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Animal Services

Allowable and Maximum Number of Pets

The City of Irvine allows up to three dogs and cats per household. Most other small pets, mammals, birds, fish, insect and reptiles are also allowed. Potbellied pigs are considered livestock and require a livestock permit. No pet that is considered a health hazard, poisonous or dangerous is allowed.

A kennel license is required for anyone with a number of pets exceeding these regulations. License applications are available at the Irvine Police Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza . 

To ask about allowable pets, file a complaint, or receive additional information, call the Animal Services Field Division at 949-724-7092.

Animal Abuse and Cruelty

Laws protect animals against abuse, cruelty and neglect. These crimes are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. To report suspected cases for investigation, please contact the Irvine Police Department Animal Services Division at 949-724-7092. If you need an Animal Services Officer to respond to an urgent situation in which an animal’s life is in immediate danger, please call Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.

Animal Adoptions

The Irvine Animal Care Center houses impounded, stray, quarantined and unwanted animals. Animals are available for adoption from the shelter on a daily basis. The Center is located at 6443 Oak Canyon Road.


Animal Care Center hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:  Noon-7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday:  10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The shelter is closed to the public on Tuesdays and holidays.


Adoption fees are $120.00 for a dogs over 6 months and $200.00 for dogs 6 months and younger.  Cats over 4 months are $120.00 and kittens 4 months and younger are $150.00.  Rabbits are $65.00.  Information on other animals can be obtained from the shelter. The Irvine Animal Care Center alters, microchips and vaccinates every dog, cat and rabbit before adoption. For more information about adopting animals, contact the shelter at 949-724-7740 or visit their website, irvineshelter.org.

Animal Bites - Reporting
If you are bitten by any animal, seek immediate medical advice or attention by your doctor.

Any person having knowledge of an animal bite should immediately notify the Irvine Animal Services Division. All instances of animal bites should be reported within 24 hours.

To report a bite incident involving a loose or wild animal, call the Irvine Police Department Dispatch at 949-724-7200. Try to observe the biting animal from a safe distance until an Animal Services Officer arrives. Do not put yourself or others at risk by attempting to restrain an aggressive or unfamiliar animal.

If the biting animal is not loose or is not an immediate threat to others call 949-724-7092.

When reporting a bite incident, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Victim name and contact information
  • Animal owner information (if applicable)
  • Description of the biting animal
  • Place and circumstances of the bite 
  • Description and location of the wounds sustained

Animal Care

The Irvine Animal Care Center encourages citizens who own pets to be familiar with proper care instructions for all of their animals. In general, owners or keepers of pets are required to provide their pets with the following amenities: adequate food, water, shelter and adequate space in the primary enclosure based on the particular type, age, size and weight of the animal.

Veterinary care is also encouraged for humane care and treatment and to prevent suffering. In addition, always seek the advice of and follow the instructions of your veterinarian. For more information regarding animal care, call the Irvine Animal Care Center at 949-724-7740 or visit their website, irvineshelter.org.  

Animal Care Center hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Noon-7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Center is closed to the public on Tuesdays and holidays.

Animal Department - Emergencies

An Animal Services Officer or a Police Officer can respond to emergency incidents such as sick or injured animals, or animals involved in bites after hours. Contact Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.

If your personal pet is in need of veterinary care, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital.

Animal Department - General Information

Animal Services is an integral part of the Irvine Police Department. The Animal Services program is committed to protecting people and animals, as well as promoting the humane care and treatment of all animals. These goals are reached through education and enforcement. Animal Services Officers strive to respond promptly to calls for service and routinely patrol the City to effectively serve the needs of the community.  Regular hours of operation are 7 a.m. through 9 p.m., seven days a week.

The City also operates a shelter facility for the temporary housing of impounded, stray, quarantined and unwanted animals. The Irvine Animal Care Center is located at 6443 Oak Canyon Road. Contact the Animal Care Center at 949-724-7740 to obtain current hours of operation.

Animal Licensing

Dog and cat licenses may be purchased at the Irvine Animal Care Center, located at 6443 Oak Canyon Road.

Animal Care Center hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Noon-7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Center is closed to the public on Tuesdays and holidays.

To obtain a license, dog and cat owners must furnish the following information: the owner's name, address, telephone number, rabies vaccination information including veterinarian, date vaccinated, lot number and type of vaccine and expiration of the vaccine. The breed, approximate age, color and gender of the animal will also be needed to complete the licensing if the animal. If the animal has been spayed or neutered, a certificate from a veterinarian is required.

The license fee is $20.00 per year for an altered dog and $50.00 per year for an unaltered dog. Cat licenses are recommended but not required.  The license fee is $8.00 per year for an altered cat and $15.00 per year for an unaltered cat.

For more information about licensing requirements for other animals, or for general information, contact the Irvine Animal Care Center at  949-724-7740 or visit their website, irvineshelter.org.

Animal Services Special Permits

Any person wishing to obtain a permit to operate a private or commercial establishment or event within the City of Irvine where animals are involved must meet all the requirements set forth by the City of Irvine Animal Services Program and any other concerned state or federal agency.

All such persons shall be required to complete this application in full.  Prior to such approval, an inspection of the intended facilities will be conducted by an Animal Services Field Division representative.

The permit, if granted, will be good for a designated period of time.  It may be revoked at any time for violations of any regulations pertaining to this type of business.  The fee for this permit shall be as designated by the City of Irvine resolution.

For further information or to obtain an application contact Animal Services at 949-724-7092.


If there is an issue of bees on City property, such as bee hives in City trees, please contact the Public Works Landscape Division, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. by calling 949-724-7600.

If there is an emergency bee situation on City property outside normal working hours, please call the Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7200.

Animal Services and/or Public Works do not respond or handle bee problems on private property. For bees on private property, the property owner should call an exterminator or beekeeper of their own choosing.

Central Bark Off-Leash Dog Park

Please click here for more information.

Coyotes and Bobcats

  • Report sightings and unusual occurrences to the Irvine Police Department Animal Services Unit at 949-724-7092.
  • Situations requiring an immediate response should be reported to the Irvine Police Department Dispatch Center at 949-724-7200.
  • Always keep your pets on a 6-foot leash and under your immediate control.
  • Never leave your pet’s food or any other food outdoors.

For further information, contact Irvine Animal Services at 949-724-7092, or visit our website at cityofirvine.org/ipd.


From late February and into August, Irvine Animal Services receives many phone calls from residents who are concerned about the wellbeing of ducks who have selected, what appear to be, strange locations to nest and raise their young.  Many calls are received regarding a mother duck and ducklings crossing the road, or ducks nesting around a backyard swimming pool.  Some calls are from residents who feel the presence of ducks at a private residence is a nuisance and should be removed.


Federal law strictly prohibits interfering with nesting ducks. Irvine Animal Services will not ignore federal law concerning migratory waterfowl.  Heavy fines are levied against anyone who violates the Federal Migratory Waterfowl Act.


Steps to prevent ducks from nesting in undesirable areas should be taken prior to the arrival of duck mating season.  The following is a list of steps which may be taken to discourage ducks from making a backyard area a nesting site:

  • Cover swimming pools during the nesting season.  Allow beach or pool balls to float on the surface of pools, ponds, or fountains. 
  • Clear away foliage from around water sources to eliminate a protected nesting area. 
  • Enclose above ground decks with skirting to eliminate a nesting site.

In any instance of an injured duck, it is appropriate for Animal Services to be called.   An officer will respond and appropriate actions will be taken.  Be aware, however, that many times the appropriate response will be to remove only the injured duck and leave the rest alone.  Should a mother duck and ducklings be crossing a busy street, Animal Services should be contacted so both human life and the ducks can be protected.
For more information, contact an Irvine Animal Services Officer at 949-724-7092.

Injured, Sick or Deceased Animals

To report a sick, injured or deceased animal please call Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.

If you are the owner of a sick or injured pet, it is your responsibility to take it to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital for care.

If your pet passes away at home, an Animal Services Officer can pick it up. You may also take the animal to the Irvine Animal Care Center or your veterinarian.

Leash Law and Stray Animals

The City requires dogs that are not on their own property to be on a 6-foot or shorter leash, held by a person who can completely control the dog at all times.

Stray cats that roam onto your property without your permission may be humanely trapped or confined and Irvine Animal Services must be contacted for pick up. You may also transport the animal to the Irvine Animal Care Center.

License Requirements

Irvine Municipal Code 4-5-201 requires all dogs 4 months of age or older have a current license within 30 days of establishing residence in the city.

To obtain a City of Irvine Dog license please visit The Irvine Animal Care Center website at: www.irvineshelter.org

Lost and Found Pets

If your pet is lost please contact the Irvine Animal Care Center at 949-724-7740 and provide a detailed description of your pet and any identification.

If you find a lost dog and can safely confine it to your home or yard, contact Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.  The animal will be picked up by Animal Services and transported to the Irvine Animal Care Center.

Loud and Barking Dogs

Barking dogs cause frequent complaints to the Irvine Police Department, particularly in warm weather when windows are open. While it may be a violation of law to allow a dog to bark excessively, residents are encouraged, when practical, to speak with their neighbor to attempt to resolve the disturbance prior to requesting law enforcement intervention. If the problem persists after trying to resolve it with the animal owner, residents are encouraged to contact Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.  Be prepared to provide the exact address of the barking dog and to supply as much detail as possible regarding the nuisance.

Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are often a nuisance to citizens in Irvine and Orange County, especially when the weather becomes very hot and humid.  Mosquitoes can also create danger because of the diseases they often carry. The Orange County Vector Control District takes steps to control the mosquito population in both immature larval and adult stages with elimination techniques in all neighborhoods in the community. Citizens are asked to assist in this control by properly disposing potential water holding containers such as old tires, cans, and bottles. Avoid standing water in boat and swimming pool covers, as well as toys such as wagons. Water in bird baths, ornamental pools, flower pots and children's wading pools should be changed at least once a week. For more information, or to report a serious biting mosquito problem, contact the Orange County Vector Control District, which is located at 13001 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA  92843, or call them at 714-971-2421.  For more information, visit their website at ocvcd.org 

Pooper Scooper Law (Excreata Nuisance)

Irvine Municipal Code 4-5-710 states that is unlawful to leave your pet’s feces on any public or private property that is not owned by you. Violation of this law is punishable by a fine (An Animal Services Officer must actually view the offense in order to issue a citation). For further information contact Irvine Animal Services at 949-724-7092.

Problems with Wild Animals

Some of the local wildlife you may see in your neighborhood includes bats, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, birds, ducks, and skunks.

All wildlife is protected by the California Department of Fish and Game.

For tips, or assistance with dealing with wildlife on your property, contact Animal Services at 949-724-7092.

Click here to visit the Animal Services page of the Irvine Police Department’s website for more information about Irvine’s local wildlife.

Problems with Wild Birds

Wild birds occasionally build their nest in the eaves, attic, or frame of your house. Once any nest becomes active they are protected by law and cannot be tampered with or removed until after nesting season. Animal Services recommends citizens discourage birds well before nesting season by attaching screening from the roof edge to the bottom of the eaves. For more tips or assistance in dealing with nesting birds on your property call Animal Services at 949-724-7092.

Rabies - General Information

Rabies is a virus that can infect any warm-blooded animal, including humans. It is spread when saliva from an infected animal enters the body, usually through a bite, scratch or other broken skin. Once symptoms of rabies appear, the person rarely survives. It is possible to prevent rabies if the bite victim seeks immediate medical attention. The most effective way to control rabies is to have every dog and cat vaccinated for the Rabies virus.

All animal bites are must be reported immediately to Irvine Animal Services at 949-724-7092 or Irvine Police Dispatch at 949-724-7200.

To learn more about public health concerns with rabies, visit the Center for Disease Control.

Rats & Rodent Control

Irvine Animal Services does not provide pest control services for mice and rats.  We suggest you contact your local phone directory under Pest Control.  If you feel you have an extreme rat infestation you may contact Orange County Vector Control at 714-971-2421, or visit their website at ocvcd.org. 

Spaying and Neutering

The overpopulation of unwanted animals is a serious problem in any area. To reduce this problem, the Irvine Animal Care Center asks that all pet owners have their pets spayed or neutered. In addition, the law requires that all animals adopted from a shelter facility be spayed or neutered.  For more information, call the Irvine Animal Care Center at 949-724-7740.

Animal Care Center hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Noon-7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Center is closed on Tuesdays and holidays.

Vaccination Requirements

Irvine Municipal Code 4-5-301 requires that any dog 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated for rabies.
While it is not required by law it is recommended to vaccinate all cats over 4 months of age.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus Prevention & Control:

  • Avoid outside activity at dawn and dusk during mosquito season (May-October). This is particularly important for the elderly and small children. 
  • Wear protective clothing (long pants and long sleeves) and apply insect repellent (DEET) when outside. 
  • Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair and replace screens that have tears or holes. 
  • Drain all standing water on private property and stock permanent ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.

For more information, contact Irvine Animal Services at 949-724-7092 or the Orange County Vector Control District at 714-971-2421, extension 142 or 146.    You may also visit their website at ocvcd.org.

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