Ventura County Animal Services Introduces Animal Foster Parenting Program

Ventura County Animal Services introduces kitten and puppy foster parenting program

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) recently launched a new animal foster parenting program that utilizes volunteer help to care for some of the smallest and most vulnerable wards at VCAS shelters – newborn kittens and puppies.

VCAS foster parent volunteers agree to care for and feed one, two or an entire litter of kittens or puppies until the animals are old enough and large enough to be put up for adoption at VCAS shelters. 

Foster parents provide the babies with frequent feedings – either by bottle or, if old enough, with solid food - and care for them in their homes until they are at least 8 weeks old and weigh 2 lbs.

“Kittens and puppies are cute and cuddly but need a high level of care,” said Donna Gillesby, VCAS interim director. “This program is a wonderful way for volunteers to help newborn animals gain the strength and size they need to become eligible for permanent adoption.”

In the past, VCAS has only allowed VCAS staff and county employees to take home and care for tiny animals. By opening up the program to the public, VCAS hopes to lower the euthanasia rate, increase the number of animal adoptions and move one step closer to becoming a no-kill facility.

Those who sign up to become a foster parent will receive mandatory training from VCAS veterinarian, Heather Skogerson. Once trained, they will commit to providing animal care for three -five weeks, depending on the age and weight of the baby animals when they arrive at the shelter.

The foster parenting program is just one of many volunteer opportunities available at VCAS.

To find out more or to become a VCAS volunteer, contact VCAS Volunteer Coordinator, Brooke Novak at: 805-388-4345, or visit