Meet the New Shelter Pet Project PSAs!
February 20, 2014: The Ad Council, in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie's Fund®, launched a brand new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) on behalf of The Shelter Pet Project campaign. Since its inception in 2009, The Shelter Pet Project has worked to lift public perception of animal shelters and shelter pets and has been part of driving down the number of pets who lose their lives in shelters by 12 percent. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and run in advertising time and space donated by the media. In the new ads and online experience, adorable adopted shelter dogs and cats practically reach through TV, computer and tablet screens, imploring audiences to play with them. Prospective pet owners are reminded that there are thousands of amazing shelter pets ready to meet them. To view all the new ads, click here
Maddies Fund and TVAR Team Up to Save Lives!
January 21, 2014: Maddie's Fund® is pleased to announce we are joining forces with Tri-Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR) to provide care and find homes for homeless pets in our community! Beginning February 1, 2014, we'll be working together to expand TVAR's lifesaving efforts with special emphasis on a foster program that provides homeless dogs and cats preventative, nutritional, medical and behavioral support in a loving environment until they find their new families. Currently, TVAR saves 800 - 1,000 animal lives each year, including many that fit into the healthy and treatable categories. Because of TVAR's experience and reputation, a partnership between our organizations will allow Maddie's Fund to learn from a more experienced team and build on their network of foster homes for treatable pets while work is being done to complete the new Maddie's CenterSM which opens in 2015. For more information about the program, please click here
10,000 Homes for Pets in One Weekend!
December 13, 2013: That's the goal for the fifth annual Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days, which will be held the weekend of May 31 - June 1, 2014. Expanding America's largest free pet adoption event to include 200 animal shelters and rescue groups in 14 communities across the U.S., Maddie's Fund® has earmarked $10 million to find loving families for homeless dogs and cats. Sponsored in honor of the beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, the event waives adoption fees for the public and donates up to $2,000 to participating organizations for every dog and cat who gets adopted. "When we look into the eyes of the dogs and cats at the adoption event, we see Maddie's spirit in every one of them," says Maddie's Fund founder, Dave Duffield. "We want all of them to have a chance to inspire, love and enrich the lives of their future families the way Maddie did ours." For more information about the event, click here
Actress Torrey DeVitto Loves Shelter Pets!
December 3, 2013: Actress Torrey DeVitto of Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries loves her adopted dog, Beau - and she wants everyone to know how wonderful shelter and rescue pets are in a brand new video. "Meet My Shelter Pet" is the latest online video series featuring pet adopters and their loving shelter pets. Created by The Shelter Pet Project and funded by Halo Pet Foundation, the campaign encourages potential adopters to consider a shelter or rescue group as the first place to find a new best friend. "Torrey's experience of how the power of a dog or cat can open our hearts is one every person who has ever adopted a pet will recognize," said Maddie's Fund® president Rich Avanzino. "Who wouldn't want to bring that joy into their own lives after seeing it in hers?" You can watch Torrey and Beau and share their new video by clicking here
New Video Series: Meet My Shelter Pet
November 8, 2013: Late Night with David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer and his daughter, Victoria, have four former shelter dogs who are so wonderful, they think everyone should adopt a shelter pet! They and their lovable dogs, Riley, Jake, Rue and Echo, are the stars of one of the brand-new "Meet My Shelter Pet" videos for the Maddie's Fund-sponsored The Shelter Pet Project. The online series, featuring pet adopters and their loving shelter pets, was created with a special grant given by Ellen DeGeneres' Halo Pet Foundation. The campaign encourages potential adopters to consider a shelter as the first place to find a new best friend. "Every happy adoption story encourages other people to open their hearts to a homeless pet," said Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino. "By showing the joy their adopted pets have brought to their family, Paul and Victoria are inspiring countless others to share that same incredible experience." Coming soon is a video featuring Vampire Diaries and Army Wives' actress Torrey DeVitto and her dog Beau. To see Paul and Victoria's video, click here
Maddie’s Fund Pays Tribute to Military Working Dogs
October 28, 2013: To celebrate military dogs and their service to our country, Maddie's Fund® has helped finance the design and construction of the country's first national monument to honor military working dogs. The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, unveiled on October 28th, 2013 at its permanent home at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antionio, TX, depicts the love, devotion and unbreakable bonds between dogs and their handlers. John C. Burnam, a highly decorated Vietnam Infantry Veteran Scout Dog Handler (pictured here), is the founder and inspiration for the monument. John has never been able to forget the service dogs who were left behind when the troops pulled out of Vietnam. So it became his mission to construct a national monument to memorialize all war dogs so they will never be forgotten. When Maddie's Fund founders, Dave and Cheryl Duffield, heard about the project, they felt compelled to help and donated $1,019,500 toward the construction of the monument that features the four prominent U.S. Military working dog breeds, including Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. When trained, these particular breeds have incredible lifesaving capabilities during combat situations by detecting bombs, booby traps and enemy activity. Additionally, Maddie's Fund financed the Not Forgotten Fountain - a fully functional bronze water fountain. The dedication marks the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been elevated to national monument status by congressional law. To read more about the monument and its creation, click here
Records Smashed at Maddie's Pet Adoption Days!
September 17, 2013: Final tallies are in and it's official - Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days has made lifesaving history! In just one weekend, 8,432 dogs and cats found homes during the fourth Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days on June 1st and 2nd, 2013. Held in eight communities at 192 locations across the United States, it's the nation's largest free pet adoption event. But size doesn't tell the whole story. This event, which started early Saturday morning and in some cases went right around the clock all weekend long, was designed to make sure senior pets and those with health challenges got some extra attention. Altogether, 3,922 animals which were senior and/or had treatable medical conditions were adopted that weekend. And yet another record was broken: Maddie's Fund awarded a total of $6,973,000 dollars to participating shelters and rescue groups! For a complete breakdown of the numbers by community and just a few of the thousands of happy adoption stories, take a look here
Maddie's Scholar at ISU Recognized
September 12, 2013: Maddie's® Summer Scholars/Research Program through Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Iowa State University is a 13-week research training program conducted each summer. The program allows veterinary students who have completed their first or second year to explore specific issues that match their interests, while investigating the work of an established researcher. Each summer, the program prepares participants to present their research to veterinary judges at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Research Day. For the first time at Iowa State, one of the Maddie's® Scholars received an award for her presentation at the 2013 CVM Research Day on August 9th. Jillian Sweet, a third year veterinary student, received the 2nd place award for her research poster titled The effects of stress on relinquished versus stray cats in animal shelters by monitoring weight loss and stress to assess the potential of developing upper respiratory infection. Congratulations, Jillian! To read an abstract of her research, click here
Shelter Medicine Program Goes Global
September 4, 2013: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida developed a 9-credit online graduate certificate in Shelter Medicine open to veterinarians and 2nd to 4th year veterinary students, interns and residents, making the program accessible around the world. The courses are designed to allow students to explore the latest and best knowledge in shelter medicine while cultivating the critical thinking skills necessary to run a successful medical program in an animal shelter. This semester, 90 students on five continents are enrolled in the program, and by the end of the semester, 29 veterinarians and veterinary students will be receiving Maddie's® Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine - the first students in the world to earn this credential! Homeless dogs and cats across the globe will be better protected and all the more ready to find their forever families.
Adopters Pounce on Feline Friday
August 15, 2013: Summer months are always busy for pet shelters, but the population at Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Dane County, WI was quickly getting very high. To help find their feline residents new homes, they came up with a clever marketing idea: TGIFFF - "Thank Goodness it's $5 Feline Friday!" On Friday, August 9, they reduced their adoption fees to help their furry felines find forever families. Word went out via several Facebook pages (including the local TV station's) and the response was tremendous - over 50 cats were adopted on that one day! Great way to start a weekend!
Thumbs Up for Maddie's Institute Video
August 5, 2013: Maddie's InstituteSM sends its camera crew to conferences across the U.S. to capture leading veterinary and animal welfare experts presenting the latest information on best practices in shelter health, behavior and management. Available free of charge on our website, the presentations allow audiences far and wide access to informative and engaging topics that help save the lives of homeless dogs and cats. A viewer in the U.K. recently commented on a talk taped at Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference at Purdue University: "I have just watched the slides and presentation Canine Body Language in the Shelter located on the Maddie's Fund website, and I just wanted to let you know that this is one of the clearest and most helpful pieces of online educational material about canine body language that I have ever come across (including some that I have paid for)." We thank all of the speakers who appear in our videos for helping us share their expertise with other animal welfare leaders and the general public. To browse the Institute's wide assortment of articles, videos and conference recordings, click here
The Shelter Pet Project Jumps to the Top!
July 19, 2013: Just as shelter pets are getting more and more media coverage, the Maddie's® and The Humane Society of the United States sponsored Shelter Pet Project (SPP) ad campaign has become a media darling! Public service campaigns such as the SPP and those produced by the Ad Council (the leading producer of PSAs) rely on the media to donate valuable broadcast time, print, outdoor and interactive ad space. A newly released report from the Ad Council shows that from September 2009 to December 2012 the SPP campaign received a combined $127 million in donated media support, including TV, radio, print, outdoor and Web PSAs. The campaign received donated media valued at $56 million in 2012 alone! It's exposure like this that will help spread the word that shelter pets are great pets and ensure that all healthy and treatable dogs and cats find loving homes. Take a look at all of the TV, radio, print and interactive ads here
Dr. Sheila D'Arpino to Head Maddie's Center
June 18, 2013: Maddie's Fund® announced that Dr. Sheila D'Arpino will direct Maddie's® Animal Care Center, a model animal shelter and educational center slated to open next year in Pleasanton, CA. To learn more, click here
Pet Adoption Tally Nearing 8,000!
June 11, 2013: Total adoptions from Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days are now close to 8,000 - a far cry from the original estimate of 5,000! Preliminary reports show that the San Francisco Bay Area adopted roughly 3,800 pets; New York City around 2,500; Alachua County, FL, 675; Washoe County, NV, 470 and Dane County, WI, 260. Maddie's Fund® founders Dave and Cheryl Duffield will give between $5 and $7 million to participating shelters and rescues for the weekend adoptions to help them defer costs incurred in rehabilitating sick or injured animals and for overall operational expenses. "Although this amount is significantly more than we anticipated, we couldn't be happier," said Dave. A final monetary amount, adoption total and breakdown of adoptions by age and health status will be published in the weeks ahead as data is verified. To read the happy endings for some of the dogs and cats who found their new forever homes, click here
Over 6,500 Adoptions in One Weekend!
June 3, 2013: The preliminary results are in! In just two days Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days found loving homes for over 6,500 dogs and cats! The pet adoption extravaganza took place in eight communities: New York City, where early reports counted more than 1,500 adoptions; in Alachua County, FL, 675 adoptions; Dane County, WI, 260 adoptions; and in Washoe County, NV, the numbers reached 470. In four San Francisco Bay Area Counties, more than 3,600 doggies and kitties are now at home with their new families. It just goes to show that there's a perfect match for every homeless dog and cat in our nation - and a smile to go with each and every one!
Volunteer Crews are Ready to Roll!
May 29, 2013: Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days on June 1st and 2nd will draw huge crowds at 180 adoption locations around the country, and we're ready to capture all the fun and excitement! Pictured here are several of the 14 volunteer students from the Digital Media Production class at Laney College in Oakland, CA, who will be our roving reporters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Other video volunteers include a Girl Scout troop working on a media merit badge, film student Matthew Pita from Diablo Valley College in Walnut Creek, CA, and several retired media professionals who will be on hand to get great shots of all the happy dogs and cats with their new families. Stay tuned here for a sample of their work in the days following the event!
$1M Lifesaving Award for Portland Metro Area
May 22, 2013: Maddie's Fund® awarded its prestigious Community Lifesaving Award to six animal welfare organizations in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area for achieving and maintaining an adoption guarantee for all healthy shelter dogs and cats for two years (2010 - 2012). In the past six years, the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) has reduced euthanasia in Portland's shelters by a dramatic 65% and now saves 85% of their dogs and cats - making their community one of the safest for homeless pets in the nation! At a special ceremony on May 21, 2013, ASAP members were presented with a check for $1 million from Maddie's Fund. Oregon Humane Society (OHS) already has plans for the unrestricted grant. "Maddie's Fund's gift will allow OHS to accept and treat more medical transfers from our ASAP partners, provide high-quality medical care and increase adoptions through promotions and special efforts for hard-to-place pets," writes OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon. At the heart of the OHS state-of-the-art hospital is their Central Clinic which will be named in Maddie's honor, inspiring staff and reminding visitors that all pets in the community are guaranteed love, compassion and kindness. For more information about the award, click here
Update to Maddie's Searchable Database
May 17, 2013: Looking for statistics that will help you track the no-kill progress in the United States? The first searchable database of its kind has been made even more powerful with four years of animal shelter statistics. Maddie's Fund® is proud to announce that data from selected U.S. animal shelters for the year 2011 has been added to the collection of information that allows lifesaving to be measured and compared within and among communities. As part of Maddie's Fund's efforts to bring transparency to the sheltering industry, the free online tool provides detailed information that helps monitor progress in saving animals' lives. "The shelter stats are exciting to look through," writes one of the more than 7,000 users who have already taken advantage of the wealth of data provided. "Thank you for organizing shelters across the country to get serious about the business of tracking animal welfare statistics and reporting it in a way that makes it possible for us to see how we're doing and if progress is truly being made." Want to see how your community stacks up against others? Maddie's® Database lets you analyze and measure total intake, adoptions, euthanasia, live release rates and deaths per 1,000 for dogs and cats - and it's searchable by geographic region, median income and size of human populations. Have a look here
Uptown, Downtown: Riding the Canine Cabs!
May 6, 2013: Guess who's riding along in the taxis of New York? It's NBC's Natalie Morales with her adopted dog, Zara! In February they were featured on a Shelter Pet Project PSA made for the TODAY Show to raise awareness about shelter pets. Now the spot is showing up all over the Big Apple in taxicabs. Media coverage following the ad airing on TV was off the charts: in one week alone the segment clocked over 15,000 likes on Facebook. People were writing in to the TODAY Show to tell them how their perceptions about shelter pets were changed after viewing the spot. Haven't seen it yet? Take a look here
Disaster Response for NYC Pets Fine-Tuned
April 25, 2013: A comprehensive disaster plan for New York City to co-shelter pets and their owners in evacuation centers has been created out of last October's devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Based on lessons learned during and after the storm, the extensive plan includes improved communication and protocols for rescue and response, veterinary care, temporary shelter and reunification. When Sandy ravaged New York City, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in New York City) and its partners on the Animal Planning Task Force (APTF) of the NYC Office of Emergency Management sprang into action. First, they helped staff the city's emergency command center and then coordinated the intake of nearly 100 pets at an auxiliary shelter in Brooklyn. The Alliance's Wheels of Hope vans were on the road at once, transporting hundreds of animals from the hardest hit locations to safety and delivering pet food and supplies to families living in the most devastated neighborhoods. Over the weeks and months following the storm, APTF has worked closely with pet owners as they struggled to recover and bring their pets home. That's when Fluffy (pictured here) was reunited with her very happy and relieved family! Recognizing that pets are valued family members, New York City continues to demonstrate a leadership role in developing lifesaving initiatives for its pets - and cats like Fluffy can feel safe and secure.
AOL Champions The Shelter Pet Project - Again!
April 18, 2013: AOL.com has embraced shelter pet adoptions by once again featuring The Shelter Pet Project as its Cause of the Day on its April 12th welcome page! This is the third time AOL has featured our national ad campaign. Last fall, AOL's Shelter Pet Project module generated 30,000 click-throughs to The Shelter Pet Project website in just two days! Thank you AOL for helping to keep shelter dogs and pets in the public eye - and heart.
New Faculty Member at Cornell University
April 11, 2013: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University welcomes Dr. Holly Putnam to its staff of clinicians. Dr. Putnam is a 2003 graduate of The Ohio State University. After graduation, she returned to her home state of New York where she practiced small animal medicine in the Albany region. In 2008 Dr. Putnam relocated to Austin, TX where she had been a full-time staff surgeon for Emancipet, performing high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter. At the same time, she served as the veterinarian on the Advisory Committee for the Wiiliiamson County Regional Animal Shelter where she advised the shelter on all medical issues as well as planning for increasing live animal outcomes and decreasing intakes and euthanasia. It was during that time that Dr. Putnam was able to see first-hand the challenges that shelters face in providing care to homeless animals. This experience sparked a passion for shelter medicine, to which Dr. Putnam has now dedicated her career. "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to educate future veterinarians about shelter medicine, as well as act as a resource for shelters and staff," she writes. In addition to teaching, her primary interests are preventive medicine and enrichment programs within shelters.
Pitties for St. Pat's Day!
March 28, 2013: On March 16th, the SPCA Serving Erie County (lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County, NY), along with the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, held their first annual St. Pitty's Day Pals adoption event to promote Pit Bull Terriers that were up for adoption at their shelters. Dressed in green kerchiefs and with the luck of a leprechaun, nine of the precious pitties found their way into the hearts of adopters - in only three hours! All were adult Pit Bulls, and adoption fees were lowered to $85. Each adopter also received a certificate for a free day of doggy daycare at participating facilities. Irish - and all other - eyes were certainly smiling!
Maddie's Fund on Campus
March 19, 2013: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Iowa State University was recently the focus of a front-page article in the campus newspaper Iowa State Daily. Established in 1858, Iowa State University was the first state institution to found a veterinary school and is one of Maddie's Fund's longest-running shelter medicine grantees. With its comprehensive curriculum and more fourth-year training than almost any other veterinary program, Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program offers select students hands-on learning alongside experienced veterinarians at adoption guarantee shelters, giving them valuable surgical experience which is free to the shelters. The program also engages the next generation of shelter veterinarians in summer research projects. "Our students are highly sought after," reports Program Director Claudia Baldwin, DVM, MS. "I've been told that other universities are not just interested, they fight over our graduates." With more veterinary students embracing shelter medicine and making it a definitive factor in their career choice, more shelters and the homeless animals in their care will be in great hands!
Study: Public Willing to Care for Treatable Pets
March 8, 2013: Will adopters in your community provide medical care for their adopted pets? Where do they draw the line - daily injections? Medication? Surgery? And can shelters and rescue groups find more homes for pets with treatable and manageable health conditions by knowing the answers to those questions? That was the inspiration for researchers at Iowa State University in a study funded by Maddie's Fund®, published in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. They surveyed both pet owners and veterinarians in central Iowa to find out how much people did for their past pets in terms of medical care and treatment as a method of predicting what kind of care they would be likely to provide for adopted pets. There was convincing evidence that in that community, individuals' care of their pets' medical conditions matched those of veterinarians' clients in that community. The study authors concluded, "Shelter workers may determine an incoming animal's adoptability on the basis of what health or behavioral conditions the shelter is able to treat or address adequately with existing resources. However, the cat and dog-owning public may have the resources and willingness to treat an animal with these same health and behavioral conditions; thus, these conditions would not necessarily be impediments for adoption."
Slick Fundraising on Ice!
February 27, 2013: Over 300 people laced up their ice skates to support Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Dane County, WI (DCHS) in a fun-filled afternoon in late January. Admission to the indoor rink was free with a donated item from their wish list, and any entrance fees for those without donations were given to DCHS by the arena. In only two hours, DCHS raised $530 in cash and more than $200 in blankets, toys and much-needed supplies for their shelter operations! On hand to take a lap around the rink was Maddie Mascot and long-time DCHS supporter, Olympic Gold Medalist Casey FitzRandolph. What a great way to engage supporters and help save the lives of more dogs and cats!
Positive Proof that FIV+ Kitties CAN Be Adopted!
February 19, 2013: The stigma against FIV+ cats is unfounded, says Safe Cat Foundation, a successful participant in Maddie's® Treatable Assistance Program. They wrote to tell us that in three-and-a-half months, they adopted nine FIV+ cats - and all went to great homes. These cats are routinely considered "unadaoptable," but Safe Cat Foundation proved this wrong. People are willing and even eager to adopt these wonderful cats!
NBC's Natalie Morales Goes For Shelter Pets!
February 13, 2013: Maddie's Fund® is super excited to announce that Natalie Morales, TV anchor on NBC's TODAY Show, has chosen shelter pet adoption as her pet social issue! Airing throughout this week, NBC is featuring a new series of four public service announcements on topics that were personally selected by their anchors from among the Ad Council's 50 national PSA campaigns. Natalie, who had adopted her dog Zara after doing a pet adoption segment for TODAY in 2011, decided that the Maddie's® sponsored Shelter Pet Project was the campaign closest to her heart. She then brainstormed with Draftfcb, the ad agency that donated their resources to creating the new ad, to make a funny and engaging new spot with Zara - voiced by actress Jenna Elfman. Watch the TODAY Show segment with some fun behind-the-scenes footage here. To watch the brand new PSA, click here
The Media Loves The Shelter Pet Project!
January 31, 2013: Public service ad campaigns like the Maddie's® sponsored Shelter Pet Project (SPP) rely on donated broadcast time, print and outdoor space to get the message out - and in the first nine months of 2012, the media exposure for SPP soared! We just received a report from the Ad Council that over $44 million in media was donated to our campaign - that's a lot of free TV, radio, billboard and print ad space! That's not all: the campaign is in the top ten Ad Council initiatives across sixteen different categories. In addition, AccentHealth, produced by CNN, gave a significant amount of exposure to SPP campaign in 2012, reaching an audience of over 7 million viewers. This company is the #1 healthy lifestyle television network designed specifically for patients in medical waiting rooms. And that makes for a very healthy public service campaign record so far for The Shelter Pet Project! Take a look at all the TV, radio, print and interactive ads here
Saying No to Cats
January 22, 2013: On February 1, the Chico (CA) Animal Shelter will no longer accept healthy stray, feral and surrendered cats (read the full story here). Animal Services Manager Tracy Mohr is making the change in response to evidence that it's in the best interest of the cats to leave them in the community. Read the arguments and scientific research that support this policy in Maddie's Fund's article Feline Shelter Intake Reduction Program FAQs, by two of the nation's acknowledged leaders on community cat health and policy, Drs. Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM and Dr. Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM.
Our Year in Review
January 4, 2013: We just published our 2011-2012 Annual Report - and what a year it's been! In the 12 months starting July 1, 2011, Maddie's Fund® grant giving made significant contributions to the health and well-being of America's homeless dogs and cats through community collaborative projects, university programs, educational activities and national publicity campaigns. Funding throughout the year came to $11.97 million, all in the name of a little dog named Maddie, whose spirit lives on in every life saved. Read the details of our achievements here
Cat Town Jumps at Maddie's Treatable Assistance Program
December 21, 2012: We're really excited about the positive responses we've been getting to our new grant initiative! Maddie's® Treatable Assistance Program was established on October 1, 2012 to financially support the adoptions of senior and/or medically treatable homeless dogs and cats transferred to adoption guarantee organizations from animal control shelters in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco Counties (CA). One of the 47 organizations that have so far qualified to participate is Cat Town in Oakland, CA. They were so jazzed by the new program that they're using proceeds from the grant to launch their own pilot program to boost adoptions even more! Writes Cat Town's Ann Dunn, "In It for Life matches older cats with low-income seniors who want cat companionship but who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. We'll provide supplies and cover medical expenses as well as other ongoing support, so they just need to provide the love and a home." Their first kitty to benefit from the program is nine-year-old Claude, pictured here, who found his forever home with a senior named Harold. "Harold has had cats his whole life but is now in a position where even buying cat food is cost-prohibitive. Bringing Claude and Harold together will obviously be life-changing for both of them." As they get the program established, Cat Town will be asking people to sponsor individual cats or otherwise donate to support In It for Life. "If we can make this sustainable," writes Ann, "we'll see the potential to get senior cats right out of the shelter and into a home, eliminating a stressful shelter stay that can be so damaging to the health of an older cat. Thank you so much for making this possible!" That's the kind of action Maddie's Fund loves to hear about!
Whiskers in Wonderland Brings Holiday Joy
December 18, 2012: Santa came early for over 100 homeless pets at the Whiskers in Wonderland holiday pet adoption event hosted by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for ). On Sunday, December 2nd, twenty rescue groups and shelters spread across Manhattan in five Petco stores to match up lovable cats and kittens with new families. This was the third year of the event, made even more significant because many of the four-legged, furry friends were left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. On hand to spread cheer was Maddie Mascot, pictured here with a few of the many volunteers who came to help. Adopting at the holidays can be ideal if people have more time away from work or school to spend with a new housemate.
Training Study Extended Until December 19
December 11, 2012: There's still time for you to help us design future resources for shelter and rescue groups! If you work or volunteer for an animal shelter and haven't yet had a chance to participate in our two online surveys about training and development practices for shelter staff and volunteers, we'd love to have your input. Each survey takes about 10 minutes. Though the information you provide will remain anonymous, it will help Maddie's Fund® develop cutting edge training practices that will lead to happier, healthier dogs and an increase in adoptions for dogs and cats across the United States. To find out more and to take the surveys, click here
Spring 2013 Online Shelter Medicine Courses
December 4, 2012: Are you a veterinarian at a shelter, in private practice or a veterinary student who wants to expand your knowledge of shelter medicine? Want to do so from your office or home? Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida now offers an exciting series of online learning opportunities to meet the growing demand for well-trained veterinarians who can address the health and welfare issues unique to animal shelters. Registration is now open for two online courses starting in January for veterinarians and 2nd - 4th year veterinary students worldwide. Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare, taught by Dr. Sheila (Segurson) D'Arpino of the Center for Shelter Dogs, will help students evaluate the quality of a shelter's behavioral health program. Included are behavioral assessments, behavioral modification protocols, diagnosis of common behavioral problems and medical treatments of selected behavioral disorders. Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems, led by Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine Dr. Terry Spencer, explores best medical practices for the shelter environment and will teach students to recognize and respond to common infectious diseases, behavioral problems and examples of animal cruelty. Each completed course earns three graduate credit hours toward the nine-credit certificate - and will prepare you for the critical role that veterinarians play in saving the lives of shelter animals. To learn more and to register, click here
Be Part of Our Training Study
November 28, 2012: Maddie's Institute is pleased to announce the opening of two new online surveys to investigate current training and development practices for staff and volunteers in animal welfare organizations. Your participation will help us design future resources for shelter and rescue groups that will lead to happier, healthier dogs and cats, an increase of animals adopted into loving homes and greater adopter satisfaction. Each survey takes about 10 minutes and will be open until December 11, 2012. To find out more and to take the surveys,
Shelter Pets Take Over Facebook!
November 19, 2012: Did you know that people are more likely to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter or rescue if they know someone who has? That's why for the third year in a row The Shelter Pet Project is dedicating an entire day on Facebook to stories about your adopted dogs and cats! Every year, millions of people consider adopting shelter dogs or cats, but many never do because they think something is wrong with the pets - and you know that's not true! Help us find more new families for homeless dogs and cats by sharing your wonderful pet adoption story on Tuesday, November 27th. Let everyone know what makes your furry friend so special - you can even post a photo to show the world how fabulous your pet is. You'll be letting people know that shelter pets make great pets. Think of how many new homes we can find for shelter dogs and cats if word gets around how terrific they are! On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, go to The Shelter Pet Project's Facebook page. Or share a photo and story on your own Facebook page (be sure and tag The Shelter Pet Project). Together we can save the lives of more homeless companion animals!
Erie County Goes Galactic!
November 13, 2012: What's Maddie Mascot doing with a Wookiee? It was all part of the fun at Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County's Pet Expo on October 19th and 20th. Along with Chewbacca, 30 participating rescue groups and shelters welcomed over 2,200 visitors to the annual adoption and fundraising event. Entertainment included a local Star Wars fan club, a doggie fashion show, pet first aid demos, working K9 and agility demos - all with the help of over 300 volunteers. The force was definitely with them: $30,000 was raised and 75 dogs and cats found new homes!
Maddie's Searchable Database Updated
November 5, 2012: The first searchable database of its kind has been made even more powerful with three years of animal shelter statistics. Maddie's Fund® is proud to announce that data from selected U.S. animal shelters for the year 2010 has been added to the already comprehensive collection of information that allows lifesaving to be measured and compared within and among communities. As part of Maddie's Fund's efforts to bring transparency to the sheltering industry, the free online tool provides detailed information that helps monitor progress in saving animals' lives. "The shelter stats are exciting to look through," writes one of the more than 5,000 users who have already taken advantage of the wealth of data provided. "Thank you for organizing shelters across the country to get serious about the business of tracking animal welfare statistics and reporting it in a way that makes it possible for us to see how we're doing and if progress is truly being made." Want to see how your community stacks up against others? Maddie's® Database lets you analyze and measure total intake, adoptions, euthanasia, live release rates and deaths per 1,000 for dogs and cats - and it's searchable by geographic region, median income and size of human populations. Have a look here
Maddie's President an "Original Innovator"
October 31, 2012: A few days ago over 1,500 animal lovers dedicated to the welfare of shelter pets in the United States gathered at Best Friends Animal Society's annual conference in Las Vegas to learn, network and celebrate the cause of No More Homeless Pets. Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino was invited to start off the General Session with three other leading animal advocates in a panel discussion entitled Animal Welfare Innovators and Rising Stars. The panelists were asked to name their top choice for up-and-coming innovators whose new ideas will continue to change the course of animal welfare. Rich's pick was Bonney Brown, Executive Director of Nevada Humane Society in Reno, NV, a shelter that with three other agencies was awarded Maddie's® Lifesaving Award for creating and maintaining a no-kill county for two years. Let's hope that this time, what happened in Las Vegas doesn't stay there, but is spread far and wide to help save the lives of all homeless dogs and cats!
Marlo Thomas Votes for Shelter Pets
October 29, 2012: Award-winning actress, author and social activist Marlo Thomas (yes, That Girl!) has always had a dog or two or three in her family. In recognition of October as National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Ms. Thomas devoted her October 23rd blog to shelter pets. In it, she directs readers to The Shelter Pet Project website! So touched is she by how compassionate adopted pets can be that she's collected 17 true stories of how adopted shelter dogs have literally saved people's lives. "The truth is that most adopted dogs make wonderful companions for their new owners," she writes. "I'd like to encourage anyone who may be considering getting a pet to visit a nearby shelter to see all the beautiful faces just waiting to be taken home." Her stories of shelter dog heroes is a real inspiration to visit a shelter and adopt. Take a look here
NYC Adopt-apalooza a Doozy!
October 4, 2012: In only five hours on a bright Saturday afternoon in early September, over 125 homeless dogs and cats from more than 30 pet rescue organizations found their furr-ever homes at Adoptapalooza, one of New York City's largest animal adoption events. "Every year we host Adoptapalooza and today's was the most successful ever," said Steve Gruber, Communications Director for the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for ). The event included low-cost microchipping, emergency preparedness for pets, doggie skateboarding performances, training sessions and a kissing booth, where for $2 dog lovers could get a hearty lick from an eager bulldog named Baby Howard. Maddie Mascot welcomed the crowd of over 60,000, many who came with a donation of toys and linens for NYC's Animal Care & Control. The mobile vans that came with available canines and kitties were empty at the end of the event. Photo courtesy of Petco.
$1M Lifesaving Award to Santa Clara County Coalition
September 25, 2012: In recognition and support of achieving a 100% adoption guarantee for all healthy shelter dogs and cats, Maddie's Fund® awarded a $1M Community Lifesaving Award to WeCARE, a coalition of six organizations in Santa Clara County, California: Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), Palo Alto Animal Services, San Jose Animal Care and Services, Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, and Town Cats. WeCARE was formed to pool resources to increase adoptions and spay/neuter surgeries, increase the communication between organizations, and to heighten community-wide awareness about saving healthy and treatable animals. In a county with a population of 1.8 million, the coalition has maintained an adoption guarantee for all of its healthy animals since 2010. "We are very grateful to Maddie's Fund for the generous support and recognition that this prestigious award provides," said Beth Ward of HSSV. "These resources will help WeCARE continue its successes to save all healthy and treatable animals, and implement new programs to help rehabilitate animals so that they, too, can be adopted by a loving family."
Maddie's Matchmaker Adoptathon Saves 2,601 Lives
September 17, 2012: On a hot summer weekend in June, yet another sizzling record was broken at the third annual Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon! This year on June 9th and 10th, with the participation of 63 shelters and rescue groups in Alameda, Contra Costa and - for the first time - San Francisco Counties, 2,601 dogs and cats were adopted. Countless businesses opened their doors to host the adoptions, dozens of volunteers donated their time and energy, and thousands of hopeful adopters lined up at the crack of dawn to find their new best friends. "Our goal this year was to expand the Adoptathon into San Francisco so that even more animals could find homes," said Dave Duffield, Maddie's Fund® founder. "We did just that, and we were thrilled with the huge outpouring of support for the thousands of animals that got adopted." Even more thrilling was that 37% of the adoptions - 965 in all - were senior and/or treatable animals, like 6-year-old, one-eyed Gizmo, pictured here with his new mom. Each adoption affords the groups a mini-grant which helps them care for more animals throughout the year. All these numbers translate into over $1.9 million for the shelters and rescue groups! Read more of the heartwarming stories from the event
Bark in the Park: Hits, Runs and Dog Treats!
September 11, 2012: It's not every day you can take your dog to a professional ball game, but each summer the Brooklyn Cyclones invite fans to bring their dogs to the annual Bark in the Park baseball game on Coney Island. This year was the fifth annual event, held on August 22, with fans and their pooches cheering on the New York City team in a match-up against the Tri-Valley Cats. Outside the park, The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in New York City) hosted an adoption event, while the stadium's bleacher section - renamed "The BOW-WOW Zone" for the night - was reserved for those who brought their canine friends to the game, each getting a doggy bag full of treats and other goodies to take home. Fans were invited to take part in family fun including a pre-game puppy parade, a best-dressed dog contest, and at home plate, a doggy wedding. Best of all, Maddie Mascot was on hand for photo ops with kids and to toss out the ceremonial first pitch. Hundreds of owners and their dogs attend Bark in the Park each year, and a portion of the ticket sales are donated to the Alliance. The entire event is a home run for fans, their pets, and adorable animals ready to be adopted!
Vital Lifesaving Tools from UF Conference
September 5, 2012: Hurricane Isaac didn't keep over 200 veterinarians and shelter personnel from attending Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference in Orlando on August 25th and 26th. Hosted by Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, the two-day symposium focused on the role of the shelter veterinarian as lifesaver - and how shelters can create happy endings even in the most severe cases of infectious disease. Real-life examples and step-by-step guidelines were presented by experienced experts who have dramatically decreased length-of-stay, slashed euthanasia rates and driven up adoptions to record numbers. Didn't get to attend? Maddie's Institutesm recorded the presentations for future broadcast on our website - stay tuned for an announcement. If you're looking for innovative ideas and real-world insight into saving even the most vulnerable of shelters animals, you won't want to miss these information-packed lectures.
Maddie's on a Roll!
August 24, 2012: Who knew Maddie Mascot was a roller derby star? On Saturday, July 21st, Mad Rollin' Dolls, the premiere roller derby league of Madison, WI, chose Dane County Humane Society (DCHS, the lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Dane County, WI) to receive a portion of the proceeds from their evening bout. Maddie and DCHS's Publicity Coordinator Gayle Viney were on hand to greet the crowd and thank the Mad Rollin' Dolls for their awesome support. Roller derby is a sport that combines adrenaline and estrogen, mascara and mayhem, sass and strength - and the kind of spunk we see in a lot of shelter dogs and cats! A total of $248 was given to DCHS, and the fun time that everyone had was priceless!
Maddie’s Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine
August 17, 2012: Few opportunities currently exist for students to immerse themselves in graduate-level coursework in shelter medicine. Now, a Maddie's® Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida can be earned entirely online! If you're a veterinary student interested in the emerging field of shelter medicine, or in private practice facing new challenges related to animal homelessness in your community, this affordable, first-rate, online training can provide you with the knowledge you need to address the health and welfare issues unique to animal shelters. You do not need to be enrolled at the University of Florida to take these courses. Four competitive scholarships are available, too. To find out more, click here
$1.3M Maddie's Community Lifesaving Award
August 14, 2012: Tails were wagging on Tuesday, August 14th, as Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino presented a check for $1.3 million to four local animal rescue agencies in Washoe County, NV for creating a no-kill community. Washoe County has maintained a 94% save rate for dogs and cats entering shelters in 2010 - 2011. The four agencies, Nevada Humane Society, SPCA of Northern Nevada, Pet Network, and Washoe County Regional Animal Services, have together made Washoe County one of the safest communities in the country for homeless pets. "Maddie's Fund is proud, excited and thrilled to give this gift to Washoe County animal groups in recognition of their phenomenal accomplishments in creating a no-kill community," Avanzino said.
Disney Promotes The Shelter Pet Project - Again!
August 6, 2012: Have you seen them? Stars from the Disney film Lady and the Tramp are spotlighted again on a billboard promoting The Shelter Pet Project! The 14' x 48' image features the lovable Cocker Spaniel Lady, her new stray friend, Tramp, and all of their furry pals. Disney has helped create awareness for the shelter pet campaign through DVD inserts, trailers and billboards for the holiday movie series, Santa Buddies, and now for its re-release of the 1955 classic animated film. We want to thank Disney for spreading the word that shelter pets are the best, and that "You are the best thing to happen to a shelter pet!"
Start Spreading the News: Lots of Adoptions in NYC!
August 1, 2012: The 14th annual Broadway Barks, hosted by event creators Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore on July 14th, was full of glitz, glamour, and adoptions. Over 25 rescue groups - all participants in the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for ) - brought dogs and cats to the famous Shubert Alley where they met potential adopters and Broadway stars. The event, produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, raised awareness about the wonderful animals from shelters and rescue groups, and resulted in approximately 200 adoptions. The smiles on people's faces looked like they belonged in an opening number of a Broadway musical! Photo by Rick Edwards.
Maddie's Shelter Medicine Conference at UF
July 26, 2012: Join us in Orlando on August 25th and 26th at the 5th annual Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference hosted by Maddie's® Shelter Medince Program at the University of Florida. This two-day symposium is packed with sessions that will suit organizations of all shapes and sizes. Whether your're looking for distemper and parvo treatment protocols or insights for saving neo-natal kittens and the most vulnerable in your shelter, you'll come away with practical and innovative programs presented by leading practitioners. CE credit is offered. To learn more and to register, click here
Red Carpet Doggie Fundraiser
July 20, 2012: On June 6th, the SPCA Serving Erie County (lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County, NY) held their annual food and wine tasting fundraiser, Wine & Wags. The 383 people who attended were encouraged to bring their dogs to enjoy treats and walk the runway where they had their picture taken by the SPCA's Puparazzi. This year's event featured a new VIP tent where guests enjoyed special goodies including carob treats for dogs made by a local chocolate maker. Everyone enjoyed the 10 wineries and breweries, 15 restaurants, and 18 vendors, which helped the SPCA raise close to $24,000!
Drum Roll for Alachua County, FL
July 16, 2012: reached new lifesaving highs in June! Last month, Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS) saved 79% of all its pets - probably the highest live release rate for any municipal shelter in Florida. Transfers to pet placement partners accounted for 77% of all lifesaving. Incredibly, for the first time in the history of ACAS, the live release rate for cats was higher than for dogs! Best of all, although 50 more cats entered the shelter in June 2012, euthanasia plummeted from 259 in 2011 to 37 in 2012. Congratulations one and all! a
Maddie's Shelter Medicine Conference
July 9, 2012: On July 14th and 15th, Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University will co-host a 2-day, continuing education conference featuring experts from around the country who will present topics essential for lifesaving, including behavior, disease, emergency care and shelter management - see the entire agenda here. Selected presentations of this sold-out conference will be taped and be made available for viewing on - stay tuned here for more information.
Kitten Shower in Erie County
July 3, 2012: Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County hosted a Kitten Shower at the Walden Galleria Mall on Saturday, June 30th with four of their partners: the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, HEART, SPCA Serving Erie County, and Ten Lives Club. The groups surrounded their kittens with baby shower decorations and gave a shower favor (catnip toy) to each adopter. Over a three-hour period, 25 kittens were adopted, and they raised $436 in donations! These babies found great forever homes where they will be showered with love!
Rosie's Happily Ever After
June 21, 2012: There are over 2,600 dogs and cats enjoying their new homes after Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon and Rosie the Beagle is one of them. Rosie caught the eye of Maddie's Fund® founder Dave Duffield, who encouraged Facebook followers to come check her out. Yet by the end of Saturday, Rosie was the only dog who hadn't been adopted at Valley Humane Society. On Sunday, Rosie found a family who knew she was the perfect match for them, in spite of a few health issues and the need for potty training. Her new mom is a teacher, so she's looking forward to a summer vacation full of teaching Rosie the rules of the house with the help of Rosie's new pal, Ginger the Daschund.
June 12, 2012: The preliminary results are in! Thanks to a very fun and busy weekend, over 2,600 dogs and cats found loving homes in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties at Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon. At least seven groups had more than 100 adoptions and 30% of the adoptions were of senior and/or treatable pets. The Adoptathon is proof that any pet can find a perfect match if given the chance. We know there are big smiles on lots of faces right now - human, cat, and dog! Check out some of the great pictures from the event here
Maddie's Matchmaker Adoptathon - Today!
June 10, 2012: Free pet adoptions in 80 locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend! You can preview pets available for adoption and see a map with addresses and links to participating organizations.
The Shelter Pet Project on Hallmark TV!
May 25, 2012: The Hallmark Channel has a new microsite devoted to pet adoptions, and they've asked The Shelter Pet Project (SPP) to provide PSAs and website content in support of it. SPP banner ads are prominently displayed on the Hallmark Movie Channel as well, and soon you'll be seeing our PSA's running before new, pet-oriented Hallmark videos. Thanks, Hallmark, for shining the spotlight on homeless dogs and cats!
Maddie's Adoptathon Bigger Than Ever!
May 18, 2012: It's only three weeks away! Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon, the nation's largest two-day adoption event, will be held on June 9 & 10 in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties (CA). With the addition of San Francisco County and twenty new participating organizations, this year's event will be bigger and better than ever. A total of 62 groups will be in more than 80 locations throughout the weekend - click here for a map with addresses and links to participating organizations. The adoption goal has been set at 3,000 (last year 2,312 dogs and cats were placed in loving new homes)! Pets will be free to qualified adopters, but Maddie's Fund® will offer stipends to participating organizations ranging from $500 to $2,000. The Maddie's Fund "stimulus package" eases the costs of providing care for senior and treatable pets awaiting adoption. We've set aside $3 million for stipends this year, all in memory of the beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie.
Maddie's Daylong Certificate Course at Expo
May 7, 2012: Some of the nation's top shelter directors and shelter veterinarians have proven you can save treatable shelter dogs and cats, and Maddie's Fund® is inviting you to see how they do it! Join industry experts at Maddie's® Daylong Workshop, Paraplegic Pit Bulls, Catzillas, and the Ones Who Won't Use the Litterbox: Getting to No-Kill by Saving Treatable Dogs and Cats, at The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Care Expo on Monday, May 21 in Las Vegas, NV. You'll discover the secrets of how to provide medical and behavioral care even during a recession, learn how to easily assess your shelter population to use your resources most effectively, get tips on working with local and social media - and much more. Maddie's Fund is once again subsidizing registrations for this workshop, so the cost is only $65.00. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! To find out more and to register, click here. Photo courtesy of Nevada Humane Society.
Shelter Medicine News
April 30, 2012: Big news for shelter medicine! The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) has accepted the Association of Shelter Veterinarians' position to form a recognized Specialty in Shelter Medicine under their auspices. This is a big step forward in the effort to get shelter medicine recognized as a full-fledged specialty like oncology and cardiology. Maddie's® Shelter Medicine directors at Iowa State University and Cornell University have been instrumental in promoting recognition by the American Veterinary Medical Association's ABVP for the important role shelter medicine plays in saving pets' lives.
2011 Progress Report for NYC: Bow WOW!
April 25, 2012: In year seven of a ten year plan for their coalition, Maddie's® Projects in NYC continued to make advances in their goal toward no-kill status. Even in the face of reduced budgets at Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and its 110+ rescue and shelter partners made significant gains in lifesaving in 2011. Among the highlights of their recently released progress report: Adoptions, transfers, and return to owners by community partners totaled more than 29,700. More than 14,000 dogs and cats - 44% of the animals entering AC&C shelters - were transferred to partner shelters and rescue groups for adoption. Intake declined 6.8% to an all-time low of 41,293, and euthanasia of dogs and cats at AC&C dropped to 10,188, down from over 11,000 in 2010. In 2011, close to three out of every four lives were saved. Read the full report here
Behavior Workshop at Purdue
April 11, 2012: Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Students who attended the Student American Veterinary Medical Association's Behavior Workshop at Purdue University found out they can - that and the importance of applying animal behavior to veterinary practice. Sheryl Walker, PhD candidate at Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue University, reports that students were first given an in-depth lecture on the basics of animal behavior and then worked in small groups, each with a Labrador Retriever teaching dog. Students learned how to fit dogs with Gentle Leaders (walking harnesses), developed clicker training skills, and how to teach the dog new tricks, such as rolling over, jumping over a stick, and how to "dance" a figure eight through the students' legs. The workshop ended with a contest to see which group taught their dog the "coolest" trick. The winner? The group who taught their dog how to look down at the floor using the verbal cue "hot dog!" "It was behavior most under stimulus control," writes Sheryl. "So we were pretty impressed!" Want to know more about evaluating animal behavior in your shelter? has a number of videos featuring experts who address behavior challenges in the shelter. for a list of informative presentations on animal behavior in shelters.
Happy Adoption Stories!
April 2, 2012: s website is a great way to find pets who are looking for a loving home. Did you know it's also a great place to post your own pet adoption story? We'd love to see yours - just ' , tell us a little about your beloved adopted doggy or kitty and upload a photo. You can also tell us what your pet would say about you! Like Greta here, who asks the world, "What's with my caretaker picking up my poop? I have a very careful marking system to make sure no critters get in the yard (every 6 feet to be exact). I'm not sure why she keeps removing poop, but well...I guess there's more where that came from." Then there's the dog Tucker, "a treasure found," according to his new family. He arrived at their home having never lived inside but adjusted quickly. If he could talk, he'd tell his folks, "Thank you, Mom and Dad, for hiring a dog hiker every day while you are at work!" Tell us what makes your adopted pet so lovable; we'll share the best stories on The Shelter Pet Project's Facebook page, too!
SAVMA Visits PAWS Chicago
March 22, 2012: There's nothing like a field trip to get valuable hands-on experience. No one knows that better than the Director of Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue University, Dr. Annette Litster, who recently spoke at the 41st annual Student American Veterinary Medical Association's (SAVMA) Symposium at Purdue. She and SAVMA students organized a special trip for freshmen, sophomores and juniors from veterinary schools all over the country to tour PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in the Midwest. With its cage-less adoption center and high-volume spay/neuter clinic, PAWS Chicago is a model for veterinary students. Rochelle Michalek, PAWS' Executive Director, spoke to the visitors about its adoption guarantee program and students then met with Chief Shelter Veterinarian, Dr. Jessica Von Waldau and Dr. Barbara Komare, Maddie's® Post DVM Fellowship graduate. Then it was off to PAWS' state of the art adoption center in nearby Lincoln Park. Back at the SAVMA Symposium, students attended a day long shelter medicine track with topics covering spay/neuter guidelines, respiratory disease treatment and Dr. Litster's talk on the latest evidence in vaccination protocols.
2,788 People are Watching!
March 14, 2012: Maddie's InstituteSM started broadcasting its free, educational webcasts last September. Since then, 2,788 people have viewed the five presentations - and that doesn't count the number of people tuning in via YouTube! The majority of viewers have been shelter personnel, and 562 veterinarians and vet techs have earned continuing education credit. Shelter volunteers have been taking part, too. Combined survey results show that response has been overwhelmingly positive: Over 98% of survey respondents stated that the information was informative, useful and understandable and that they would recommend these programs to others. Want to know how to tune in? You can register to watch new webinars or view the archives by clicking here
Lifesaving in Hard Times
March 8, 2012: The recession has forced budget cuts at many city and county animal shelters, leaving the safety net of care for companion animals in peril in many communities. How can the animal welfare movement still forge ahead in their lifesaving work in the face of slashed budgets? Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino will address this critical issue with some controversial ideas at the Business of Saving Lives conference hosted by Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, CA. Registration is now full for the event, but stay tuned for a videotape of his presentation in the near future.
The Power of the Media When You Need It
March 6, 2012: Building a strong relationship with your local media can really pay off. Just ask the SPCA Serving Erie County (SPCAEC, lead agency for ). With area shelters facing a sudden influx of over 500 cats, local radio station WBEN stepped up and offered to originate February 25th's live talk show broadcasts from the SPCAEC's new satellite center at Eastern Hills Mall. Community members and volunteers showed up to help the cats find new, loving homes and over 55 felines were adopted from the SPCAEC alone! It was no fluke that the local radio station offered to help SPCAEC: the shelter has a long running Animals on the Airways program that regularly features pets up for adoption. For tips on how to build a great relationship with your local media, check out our 3-part series, YAn Insiders Guide to Working with the Media
Lots of Love in NYC
February 27, 2012: Our lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in New York City, the , is just wrapping up their annual "I Love NYC Pets Month." Amid all the fun, Anjellicle Cats Rescue, a Maddie's® Pet Partner and Alliance Participating Organization, staged a special two-day cat adoption event themed "Find Your True Match" on February 11 and 12 at a PETCO store on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Matchmakers helped adopters find the purrfect kitty or cat of their dreams, and provided adopters with special one-on-one time with the kitties in their Speed Dating Room! Of course, Maddie Mascot was on hand all weekend to greet adopters and make new friends, too. Anjellicle Cats captured all the fun on video - take a look right here
Love Letters on Facebook
February 22, 2012: People love their pets - and what better day to show it than Valentine's Day? Our Shelter Pet Project asked their Facebook followers to leave love notes for their adopted pets on a special Valentine's Day tab, and hundreds of people joined in. They invited their friends to show shelter pets some love, too. Check them out here. And why stop there? Feel free to post your own love letter to your furry friend - because every day's a Valentine with our pets!
Medical Equipment Grant in Action
February 15, 2012: Maddie's Fund's® $46,795 medical equipment grant to Nevada Humane Society (NHS) for a digital x-ray machine has allowed NHS to save the lives of injured dogs and cats whose conditions may have otherwise been misdiagnosed. During 2011, the machine helped the NHS clinical team diagnose over 420 dogs and cats. Executive Director Bonney Brown writes, "We can now easily determine if fractures can be repaired, as in the case of Athena, a two-month old kitten with a femur fracture." The x-ray machine allowed NHS clinicians to confirm that the fracture was repairable, and it also showed some metal in the kitten's intestine that would have gone undetected. After successful surgery to repair both problems, Athena is now growing into a healthy cat. For Charlie, a Maltese Terrier who was hit by a car, the x-ray found that his leg was not savable so the vet staff performed surgery to remove it, but the x-ray was invaluable in determining that Charlie did not have any other injuries to his pelvis or spine. "We continually look for new and better ways to save more and more lives, and we couldn't do it without the generosity of Maddie's Fund. Thank you!" says Bonney. We thank Bonney and the whole team at NHS for their dedication and for the lives they are saving every day!
Send Your Pet a Valentine!
February 10, 2012: Who doesn't love to talk about the love of their life? is celebrating Valentine's Day by showing shelter pets your love. Visit the Facebook page and write a note to your adopted dog or cat and be sure to include a photo of your beloved furry friend if you have one. Tell us why you love him or her, how and where you adopted, or just send your favorite four-legged pal a heartfelt sentiment. Share your post on your own wall, too. Shelter pets everywhere (and the people who love them) will adore you for it!
Yes to No-Kill Nation!
February 8, 2012: We've been getting a lot of positive feedback on the latest issue of our No-Kill Nation newsletter and want to thank everyone who emailed us with their kind words of appreciation. Thanks especially to those who posted a link to it on blogs, websites and Facebook. If you haven't had a chance to read the February issue, take a look here. It offers information about adopting cats with colds and identifying dog breeds in the shelter. It also features two opinion pieces on transparency. You can browse past issues and subscribe to get future editions by clicking here
Shelter Pet Project Ads are Everywhere!
February 6, 2012: We're excited to hear that people around the country are seeing The Shelter Pet Project ads all over TV, from The Daily Show on Comedy Central to Project Runway on Lifetime. Where have you see them? Keep an eye out, too, for billboards and TV spots that help promote The Shelter Pet Project in conjunction with Disney's February 7 re-release of their first full-length animated movie, Lady and the Tramp. And make sure to visit AOL.com on February 7 to see The Shelter Pet Project featured on their Impact Page! That's a lot of exposure for shelter pets everywhere!
Record-Breaking Numbers Tune in to Webcast
January 31, 2012: Julie Levy, DVM, Director of Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, knows how to draw in a crowd. Presenting for the latest Maddie's InstituteSM webcast Shelter Crowd Control: Keeping Community Cats Out of Shelters, Dr. Levy addressed 779 attendees, a record for the Institute! The responses have been overwhelming: "Wonderful presentation. Concise, informative, entertaining, uplifting...loved it!" "Thank you... love it when what we have known in our hearts as feral cat caregivers is NOW backed by science....heart and head combined is powerful!" "This was a wonderful program. I have already recommended it to others and will be sending it to our shelter vet." Didn't get a chance to tune in or care to share the webcast with others in your community? For more information and to access the on-demand version, click here
Hands-on Course Shows Fast Results
January 27, 2012: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida (UFL) is the only veterinary school in the country that offers an entire course focused on the behavior of animals in shelters. The comprehensive curriculum covers a variety of topics all designed to evaluate and treat pets with behavior issues - and show how treatment can play out in the real world of a shelter environment. Recently, Sheila D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB and a board-certified animal behaviorist for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, conducted a workshop with UFL students to evaluate and make recommendations for dogs with behavior issues at the local animal shelter. After a session with "jumpy mouthy" dogs, D'Arpino was thrilled to arrive at the shelter the next day to learn that the students had already implemented her recommendations, and one of the dogs was being adopted! "The students were able to see the plan in action," she enthused. "I wish all learning experiences enabled us the opportunity to learn about something, and then practice it on the same day." Thanks to the leadership at UFL, that kind of turnaround is setting the pace for the rest of the country.
Excitement Builds for Free Webcast
January 25, 2012: We've been getting reports that shelter medicine leaders around the U.S. are really jazzed about the free Maddie's InstituteSM webinar coming up this Thursday, January 26 at 9:00 pm ET/6:000 pm PT. The veterinarians at UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program are so excited about the event that they decided to hold a viewing party that features "the three F's: Fake meat/vegetarian food, Fellow cat advocates and Free continuing education credit". The topic that's drawing so much interest is Shelter Crowd Control: Keeping Community Cats Out of Shelters, with guest presenter Dr. Julie Levy, Director of Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and founder of Operation Catnip. Still not registered for this fact-filled course? Find out how to tune in by clicking here
Catch a Bus, Catch a New Shelter Pet Project Ad!
January 18, 2012: Have you seen them in your neighborhood yet? The all-new Shelter Pet Project billboards and bus shelter ads are out and we've been getting reports of sightings from L.A. and beyond! The outdoor PSAs feature real dogs and cats that found their forever homes - and noticed some interesting things about their new caretakers. For instance, Maru the cat, adopted last January and shown here, says, "At first I was embarrassed. Me, a cat, living with a single guy. But when I watch him pick something up with his hands and eat it, I can't help but love him." And we can't help but love Maru and all the other featured dogs' and cats' take on their humans' quirky behaviors. If you can't wait to see them at a bus shelter or on a billboard near you, you can catch them all right here on The Shelter Pet Project's website
Richmond SPCA Adoptions Skyrocket!
January 9, 2012: A year-end celebration was especially warranted at Richmond SPCA (VA), where pet adoptions tallied over 340 in just two weeks! Thanks to a generous gift from Priority Automotive that covered adoption fees from December 13 - 31, hundreds of dogs and cats found a lifetime of love with new families. That brought the total for the shelter to nearly 600 pet adoptions for the month of December alone, an astounding increase over the 294 adoptions in December, 2010. Kudos go to Priority Automotive for the offer of free adoptions and to the hardworking shelter staff who were able to transfer even more orphaned pets from other shelters and animal control agencies in the area. What a great way to start a brand new year for this Maddie's® Lifesaving Award grantee!
A New Year, A New Home for Little New Yorkers
January 5, 2012: Right before the holidays, hundreds of whiskered animals strutted their stuff at "Whiskers in Wonderland," the annual two-day pet adoption event held by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in New York City). Twenty-six groups from the coalition of more than 150 shelter and rescue organization came with their four-legged charges who were on the lookout for forever homes, and showed themselves off in a red carpet fashion parade, posed for pet and people portraits, and even got their minds read by a pet psychic (so now you know what's behind some of those quirky behaviors!). Even Maddie Mascot got in on the act (pictured here with Evon Handras, Director of Administrative Services for the Mayor's Alliance and an administrator of the Maddie's® Spay/Neuter grants). Adopting at holiday time is not for everyone - the commotion that comes with celebrations can be too hectic for a pet getting used to its new surroundings - but it's ideal for people who are off from school or work and have more time to spend with a new furry friend. Such was the case for more than 50 little New Yorkers who found new families, including an elderly FIV positive cat who had been in a shelter for over a year!
Tail Wag Books Get A+ in Schools
December 28, 2011: Helping the next generation respect and care for dogs and cats is fun and engaging with Maddie's® Tail Wag activity books, as kids learn their numbers, shapes and do other interactive games along with Maddie the dog. The booklet was written and illustrated by Maddie's Fund's® own Director of Veterinary Programs, Dr. Laurie Peek, and has been distributed in the last year alone to over 225 organizations across the country. Many have found their way into school classrooms like this one in Hayden, ID, thanks to volunteers at Kootenai Humane Society (KHS) which has a vibrant educational outreach component. "Your books have been very helpful and the children enjoy them so much, as do the teachers," writes one KHS volunteer. "We bring them to our dog education classes and the kids use them as follow up and review afterwards." A downloadable copy of the book is available in both English and Spanish here. For more activities that teach kids about shelter pets, take a look at our article by Judy Lee Jenkins, M.A., Family Fun: Projects for Kids and Adults to Help Shelter Pets.
Santa Maddie Joins Mobile Parade
December 21, 2011: On December 17 under clear, blue skies, Maddie Mascot rolled into Mobile, AL to take part in the annual Christmas & Holiday Parade, joining 35 of her furry friends from Mobile SPCA (lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in Mobile, AL). Thousands of revelers crowded the sidewalks as decorated floats and giant balloons rode by, accompanied by marching bands and holiday music makers. In Maddie's "sleigh" were adorable pooches available for adoption - and all were visibly joyous to have such a glorious outing. All but two are still looking for their forever homes, and Mobile SPCA has made it easy to see them and apply online. Take a look
Erie County Makes (Air) Waves
December 14, 2011: Over the weekend of December 8 - 10, SPCA Serving Erie County (lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in Erie County, NY) held its annual Radiothon on the local radio station STAR 102.5. Thanks to rousing support from the community, including station representatives, SPCA volunteers and staff, over $256,000 was raised! To encourage adoptions during the event, all fees were half off and as a result, 121 animals found new homes. To tie in with the Radiothon, 35 local Dunkin' Donuts® sold heart-shaped donuts for a $1 donation, generating another $16,000 to the cause. What a great way to ring in the season of giving!
Architects for Animals: Giving Shelter
December 8, 2011: Some of New York City's best and brightest architectural design firms are helping the Big Apple's feral cats stay warm this winter - in style. Thanks to an organization called Architects for Animals, an assortment of designer cat shelters were put on display at a fundraiser on December 6 to benefit the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, a program of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for ). It's all about humanely addressing the plight of the tens of thousands of outdoor community cats in NYC through trap/neuter/return (TNR) and spay/neuter programs - the latter supported by an $830,000 grant from Maddie's Fund® that has a target of 17,600 surgeries. The seven imaginative shelter creations from Architects for Animals will be donated to TNR-certified caretakers in and around Manhattan. Take a look at how some lucky, free-roaming cats will be able to come in from the cold. Photo by Dana Edelson.
A Great Day for Shelter Pets!
November 30, 2011: The Shelter Pet Project did it again! In just a single day, over 1,000 heartwarming stories were posted on Facebook in celebration of the never-ending love and joy people get from their adopted animals - proving that shelter pets make great pets. Stories like Stella, pictured here, rescued with her four kittens from a terrible hoarding environment - now two years later is thriving with a new family who adores her. Or that of Murphy, the only survivor of a house fire: his new family drove five hours each way to adopt him and now can't imagine life without him. Then there's the story of Ellie, the dog that no one wanted and who spent 18 months in a shelter, bouncing among foster families and adopters before her new caregiver saw her potential and brought her home. A constant companion, Ellie (now called Grace) was "everything I was looking for, and has inspired me to dedicate my time and energy to service." Now a therapy dog, Grace and her caregiver have plans to walk across America next year to raise awareness for dog rescue - demonstrating that a shelter pet, even an adult rescue, truly can do anything. To all of the adopters we heard from on Celebrate Shelter Pets day we say, "Thank you! More shelter dogs and cats will find new homes because you took the time to tell the world how wonderful your adopted pet is."
Celebrate Shelter Pets on Facebook and Twitter!
November 28, 2011: The Shelter Pet Project is doing it again! You're invited to join the second annual celebration of shelter pets on Facebook all day long on Tuesday, November 29. Tell the world about a great shelter pet who shares or has shared your life. Here's how: post the adopted pet's name, photo and story to your Facebook wall. Or send a Tweet to your followers. Just be sure and tag The Shelter Pet Project in your post. You can even come over to The Shelter Pet Project's Facebook page and post your story and photo there. You'll be letting people know that shelter pets make wonderful companions - and that will make a real difference in the number of dogs and cats who find homes. Let's celebrate shelter pets!
"Sand Box" Plays Big on YouTube
November 23, 2011: Are you one of the more than 500,000 people who have viewed the new Shelter Pet Project "Sand Box" ad on YouTube? In only one week, that PSA and the other three are setting record-breaking numbers of views with comments like "Absolutely love this ad, and the cat is adorable!" and "This makes me proud that all my cats are shelter cats!" Join the discussion about your favorite Shelter Pet Project PSA on Facebook!
Pawsitive Response to New Ads
November 21, 2011: The Shelter Pet Project launched a new round of PSAs on November 15, and the response was immediate - over 14,000 pet lovers clicked on the , racking up 68,717 page views and spending more than 3 minutes on the site. The Facebook page was flooded with endorsements like this one: "Wow! As an animal lover, shelter adopter and TV/film writer/director, I have to give you 5 stars for your new videos. They are fabulous!" Which one is your favorite ad? Check them all out here
NYC Dogs Occupy the Brooklyn Bridge
November 11, 2011: On the evening of October 22, some 500 dogs were on the march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (lead agency for ) sponsored what is becoming an annual "Pup Crawl", where the goal is to raise funds and awareness of homeless pets. Launched in 2009, the popular event has taken off. "Since then," says Mayor's Alliance President Jane Hoffman, "Pup Crawls have taken place on bridges in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania, collectively raising tens of thousands of dollars for local animal rescue organizations." Pet owners purchased illuminated dog leashes to support the cause and encourage people to adopt from local animal shelters and rescues. Photo by Jenna Leigh Teti.
Dogs for Dawgs in Mobile
October 27, 2011: How many hot dog sales does it take to make $3,500? Ask the Mobile SPCA (MSPCA), lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Mobile, AL - that's the amount they netted for their Dogs for Dawgs fundraiser in just two hours on one Friday afternoon! Over 20,000 people in downtown Mobile had a chance to purchase a hot dog lunch to benefit MSPCA's adoption program. Even real dogs got in the act: 15 came along to mingle with the crowd and spark interest in animal adoption. The hot dogs came not only with mustard and relish, vouchers for free spay/neuter surgery were also given away as an incentive to adopt. The MSPCA also took phone orders, and deliveries included information about their shelter animals available for adoption and their spay/neuter services. And the answer to the $3,500 question? That's 450 hot dogs!
University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Conference
October 20, 2011: Time is running out to register for the 4th annual Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference on October 29 and 30 in Gainesville, FL! Join experts who are doing the most innovative research in shelter medicine at this conference sponsored by . Topics include the latest strategies for behavior assessment and pain management and the core aspects of successfully managing a shelter's medical program. New this year is an exciting feature called Frontiers in Shelter Medicine, an evening poster session where researchers and practitioners will share cutting-edge research, case studies and more. Don't miss this this chance to learn new and essential ways to provide for the health and welfare of the animals in your care. For complete information and to register, click here
Marley Makes It 1,000!
October 14, 2011: Congratulations to 9-year old Marley on being the 1,000th animal adopted from Dane County Humane Society's (DCHS) Adoption Center West! That satellite location has only been open for a little over a year, which makes this milestone even more wonderful. In celebration, DCHS (the lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Dane County, WI) reduced adoption fees to $10 for 10 days straight for all of their adult cats at any of their six locations. Just look what can happen when you open your adoption site seven days a week from noon to 7:00!
Erie Pet Expo Extra Super!
October 7, 2011: It was a party like no other - just ask the 90+ dogs and cats who connected with forever families at Maddie's® Pet Expo and Super Adoption Event on September 30 and October 1 in Erie County, NY. Sponsored by the six animal welfare groups that make up Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County, the event drew more than 2,000 people, 25 pet rescue groups and over 65 vendors - all working to transform Western New York to no-kill by 2014. Demonstrations, dog trick competitions, a fashion show and educational programs made this party really swing, so much so that it was featured in a glowing article on Buffalo News.com. The event's newly adopted pets join the ranks of over 9,000 dogs and cats that Erie County has found new homes for in just one year - another reason to celebrate this super coalition!
Maddie's IVMA Shelter Symposium
October 3, 2011: Together with the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue University is offering a day-long workshop for veterinary and shelter personnel on Sunday, October 16 in Indianapolis. Want to know more about managing feline panleukopenia or practical aspects of dentistry in shelter pets? Need help looking after and getting senior pets adopted? These and other topics will be covered by featured speakers Dr. Annette Litster, Dr. Sandy Manfra and Dr. Susan Krebsbach. A panel of experts offering proven adoption strategies will be followed by Q&A. Click here for more information
New York Lifesaving at 82%
September 28, 2011: In spite of a struggling economy and major cutbacks in city funding for NYC's Animal Care & Control, the Live Release Rate for shelter dogs and cats in New York City shelters has jumped from 37% in 2003 to 82% in the first six months of 2011. "New York's lifesaving progress just keeps moving forward. We can't say enough about the and the 111 rescue groups particpating in Maddie's® Projects in NYC that are making it happen," said Maddie's Fund® president, Rich Avanzino.
4th Annual Maddie's Shelter Medicine Conference
September 22, 2011: Looking for ways to raise the bar of medical care in your shelter? Join the top U.S. experts who are doing the most innovative research in shelter medicine on October 29 and 30 in Gainesville, FL at the annual conference sponsored by . Topics include the latest strategies for behavior assessment and pain management and the core aspects of successfully managing a shelter's medical program. New this year is an exciting feature called Frontiers in Shelter Medicine, an evening poster session where researchers and practitioners will share cutting-edge research, case studies and more. Don't miss this this chance to learn new and essential ways to provide for the health and welfare of the animals in your care. For complete information and to register, click here
Free Webinar Makes it Easier to Rehome Shelter Dogs
September 13, 2011: Making a successful match between a shelter dog and an adopter has its challenges. Now there's an online tool that shelters can use to make it easier to place the right dog with the right person. Called the Marder-Animal Rescue League Test for Canine Homing Using Personality, or Match-Up II, the 5-part program is designed to help shelters better understand the personalities and needs of their dogs through objective behavior evaluations that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. A free, 2-hour online tutorial is being offered by Dr. Amy Marder and the Animal Rescue League of Boston on Thursday, September 22. Click here to find out more and register.
Maddie's Fund in Oz
September 8, 2011: Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino was a featured speaker at the 4th Australian G2Z Summit in Brisbane to End Companion Animal Overpopulation. Dubbed "Getting to Zero", the conference focused on whole communities working together to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs. In his keynote, Rich shared strategies that are moving the U.S. towards the no-kill nation goal - approaches that may help Australia with their own lifesaving efforts. He also conducted a workshop on building collaborative efforts and the importance of reporting shelter statistics.
Ballpark Dogs (and Cats!)
August 31, 2011: Baseball and hot dogs are key ingredients to great summer fun; add in real dogs and you have Bark in the Park, the annual take-your-pup-to-the-ballpark and adoption event presented by Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in New York City and its lead agency, The Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. A write-up in The New York Times helped bring fans to the "Adopt a Mutt" event just outside the ballpark. Of course Maddie Mascot was there, leading a parade of people and their pups around the stadium in a warm-up to Maddie's ceremonial first pitch. Pooches and their people took home "doggie bags" full of treats and other goodies, and photos of furry fashionistas were shown on the stadium's jumbotron throughout the game. It was a win-win-win for baseball, families and their new adopted pets!
Maddie's at Purdue Veterinary Conference
August 16, 2011: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue University and PAWS Chicago held a day long symposium on shelter medicine on August 15th at the PAWS Adoption Center in Chicago. Fifty people attended, representing shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians. After opening remarks from Maddie's® Field Rep on the history of sheltering and shelter medicine, the audience was captivated by Dr. Annette Litster's talk on Purdue research studies on the efficacy of antibiotics and Doxycycline for the treatment of URI. Dr. Litster, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., M.MED.SCI. and Director of Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue, also discussed the preliminary second year results of a five year study of the clinical effects of FIV infection, and a study which looked at management factors that can be used to minimize the time that puppies and kittens spend in a shelter. Spirited questions from the audience were an indication of great interest in these study results.
Announcing Maddie's Institute
August 11, 2011: Maddie's Fund is proud to launch Maddie's® Institute, a program bringing cutting edge shelter medicine information from universities and animal welfare leaders to increase lifesaving of homeless dogs and cats community-wide. Sign up for our mailing list and follow the Institute on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about new webcasts, features, conference appearances, and other updates from Maddie's® Institute!
Mobile's New Look
August 1, 2011: After months of hard work, Mobile SPCA (the lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in Mobile, AL) has launched their brand new web site! With a clean look and lots of great photos, Mobilespca.org is easy to navigate and full of news about upcoming events, special pets and information about their spay/neuter assistance program. They're adding more stuff everyday - check it out!
Broadway Barks Boffo!
July 27, 2011: It was stars of the two and four-legged variety at the 13th annual Broadway Barks adoptathon in New York City's Shubert Alley on July 9th. Created by award-winning actors Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters and organized by Maddie's Projects in New York City, NY, the event featured celebrity presenters Sutton Foster (Anything Goes), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) and John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart). But the real celebs were the 200 homeless dogs and cats that strutted their stuff and found permanent homes to star in forever after. Now that's a performance to remember!
Final Spay/Neuter Results in Monroe and Loudon Counties, TN
July 22, 2011: Over two years,performed 4,101 spay/neuter surgeries on pets belonging to low-income residents. By project's end, total shelter intake had declined 20%, from a peak of 10,118 to 8,101. Euthanasia also dropped from a high point in 2009 of 6,462, to 3,742 in 2010, a decline of 34%. Additionally, the community-wide Live Release Rate rose from 37% in the baseline year of 2005, to 47% in 2010.
Buzz About Maddie’s Comparative Database
July 14, 2011: Comments have been pouring in about our new Comparative Database. From the Humane Society of Silicon Valley: "I recently spent time going through Maddie's new statistical database. It's fantastic! It's great to have a benchmark between communities of different size, income, and intake in order to consider the data through these various perspectives. I truly believe that data and information are key to painting an accurate picture of reality. With that foundation, significant transformation becomes even more tangible. Many thanks for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals and for pulling together a wonderful resource which will be invaluable in years to come." Have a question or comment? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maddie's Fund NYC Grant
July 7, 2011: Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino responds with an open letter to the few critics who want the foundation to get more involved in NYC's animal control operations. Read more
Cornell Intern Reports In
June 30, 2011: Melanie Santspree, a fourth year student at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, recently completed an externship with Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University. Working in the Shelter Medicine Department allowed her to "become a more empathetic, realistic, and passionate veterinarian," she writes. Four years ago she had recited the veterinary oath and promised to work for "the prevention and relief of animal suffering." Her colleagues in the shelter showed her that the oath applies to all animals, including those who are homeless. As she practices veterinary medicine, she will take extra time with her patients to help prevent people surrendering their pets, volunteer her skills to shelters, and above all, strive to prevent and relieve animal suffering whenever she sees it.
75 "Little New Yorkers" Find Homes
June 20, 2011: On June 4th ten rescue organizations gathered in Washington Square Park for the annual Adoptapalooza held by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, the lead agency for Maddie's® Projects in New York City, NY. This free event had the park bustling with everything from training and agility demonstrations to pet photographers and experts offering pet advice. Throughout the day, New Yorkers fell in love with the dogs and cats brought out by the rescue groups, and 75 "Little New Yorkers" found loving homes.
New Happy Families Grow by Two or More!
June 10, 2011: Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon resulted in new homes for more than 2,200 dogs and cats! Many adopters had such big hearts that they fell in love with two animals. James, pictured here, came all the way from Vallejo to adopt 8-year-old brothers Gus and Pretty Boy Floyd, who had been given to Cat Support Network when their previous owner lost her battle with cancer. And at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, senior cat Abominable Snowman had been sheltered for about nine months, but during the Adoptathon weekend he found his forever home - and his roommate Boscoe went home with him. Happy families are glowing with their new additions!
Maddie's Adoptathon Breaks the Record - Again!
June 6, 2011: More than 2,200 dogs and cats were adopted this weekend, many of them older or harder to place. From the woman who took home an 8-year old, medically challenged lab to the man who arrived at one location at 4:30 a.m. to make sure he was first in line to get the pal of his dreams - the smiles just got bigger and bigger! A huge thank you goes to our 46 participating organizations and the 70+ locations (including our headquarters at Stoneridge Shopping Center) for making this event a phenomenal success. Read more
Maddie's Adoptathon Aims to Smash Records
May 31, 2011: Last year, found homes for nearly 2,000 dogs and cats in a single weekend - and we're looking to break that record this year at our second annual adoption event on June 4th and 5th in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (CA). Like last year, adoptions will be free for qualified adopters, and participating shelters and rescue groups will get $500 for every pet who finds a new home. To prevent any shelter pet from getting left behind, new this year is an extra incentive: Maddie's Fund will provide the shelters $1,000 per adoption for every dog or cat 7 years of age or older or who has been treated for a health condition. For pets who are senior and have been treated for a health condition, shelters will receive $1,500!
One Week 'til Maddie's Adoptathon!
May 27, 2011: It's almost here! On June 4th and 5th, dogs and cats at participating shelter and rescue group locations in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (CA) will be free for qualified adopters! We're thrilled that Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, CA is making an exception to their "no pets" rule and has graciously offered to be a mini-adoption site, hosting 5 groups on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. If you're among the 20,000 - 30,000 who shop at the mall on weekends, stop by the entrance between P. F. Chang's and the Cheesecake Factory or come on down to the Grand Court (next to the Information Booth) - a doggy or kitty may just latch on to your heart and you could be taking home a new best buddy!
Maddie's at Danville Doggie Night!
May 27, 2011: The enthusiasm ran high at last night's street fair celebrating canines, Danville Doggie Night! The buzz was all about our upcoming Matchmaker Adoptathon on June 4 and 5. Some of the participating shelters and recsues were there, and veterinarians as well as pet boutique owners were eager to post flyers for us. Excitement is building!
May 20, 2011: Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon is coming June 4 & 5 to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (CA)! This year, even more participants have signed up for the free adoption event: 44 shelters and rescue groups will be at more than 60 locations with dogs and cats that are looking for a loving home. Check out the website for a list of all particpants and an interactive map of where they'll be. If you're using a smart phone, check out the mobile site for easy viewing and a link to directions to all the locations.
Maddie's Fund Radio
April 29, 2011: Maddie's Fund® has a brand new radio show! The half-hour program, called Petopia, features Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino in conversation with journalist, blogger and animal advocate Christie Keith. Topics include the past and future of the no kill movement, the role of shelter medicine in saving animal lives, and more. Tune in Sunday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time for the first episode at Animal Wise Radio, or the rebroadcast at 4:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3.
Purdue Students Are Poster Winners
April 21, 2011: Two students from Maddie's® Summer Research Experience at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine took 2nd and 3rd place in a poster competition as part of the annual Phi Zeta Day. Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine, presented a day-long program that examined how humans can benefit from research that helps animals. Allison Volpe's poster was a study on the prevalence of protective antibody titers against canine parvovirus and Lisa Lentz' poster charted the effects of dog appeasing pheromone and music on barking dogs. They were chosen from a field of nine submissions - music to Maddie's ears!
Maddie's Matchmaker Adoptathon Gets Ink
April 14, 2011: The San Francisco (CA) East Bay's guide to style Scene is the first to give press coverage to the Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon coming up on June 4 and 5. The slick magazine covers fashion, beauty, health and wellness and looks at local icons making their mark on the community. Last year's adoption event made its mark in a BIG way: over 1,800 dogs and cats were adopted from 43 shelters and rescue groups in just two days! This year, Maddie's Fund has upped the rewards. Not only will all adoptions at participating animal shelters and rescue groups be free, the Foundation will pay organizations $500 per regular adoption and $1,000 for each adoption involving a dog or cat who is older than 7 years of age or who is diagnosed with one or more treatable medical conditions. Now that's a thing of beauty!
PETropolitan an Art Auction Masterpiece
April 7, 2011: Over 200 cat and dog lovers in western New York bid on more than 70 works of art at the March 31st fundraising gala benefiting Maddie's® Project in Erie County, NY. The silent auction of animal-inspired artwork brought in over $10,500 for its six coalition members: the SPCA Serving Erie County, the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, Black Dog Second Chance, HEART Animal Rescue & Adoption Team, Second Chance Sheltering Network, and Ten Lives Club. A highlight of the evening was a cake made especially for the event by a local baker - inspired by the love and friendship between pets and their caregivers - a true work of art!
March 23, 2011: Maddie's Fund® regularly receives email from our No Kill Nation e-newsletter readers. We found this one particularly heartening. Thank YOU to all our readers, and all those on the front line of saving animals' lives! To sign up for our next e-newsletter, click here. "I had a tough day at work. I stayed late to go though my emails. I received the latest addition of Maddie's Fund's newsletter and spent a few minutes reading through it. Now I can't stop the tears. I am reading the numbers from the Targeted Spay Neuter programs. I don't think I can describe the feeling in my heart reading these numbers. Tears of happiness literally just won't stop. The countless lives that were saved because of the programs is immeasurable. I am sending the biggest hug, the most love and my eternal gratitude for all that you do, for all the lives that you are saving and all the lives you are making better. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me I'm not in this alone and for giving me faith that one day we will truly become a no-kill nation."
SRO at Cornell
March 17, 2011: The recently offered Companion Animal Welfare elective offered by Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University drew a huge response - 48 first and second year veterinary students jammed the 16-hour lecture course to find out about the history of animal sheltering and the veterinary community. For more news on Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell, click here
Making Magic in Madison, WI!
March 8, 2011: At Dane County Humane Society (DCHS), the lead agency for Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Dane County, WI, the story of Magic the FIV+ cat is not only heartwarming, it's prize winning. Back in 2009, Magic (now called CJ), was the shelter's Pet of the Year - not only because he was the staff's favorite, he was also the first FIV+ cat to be adopted from that shelter! Recently, his new family entered their adoption story into The Animal Rescue Sites' New Beginnings Story Contest and it was selected one of the top five. That won DCHS $1,000! From now until March 20th, you can help DCHS win up to another $3,000 by casting your vote for the number one cat adoption tale here. The magic of saving lives never ends!
State of the State in Animal Rescue
February 25, 2011: Where is the animal welfare movement today and how far do we have to go to reach the no-kill nation goal? Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino will give a progress report, citing national and Bay Area trends, new lifesaving statistics, and a vision for a post no-kill future at the March 12 Business of Saving Lives conference presented by Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, CA. To find out more about the daylong conference and to register, click here
Bully for Erie County!
February 22, 2011: In an effort to debunk pit bull stereotypes and find loving homes for the misunderstood mixed breed, Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County, NY held a "Bully for You!" adoption event on February 12. In only three hours, eleven of the hard to place dogs went home with new families. "People think pit bulls are aggressive toward people - which couldn't be further from the truth," vouched Maddie's Project Coordinator Kara Lee. "They're very social dogs and want to please their caretakers. They're easy to train and can make great family pets if the right home is found." Each new adopter received a certificate for a free training session from a certified professional dog handler. Now the new adoptees will get the love and affection they so well deserve. Way to go Erie County!
Maddie's Fund at Animal Care Conference
February 15, 2011: Come stop by Booth 11 at this year's Animal Care Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, CA on Sunday and Monday, February 27 and 28. We'll be there to answer questions and hand out informative articles that will help shelters and rescue groups save more lives than ever. Take home a couple of Maddie's® Tail Wag activity books while you're there!
Maddie's Fund Founder Saving People's Lives, Too
February 8, 2011: With the help of Maddie's Fund® founder Dave Duffield, people who are experiencing cardiac arrest will soon be able to be treated faster. A new iPhone application that Dave and his Workday® team developed sends people with CPR training to heart attack victims and pinpoints the nearest Automated Electronic Defibrillator. Using GPS tracking in a cell phone, people who sign on can be alerted and then sent to the scene - thus increasing the victim's survival rate by up to 80%. Workday will provide technical support so developers can move the application to other platforms, such as Blackberry and Android. Way to go, Dave!
Raves for Maddie's Shelter Medicine Elective Course
January 26, 2011: In more than 30 handwritten cards to Maddie's Fund®, students at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine gave a big thumbs up to the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Course, an elective that covers a wide variety of topics related to the care and management of shelter pets. "This class was an eye-opening experience for me," writes DVM candidate Kimberly DiTata." After taking this course, I really hope to be able to work in a shelter one day." Some students will go on to work full-time in a shelter setting, others will help shelter dogs and cats through private practice, ongoing volunteer work and conversations about the millions of homeless animals anxiously awaiting a family. All are better prepared to save more lives. "I think the most important thing I learned is that there is a lot of knowledge about how best to run shelters, and many of these changes cost nothing," writes student Genna Moore. "Veterinarians can serve a very important role in implementing these changes." The elective has been offered at UW since 2008.
Maddie's Fund Gives New York City's Shelters and Rescue Groups Additional $3 Million to Pull Dogs, Cats from City Shelters
January 17, 2011: We're heartened by a groundswell of public interest in the plight of shelter animals. Folks no longer accept at face value that the killing of our best friends on four legs is inevitable, and many are actively getting engaged in changing the fate of shelter animals in their own communities.
With so many economic challenges facing local governments, private shelters, rescue groups and individuals in these tough times, animal lovers sometimes ask Maddie's Fund® to step in and directly use our resources to fix a problem at their municipal shelter, especially if we're funding a project in their community.
We do this by investing in community collaborations and growing the infrastructure of the not-for-profit sector. While this is not the only way to save lives, it's our belief that coalitions provide the best safety net for animals over time by creating sustainable, accountable systems. This method strengthens all of the partners and helps the weaker get strong through common purpose and cooperation. If a municipal agency gets hit by a cut in funding, or if the economy takes the legs out from under a private humane society, a strong coalition can pick up the slack and provide safe haven for animals in peril.
As part of our commitment to this approach, Maddie's Fund has just approved an additional $3 million for a coalition of 111 rescue groups and shelters in New York City. Sixty percent of this money will go directly to our partner rescue groups to take more than 12,000 animals out of the city's Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelters and find them loving homes. With New York City's municipal shelters reeling from a $1.5 million cut in the budget, the assistance of 111 AC&C coalition partners is more critical now than ever before.
There are many ways to save lives; this is ours. We believe that all of us can all work towards reaching the no-kill goal in our own way, and show by our daily actions that we're committed to making the world a better place for shelter animals.
Forbes Features Our Founder - Again!
January 11, 2011: Maddie's Fund® founder Dave Duffield was once again featured in the January 8th Forbes.com "Faces of Tech" blog. This time Dave was acknowledged for his $250,000 dollar match contribution to Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation.