Foster Care Program

Please note: By emergency declaration of the City of Irvine, the Irvine Animal Care Center is closed to the public. Adoptions are suspended until further notice. Staff are on-site to care for the animals, and if you have an urgent concern, please call the center at 949-724-7740 during operating hours. This preventative measure is in response to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The Irvine City Council and City staff offer our sincere apologies for this inconvenience. Please visit for updates.



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.

Bottle Baby Foster Volunteers Needed

The Irvine Animal Care Center is in need of foster caregivers able to open their hearts and homes to our most vulnerable animals. Spring is just around the corner and the center will soon be overflowing with newborn kittens. Orphaned kittens require the same care that kittens with mothers require, and Bottle Baby foster volunteers must also take on the duties of the mother cat.

Bottle fed babies need:

  • Around-the-clock bottle feeding every two to three hours.
  • A warm, quiet, and secure place inside the home that’s separate from all other family pets.
  • Gentle cleaning.
  • Transportation to the center every two weeks for foster appointments.
  • Consistent care for up to four weeks.

The center provides:

  • Training
  • Supplies (formula, litter, 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 centers volunteer program here.