Foster Care Program

Please note: To protect the community and City of Irvine staff, while encouraging safe placement of adoptable pets, the Irvine Animal Care Center is operating by appointment only. The center will remain closed to the public for all drop-in services. Learn more about our adoption process at irvineanimals.org/appointment.

Staff are on-site to care for the animals during operating hours. If you have a concern or need an appointment to surrender your pet, please call the center at 949-724-7740 during operating hours. This preventative measure is in response to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Please visit cityofirvine.org for updates.

While the City is currently not offering most in-person volunteering opportunities at this time, recruitment and training for the Irvine Animal Care Center's Foster Care Program continues. Please see below for more information.

 


 

The Irvine Animal Care Center provides sheltering, care, and enrichment for homeless, neglected, abused, or unwanted animals. Services include licensing for Irvine residents, pet adoptions, and events.

 


 

Animals too young to be spayed/neutered are extremely fragile creatures with relatively low survival rates. Underage animals require around-the-clock care, and without it, most shelters must euthanize. The center invites you to join the mission of saving underage animals by becoming a foster volunteer or by donating much-needed supplies.

Donate to the Foster Care program from our​ Amazon wish list and have items shipped directly to the center.​

Foster Volunteers Needed: Bottle Babies 

The Irvine Animal Care Center is in need of foster caregivers able to open their hearts and homes to our most vulnerable animals. Orphaned animals require the around-the-clock care that the mother would normally provide. Foster volunteers take on these duties for orphaned kittens or puppies: 

  • Bottle feeding every two to three hours, day and night.
  • A warm, quiet, secure place inside the home that is separate from all family pets.
  • Help going potty and gentle cleaning.
  • Transportation to the center every two weeks for foster appointments.
  • Consistent care for up to four weeks.

Foster Volunteers Needed: Large Breed Mama Dog with Puppies 

The Irvine Animal Care Center is in need of foster caregivers with big dog experience and a comfort level caring for a mama dog that weighs 45-75 pounds, plus her litter of puppies. A typical litter is five to eight puppies. 

  • Experience and ability to walk a strong dog.
  • A warm, quiet, secure place inside the home that is separate from all family pets.
  • Once the puppies begin to wean, space where they eat and sleep, plus space for going potty.
  • Transportation to the center every two weeks for foster appointments.
  • Consistent care for up to six weeks.

The center provides: 

  • Training 
  • Supplies (formula, litter, potty pads, bedding, etc.) 
  • Equipment (digital scale, carrier, crate/pen) 
  • Veterinary care, including medical treatment if needed 
  • Adoption after the animals return to the center 

To get started, submit your email address​ here. Learn more about foster volunteering below. 

Foster Volunteers

By becoming a temporary pet parent, foster volunteers give a home to kittens, puppies, baby rabbits, or animals recovering from an injury or medical procedure. Fosters contribute time, energy, and a quiet, secure, indoor space away from any pets you may otherwise have. The center provides training, equipment, supplies, and veterinary care.

Fostering can last from a few days to several weeks. You tell us your availability, and we’ll match you with animals in need. Once an underage animal reaches its mandatory age and weight, and receives a clean bill of health, it returns to the center to be spayed/neutered and made available for adoption. Adoption is not the volunteer’s responsibility.

The success of our Third Chance for Pets program relies heavily on the number of fosters the center has available. The more foster volunteers supporting the center, the more animals we can help.

Foster Volunteer Candidates Must Be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to text, check email, and use the internet regularly
  • Able to demonstrate the Essential Capabilities for Foster Care
  • Not volunteering for a court-mandated reason
  • Comfortable interacting with people and animals

Program Requirements:

  • At least 2 hours per day to care for the animals; most often for 4-6 weeks
  • A quiet, secure place inside the home that’s separated from family pets
  • Ability to transport animals to the center for routine veterinary care
  • A willingness to implement basic behavior training (provided)
  • Flexibility to accept animals on short notice​

To be notified about future foster volunteer recruitments, please submit your email address​ here. Learn more about the center's volunteer program here.