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Forgotten Felines of Forsyth

Committed to Humanely Reducing the Feral Cat Population of Forsyth County

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Adoption Guidelines

This information is provided by AARF (Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation), a volunteer, non-profit group providing assistance to homeless animals in our community.













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AARF - Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation
311 Harvey Street, Winston-Salem, NC  27103
336-768-PETS (7387)

Some of the information below is specific to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, NC area. However, if you are trying to place a pet on your own, these very important tips for screening potential pet adopters will be helpful regardless of your location.

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a.. Need vaccines and low-cost spay/neuter

b.. Want to adopt a pet

c.. Have lost a pet

d.. Have found a pet

e.. Need to place a pet for adoption

f.. Need animal related information and other resources



In Forsyth County, almost 75% of all animals (that's 75 out of every 100) - including very adoptable puppies, kittens and purebred animals - that are turned into Animal Control are killed!

This is not the fault of Animal Control...

There are simply too many pets, and not enough homes to go around.

Having your pet spayed (females) or neutered (males) is THE most important thing you can do to help reduce pet overpopulation!

Having your pet spayed/neutered also reduces the risk of many pet cancers, tends to make your pet more affectionate and friendly, and minimizes their interest in roaming or marking their territory.

Puppies and kittens can be spayed/neutered as young as 4 months of age, and should be spayed/neutered no later than 6 months.

Options for low-cost and free spay/neuter include:

a.. Forsyth Spay/Neuter Clinic, 723-7550, Low-cost spay/neuter surgery is available, as well as reduced cost vaccines, heartworm preventative, and flea/tick preventative products.

b.. Humane Solutions, 723-DOGS (3647), Vouchers for discounted spay/neuter are available for use at vets in Forsyth and surrounding counties.

c.. Some area vets will accept AARF discount vouchers for testing, vaccines, treatments and spay/neuter. Please talk with your veterinarian, or e-mail AARF at



Looking to add some love to your life, and ready for a life-time commitment?

a.. AARF holds adoption fairs at the AARF House, 311 Harvey Street in Winston-Salem, 1 block off of Stratford Road directly behind Stratford Station Grill Restaurant, between Ricks Drive (EyeCare Center) and Stark Street. For information on adoption fair days and times, visit the AARF website at, or call 768-PETS (7387).

b.. If you don't find your new 4-legged best friend at AARF, visit Forsyth County Animal Control, 5570 Sturmer Park Circle in Winston-Salem. For directions, hours, and pictures of adoptable pets, visit their website at and click on "Adoption", or call 703-DOGS (3647).

c.. Other local adoption groups include:

- 4 Paws Pet Foundation,, 778-0582.

- Forsyth Humane Society,, 721-1303

- Friends of the Shelter,, 408-1539

- FurEver Friends,, 659-4927

a.. Looking for a purebred dog or cat? Adopt, don't buy! You'll find many purebred pets available for adoption through Animal Control, and other local rescue organizations. Also, for a list of breed specific rescue and adoption groups contact AARF at



a.. Act quickly!

b.. Call the Winston-Salem Journal at 727-7425, and place a lost ad.

c.. Post and distribute flyers and pictures at vets' offices, with neighbors, and at local adoption agencies.

d.. If you are offering a reward, never give money until you have your pet back in your possession.

e.. Immediately and regularly visit Forsyth County Animal Control located at 5570 Sturmer Park Circle, Winston-Salem, NC. For directions and hours of operation, call 703-2478. Remember: Animals not claimed within a maximum of three (3) days may be euthanized.

f.. Visit the Animal Control website,, and click on "Lost and Found". You may search for your pet, post pictures of your pet, and read additional tips.

g.. Helpful information and resources are available at

h.. CATS ONLY: Visit If the missing pet is an indoor-only cat, it will be helpful to set humane traps near your home; contact AARF at



a.. Call the Winston-Salem Journal at 727-7425, and place a free found ad. Give enough information so that the owner would recognize their pet, but be sure leave out any identifying details, such as special markings, the color of the collar, etc. Always leave out some details that only the owner would know.

b.. Have the pet scanned for a microchip at a vet's office.

c.. Post and distribute flyers and pictures at vets' offices, with neighbors, and at local adoption agencies.

d.. Register the pet with Forsyth County Animal Control:, and click on "Lost and Found", or call 703-2478.

e.. BE WARY of people too eager to either claim a pet, or to take in a pet if the owner is not found.

f.. If the owner of the pet is not found, see below for options on "Placing a Pet for Adoption".




We encourage you to hang in there with your personal pet, or the stray that you are concerned about! (Remember: The kill rate at Animal Control is over 80%!)

* The goal during this time is not to provide an ideal long term situation for the pet, but rather to keep the pet safe until a wonderful new home can be found!

- Can't keep the pet? Check with friends, family, co-workers, church members, neighbors, etc. to see if anyone can assist with short term care until other arrangements can be made.

- Allergic, or don't have a way to contain the pet? Finding a way to contain and/or isolate the pet in your garage, basement, laundry or utility room, spare bathroom, appropriate size crate, tie-out in your yard, etc. until other arrangements can be made, may be what saves this pet's life. Rescue groups, such as AARF, may be able to assist by loaning you a crate, kennel, pen or tie-out.


Most rescue groups are primarily volunteer organizations, and are likely to have waiting lists.

Those of us who volunteer share your frustration that the need for help is often greater than the volunteer, time and/or money resources available. Please be patient; we often need your help as much as you need ours.

Also, if you are financially willing and/or able to assist with the pet's vet care, this will be helpful. Discounted rates are often available.

No-kill rescue organizations include:

- AARF (Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation),, e-mail:, 768-PETS (7387).

- 4 Paws Pet Foundation,, e-mail:, 778-0582.

- FurEver Friends,, 659-4927. (FurEver Friends helps to place pets through adoption fairs; foster care is not available at this time. If you are interested in adoption fair participation, please send an e-mail to

- Forsyth Humane Society,, 721-1303.

- Area vets. Occasionally local veterinarian offices will take in a pet, and place it through their office as a good will gesture. You may wish to inquire about what application and/or screening procedures they have in place.


Other reputable rescue groups may also be able to provide you with assistance.

* When contacting any rescue group about whom you have limited information, we encourage you to ask lots of questions! Unfortunately, there are both individuals and groups that either have bad intentions, or who have good intentions but do not have the ability to provide quality care, adoption screening procedures, sufficient vet care and spay/neuter, etc.

If you are trying to place a specific breed of animal, do an internet search by entering: "(name of breed) rescue, NC".


Trying to place a pet on your own by posting flyers (at vet offices, pet stores, your church, in your neighborhood, at work, etc.), or by placing a "free to good home WITH VET REFERENCE" ad (in a newspaper, through an on-line service such as Craig's List, etc.) are fine things to do - IF - you are willing to do THOROUGH screening.


Even those of us who have been screening potential adopters for years, find that our "gut instincts" are not always correct.

Remember... It is often the people with the worst intentions who sound the friendliest and have all of the "right answers". If a potential adopter has nothing to hide, they will not be offended by your asking lots of questions, wanting to call their vet, and wanting to visit their home!


* Vet reference. Get and check a vet reference. When you call the vet office, tell them that you are considering one of their clients as a potential adopter, and would like to check their client's pet care history. Checking a potential adopter's vet reference (calling their vet to see if they own or have owned the pets they claimed, if they have omitted any pets or important information, and seeing what kind of vet care they provided for their pets) is THE single most important thing that you can do to insure that the potential adopter is being honest with you. (If people don't have a vet, get and call several personal references. Keep in mind that the potential adopter is going to give you the names and numbers of people who are likely to say good things about them anyway.)

* Spay/Neuter. If at all possible, arrange for the pet's spay/neuter BEFORE the pet leaves your care.

* Home Visit. Ideally, visit the potential adopter's home BEFORE committing to the adoption. Minimally, deliver the pet to their new home.

Other suggestions:

- If you don't plan on or aren't able to do a home visit or delivery, still ask people if you can. Their reaction may provide you with useful information.

- As you ask people questions, don't lead them to the "right" answer. For example, if you want to place a cat in an indoor-only home, don't ask, "Will this cat be kept completely indoors?" Rather, ask, "Are you looking for an indoor-only, indoor-outdoor, or outdoor-only cat?" In this way, the person feels free to tell the truth.

- If you place flyers or post a classified ad, also don't give away the "right" answers in the flyer or ad. For example, don't refer to the cat as an "indoor-only cat", or state that the cat must be kept indoors-only. By doing so, you have led any potential adopters to telling you the answer that they know you want to hear.

- Consider charging an adoption fee, or have the adopter reimburse you for any vet care you have provided. This helps to weed out adopters with either bad intentions, or who haven't given any thought to the financial responsibility of having a pet.

- Get the complete contact information of the adopter. Commit to following up periodically to see how the pet is doing, and if necessary, to be sure that the pet has been spayed/neutered.

- If the pet needs to be spayed/neutered, have the pet spayed/neutered BEFORE leaving your care if at all possible. (Puppies and kittens can be spayed/neutered as early as 4 months of age, and should be spayed/neutered no later than six months.) Otherwise, provide low-cost spay/neuter options. Obtain a spay/neuter voucher and have the adopter reimburse you. Have the adopter make an appointment for the spay/neuter at their vet office, and deliver the pet to them there.

- If you have people come to your home to meet the pet(s), tell people before they arrive that you will NOT be doing a same-day adoption or making ANY decisions on the spot. If you wish, tell people that you have other interested parties scheduled to visit. This helps to avoid the awkward situation of someone arriving on your doorstep with whom you don't feel comfortable, and having to tell them "no" face to face. Also, it provides you with time to think about your options, rather than jumping to say "yes" to the first person who expresses an interest.

Don't allow yourself to feel rushed. It is always better to err on the side of being overly cautious, than to say "yes" to a situation that you later regret.


Unfortunately, there are instances of people selling animals for medical research, using animals for fighting or to bait fighting animals, or feeding puppies and kittens to other animals.

* Ask lots of questions. Even if you don't plan to follow-through, simply asking these questions may expose "red flags": May I deliver the pet to your home? May I come to visit the pet? What other pets do you have? What happened to the pets you no longer have? Were your pets spayed/neutered? Who is your vet? May I call your vet?

* Be wary of people who refuse a home visit, or who seem quickly irritated by your questions.

* Be cautious of unfamiliar "rescue groups"; do your research to make sure that a group is legitimate.

* Be concerned about someone who is too eager, who is willing to take a pet without seeing it, or who is willing to take multiple animals, including an entire litter of puppies or kittens.



a.. Can't afford a dog house? A partnership between animal rescue organizations and the WS/FC Schools' Career Center carpentery students, the "Houses for Hounds" program provides dog houses to low-income families. Visit the Animal Control website, select "Special Programs", and click on "Houses for Hounds", or call 703-2480 Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

b.. Involved in a domestic violence situation? Call Safe Haven Family Services Inc. at 723-8125 to arrange free, temporary foster care for your pets, or visit the Animal Control website, select "Special Programs", and click on "Safe Haven" for more information.

c.. Can't afford to feed your pet? The AniMeals program offers free pet food for the dogs and cats of elderly, disabled or lower income residents of Forsyth County. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance, please visit the Animal Control website, select "Special Programs", and click on "AniMeals" for more information, to print an application, or to apply on-line.

d.. Need help with a feral ("wild" or unsocialized) cat? Several area groups offer resources for humane trapping, and low-cost or free spay/neuter. Please note that these groups are generally unable to relocate cats or place these cats in homes. Forgotten Felines of Forsyth (FFF),; 602-2887. Feral Cat Assistance Program (FCAP),; 378-0878. 4 Paws Pet Foundation, 778-0582.

e.. Have found sick or injured wildlife? Contact Wildlife Emergency and Rescue at 785-0912. You may also contact the after-hours emergency vets (contact info listed below).

f.. Concerned about an animal that is being abused or neglected, or that does not have adequate food, water and shelter? Call Animal Control complaint and investigations at 703-2490.

g.. Need information on breed specific rescue groups? There are local, state and national groups that focus on the rescue of specific breeds of dogs (beagles, rottweilers, labs, etc.), reptiles, exotic animals, certain breeds of cats (such as siamese), and domestic rabbits. For a list of resources, contact AARF at or 768-PETS (7387).

h.. Need help with a cat up a tree, a dog in a drain pipe, etc? Contact the Winston-Salem Rescue Squad Technical Animal Rescue Team. For emergency situations requiring an immediate response, call pager number 806-0755. For general questions, call 767-6262.

i.. Have an after hours emergency? When most veterinary offices are closed, there are two emergency vets in Winston-Salem: Carolina Vet Specialists (CVS) is located at 1600 Hanes Mall Blvd. (near Jonestown Road);; 896-0902. Animal Emergency Services of Forsyth County is located at 7781 Northpoint Blvd. (near University Parkway);; 377-2866.

 Has AARF been helpful to you?

Please help us help the homeless animals in need by making a


to provide care for the animals we assist:

311 Harvey Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Thank you!

(revised 12-18-10)

 Together we can make a difference!
                                                                                            All donations to FFF are tax-deductible

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Contact Information
Forgotten Felines of Forsyth
PO Box 11363
Winston-Salem, NC 27116









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