Homepage > ... > Irvine Animal Care Center > Volunteer > Foster ProgramE-mail storyPrint friendly format







Foster parents provide temporary care for cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, rabbits and bunnies in their own homes. By offering your time, energy and home to an animal in need, you prepare the animal for adoption into a permanent home. Irvine Animal Care CenterĀ is always looking for more foster homes, especially throughout the busy spring and summer seasons.

Most common reasons animals require foster care:

  • Kittens, puppies and bunnies who are too young to be spayed or neutered and adopted out into permanent homes. When the animals are eight weeks old and weigh at least two pounds, they can be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption.
  • Cats or dogs who are nursing a litter of kittens or puppies. Although the Center is a safe environment, it is not the best for raising babies.
  • Cats, dogs or rabbits who are being treated for injuries or illnesses.

Irvine Animal Care Center provides: all the supplies you need to care for these furry friends, all veterinary care and medicine for foster animals, plus plenty of support to foster parent volunteers.

How foster care works:

  • When the Irvine Animal Care Center receives animals who are not ready to be put up for adoption, we contact foster parent volunteers. If a foster volunteer is not available to foster at that time, we simply try another person. There will be plenty of other opportunities to foster, so there is no pressure to take an animal.
  • Foster parents come to the Center to pick up the foster animal to take home. At that time, volunteers receive information about the animal's condition and needs.
  • Foster parents may need to bring the animal to the Center periodically to be examined by our veterinarian, receive vaccinations or other treatment.
  • Once the foster period is over, the foster volunteer returns the animal to the Irvine Animal Care Center where our staff will complete the final steps necessary to prepare the animal for adoption



Below are a few of the minimum qualifications to become a foster volunteer:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Commit to at least one year of service
  • Have a valid email account that is checked regularly
  • Not be volunteering for a court-mandated reason
  • Be comfortable interacting with staff, volunteers, customers and animals
  • Ability to provide a safe, pet-proofed area for your foster animals that is indoors and away from other pets

If you feel that you meet these qualifications and would like to learn more about the Foster Program, please email us HERE

  • Attend a one-hour Volunteer Open House (details on how to register are below.)
  • Submit a volunteer application and await approval
  • Upon selection into the program, attend a one-hour Volunteer Orientation
    (There is a $25 materials fee for Irvine residents and a $30 fee for non-Irvine residents.)
  • Sign up for a two-hour training in the selection of your choosing; dogs, cats, rabbits or foster
  • Once you are qualified, you will receive emails regarding foster animals

** Application review and training may take up to two month.**


Thank you for your interest in volunteering. We are not currently accepting volunteer applications. We will start accepting applications again in late July/ Early August for our Fall session. If you would like to be added to our interest list, please email us HERE