Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you have a shelter where we can come to view the animals?
  2. How did the dogs and cats end up in a rescue?
  3. Why are all of the dogs from Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team spayed or neutered?
  4. I don’t see the kind of dog or cat I’m looking for. Can you find a specific breed for me? Will you help me find a pet that meets my specifications?
  5. What are the fees to adopt an animal from Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team?
  6. I left a message and have yet to hear from you. Why does it take so long to get a return call and/or email?
  7. Can you take in my animal today?
  8. I’m ready to adopt a pet. Now what do I do?
  9. I’m not ready to adopt, but I would like to help. How can I?

Do you have a shelter where we can come to view the animals?

No, we do not have a shelter. All of our animals live with foster families. They are integrated into our homes and are treated as a member of the family.

During their time in foster care the pets receive socialization with humans and pets in the home.  They also learn basic manners in the home, such as beginning housetraining and rules about living in a home.  Some of the pets have never lived inside a home before, so our foster homes are a great introduction before their permanent home is found.

Some of the pets need additional socialization and training that they just cannot get in a shelter setting.  Fostering the pets is a way to get them in a safe environment where they can live with reduced stress as they learn to live in a world with kind people.

How did the dogs and cats end up in rescue?

A large proportion of our dogs come from area shelters here in NC.  Some come from commercial breeding facilities, places where large numbers of dogs are bred for the money their puppies bring to the owner.  These can be puppy mills or backyard breeders.  Other dogs come from owners who, for one reason or another, are no longer able to care for their dogs and ask for our help.  When space allows, we will work with owners to place their pets.

The cats in our program are generally found strays, from area shelters, or remnants of litters that were not adopted while very young.

Why are all of the dogs from Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team spayed or neutered?

One of the biggest reasons why there is a need for rescue organizations such as HEART and the other hundred or so rescue organizations in the area is due to the huge number of unwanted puppies and kittens born every year. In 2004 almost 5 million pets were euthanized in the United States, over 300,000 here in NC. By spaying and neutering the dogs and cats before they leave our rescue we can do our part to make sure that we are not contributing to the number of unwanted pets in our country. You can also help reduce the numbers of unwanted animals in our state by having your own pets spayed and neutered!

Another reason we spay and neuter our pets is because our pets are companion animals.  They live longer healthier lives when sterilized.  They are less likely to have behavior problems associated with sexual maturity and activity.  They are less likely to have certain forms of cancer associated with the reproductive organs.  In the end, they live happier, longer lives once they have been altered.

I don’t see the kind of dog or cat I’m looking for. Can you find a specific breed for me? Will you help me find a pet that meets my specifications?

Yes and no! There’s never an easy answer. 25% of the dogs and cats in shelters and rescue groups are pure bred. So, if there is a specific breed you are looking for, we can sometimes help find it. If you are flexible, willing to wait, willing to consider a mix of that breed, or have more than one breed in mind, we can help more.  Since our group is currently focusing on small breed dogs, we will not help find medium and large breed dogs simply because we do not have the resources to house them, should you change your mind.

If you don’t necessarily want a pure bred dog, but want something that isn’t on our website, let us know! We have pets in our program that for one reason or another have not yet been posted. We have pets entering our program almost every week. If we don’t have what you’re looking for and you can give us clear details about what you’re seeking, we can often find it or it will enter our program within a few months.

If you are seeking a pure bred, small breed puppy, good luck! You are welcome to submit an application and request. Simply understand that pure bred puppies under eight months of age are uncommon in rescue.  Should you decide to look at breeders for a puppy, please visit the Humane Society’s website for info on choosing a breeder.  You can go here for that info.

Once an application has been approved, we can hold your application for about two months and let you know if a pet enters our program that may be a good fit for your interests.  If your application has been approved and you have not heard from us after a couple months, check back in to let us know you are still looking.  We have a lot of applications to keep track of and you may get shuffled out of the “interested” pile if we don’t hear from you.

Feel free to come by our adoption events and visit with the dogs and cats. You may find just the friend you’ve been looking for. Also, be sure to check our website regularly since it changes often.

What are the fees to adopt an animal from Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team?

We charge an adoption fee of $95 for sterilized cats and kittens.  Unsterilized kittens have an adoption fee of $185, which includes a $100 refundable spay/neuter deposit.

Our dog adoption fees vary from $150 to $300, depending on the dog, the age of the dog, and other factors.  Our puppy adoption fee range from $200 to $350, depending on a number of factors.  This fee includes a refundable $100 spay/neuter/distemper/rabies/and microchip deposit.

Our unaltered puppies and kittens are adopted out with the provision that ownership of the puppy or kitten does not transfer from HEART to the adopter until after the kitten or puppy has been sterilized.  The deposit is refunded after the owner presents proof from their veterinarian that the puppy/kitten has been sterilized, vaccinated for rabies, received its final distemper vaccination, and, in the case of puppies, microchipped. Cats may be microchipped by HEART, at adopter’s request, for a $10 fee. All dogs are microchipped before adoption or at time of sterilization, if a puppy.

Owners may choose to have their puppy or kitten altered through HEART’s vet of choice.  If the spay/neuter procedure and vaccinations are scheduled through HEART, HEART will use the deposit to pay for the procedure.  Because the deposit is used to pay for the procedures, there is no return of the deposit to the adopter.

Adoption fees help offset the cost of providing veterinary care, upkeep during foster, food, and preventative care to our animals. All dogs and cats are vaccinated for common diseases and rabies, spayed/neutered, tested for FeLV/FIV (cats) and heartworms (dogs), provided monthly heartworm (dogs) and flea prevention and microchipped (all dogs).  Additionally, HEART treats any dog that tests positive for heartworms before adoption.  Any known illnesses or injuries are also treated before adoption.

I left a message and have yet to hear from you. Why does it take so long to get a return call and/or email?

Our preferred method of communication is email.  We are generally able to answer emails very late at night or very early in the morning, either before our paying jobs begin, or after our job ends.  This is fit in around taking care of all the foster animals, taking care of our families, and taking care of administrative work associated with keeping the animals healthy and keeping our records accurate.

Phone calls can often take hours to complete.  With only a couple hours each evening in which to complete calls, the logistics can become challenging.  Remember, you are not the only person calling us!  In an email we can quickly answer a question and send needed materials in one fell swoop.

If you must call, understand that we get many calls during the day and it can take a great deal of time to get through them all. Calls that are not addressed the day they are received are moved to the next day.  On that day we have new calls to return, which are placed behind those of the previous day.  As you can see, it can build quite a backlog over time.

Can you take in my animal today?

The truth is, there are always animals waiting to enter our program. We never have enough space. As soon as an animal is adopted, there is another one waiting in line to be saved. And there are always hundreds of animals at the local shelters who are being killed daily and we give shelter animals priority. Sometimes we do know of individuals looking for a specific breed and may be able to help you sooner rather than later.  Otherwise, if your dog meets the intake requirements of our program, we will help only if we have a foster home in which to place the dog.  We are not currently accepting any new cats into our program.  Our current intake requirement for dogs is that the dog weigh under 20 pounds or so, be friendly and sociable, and have all vet work documentation.

If we accept your pet into our foster program, we ask that you make a donation to our organization to help cover the cost of medical care your pet may need to be made ready for adoption or to help cover the costs, should it become ill while  in foster care.  We are very selective about the homes in which we place our pets, so it can take from a few weeks to a many months to find the right home.  If the pet has behavioral issues, it can take extra time to correct the behavior before the pet is adopted.  While in foster care all pets receive premium brand pet food and monthly parasite preventatives, which cost our organization money.  By accepting your pet into our program, we are taking on the responsibility for all care needed, both physical and psychological.  This is care that, for whatever reason, you have decided you can no longer provide.  Your donation helps offset our costs.

If you would like our help re-homing your pet without placing it in our foster program, if time permits, we are able to post your pet on our website as a courtesy listing. Your pet must be fully vaccinated and sterilized before it can be placed on our website. If it is a dog, you must have it tested for heartworms and clearly indicate the test outcome.  If it is a cat, it must be tested for FIV/FeLV and clearly indicate the test results.  The adoption process will be through you- HEART does not process applications or return phone calls/emails for your pets.

We request that you charge a re-homing fee for your animal to give it value to those interested in adopting. Something given away for free is rarely considered to have value. One way we often suggest this be handled is by requiring the potential adopter start an account with the vet of their choice in the name of your pet. We suggest a minimum of $50. This will show a commitment on their part to the future health needs of your pet. Get confirmation from the designated vet that the account has been successfully opened before transferring care to the adopter.

I’m ready to adopt a pet. Now what do I do?

Fantastic!  We’re really glad to hear you’ve done your research, know what to expect owning a pet, know what the financial costs will be and are now ready to make a commitment!  The first step is to email us at heartpetrescue@gmail.com for an application or come to our next adoption event and discuss the adoption process with one of our volunteers and fill out an application in person. Our job is to find the best home possible for each individual animal.  Anyone interested in adopting from HEART must fill out an application to be considered.

Once submitted, we will contact your vet and personal references, confirm the information you provided is accurate, and assess your family as a match for the dog in which you are interested.  Our interest is in finding the best match for each pet.  Sometimes you may be interested in a pet that is not going to be a good fit for your family.  If this is the case, we will let you know and discuss other dogs in our program that may be a better match.  Once approved, if we do not have a good match at that time, we will continue to look for a dog and contact you as potential matches enter our program.

At the discretion of the volunteer, a home visit may be required. This will allow our volunteer to assess the environment that the animal will be entering and make a decision based on his or her observations whether or not the adoption is in the best interest of the animal. Please note: if you live in an apartment, rent to own, or live in a family owned home, we will need to contact property owner before the adoption can go through. Many properties do not allow pets, have a limit on the number of pets, or restrict certain breeds.  We do this to ensure that a pet that is adopted from us has a permanent home, and will not be returned if it is found the guardian is in violation of his or her rental agreement.  All pet deposits and fees must be paid before the adoption can be completed.

Once the adoption application is approved, your home visit checks out, and your property management company gives the okay (if necessary) we will meet with you to complete the adoption process.

I’m not ready to adopt, but I would like to help. How can I?

Donate money

HEART is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations to HEART are tax deductible. All funds go towards running our organization, we do not have any paid staff. You can donate online or send a check to: Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team, PO Box 897, Youngsville, NC 27596 You can also make donations at adoption events.

Many of the animals in our program require additional veterinary care to get them healthy for adoption.  Our dogs may have needed dental care and extractions, treatment for injuries and infections, surgery to remove injured limbs or body parts, treatment for heartworms, radio-graphs and/or ultrasound to detect health issues, and long-term medications to treat chronic illnesses. Your donation makes these medical procedures possible.

Foster a dog or a cat

All of our adoptable pets live in foster homes. You can help by volunteering to foster one of our animals. We will provide everything you need to make your foster experience a happy one- all their medical care, pet food and a crate to make their transition easier. You provide your time and love and together we will give them a new life!

You can choose to be an emergency foster for a day, a weekend, a week or any time period you’re comfortable with. Once you have been approved as a foster home, we will contact you when a pet meeting your specifications has entered our program. You will then meet the pet and decide if you wish to foster. We do our best to meet your needs in terms of size, temperament, and the needs of children and other pets in your home when suggesting a foster pet.

When fostering a dog or cat, you are asked to help with transporting the pet to and from veterinary visits and adoption events. Most of our adoptions take place in either Wake Forest or Cary. You will need to live somewhat near one of those locations. If interested in fostering, please contact us and we will send you a foster parent application.

If you are interested in adopting a pet, please go through our adoption process.

Donate pet supplies

We are constantly in need of pet supplies. Metal fold-down crates, collars, leashes, toys, small bite food, dishes, towels, small quilts, winter coats, grooming supplies, etc.- anything that you can donate is greatly appreciated!


We have many volunteer positions. Your help is always welcome at adoption event to hold dogs and talk to potential adopters. If you have special skills you think we could use, please let us know! If you’d like to conduct a special event to benefit HEART, we’d like to hear from you!

Coordinate a fundraising event

Do you enjoy arranging big events?  Do you like getting people involved in your cause?  If so, we’d love your help in organizing fundraising events!  Dog wash/Car wash combos, races for HEART, or other events are welcome.  We do not have a lot of skills currently for this type of work and welcome someone who has the knowledge, skills, time, and ability to coordinate such an event!