HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Animal Care Center will host its second annual “Home for the Pawlidays” foster event over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The program allows community members to take home a shelter animal for a temporary foster period during the winter holiday season. During the first year of the event, 20 shelter animals were fostered, with 10 turning into permanent adoptions.

There will be two opportunities to foster a shelter animal as part of the program in November with the first coming over the Thanksgiving holiday. Individuals can pick up a foster animal on Nov. 22 to spend Thanksgiving with them and then return it on Nov. 27. The same program will repeat over the Christmas holiday.

“When you’re a foster parent for one of these sweet shelter pups, you’re enriching that animal’s life in a way that is so beneficial to their success in finding their forever home.” Lt. Kevin Cast said. “Often times, we don’t realize how much we need these animals in our lives as they need us in theirs. Please consider being a part of our foster program.” 

The goal of the program is to give anxious animals a break from the noise of shelter life, but the shelter also hopes that the program will bring the joy of having a pet to more community members, including those who love animals but might not be in a position to permanently adopt an animal.

“The holiday foster program not only provides wonderful temporary relief and the loving feeling of a family for these shelter animals, but it gives the community an opportunity to give back in a way that is more rewarding than can be described,” said Brittany Martin, the shelter’s office manager.  

Officials said the event comes as the shelter continues to manage an “at-capacity status” because of animal investigations throughout the year. The animal care center has maintained an “at-capacity” status since the start of 2023.

“While at capacity, we are unable to accept any strays or owner-surrenders until more adoptables have found homes or rescue,” the center said in a news release. “We appreciate the continued patience of our community.”

More information about the Home for the Pawlidays program can be found on the center’s Facebook page. There is also an up-to-date list of pets available for adoption on the center’s website.

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Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.