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Frequently Asked Questions



I'm interested in adopting a pet I saw on your website. What do I do?
The first step is to fill out an application, in its entirety, and send it to caretoadopt@gmail.com. One of us, usually the foster parent, will be in touch with you as soon as possible (usually the same day). This will get the process started. We prefer to receive applications via email, and it speeds up the process for you. Applications can also be snail mailed to CARE | PO Box 715 | Lexington | SC 29071. The adoption process is described in detail at this link.

If I submit an application, am I obligated to adopt that pet?
No. Submitting the application gets the process started for checking references. If you change your mind, we are ok with that. We want you to want the pet you get! In fact, we REQUIRE via contract that you return the animal to us if you decide you no longer want them, for the life of the pet. You are strongly encouraged to submit your application, even if you are not sure or want to meet the pet first. This way, you will not lose out on a chance to adopt a pet because someone else submitted their application, and you didn't. It speeds up the process for you by having your application pre-approved by the time you meet the pet, and it prevents you from wasting your time to come and meet a pet if they are not the right fit for you.  

I have questions about a pet I saw on your website. Who do I contact?
The fastest way to reach us is email. The email address is caretoadopt@gmail.com. It is checked periodically throughout the day. We are all volunteers who work full time jobs in addition to rescue. Most of us are at work during normal business hours and unable to return phone calls.

How much do your pets cost?
Our pets are not for sale. We do not, nor do we wish to, make a profit from the "sale" of animals. The fee that we charge is an adoption fee, not a sale price. Your adoption fee (almost) covers the cost of vaccinating and altering the animal and providing any other necessary health care. Some pets require more health care services, so any "extra" we get from adoption fees covers these extra costs. We could not continue rescuing animals if we did not charge an adoption fee because we would have no money! The difference in "for sale" and "for adoption" is that adopters must be approved to get one of our pets.

The adoption fees vary depending on the species of animal and the length of time s/he has been waiting for a home. The adoption fee for each animal is listed on their profile.  

Why do you charge an adoption fee when so many pets need homes?

The adoption fees we charge allow us to provide necessary medical care for the animals. They are vaccinated, altered, and dogs are put on heartworm prevention. Many of the animals who come to us need additional medical care such as heartworm treatment, dental surgery, epilepsy medication, and more. The funds we collect from adoption fees help cover these costs, in addition to our fundraisers. We do not make a profit from adoption fees, and CARE Volunteers donate a lot of their own money to keep the animals healthy.  

Are donations tax deductible?
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible. 100% of the donations we receive are used to support program services. We have NO paid staff members. You can find information about our charity on the SC Secretary of State's website.

How can I make a donation?
  1. Make a donation online using PayPal
  2. Send a check made out to CARE | PO Box 715 | Lexington | SC 29071.
  3. Use the links on our home page when you shop for pet supplies, and CARE receives a contribution from the retailer.
  4. Shop iGive.com and designate Cullen's Archangel RescuE as your recipient.
  5. Shop our CafePress site.
  6. Click on Chip-Ins posted on our home page.
  7. Attend fundraisers held throughout the year.


Where are you located?
CARE does not have a physical shelter. All of our pets stay in foster homes until they are adopted. Our foster homes are spread out across SC & NC with most of them in the Midlands of SC.

How can I meet a pet if you don't have a physical location?
We hold adoption days on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month at Pet Lover's Warehouse and Pet Basics. If you are interested in meeting a particular pet, email us at caretoadopt@gmail.com to find out if the pet is going to be at the next adoption day. Be sure to do this because not every pet attends every adoption day! If the adoption day schedule or location is not convenient for you, you may request a private meeting. A completed adoption application is required for a private meeting outside of regular adoption days. Click Events for a schedule.

Do you adopt out of state?
Yes, we will adopt out of state to a good home after the pet is fully vetted, including spay/neuter. If a pet will require medical care at a later date to be provided by CARE, we cannot adopt out of state. Pets will not be shipped. Out of state adopters must come to SC and pick up the pet themselves. A home visit will be arranged with a local rescue group.

Do you microchip pets prior to adoption?
We recently started microchipping dogs prior to adoption. We waited to begin this practice until we had enough information to satisfy our minds that it is safe for the pet. After much research, we have determined that it is safe and are now routinely microchipping our dogs.

Can I adopt a pet who is NOT spayed or neutered?
No, there are several reasons why we cannot adopt out an unaltered pet.

One is that our organization does not exist solely to find homes for stray animals. Part of our mission is to eliminate the pet overpopulation problem so that someday, there will be no more stray animals. Please see our Information page for more about our organization's mission. There are approximately 4 million cats and dogs put to sleep every year because there are not enough homes to go around. There are many more cats and dogs in existence than there are humans, so it is mathematically impossible for all of them to find a home. Spaying and neutering pets is proven to be the most effective way to reduce this problem.

Two is that we are bound by our bylaws. In order to get tax exempt status from the government, we have to draw up a detailed mission statement outlining specifically how our organization will help the public. As stated above, altering pets is one of the most effective ways we have of helping the public by reducing the stray pet population. It is written into our bylaws that we will not adopt out pets unless they are altered. If we break this rule, we could lose our tax exempt status.

Finally, there are health reasons. Altered pets have a longer life expectancy than unaltered ones. Altering reduces the risk of certain cancers and completely eliminates the risk for others. It simply gives the pet a better quality of life, and possibly increases the quantity of life.

How can I become a foster parent?
Fill out an application and submit it to caretoadopt@gmail.com. The approval process is much the same as for adopting. You can find the application and learn more about fostering on our Become A Pet Foster Parent page.

Where do all of your pets come from?
Animals are not limited in the ways that they become homeless or in need of medical care, so CARE does not limit the ways in which they may find help with us. Most of our pets are found as strays, many in very poor condition. When we have a foster home and funds available, we pull them from high-kill shelters before they are put to sleep. Vet hospitals and Animal Control Officers ask us to take in homeless, neglected or abused pets. In rare instances, we will take owner surrenders.

Will CARE help me rehome my personal pet?
It is a common misconception that no-kill rescues exist to rehome pets when you no longer want them or have the means to care for them. Most no-kill rescues were formed to help those animals who have no one to speak for them, the stray and death row animals who who will die without our intervention. Owned pets do have someone to speak for them. Our foster homes are always full. We are all unpaid Volunteers who do rescue work in addition to our full-time jobs, and we are constantly overwhelmed with emergency cases and our own pets. We rarely have the resources available to help with rehoming personal pets.

First, is there any way you can keep the animal yourself? If it's a training or behavior problem, get expert advice to correct it. This is often less expensive than you imagine it will be and can resolve most issues, even severe ones. Click here for a list of recommended Dog Trainers, or click here for advice on common dog behavior problems. Click here for advice on common cat behavior problems. If it's a medical expense that you cannot afford, there are many organizations in existence that will help with Veterinary medical bills. Click here for a partial listing of those organizations.

If there is no way that you can keep your pet, try to find a good home for him/her on your own.   

  • Place an ad on petfinder.com and craigslist (both are FREE). We recommend you ask a rehoming fee to prevent people from getting the pet for dubious purposes (dog fighting, research lab, snake food, etc.). This also shows the person is committed to the pet and can afford to continue basic care.
  • Often, people are reluctant to use craiglist because they worry about the pet getting a GOOD home. Screen potential adopters. You don't have to give your pet to the first person who wants him/her. A Google search will give you lots of information about how to screen adopters to make sure your pet is getting a good home.
  • Place an ad in The State and the Free Times. We have a lot of success with Free Times. There is a cost for these ads.
  • Put up flyers in local Vet offices, pet stores, and in your workplace - the gym, the library - wherever there is a community bulletin board available. Word of mouth among friends, family and coworkers can be your best tool.
While searching for the right home, you may also wish to continue looking for a no-kill rescue for your dog or cat. Like CARE, most no-kill rescues stay full. It's just a matter of doing the leg work to find one with an opening at just the right time.    
  • Contact every rescue on petfinder.com, in neighboring states too if necessary - NC and up, not GA and below - pet overpopulation is much worse in the South than it is in the North. Some rescues up North will even arrange transport for pets from the South to get up there and find a home.
  • Send pictures. Rescues get literally dozens of requests daily and can only take in so many. Pictures are what get people to connect, and you are unlikely to have any luck without them.
  • If the pet is purebred or even an obvious mix of a breed, google for that breed rescue. Breed specific rescues are more likely to take in their breed because that is all they focus on.
Please note that if you opt to take your pet to an animal shelter, chances are 85% - 100% that s/he will be euthanized, even if purebred and friendly.
 
Will CARE take in the stray I found?
CARE does not have a physical shelter. We are a group of unpaid Volunteers who open our homes to pets in need until a good home is found for them. We can only take in animals when someone is available, willing, and able to take them in. Sadly, there are not enough foster or adoptive homes for all the animals in need. To give a small example, more than 100 dogs per week are surrendered or picked up at large by the Darlington Shelter. That is not a typo - per WEEK. CARE does not have space for 100 dogs, or even 50, and this is just one small shelter in SC. The City of Columbia typically has 400-500 dogs at any given time. Kill shelters across the state of SC, and some in NC and GA, email us and the other no-kill rescues pleading for us to take dogs and cats before they are killed for lack of space. We also get daily calls and emails from the public asking for help with strays. That is to say, the chances that we will have an opening for the stray you found are slim.

If you find a stray pet other than a dog or cat, the chances are better that we will be able to take them. Send an email to caretoadopt@gmail.com with pictures and info about the animal. Someone will contact you to let you know if we have space.

For dogs and cats, first ask if there is any way you can foster the pet yourself until a home is found. If not, the next question is if the pet is better off dead than left where s/he is. While the pet is at risk of being killed by a car, person, or other animal, their chances are usually still better left where they are than taken to a kill shelter. If taken to a kill shelter, chances are 85% - 100% that s/he will be euthanized, even if purebred and friendly. Pit bulls are almost always euthanized, and cats have very little chance of getting out of a shelter alive. If you cannot keep them until a home is found, and they are not obviously sick or injured, leave them where they are. Email us and other rescue groups with the pet's location and preferably pictures. Get the word out to anyone and everyone you can - the more people who are aware of the pet's need, the greater chance of finding someone who is in a position to help them.

If at all possible, take the pet home with you. Keep them separate from your personal pets for at least 10 days for quarantine. Crates work great for this. CARE foster parents do quarantine with any new pet coming in to protect our pets, and we do it with multiple pets in tiny homes. Email us at caretoadopt@gmail.com for more help with how to quarantine. Richland Creek Pet Med Mobile does cat and dog vaccinations for a very low price. Vaccinating the pet ASAP protects them and your own pets.

Try locate the pet's rightful owner. Don't assume that because they are dirty, underweight, and in poor shape that they are unloved and unwanted. Pets can become and remain lost for months, or they may have been stolen and relocated.
  • Take the pet to the nearest Vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip.
  • Look for a rabies tag or other identification on the collar, if there is one.
  • Put up flyers in the area where the pet was found. 
  • Place a FOUND ad in the local papers. This is generally FREE. Be vague with the ad so that the caller has to correctly identify the pet.
  • Put up a flyer in the local animal shelter. People often go here first to find their lost dog or cat.   
  • Check Internet sites for lost dogs such as missingpets.com and pets911.com.
If the rightful owner cannot be found, here are suggestions for finding a GOOD home for the pet.
  • Place an ad on petfinder.com and craigslist (both are FREE). We recommend you ask a rehoming fee to prevent people from getting the pet for dubious purposes (dog fighting, research lab, snake food, etc.). This also shows the person is committed to the pet and can afford to continue basic care.
  • Often, people are reluctant to use craiglist because they worry about the pet getting a GOOD home. Screen potential adopters. You don't have to give your pet to the first person who wants him/her. A Google search will give you lots of information about how to screen adopters to make sure your pet is getting a good home.
  • Place an ad in The State and the Free Times. We have a lot of success with Free Times. There is a cost for these ads.
  • Put up flyers in local Vet offices, pet stores, and in your workplace - the gym, the library - wherever there is a community bulletin board available. Word of mouth among friends, family and coworkers can be your best tool.
While searching for the right home, continue looking for a no-kill rescue for the pet. Like CARE, no-kill rescues stay full because of the overwhelmingly large number of stray dogs and cats and not enough foster homes to help them all. It will take some legwork, but you never know when you will catch an open spot at the right time. 
  • Contact every rescue on petfinder.com, in neighboring states too if necessary - NC and up, not GA and below - pet overpopulation is much worse in the South than it is in the North. Some rescues up North will even arrange transport for pets from the South to get up there and find a home.
  • Send pictures. Rescues get literally dozens of these requests daily and can only take in so many. Pictures are what get people to connect, and you are unlikely to have any luck without them.
  • If the pet is purebred or even an obvious mix of a breed, google for that breed rescue. Breed specific rescues are more likely to take in their breed because that is all they focus on.

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