blog

Arizona shelter adopts foster-centric model, Thanks to Maddie

October 19, 2017

Who says fostering at a shelter is just for puppies and kittens? That’s definitely not the case at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in Tucson, AZ, thanks to a first-of-its-kind grant from Maddie's Fund® for "A Foster Home for Every Pet." The three-year grant, totaling $573,536, was recently awarded to create a large-scale, high volume… Learn More

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How an apprenticeship changed a shelter worker’s perspective on no-kill and large dog fostering

October 12, 2017

Can a few days at an apprenticeship change your perspective on no-kill sheltering and foster care for large dogs? After attending Maddie’s® Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship at Austin Animal Center, Patricia Zimmerman from Prince George’s County Animal Services in Maryland says it sure can. And it did. "It was amazing,” she… Learn More

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Study: Do shelter dogs benefit from short-term foster sleepovers?

September 28, 2017

Can a dog in your shelter benefit from just one sleepover with a foster? You bet, and we've got the research to back it up! A little over a year ago, Maddie's Fund® gave a grant to Carroll College to answer that very question, funding the first sleepover pilot study at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary… Learn More

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Introducing Your Foster Dog to Strangers Outside

Rebound HoundsSeptember 2017

When introducing a new person to your foster dog you always want to do your best to make it a safe and positive experience for everyone involved. Learn More

webcast

A Foster Home for Every Pet

Kristen AuerbachSeptember 14, 2017

Learn how to send adult pets to foster care and reduce costs of care, increase capacity for housing and get pets adopted faster and with better matches between the pet and the adopter. Learn More

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Senior cats may soon outnumber kittens in animal shelters

August 22, 2017

“Ramp up your medical programs for seniors, folks – soon enough you’ll be seeing far more of those than adoption age kittens.” Those words were posted by Karina King, Director of Operations for the Dakin Humane Society, on a Million Cat Challenge discussion forum. For communities at the height of their kitten season, the thought… Learn More

webcast

Maddie's Pet Assistant App is Revolutionizing Support for Pet Foster and Adoptive Homes

Amber FriewaldAugust 22, 2017

Want to provide support for your foster and adoptive homes at no cost to your shelter or rescue group? There's an app for that! Learn all about it in this free webcast! Learn More

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The great big, amazing, underage kitten-raising bible for shelters, rescue groups and foster homes

August 15, 2017

It’s no secret underage and orphaned kittens are at high risk even in the best of circumstances. Fortunately, there is a growing body of experience and resources aimed at helping animal shelters, rescue groups and foster homes give these little ones the best possible chance at a healthy life in a new adoptive home. At… Learn More

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Keeping Interactions between Foster Dogs and Children Safe

Rebound HoundsAugust 2017

By following a few simple guidelines and educating your children on how to properly interact with your new foster dog, you can keep your children and your foster dog safe, calm and happy.
Learn More

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Introducing Your Shy Foster Dog to Strangers in Your Home

Dogs Out LoudAugust 2017

Learn some helpful tools and techniques to make your shy foster dogs interactions with new people a good experience instead of something to fear. Learn More

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Helping Your Foster Dog be Comfortable Home Alone

Rebound HoundsAugust 2017

Some dogs can become stressed when being left home alone even to point of becoming destructive. Learn some tips on how to best prevent your dog from feeling anxiety when left home alone. Learn More

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Introducing Your Foster Dog to Cats

Rebound HoundsAugust 2017

Follow these simple steps and you can have your foster dog and your feline co-exist safely and peacefully. Learn More

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Vet Pets!

Brett FrazierJuly 2017

Learn how your shelter or rescue can save more cat and kitten lives through this unique, easy to implement program. Learn More

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Increase pet foster placement by 50 percent in six months? Yes, you can!

July 27, 2017

Can you use technology and innovation to increase your foster placement and gain more fosters? Absolutely. Just ask the team at the Arizona Humane Society (AHS), who applied for an Innovation Grant late last year. Their idea? To create a new online foster portal to help streamline their foster engagement as well as encourage more… Learn More

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Secrets to recruiting great pet foster homes from Charleston Animal Society and ASPCAPro

July 6, 2017

Imagine how many lives your shelter or rescue organization could save if you had more foster homes. Try some of these tips from the Charleston Animal Society, and you may not have to imagine at all. In a webinar with ASPCAPro, Christina Ellwood and Jodi Osborne of the Charleston Animal Society (CAS) gave an overview… Learn More

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New app helps foster families at Almost Home Humane Society

June 28, 2017

Since launching Maddie's® Pet Assistant early last month, hundreds of shelters and rescue organizations across the country have expressed interest in bringing the app to their own foster and/or adoption programs. As with any new technology system or app, feedback is key to making sure it's doing what it was set out to do — in… Learn More

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#FeelGoodFriday: Little three-legged Esther goes from shelter dog to office dog

June 23, 2017

Yikes! This little dog found herself in a shelter with a broken leg that hadn’t set properly. Two days after they amputated her leg, Craig Coryell of Maddie’s Fund® agreed to foster her for “a couple of days.” Care to guess what happened next? Little miss Esther blossomed with Craig, and he realized she was… Learn More

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Emergencies in Cats and Dogs (5 weeks and older)

June 2017

Do you have questions about when to take your fostered dog or cat to the veterinarian, or is this an emergency? Find information in this presentation. Learn More

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Kitten season and canine flu: How to keep the summertime blues away from your animal shelter

June 6, 2017

Summertime, and the shelter is crowded. That means it’s the season to prevent disease by helping keep pets from entering the shelter at all! Right now, there’s a confirmed outbreak of the highly contagious H3N2 strain of canine influenza virus (CIV) in Florida, Georgia and six other states, which is combining with kitten season to… Learn More

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Want to keep your pet foster families happy – and get more of them? Here’s how!

May 25, 2017

How can you increase the number of foster families working with your shelter or rescue group without much work on the part of your organization? By implementing peer-to-peer support groups! In our latest Maddie Talk, Grow and Keep Your Fosters Happy with Peer Support Groups, Jenn Strickler of Pibbles and More Animal Rescue (PMAR) shows… Learn More

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How to wean an orphaned kitten onto solid food

May 23, 2017

Do you think your orphaned kittens are ready for solid foods, but aren’t sure how to make the switch? Orphaned kittens transition from formula to solid foods at about 3-4 weeks of age as their teeth start to come in. This change of diet can create a big mess for you, and tummy troubles for… Learn More

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Emergencies in Kittens and Puppies (0-4 weeks)

April 2017

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Setting a shy dog up for success

March 29, 2017

How do you approach your shy foster dog for the first time? And how can you prepare your family for when you bring the dog home? Knowing how to handle these situations can go a long way toward setting your foster dog up for success — and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in our new… Learn More

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How a dog named Patty sparked a lifesaving revolution for dogs with behavior challenges

March 28, 2017

Are there dogs in your shelter or rescue who you honestly think can’t be adopted because of behavior problems? There might be a simple solution — and if it works for them, they’ll have a dog named Patty to thank. Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at the Austin Animal Center, told Patty’s story… Learn More

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Use social media to get more foster homes for big dogs

February 15, 2017

Can you save 44 large dogs’ lives in 14 days through the power of social media? Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) did just that, and in this recording from the 2015 Best Friends National Conference, Faith Wright tells you how you can, too! In Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program, Wright says the trick is… Learn More

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Robust Dog and Cat Foster Program

December 2016

Learn about the Charleston Animal Society foster program Learn More

presentation

Medium and Large Dog Fostering Program

December 2016

Do you have problems finding adopters or foster homes for medium or large adult dogs?  Want to learn more about how to successfully use a foster care program? Learn More

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Spreading the #FalalaFoster cheer is a job for everyone

November 30, 2016

Looking to give back in a meaningful way this holiday season, while bringing some magic into your heart and home? You're in luck, because ’tis the season to #FalalaFoster, even for first-timers! While fostering during the holidays is only a short-term commitment for you, it's the first step to a second chance for an animal… Learn More

presentation

Innovative Fostering: Saving More Dogs with Behavioral Challenges - Presentation

Kristen AuerbachFebruary 2017

Learn proven methods that will help you save 90% or more of dogs with behavioral problems. Learn More

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Just say no to the ‘conventional wisdom’: Sherri Franklin’s Aha! journey saving senior dogs

August 9, 2016

How much of the “conventional wisdom” about adoption and foster programs makes sense, and how much of it just keeps your organization from saving as many animals as it could? That was the question on Sherri Franklin’s mind as she first created Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a San Francisco organization that has saved thousands of… Learn More

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Download the Alley Cat Allies guide to foster programs for cats and kittens!

June 21, 2016

What happens when you mix a giant name in cat welfare and two leaders in sheltering and adoption? You get incredible resources like Alley Cat Allies‘ guide to fostering cats and kittens, written with Bonney Brown and Diane Blankenburg of Humane Network, who while at the Nevada Humane Society led a successful program that provided… Learn More

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When it comes to adopting foster pets, who decides?

April 19, 2016

Who is in the best position to know what type of home would be best for a pet in a foster home: the adoption organization, or the foster caregiver? It’s a question that might not have a single answer. Some foster caregivers may prefer to be involved with pets but not be comfortable working directly… Learn More

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Kittens make even sleep deprivation fun!

March 3, 2016

Can you think of anything that would make you look forward to getting up every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night? Neither could Dr. Laurie Peek, until she experienced orphaned kitten fostering. "It's one of my favorite things in the whole wide world!" she said. A Maddie's Fund® Executive Leadership Team member, Dr.… Learn More

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A dog’s-eye view of what ‘Leap Day’ is really all about

February 29, 2016

Want a dog’s-eye view of why they call it Leap Day and not extra day or something like that? I have a theory. As three-legged dog, I’m familiar with the physical act of leaping. But after the past six months, I also know a thing or two about metaphoric leaping. See, I think Leap Day… Learn More

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#FalalaFoster Flashbacks

December 30, 2015

What do Popeye, Cosmo Kramer, Rocky and Yoda all have in common? Yes, they’re all famous movie and TV characters, but that’s not all. They’re also pets who left a footprint on the hearts of their fosters. In the spirit of #FalalaFoster, we’re sharing some of our favorite foster flashbacks. Kramer. Sara Radak and her… Learn More

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Turning pet ‘foster failures’ into ‘foster wins’

December 17, 2015

Is it time to put the term ‘foster failure’ to rest forever, and call the adoption of pets by their foster homes what it really is, a ‘foster win’? You bet, say experts at two of the country’s most successful pet foster programs. The dog foster program at Austin Pets Alive! is the largest in… Learn More

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What people love best about fostering homeless pets may surprise you!

December 10, 2015

Do you ever wonder why people foster pets? Sure, it's because they want to help save a life, but there's more.  A lot more, as anyone who’s actually done it can tell you. And you can sum it up with a three-letter word you’ll hear a lot this time of year: joy. Topping the list… Learn More

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‘Tis the season to #FalalaFoster!

December 2, 2015

Do you want to bring home some magic this holiday season? Want to experience the joy you remember from your childhood — and save a pet’s life at the same time? Here’s how: Foster a homeless pet! Fostering doesn’t just give pets a place to lay their heads. Spending time in a home, with a… Learn More

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An expert tells you how to create and grow a highly successful cat foster care program

September 30, 2015

Does your animal organization want to save more cats? You don’t need a bigger shelter or more money, but you do need foster homes. How do you get them? How do you train them? How do you keep the ones you have, and get more? Austin Pets Alive! cat foster manager Ashley Ferry has answers… Learn More

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Community Pet Adoption Partnerships Survey Results: Stray Kitten Scenario

June 2015

During the Summer of 2014, Maddie’s Institute® conducted a survey to assess strategies that may prevent animals from entering shelter facilities. One such strategy involves asking community members who bring in kittens to care for them until organizational resources are available or they are old enough to be placed for adoption.  This report addresses the extent to which organizations encourage community member care, the frequency of community members who elect to provide care, how organizational resources link to involvement and more.
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presentation

Creating and Sustaining a Dog Foster Network

Ann LindholmFebruary 2015

With a viable foster program it's possible to begin transforming your community to no-kill, even if you don't have a shelter. Learn how a one person position grew into a dog foster team of more than 35 volunteers. This team supports a network of over 1,000 approved foster parents. Learn More

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Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program

Faith WrightFebruary 2015

Learn how to expand your foster program to save the even harder to place big dogs, often considered "the last 10%". Learn More

presentation

Rescuing Dogs from the Euthanasia List

Palmer NeuhausFebruary 2015

Fifty percent of the dogs in Austin, Texas were dying in 2008 when Austin Pets Alive! began saving lives. The rescue team had merely one- to two-hours to go through the euthanasia list, choose animals and save them before their time was up. Learn how the rescue team evaluated and chose dogs. Learn More

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Saving All the Little Dogs: Small Dog Behavior Issues

Faith Wright and Deaven WilsonFebruary 2015

Do you know how many small breed dogs are euthanized in your community shelter?  In Austin, Texas in 2008, it was many more than would have been expected (roughly 500).   Do you know that nearly ALL of them can be saved and although many are marked "aggressive”, they rarely are? Learn More

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Creating and Growing a Successful Cat Foster Program

Ashley FerryFebruary 2015

Fosters often mean the difference between life and death for cats in the shelter. They are essential in addressing overcrowding issues, shelter behavior problems and providing personalized care for medical conditions. Learn More

presentation

How to Start and Grow a Large Bottle Baby Program in Your Community, Part 1

Casandra MensingFebruary 2015

In this is a two-part presentation, you’ll learn how to start and build a bottle baby nursery, plus how to create a foster network for neonates. In Part 1, Casandra Mensing will share her experience running APA!’s Nursery, from its meager beginnings to the groundbreaking phenomenon that it is today. Learn More

presentation

How to Start and Grow a Large Bottle Baby Program Part 2

Rachel Sherinian February 2015

In this is a two-part presentation, you’ll learn how to start and build a bottle baby nursery, plus how to create a foster network for neonates. In Part 2, Rachel Sherinian will focus In finding, training, and retaining specialized foster families for kittens, whether you have a nursery or not.  Learn More

presentation

Taking Troubled Tabbies from Naughty to Nice

Sara Cookson and Kristin Hill February 2015

Every rescue encounters troubled cats with issues that go beyond tortitude. The Austin Pet’s Alive! Cat Behavior Team will teach you how to prevent behavior problems before they start. Learn More

presentation

Volunteer 1.0: Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement

Gerri KapplerFebruary 2015

Austin Pets Alive! is well known for its huge volunteer force (over 2,000 hours per week). But in 2008 APA! started with no funds for staff and relied solely on volunteers to do everything related to saving lives and building a huge organization. How did they do it?  Learn More

webcast

Secrets to Pet Foster Program Success

Sherri Franklin, Laurie Routhier, Marie Macaspac November 2014

What if your shelter or rescue group had a long list of people wanting to foster pets for you? What if you had a great system in place to recruit, train, reward and manage those foster homes? What if you had a whole army of people to help get those pets ready for adoption? Learn More

webcast

Treating the Treatables: Saving Lives Through Medical Protocols, Foster Care and Proactive Thinking

Elizabeth Berliner, DVM, MA, DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice)September 2014

Does your shelter or rescue group have medical protocols in place to care for your pets and for your fostered dogs and cats? Foster programs are critical if we want to help more pets who are facing treatable medical conditions, and to expand the capacity of a community to care for its homeless pets. Learn More

research

Orphaned Kitten Survey Results

September 2013

Orphaned kittens are the most fragile of homeless animals, and many shelters consider it too resource-intensive to care for them. For that reason, they often make up the largest single group of animals euthanized at many shelters. We surveyed shelters and rescue organizations to gather data on: care and housing, prevalence of health issues, training given to individuals who provide care, and challenges organizations may face in providing care for kittens. Learn More

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Orphaned Kitten Care - How to Videos

Laurie Peek, DVM and Heidi Beyer, CVTApril 2013

These short videos will provide essential care instructions for orphaned kittens. Whether you are a seasoned foster parent or just getting started saving these orphaned baby lives, these videos will guide you through the basics. Learn More

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Caring for Orphaned Kittens: A How-To Guide for Shelters

Laurie Peek, DVMApril 2013

Based on years of personal experience, Maddie's Fund Director of Veterinary Programs Laurie Peek, DVM, provides a step-by-step guide to caring for orphaned kittens, including how to recognize, avoid and respond to the most common threats they face. Learn More

article

Foster Care Volunteers are Lifesavers

Brenda Barnette2009

The Seattle Humane Society wanted to remain an open door private shelter, but the number of pets coming in exceeded the space it had to properly care for them. The solution: ask the community to help foster. The result: 3,001 dogs and cats in foster care in FY2008-2009. Learn More