Island Cat Resources & Adoption

Dear Friend:

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Island Cat Resources and Adoption. We are a small, volunteer-based non-profit group that focuses on the welfare of cats in the East Bay with a primary focus in Alameda and Oakland. One of the hallmarks of our program is the fact that we do not have one shelter, we have many. Our cats and kittens live in homes with our volunteers and come to our adoption site at Petco in Alameda every Saturday.

We rescue cats and kittens from many different locations in the East Bay. We use our funds to have them altered, given shots, and provide any medications necessary. Our foster families provide food, water, cat litter, scratching post, toys and most importantly their time and affection.

We are very active in educating and empowering individuals in our community to trap, alter and vaccinate feral cats, in an effort to reduce feral cat colonies. When we trap feral kittens, we have volunteers who work with them in their homes, socializing them in an effort to make them adoptable. ICRA's adoption policies include thoroughly screening potential adopters and conducting a home visit.

Volunteers are the backbone of ICRA. Volunteers work at our adoption site on Saturdays, care for cats in their homes, trap feral cats for neutering, work at our fundraising events, provide administrative help and assist with our newsletter.

To become a volunteer with ICRA, you need to submit an application. After we review your application, we will contact you to schedule an orientation and training. This takes place at Petco over a number of Saturdays. After you complete training, you will be assigned to the area that you are most interested in working. If you are not sure what you would like to do for ICRA, we can help you find work.

Volunteers who are interested in providing foster homes for cats will meet with an ICRA staff person in their home after they have completed their orientation period. There may also be additional training required.

Thank you for your interest in our program. Volunteers are vital to our mission and we hope you decide to join us. If you have any questions, please leave a message for us at 510-869-2584 or email

Frequently Asked Questions - becoming a volunteer with ICRA

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
Volunteers need to be 21. If a parent is interested in volunteering we welcome the supervised involvement of their children.

What is the application process?
Once we receive your application, we then call you to review your application and discuss your interests. Assuming we are a good fit for you and your interests, we will schedule your orientation and training.

What is the orientation and training program?
All new volunteers participate in a 12-hour training program. This takes place at Petco for a total of 6 two-hour shifts over a period of 2 to 3 months. You will be assigned to work from 9:45am - 11:45am or 4:00pm - 6:00pm. Trainees who work the early shift help setup the adoption site, put out signs and help foster families get cats and kittens from their cars and into the cages. Trainees who work the afternoon shift will help clean up the cages, put the cats into carriers, take down signs and help families load the cats into their cars.

When I work at Petco can I hold and play with the cats and kittens?
Set-up and take down times at Petco are very busy. Holding and playing with cats during this time is not allowed as there are many people and animals moving around in a small space. Once the site is set-up and the day has begun or towards the end of the day before clean-up starts, there may be times when it is appropriate to hold a cat. We are very careful, however, because if a cat does get loose, they are difficult to catch.

Can I be a foster parent if I have other pets?
Yes, you can. However you would need to be able to keep the fostered animals totally separate from your other pets for a minimum of two weeks. The foster cat would have to have its own water, food and litter box. After the initial two weeks, you need to keep in mind how your other pets respond to new animals.

What kind of time commitment is required?
We require a 6-month commitment to ICRA. We ask that volunteers are able to work a minimum of 10 hours a month. For foster families, we ask you to begin foster caring for one cat or two or three kittens from the same litter.

Do I need to have experience working with animals to volunteer with ICRA?
No, you do not. We will train you to work in the area that you are most interested in. You need to have a big heart and affection for cats and kittens. We welcome volunteers who do have experience working with animals.

If you wish to fill out a volunteer application:
Download our application, fill it out, and mail it to ICRA: P.O. Box 1093, Alameda, CA 94501. If for some reason you can't download the form, you can call our voicemail number at (510) 869-2584 and ask for one to be mailed to you.