Admissions  Process

Please understand that, as a small, private, non-profit, no-kill humane society, Carolina Animal Rescue & Adoption cannot accept every animal brought to our shelter. We treat every animal’s life as precious and will not resort to euthanasia to control the number of pets at our Adoption Center. Therefore, we will accept the surrender of owned cats and dogs by appointment only as space allows.

Due to having limited  space , we have to be selective in choosing the  animals  that we bring into our program. We do not have a vet on staff or the resources to care for animals with extraordinary medical or behavioral needs (anxiety etc). We have to choose  animals that can handle living in the shelter environment with other animals as we are not a foster based organization. If your pet is unhappy in your home due to stress or you working long hours, CARA is not going to be the best place for them, and a better option would be a foster based rescue organization where animals live in a home while they wait for adoption.

Local animal  control agencies (the pound) euthanize 8 out of 10  animals  they receive, and it is our primary goal to save those  animals . We receive many more requests to help  animals  than we have room for. Since we do not euthanize  animals  to create  space  for more, we have to wait for an  animal  to be  adopted  before accepting another one.

All animals who come into the CARA shelter must have a current rabies vaccination - it is the law if they are over 4 months of age - and all cats must have a current NEGATIVE FIV/Felv test, and all dogs must have a current NEGATIVE Heartworm test before we can consider them for admission. Rabies vaccines cost Under $20, and the tests cost under $50. 

If your pet is up to date on at least their rabies and you have a current or are willing to get a current test done at your expense BEFORE CARA is able to evaluate your pet,  please visit the link below to make an appointment. We also require photographs of the pet.

We appreciate that this is a cost many pet owners undergoing hardships cannot easily afford, which is why we are happy to suggest other facilities and organizations with additional resources who may be able to assist.

To make an appointment, please   click here.  
For more information about our admissions process,  
click here
If you have found a stray,   click here .

We schedule appointments as our space allows. If an appointment is scheduled it will last approximately 30 minutes. Please allow additional time if bringing multiple animals.  We will contact you to schedule your appointment after we acquire your appointment application if we have space, however we encourage you to keep trying other resources such as and on the left side of the page under "Find Animal Welfare Groups" insert your zip code for a list of organizations in your area. 

When you bring your pets, please have:

A completed owner surrender form (even if you already emailed it)
All veterinary records - REQUIRED
Your pet’s medications - if applicable
Special food or treats that your pet needs
Your pet’s bed, toys, leash and other belongings from home
Your pet’s crate or carrier
Your $100 surrender fee in cash, credit card or money order form (no checks please)

Why does CARA collect a surrender fee? 

When we admit a pet to our Sanford Shelter, we are committed to providing for his or her care until adoption, regardless of the length of his stay with us. The routine veterinary treatment and daily care we provide your pet will be costly. This fee is the prior pet parent's contribution toward his or her continued care while awaiting a forever home. CARA gets no funding from any agency - all of our money comes from donations and fundraising.

When you arrive:

We will verify the rabies vaccine is current, as well as the negative test for Feline AIDS and leukemia, or negative test  for Canine Heartworms with the veterinarian you used for testing via the documents showing the negative test your vet has given you and we will also phone the vet to get verbal confirmation.

A staff member will evaluate the temperament of your pet.

After we screen your pet we will collect your surrender fee if we are able to admit him or her.

If there is any sign of aggression CARA will not  be able to admit your pet.

CARA does not admit strays directly into its care for two reasons. First, owners who have lost a pet need a central location to find him, and that is their local municipal shelter. Second, as a private, no-kill agency, we must use our cage space to save the largest number of lives possible, and strays must be held for a period of time during which they cannot be adopted. When a stray is brought to the CARA Shelter, the good Samaritans who found him are directed to the appropriate animal control facility. Thus, if an owner is searching for the pet, he has adequate time under the “stray period” (a mandatory period of time that the pet must be held under state law) to find him at the government shelter. When the pet’s stray period has ended, we then can transfer the pet to our shelter through our transfer agreements with the government shelters if we have space.

Due to CARA having limited public hours we CANNOT bring in strays because we cannot adequately ensure owners have the opportunity to get their pet back.

This is where the majority of CARA's animals originate and this is why we seldom have space available. This policy exists to give stray pets the best chance of being reunited with their families. For more information about what to do if you have found a stray, please click here   .