blog

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

research

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

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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

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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

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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

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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