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Foster Caretaker Program

How Can I Get Started as a Foster Caretaker?   

  1. Read the Foster Caretaker Manual
  2. Sign the Foster Caretaker Manual Agreement
  3. Complete the Foster Caretaker Application
    • Return the completed application and agreements in person or by email or mail to:
      OC Animal Care
      1630 Victory Road
      Tustin, CA 92782  
  4. You will be notified once your application has been reviewed.

Become a Foster Caretaker!

To date, OC Animal Care’s Foster Caretaker Program has successfully saved the lives of thousands of animals! The foster program buys time and gives a second chance to young or injured puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats. These animals need special one-on-one attention, which the shelter cannot always provide. They are specially selected by our veterinary staff for their health and temperament and just need a little personal attention and time before they are ready to make their adoption debut!

Foster caretakers care for these animals until they are big enough or well enough to be made available for public adoption. Being a foster caretaker can be a challenging and rewarding experience. By opening up your heart and home, you are giving these animals a second chance. Through their dedication and generosity, foster caretakers directly affect the lives of numerous animals that might not have otherwise had a chance at a successful life.

What Types of Animals are Available for Fostering?

When selecting animals for our foster program, our veterinary staff considers several factors. If an animal meets the required criteria, we may then outreach to our registered foster caretakers seeking placement of the animal. Animals that are currently available for adoption are not candidates for our foster program, as we want to make sure they are at the shelter eager to meet their adoptive family!

  • Bottle Baby Kittens/Puppies – These foster animals range from 0 - 4 weeks old and need to be fed every 2 - 5 hours, depending on their age. These kittens/puppies are generally fostered for 6 - 8 weeks.
  • Weaned Kittens/Puppies – These foster animals range from 5 - 8 weeks old and need to be fed every 5 - 6 hours. These kittens/puppies are generally fostered for 4 - 6 weeks.
  • Mom & Babies - Mothers provide most of the care for their babies until they are about 7 - 8 weeks old. To keep her litter healthy, the mom needs to be fed every 5 - 6 hours. 
  • Medical Fosters -  Medical fosters sometimes need cage rest for injuries, slow introductions to normal activities, and other special care. Depending on the needs of the medical pets they spend from 2 - 12 weeks in foster recovering.
  • Exotics (Rabbits & Reptiles)
  • Available Foster Pets

Resources for Fostering Kittens

Can't Foster!? Checkout our Kitten Registry and DONATE on OC Animal Care's Amazon Wishlist!

Foster Caretakers Adoption Forms

 Foster Caretakers are often able to find adopters for their foster pets. If you are an established caretaker who has found an adopter for your foster animal, please have the interested adopter sign the following forms and bring the signed forms and the foster animal(s) with you upon your last return foster appointment. 

*Forms must be filled out completely (per animal), signed in all highlighted areas  AND have a copy of their driver's license to finalize the adoption. 

*The person who will be filling out their information and submitting their driver’s license, must be 18 years or older and must be the same person who will be paying the adoption fee.

*Failure to provide these forms at your final appointment may lead to forfeiture of adoption.








After receiving the above-mentioned paperwork, our foster staff will take the pet(s) for their final exam to be cleared for adoption. Once the adopted pet(s) is/are cleared for adoption, our Customer Service team will call the adopter to take payment over the phone. The adopted pet(s) will then be added to our shelter surgery list. We CAN NOT guarantee what day or how soon the pet(s) will get their spay/neuter surgery but we can guarantee you that our staff works hard to get every animal home as soon as possible! Following surgery, Customer Service staff will call you to arrange pick up from the shelter. Please note that adoption fees may vary and can be seen on the adoption section of this site. Fees include microchip, up-to-date vaccinations, flea control, and spay/neuter.    Your patience is greatly appreciated while we work to finalize the adoption of these new forever friends!!

The Rewards of Fostering

“I’ve been fostering for about 10 years all together and I find it extremely heartwarming, especially when a dog comes from the shelter and was totally scared and timid. When you see them open up and learn to love again under your care, there’s nothing better. You get to show them what it’s like to be a normal dog, teach them your routine, and help them find that forever home.” – Jennifer F.H. 

“My family and I have been fostering animals with the OC Animal Care program for a number of years. We’ve fostered under age puppies for weeks or months until they can reach an appropriate age for adoption… These little guys bring joy and delight to our entire family while they stay with us. It’s a lot of hard work and it is always sad to see them go, but we are so fortunate to be able to help keep these little guys healthy and alive, socializing them and teaching them a few things to get them ready for their new homes. It truly breathes new life into our home for the time they are living with us. We have specific, fond memories about each one that has stayed with us and we plan on continuing to help save the lives of these little guys by fostering as long as we are able.” – Kristi O. 

“I fostered three little kittens that were somewhat scared. My secret to win them over was cooked chicken that’s shredded into little bites, just the right size for little mouths. Kittens can’t resist the smell of chicken and with patience, they came around. Sitting on the floor, holding chicken in my fingers, and requiring they come to me to get it did the trick. Within 4 days of receiving them, they were stomping all over me for chicken. They turned out to be the most loving little guys ever, the best scenario for them to get adopted.” – Sharon F. 

“Volunteering as a kitten foster has been one of most rewarding and joyful things I’ve had the honor of doing. When I first pick up a litter of kittens, I always worry that I may not be able to transform them into the friendly, snuggly confident kittens that our prospective adopters will adopt. However, it never fails. The time passes so quickly, and before my eyes all of the kittens begin to grow into playful, funny and affectionate (very adoptable) kittens. The support of the Community Outreach Team, including the veterinary and kennel staff, is awesome. I love being a foster.” – Debbie B.