster homes. According to the shelter website, it has fewer than 10 kennels open for incoming dogs.
Here’s how you can adopt or foster a pet at the shelter.
Requirements to adopt an animal shelter pet
Information about pets available for adoption is listed on the CMPD Animal Care & Control website, including name, photo, age and date the animal arrived at the shelter.
In order to adopt a pet from the shelter, you must:
Bring a valid driver’s license or government-issued ID.
Be at least 18 years old.
Bring current rabies certificates and any proof of spaying or neutering for your other pets at home.
Bring a cat carrier if you plan on adopting a cat, or a leash and collar if you plan on adopting a dog.
The cost to adopt an animal varies by pet type
The price for animals at the shelter includes fees for adoption, spaying, neutering, microchips and licenses. Puppies and kittens are defined as animals younger than four months.
Adult dogs: Spay: $118; Neuter: $113
Puppies: Spay: $108; Neuter: $103
Adult cats: Spay: $98; Neuter: $93
Kittens: Spay: Spay: $88; Neuter: $83
Exotic animals — like guinea pigs, snakes and iguanas — are sometimes available for adoption at the shelter, with prices ranging from $1-$75.
How to foster a pet
Some animals at the shelter need foster care in order to heal and grow while they look for homes, the CMPD Animal Care & Control website explains
Small and large dogs who need socialization, large dogs who need a break from the kennels and pets who are recovering from surgery are among the greatest foster needs.
Here’s what you need to know about becoming a foster caregiver:
You must be at least 18 years old before applying, but you don’t have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.
Since animals being fostered are looking for new homes, your contact information could be listed on the Animal Care & Control website.
Potential adopters may contact you via email.
Some foster animals need to be separated from other animals in your house.
Pictures and biographies of each animal must be submitted to the Animal Care & Control foster coordinator within the first week they are in your home.
Fosters can be kept for up to six months before returning to the shelter if they are not adopted.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can find the guidelines and application online. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an email with further instructions.
RELATED: Inflation forcing dog owners to give up their pets, Animal Care says
How to volunteer at a Charlotte-area shelter
There are a variety of volunteer jobs available at the shelter and at off-site adoption events, CMPD Animal Care & Control outlines.
Each volunteer must be at least 18 years old, fill out an application, undergo a background check, complete a drug test and attend a volunteer orientation.
This story was originally published July 12, 2022 1:50 PM.