blog

Lessons from a Maddie’s Kitten Nursery apprentice

September 14, 2017

What can you learn from kittens? For Kat Hamlin, cat adoption specialist for PetsConnect! in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, the answer is hands-on experience, lifesaving techniques and a new perspective. Her only complaint after attending Maddie's® Kitten Lifesaving Apprenticeship Program at Humane Society Silicon Valley?  "I wish I could have stayed longer," she said. The… Learn More

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More jam-related marketing ideas for getting pets adopted

September 12, 2017

In the literature of persuasion, the act of buying jam turns out to have a lot to tell us about getting more pets adopted. We’ve written before about the so-called “paradox of choice,” and how research on jam sales as well as cat adoptions suggested that having fewer, rather than more, pets on the adoption… Learn More

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How to get your community emotionally attached to your animal organization’s mission

September 5, 2017

There is no animal shelter or rescue group that couldn’t use more fosters, volunteers, adopters, donors, board members and other supporters. Without them, the amount of lives these organizations can save is severely diminished. So, how do you break through the clamoring voices demanding people’s time and attention, and get them to choose you to… Learn More

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Playing with your Foster Dog

January 2017

Playing is a great way to bond and get to know your foster dog. Learn More

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Procrastinators wanted: How animals benefit when everyone gives from their strengths

January 12, 2017

It turns out procrastinating pays off for animal welfare workers — and so does getting everything done on time! In a blog post published last year by ASPCAPro, Julie Morris discussed her own “pre-crastination” — the fact that she gets everything done not just on time, but early. That’s usually what we think of when… Learn More

presentation

Opitmizing Volunteer Engagement

December 2016

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How to put your skills to work for the animals

November 2, 2016

If you want to help animals but don't have the time to physically volunteer at your local shelter or rescue organization, what can you do? Look no further than your resume! There are plenty of ways you can help just by utilizing your natural talents. Whether you're a tech-savvy social media maven, an introverted writer,… Learn More

webcast

Integrating Volunteers into Your Animal Shelter Programs and Culture

Paula FasseasOctober 2016

Could your animal shelter use 5,000 volunteers? Learn More

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Learn ‘Compassion Fatigue Strategies’ in online course for shelter/rescue workers, veterinarians

August 23, 2016

What if someone had genuine useful resources that could help those working with animals in the shelter, rescue and veterinary fields cope with emotional numbness, stress, anxiety and burnout? Someone does: The Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida is enrolling students in its online course in “Compassion Fatigue Strategies” with certified compassion fatigue… Learn More

video

Building a Powerful No-Kill Team: How to Recognize and Cultivate Leaders

Marc PeraltaJuly 2016

Your team and and what positions you have - be they staff or volunteers - are all tactics to reaching your no-kill goals. Watch this presentation to find out how to build a success-driven team. Learn More

research

Community Pet Adoption Survey Results - Foster Caregiver Involvement in Adoption

February 2016

Generally speaking, the model for foster programs has been a period of temporary pet fostering, followed by return of the animal to the shelter for adoption. Although foster caregivers are in a unique position to give insights into pet health and pet behavior in a home environment, foster caregiver involvement in the adoption process has been a fairly new and fairly controversial subject. In this survey report, we examined how often caregivers choose to be involved, to what extent organizations actually allow involvement and more. 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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Where would animal shelters be without veterinary technicians?

October 14, 2015

They’re the all-too-often unsung heroes of veterinary medicine, but we’re going to sing about them here. We’re talking about veterinary technicians, with a special chorus of gratitude for those who go into shelter medicine practice. Veterinary technicians assist in surgery, assess vitals, draw blood, comfort frightened patients, explain procedures to clients and do everything registered… 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

presentation

Getting Big Dogs Out of the Shelter via Canine Good Citizen Training

Marian Cannell and Amy LewisFebruary 2015

Through a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, Austin Pets Alive! embarked on a six-month pilot program to test the effectiveness of Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Training on adoption rates.  The results have been very good and show a clear adoption rate difference between dogs who undergo training and those who don’t.  Learn More

presentation

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

presentation

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 Create a Successful Barn Cat Program

Monica FrendenFebruary 2015

Often overlooked for rescue, feral and fractious cats can be saved through a progressive Barn Placement Program and given a new lease on life as working cats. Learn how to start a barn program from scratch. 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

presentation

The Value of Teamwork: Shelter Managers, Staff and Volunteers

Michael and Pam Kitkoski February 2015

Volunteers are a necessity for rescue and shelter organizations working to achieve no-kill. Volunteers must be treated as partners, offering meaningful work and appropriate autonomy. But even in an atmosphere of mutual accountability, conflicts with both staff and volunteers can arise. Learn More

presentation

Why Creative Writing is Essential to Saving Lives

Elizabeth DoyleFebruary 2015

Learn how to get more pets adopted through better marketing and advertising using online venues and volunteer photographers. Learn More

presentation

Creating and Keeping a Stellar Lifesaving Team

Marc PeraltaFebruary 2015

Working together is the only way to achieve our lifesaving goals. This seminar concentrates on how to build and maintain a successful team focused on the techniques that result in successful high-volume adoptions. Learn More

presentation

Exceeding Customer Service Expectations in Relation to Adoptions

Marc PeraltaFebruary 2015

Are doing all you can to help increase the number of animal lives saved? This seminar focuses on the impact of exceptional customer service. Learn More

presentation

The Adoptline Team: Virtual Frontline of Austin Pets Alive

Patty Lepley Alexander and Gerri KapplerFebruary 2015

Austin Pets Alive!’s (APA) Adoptline Response Team provides email and phone mail responses to inquiries 365 days a year, 14 hours a day and has been critical in increasing APA's adoptions. 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

presentation

Healing the Wounded Healer: Techniques to Reduce Stress in High-Intensity Practices

Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline), MAOctober 2013

If you're a shelter medicine professional, it's easy to begin neglecting your own well-being and balance. Because shelter medicine is one of the most emotionally demanding practices within veterinary medicine, clinicians face burnout, compassion fatigue and a wide range of mental health problems. 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

research

Staff and Volunteer Engagement Survey Results

September 2013

Research clearly links high staff and volunteer engagement to high performance and productivity. We surveyed shelters and rescue organizations to: assess overall levels of engagement, investigate potential drivers which may contribute to engagement or disengagement and provide resources to enable organizations to improve engagement. 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

research

Training and Development Survey Results

November 2012

Research shows that attention to your workers' training and development can also lead to increased confidence, a deeper connection to the mission, accountability and retention, while reducing monotony and disengagement. We surveyed shelters and rescue organizations to: understand current training and development practices, identify common needs and challenges, and offer tips and resources to improve programs. Learn More