Maddie's® Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship

April 29 - May 3, May 20 - 24 and June 24 - 28, 2019

Maddie's® Dog Foster Program at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center

Want to create a foster program designed to save more lives? Then the Maddie's® Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship is for you! Learn how to develop, implement and manage a robust foster program to increase lifesaving efforts in your community. This apprenticeship will teach you how to start a foster program, increase the capacity of an existing program, through effective assessment and implementation of various practices and policies. Attendees to this apprenticeship will learn how to set up and run a comprehensive foster program.

Who Should Apply?
This apprenticeship opportunity is for shelter/rescue organization directors, staff and volunteers who are interested in learning how to be the most effective at implementing this type of program in their organization. Organizations with limited staff and financial resources are especially encouraged to apply, as the programs taught may actually reduce operating costs.

Today in Austin 98% of dogs that enter the shelter system have a live outcome. This is in large part due to the collaboration between the Austin municipal shelter, Austin Animal Center, and its largest rescue partner, Austin Pets Alive!.Both organizations utilize a large network of fosters to increase their capacity. The APA! dog foster program utilizes a network of nearly 80 volunteers to support the administration of the program, which has about 550 dogs in foster homes at any given time. The AAC dog foster program has about 200 dogs in foster at any given time as well. Both programs embody the idea that "people are the solution", and empower the foster caregivers to advocate for the dogs in their homes.

How Does it Work?
This apprenticeship is five days, plus travel. Interns will spend five days at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas. Lessons include building your foster program, recruitment and retention of foster families, building a support system, formulating data tracking methods, designing marketing and fundraising campaigns and everything else to help you start or grow your foster program.

Students will be guided through activities to:

  • Determine your target foster population
  • Set goals and timelines based on objective data
  • Manage your data via a web based or other foster tracking system
  • Develop processes, policies and procedures
  • Create a foster application contract, manual, and other training materials
  • Recruit, train and retain foster families and a volunteer team to support them
  • Maximize placement of large adult dogs in foster and adoptive homes

A $1,200 stipend to offset the cost of travel and lodging will be awarded to the organization of each student chosen.

All of the apprenticeships and master classes offered at Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy are pre-approved for continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement - Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).

Applications February 19 - March 2, 2019 - Application Closed

Applications are currently closed. Please check back for future opportunities.

Before the application window opens, you can prepare in the following ways:

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