Austin Pets Alive! | Bottle Baby Foster Program

Bottle Baby Foster Program

We are looking for bottle baby fosters to help care for our tiniest lives!

We hope you’ll sign up for both!


APA! Regularly cares for thousands of neonatal puppies and kittens each year. These tiny lives are too vulnerable to live in the shelter, so we rely on foster homes like yours!

We are looking for caregivers for a variety of situations - no experience necessary! We will train you, connect you with mentors, and provide full medical support to help you navigate this amazing experience.

What are Bottle Babies?

Bottle Babies are puppies or kittens ranging in age from 1 day to about 4 weeks old. They are our tiniest, most at-risk babies.

What do they need?

They need to be fed formula by bottle or syringe every 2-3 hours, but it's so rewarding! You can also check out our FAQ for fostering orphan kittens and momma cats.

Who else can I help?

Syringe Gruelies! They are 3 to 6 weeks old. You will introduce them to "real" food by syringe feeding them a gruel mixture every 4-6 hours.

Gruelies! They are 5 or 6 weeks old and they have learned to eat on their own. You'll need to weigh them and feed them fresh food every 4-6 hours to make sure they stay on the right track. (It’s always possible your gruelies will still need some hand-feeding, so be prepared for that possibility!)

Pregnant or Nursing Moms! They do most of the hard work! You'll provide them a quiet, safe space to give birth and/or raise their babies, take care of routine or emergency medical situations, and get plentiful playtime!

Foster Commitment

You can foster for a one-night emergency, babysit a litter for a weekend or a couple of weeks, or raise these tiny tots until they're adopted.

Foster on your schedule!

  • One-to-two-night emergency care: This allows APA! time to find a longer-term caregiver, and prevents the baby from spending a single night in the shelter.

  • Short-term (up to 2 weeks): You can help us save animals in urgent situations or step in when a long-term foster needs a babysitter.

  • Long-term (until adoption): We love fosters to care for orphans or families until adoption, which can happen once the babies are at least 8 weeks old.

  • The full experience!: Fostering pregnant moms, seeing them give birth, and caring for the little family as they grow up and find their forever homes is one of the most rewarding experiences there is. The timeline depends on just how pregnant mom is - full gestation takes 9-10 weeks for cats and 8-9 weeks for dogs, but we don't usually find out they're pregnant until several weeks in.

Some of our babies come to us from unimaginable situations, where they have been exposed to illness, filth, parasites, and more. For many of these kittens and puppies, we are their only chance at survival. Without your help, we cannot save them.

Sign up to save lives today!