Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team
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.
During the summer of 2014, Maddie’s Institute® conducted a survey to identify practices that were successful in shortening length of stay, or prevented the pets from entering the shelter entirely. It covered three scenarios, the second of which is discussed in this report.
One strategy involves encouraging foster caregivers to participate in the adoption process or even keep a pet in their home until an adopter is found, thus eliminating the need for a foster pet to be returned to the shelter before adoption. Our principle aim in conducting this study was to assess:
- The extent to which organizations encourage foster caregiver involvement in the adoption process
- The frequency of foster caregivers who choose to be involved in the adoption process
- The regularity of policies that require foster pets to be returned to organizations for adoption