We’re proud of the impact our funding and resources have helped make over the years - from support in the establishment of shelter medicine programs across the country to pioneering progressive sheltering practices. Below you'll find stories highlighting some of our inspiring grantees and the wonderful work they’ve accomplished with their grant.

AlignCare will help to keep more pets and people together, thanks to Maddie

October 19, 2021

Just announced last week, we’re thrilled to share that Maddie’s Fund® has granted The University of Tennessee College of Social Work Program for Pet Health Equity (PPHE) $3.4 million to expand AlignCare’s national reach. AlignCare is the nation’s first OneHealth healthcare system addressing the needs of people, their pets, and their ecosystem. The program’s mission…

Innovation Grants

Grants of up to $5,000 for shelters and rescue organizations to implement a new program (2016 - 2019).

Challenge Grants

Award-based grants that result from a direct call to action to help organizations implement specific programs and services during a set timeframe.

  • Foster Express Challenge: From November 2019 - January 2020 to increase the number of shelter animals participating in short-term foster care programs.
  • Get 'Em Home Challenge: From October - December 2018 to help increase the number of adoptions from shelters of long-term stay animals.

Research Grants

Grants for research projects that have a practical application related to pet lifesaving, animal welfare leadership or the utilization of foster care. Some of these projects evaluated the implementation of new programs while others evaluated new or innovative diagnostics or treatment of medical conditions.

Education Grants

Grants to promote learning opportunities for shelter leadership, staff and volunteers.

Partnerships

Grants that support collaboration with leading organizations in the United States to promote animal welfare on a national scale.

Pet Foster Care Stimulus Grant

Grants that helped organizations implement or expand their foster programs as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic (early 2020).

Awards

Grants that acknowledge the accomplishments of organizations and individuals as selected by Maddie's Fund.

  • Avanzino Leadership Award - Named after Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement, this $25,000 award recognizes courageous leaders who have made significant achievements to improve the lives of pets and their people.
  • Maddie Hero Award - The Maddie Hero Award recognizes and honors leaders in communities that are advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States in creative and bold ways with a $10,000 grant to their organization.

Complete Research Grants

Grants for research projects that had a practical application related to pet lifesaving, animal welfare leadership or the utilization of foster care. Some of these projects evaluated the implementation of new programs while others evaluated new or innovative diagnostics or treatment of medical conditions.

In Progress Research Grants

Grants for research projects that have a practical application related to pet lifesaving, animal welfare leadership or the utilization of foster care. Some of these projects evaluated the implementation of new programs while others evaluated new or innovative diagnostics or treatment of medical conditions.

AlignCare will help to keep more pets and people together, thanks to Maddie

October 19, 2021

Just announced last week, we’re thrilled to share that Maddie’s Fund® has granted The University of Tennessee College of Social Work Program for Pet Health Equity (PPHE) $3.4 million to expand AlignCare’s national reach. AlignCare is the nation’s first OneHealth healthcare system addressing the needs of people, their pets, and their ecosystem. The program’s mission…

Join CARE for a webinar series celebrating Black History Month

February 09, 2021

All this month, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) is hosting weekly talks with a panel of African American professionals where they will discuss the issues they face inside and outside of the animal welfare industry. This week Logan Ryan, founder and CEO of Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation and New York Giants Cornerback, and Akisha…

Why these Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipients implemented a foster to adopt program 

December 10, 2020

When some of our Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipients saw how many foster families ended up adopting their foster pets, it sparked them to consider a concept they hadn’t previously considered – a foster to adopt program.   “We typically just wanted to adopt straight out of the shelter,” said Kelly Mitchell, Senior Director at Mountain Humane in Hailey,…

No challenge was too big for this Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipient in New Jersey

November 19, 2020

When Covid-19 hit Plainfield Area Humane Society (PAHS) in Plainfield, NJ, their animal shelter population was higher than usual. They had 70 additional dogs and cats on top of their normal population, due to a hoarding case.   Thankfully when they put out the call to their community, they experienced an increase in both foster caregivers and adoptions.…

How one Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipient’s community was their animal welfare organization’s lifeline

November 12, 2020

In need of a feel-good story? As foster care has become the saving grace for many animal welfare organizations in times of Covid and onward, Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipient, PAWS Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, was no different. What’s more was that they discovered just how amazing their community was!  When PAWS Atlanta found out that their county…

#ThanksToMaddie, Burlington Animal Services grows foster base with local university students

October 27, 2020

When Burlington Animal Services (BAS) in Burlington, NC, received the Pet Foster Stimulus Grant from Maddie’s Fund, they already had a strong foster base. But, thanks to Maddie, their large foster program grew even bigger! The grant gave them a confidence boost to serve additional fosters that wanted to help, including local university students.   “We…

Kristen Hassen receives the 2020 Maddie Hero Award

October 22, 2020

We’re thrilled to present the 2020 Maddie Hero Award to Kristen Hassen for her innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions. The Maddie Hero Award recognizes and honors the “top dog” in communities that are advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States in creative and bold ways. The award is presented with…

How one Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipient took the opportunity to transform their animal welfare organization, #ThanksToMaddie 

September 24, 2020

Prior to COVID-19, Kent County Animal Shelter in Grand Rapids, MI, didn’t have a foster program in place, so when they received the pet foster stimulus grant, they went from 0 fosters to 100 (literally). They implemented their foster program in no time, including behavior dogs with specific needs.   Namiko Ota-Noveskey, Program Supervisor, shared that…

Meet the 2020 Avanzino Leadership Award recipient!

September 17, 2020

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2020 Avanzino Leadership Award goes to Dr. Michael J. Blackwell for his outstanding leadership and purposeful dedication to honor the human-animal bond.  The award is named after Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement and Maddie’s Fund President from 1999 – 2015. This award recognizes significant achievement and…

Short-term fostering opens the door to recruitment

June 30, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. The following is the last in this series.  How do you recruit new fosters? By enticing them with…

Over 2,600 shelter cats are getting kennel makeovers

June 23, 2020

Like many of us, shelter cats are taking this time to reevaluate their space, redecorate and purchase new furniture. Or in their case, portals.   Thanks to Million Cat Challenge’s Portalmania 2020, 82 shelters are being awarded 2,685 portals.   Cramped housing has an adverse effect on cats. “Multiple studies have looked at the effect of poor housing on cats,…

Congratulations to over 200 Pet Foster Care Stimulus Grant recipients!

June 18, 2020

When we put out the call for the Pet Foster Care Stimulus Grant applications, we never thought we would receive over 1,000 inquiries! You have embraced foster care like never before, and for that we are grateful. A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that pets are spending more time in foster homes than…

How short-term fostering invigorated one foster program and prepared them for Covid-19

June 04, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. We’ll be sharing exclusive interviews on Maddie’s Pet Forum as well as on the blog with several of…

How a foster field trip saved this nine year old shelter pup

May 27, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. We’ll be sharing exclusive interviews on Maddie’s Pet Forum as well as on the blog with several of…

This Foster Express Challenge winner says short-term fostering is a great way to “try-on” adoption

May 14, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. We’ll be sharing exclusive interviews on Maddie’s Pet Forum as well as on the blog with several of…

Short-term foster for cats? Learn how this Foster Express Challenge-winning organization did it!

May 07, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. We’ll be sharing exclusive interviews on Maddie’s Pet Forum as well as on the blog with several of…

Short-term pet fostering was the key to increasing adoptions for this Foster Express Challenge winner

April 30, 2020

Maddie’s® Foster Express Challenge called on participating shelters to focus on short-term fostering to help get more dogs and cats out of the shelter during the hectic holiday season, get them more exposure and attract new foster caregivers. Short-term fostering for the challenge was defined as stays in foster care of more than two hours and…

Dog Habitat Housing Prototype

February 20, 2020

The purpose of this Animal Humane Society study is to evaluate a prototype for dog housing. This prototype is a multi-dog environment that houses up to six dogs at once in a group. The hypothesis is that if the dogs are housed together in a closer to normal environment instead of alone, their stress levels will decrease and dogs will show more normal behavior.

Measuring the One Health Impact of Humane Society of the United States' Pets for Life

April 30, 2020

The Institutefor Human-Animal Connection at The University of Denver aims to measure the effects of The Humane Society of the United States' Pets for Life program on the One Health concept in urban and rural communities. The One Health framework recognizes that human,animal, and ecosystem health are interconnected. Pets for Life (PFL) program aims to remove barriers to accessing companion animal-care services (e.g., spay/neuter, vaccinations, wellness exams, and behavioral training), supplies and information in underserved communities through a person-centered approach.

AlignCare - A Conceptual Model for Veterinary Care Delivery to Families with Limited Means

February 20, 2020

This research project from the University of Tennessee is a three-year, multi-site investigation into the model, conceptualization and effectiveness of AlignCare™, which aims to utilize the One Health model to improve access to veterinary care for bonded pet owners with limited means to provide veterinary carefor their pets.

Prevalence, Characteristics, Treatment and Outcome of Dogs Presenting to Shelters with Appendicular Fractures

February 20, 2020

The main objective of this University of Tennessee research is to evaluate nonsurgical methods of bone fracture treatment in naturally occurring fractures of dogs presented to an animal shelter, Austin Pets Alive!.

A Study of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Kittens

February 20, 2020

This San Francisco SPCA project evaluates a novel method for treating infectious diarrhea in kittens. San Francisco SPCA kittens with feline panleukopenia will be treated with either supportive care (control group) or supportive care and fecal microbiota transplantation.

Saving Seniors: An Evaluation of Strategies to Increase the Adoption of Senior Dogs

February 20, 2020

This study from The Grey Muzzle Organization aims to save the lives of senior dogs by identifying innovative and effective programs and practices that increase the likelihood of their adoption. The outcome of the project will be recommendations and emerging best practices for animal welfare organizations to increase the adoption of senior dogs and decrease their length of time in care.

Investigation of Perioperative Inadvertent Hypothermia in Cats and Dogs and Effect of Implementing a Thermal Care Bundle

April 30, 2020

Cornell University is investigating risk factors for cat or dog hypothermia (low body temperature) around the time of surgery and factors that reduce the incidence of hypothermia.

Ringworm Treatment Study

February 25, 2020

This study from Austin Pet's Alive! will evaluate their protocol for assessing ringworm in cats. Part one will determine the accuracy of APA!'s visual assessment of disease resolution compared to more standard protocols. Part two will assess adopter satisfaction and presence of ringworm amongst cats adopted from the ringworm program.

Socialization Procedures for Dogs from Hoarding Cases

February 25, 2020

This study from SPCA of Texas aims to evaluate if classical conditioning (in this case, testing withdrawal of human presence and reinforcing brave behavior) in a foster setting will result in greater socialization of dogs from hoarding cases than the same procedures in a shelter setting.

Washington D.C. Total Cat Count

February 25, 2020

This project from Humane Rescue Alliance aims to compile population-management data about community cats in the Washington D.C. area. The overall goal is to create, for the larger community of animal welfare organizations, a set of straightforward, practical and logistically feasible methods to generate scientifically valid data that can significantly increase positive impacts of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs.

Influence of Socialization and Foster Programs on Cat Stress Levels and Sociability

March 31, 2020

This project from Oregon State University will evaluate what styles of foster and/or socialization programs benefit cats most in terms of adoption, behavior, and welfare outcomes. Cats will be evaluated in short-term foster(sleepover program), long-term foster, with and without shelter socialization. Cortisol levels (salivary) will be compared at specific time intervals to measure stress.

Two by Two Rescue Community Foster Program

February 26, 2020

This research project from the Alabama-based rescue, Two by Two Rescue, aims to evaluate their program to recruit and retain foster caregivers. Through information gained through this assessment, they hope to increase the number of foster caregivers by 50% (totaling 75 homes) and retain 80% of caregivers for over 1 year.The five components to this program are recruitment, education, support, fulfillment, and evaluation.

The Foster Parent-Foster Dog Bond: Evaluating the Secure-Base Effect as a Mechanism for Mutual Well-Being

February 26, 2020

The goal of this study from the Human-Animal Interaction Laboratory Department of Animal & Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State University is to show that the development of a secure attachment base is beneficial to foster dogs and is associated with better long-term outcomes. The investigators will utilize several validated tests (C-BARQ, LAPS, Behavioral Secure Base Test, Paired Attachment Test, Cognitive Bias,and Social Cognition Test) to assess dogs and their caregivers. The project will work in collaboration with Willamette Humane Society.

Grey Whiskers Senior Cat Program

March 31, 2020

Whiskers aims to create and assess a Grey Whiskers Senior Cat Program, comprised of a network of foster homes, hospice providers and adopters for senior cats, with a goal of rescuing and placing 120 senior cats. Medical support will be a key lever in making the program and placements successful, as the senior cat population often needs dental care, bloodwork, special diet and various treatments to see an increase in their quality of life and to thrive.

Pop-Up Cat Community Program

March 31, 2020

The goal of this project from Metro Denver CAT is to provide every resident of Denver's high-need neighborhood of Elyria Swansea/Globeville with access to the resources they need to care for owned and free-roaming community cats. A portion of the research's funding will support the trap-neuter-return program, as well as a pre-and post-project survey to measure the residents' perception about cats in their community which will be used to create a template of key indicators and methods for other organizations designing programs for cats in their communities.

Sighthound Sanctuary & Animal Services

February 27, 2020

This pilot study from Sighthound Sanctuary & Animal Services will evaluate the effects of implementing a Fearful Dog Treatment Program on dog behavior and rescue staff perception of fearful dogs at a single rescue organization. The researchers hypothesize that dogs will show less fearful behavior after going through the program and rescue staff will have increased ratings of the adoptability of fearful dogs.

Home to Home

March 31, 2020

This project from the Panhandle Animal Shelter aims to expand the the usage of the Home to Home website and program which encourages pet guardians to rehome their pets rather than surrender them to a shelter. The platform also allows shelters to stay engaged (with a module on their website) in the rehoming process. The project goal, in partnership with the Million Cat Challenge, is to add 50 organizations to the Home to Home online network.

Nationwide Deployment and Evaluation of Fostering Programs in Animal Shelters

March 31, 2020

Arizona State University will assess the impact of day outings, short-term fostering and long-term (at least one week) fostering in 100 shelters across the U.S., and a minimum of 60 dogs/shelter, with a focus on shelters near Arizona and Virginia. In a subset of six shelters, this project will also assess the welfare benefits of fostering through evaluation of behavioral, health and physiological measures collected before, during and after fostering.

Why shelters and rescue groups need to unstop the customer service bottleneck to save more lives

March 05, 2020

Customer service is a crucial component of pet adoption. Which is why we are rerunning this story from June 2017 on the very topic. Treating potential adopters with warmth and positive attitude can go a long way and will help increase lifesaving.  As pet adoption increases in popularity and social cachet, and national campaigns like…

The Foster Express Challenge champions are here! 

February 27, 2020

The Foster Express Challenge has officially reached its destination, and we’re thrilled with the outcome of the this journey! Before we get to the 19 grant recipients, it should go without saying that all 132 participating organizations are true champions, with over 8,000 animals going out on field trips across the United States. It may sound a little cheesy, but as Foster Express Challenge…

#FeelGoodFriday: Swipe right for adoptable pets at a mall near you

February 14, 2020

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, adoptable dogs and cats will try their luck at the mall. The Shelter Pet Project‘s #AdoptPureLove campaign is coming to a mall near you in the form of in-mall displays. Similar to dating apps that require you to “swipe-right” for a match, mall patrons will have the opportunity to…

Why one Maddie’s Fund employee calls foster field trips “addicting”

January 30, 2020

Did you know that if just 2% of pet-owning households would foster one pet a year, we would end unnecessary euthanasia tomorrow? Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation, shared this statistic in November, and it’s part of what inspired Irene Chansawang to take the leap into foster field trips this past holiday season. Chansawang…

How a Maddie’s apprenticeship helped one shelter grow their foster program and save more dogs

January 28, 2020

Stephanie Jackson was still fairly new to foster coordination when she arrived in Austin, TX for Maddie’s® Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Apprenticeship in early 2017. She spent the next few days learning everything she could from her instructors and her peers. “When I was in Austin, I learned how to place medium to…

Coagulopathy in Pregnant Queens Undergoing Elective Ovariohysterectomies

December 31, 2019

This Hill Country Animal League study evaluated whether there is an increased risk of coagulopathy in pregnant cats that impacts their likelihood of survival during spay. The study included 236 cats that were grouped according to pregnant or non-pregnant status, and further broken down into six subgroups: not in heat, in heat, post-partum, early pregnant, mid-pregnant, or late pregnant. All the pregnancy subgroups were found to have much higher rates of bleeding than the overall incidence rate. Surgery (ovariohysterectomy) appeared to influence coagulation, with pregnancy appearing to increase hypercoagulability. Pregnant cats also broke down their clots faster.

How one Maddie’s apprenticeship changed Resilient Hearts Animal Sanctuary for the better

December 19, 2019

When Michael Ezzo, co-founder of Resilient Hearts Animal Sanctuary (RHAS), attended Maddie’s® Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Apprenticeship in October, he never imagined how much it would change his organization. And, how quickly that change would happen. “My partners were fully prepped on me coming home with ideas, but they never imagined how much…

Research studies to help you implement new lifesaving ideas at your animal organization

December 12, 2019

Over the past few years, the Maddie’s® Fund Idea Lab has been funding numerous projects to help advance the welfare of homeless pets across the country. While we’ve shared some of the findings as we received them (you’ve likely heard of the short-term foster sleepover study by now), we’re excited to finally have the summary results of 39 Maddie’s® Idea…

Limited resources hasn’t limited this animal shelter’s ability to save lives, #ThanksToMaddie

November 14, 2019

Pitt County Animal Services (PCAS) may not have a lot of resources, but that doesn’t keep them from trying new ideas to save lives. In July of 2002 they took over shelter operations from the City of Greenville, NC. At that time, only 25% of animals were leaving the shelter alive. It’s been a long…

Then and Now: Austin, Texas

November 12, 2019

As our 25th anniversary celebration continues, we’re looking back “then and now” style at some of the grants we’ve given over the years, and the amazing impact they’ve had on their communities since then. We’re continuing the stories with Austin, Texas. When it comes to astonishing progress in saving shelter pets, Austin, TX, stands out…

Estimating the Cost to Care for Animals at Austin Pets Alive!

October 31, 2019

This detailed case study from the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at University of Den-ver aimed to understand how an increased Live Release Rate (LRR) in Austin, TX has impacted parts of shelter operations, such as: cost per animal, length of stay (LOS) and companion animal quality of life. The findings create a template for calculating the direct costs associated with caring for companion animals at other sheltering and rescue organizations.

Establishing Normal Reference Intervals for Radiographic, Echocardiographic and Cardiac Biomarker Values in Healthy Kittens

September 30, 2019

This study aims to define the true normal reference intervals for kittens' hearts by radiographs and basic echocardiographic exam, as well as for cardiac biomarker testing.

Variables Influencing Visitor Interest and Adoption Likelihood in Dogs during Offsite Adoption Events

September 25, 2019

This study assessed which variables are most important in adopting a dog at off-site adoption events. Data showed that crating dogs, free adoption, and incentivizing volunteers resulted in better adoption outcomes for dogs displayed at adoption events.

Foster Parent Training: Does Behavior Consultation and Behavior Training Program Improve Foster Retainment?

August 31, 2019

This Summer Scholar study aimed to determine: the motivations for fostering, preparedness and satisfaction of foster caregivers, and the efficacy of the resources available to them via Pet Central Helps. When training foster dogs, positive reinforcement and verbal reinforcement were reported as being used most often; however, there was a considerable amount of use of electronic collars, choke chains and prong collars. Education and communication regarding how and why positive reinforcement techniques are more effective in the long run should be a focus. While foster parents reported general confidence in dealing with low level behavioral issues such as jumping, there was far less confidence regarding their ability to handle aggression, resource guarding, barking and separation anxiety. A focus of shelter personnel should be to improve communication with foster parents overall, especially targeting pending adoption and adoption events as well as specialized medical treatments.

Assessment of Canine Activity in a Municipal Shelter

August 31, 2019

This study was designed to determine average activity levels of dogs in a shelter environment and identify any associations between activity levels in shelter and behaviors in the home environment. Seventy-five singly-housed, adult dogs were enrolled in the study during the 8-month period. Sixty-seven adoptive owners consented to follow-up post adoption. Due to technical difficulties with the activity monitors and poor response rate from adopters, there was inadequate data for analysis. Thus, no results are reported at this time.

Evaluation of Antibiotic Use in Shelter Cats with Upper Respiratory Infection

August 31, 2019

This study evaluated the effect of antibiotic treatment in cats with signs of respiratory infection (URI) at the Cocheco Valley Humane Society in Dover, New Hampshire. The study included 25 cats in the study group treated with antibiotics and 22 cats in the control group that received no antibiotics. The results showed no significant difference in both the severity and duration of URI among cats treated with and without antibiotics.

Where Are They Now? An Exploratory Study of Transported Dogs in their Adoptive Homes

August 31, 2019

This Tufts University Summer Scholar study aimed to gather information regarding the in-home success, challenges and experiences of transported dogs in New England as compared to locally-sourced dogs to allow for a better understanding of the impact of transport programs. The study results show that transported dogs in this sample did not have more medical or behavioral problems than local dogs, that owners of these transported dogs were just as satisfied with their dog, and that these transported dogs did not have an increased incidence of rehoming or relinquishment. A surprising 15% of owners did not know the source of their dog, which could make it harder to identify the cause of a behavior problem or origin of a health problem.

Evaluation of the Effects of Alpha-Casozepine on Cats Exhibiting Anxiety in the Shelter Setting

August 31, 2019

This Michigan State University Summer Scholar study aimed to assess efficacy of Zylkene (alpha-casozepine) for reducing anxiety in singly housed shelter cats, and investigate correlations between in-shelter stress and in-home behavior after adoption. The study enrolled a total of 27 cats and found no significant difference between treatment and control groups, with no clear benefit of Zylkene in this population.

Evaluation of the Effects of Zylkene® on Dogs Exhibiting Anxiety in the Shelter Setting

February 4, 2020

This Michigan State University Summer Scholar study aimed to assess the effectiveness of Zylkene® (primary ingredient: decapeptide caseinate hydrolysate) in relieving anxiety in dogs in a municipal shelter. Two different observers evaluated signs of stress exhibited by the enrolled dogs, but their findings were inconclusive. Observer #1 found that, of the 15 enrolled dogs, 6 of those that received treatment and 5 of the placebo group demonstrated lower anxiety. Observer #2 found that 3 enrolled dogs which received treatment and 3 enrolled dogs from the placebo group demonstrated lower anxiety.

The Role of Vitamin D as a Biomarker for Immune Function in Shelter Dogs

August 31, 2019

This Midwestern University study aimed to determine if there was a link between immune function and Vitamin D in shelter dogs. The study found that dogs in a shelter for 7 days demonstrated more immune issues compared to healthy control dogs. There was no significant difference in the production of white blood cell production of cytokines between shelter dogs and healthy dogs. However, higher Vitamin D concentration was found to be associated with higher destruction of the bacterium, E. coli, per cell in both the control and shelter populations.

Research study: Foster care has an impact on dogs’ welfare and adoption

August 29, 2019

Button had been at the Kansas City Pet Project for about a month, and he wasn’t doing well. He was displaying alarming signs of kennel stress, including pacing, spinning, vocalizing and jumping up and down over and over. The shelter has an excellent enrichment program that includes play groups, walks, puzzle toys and more, but…

Get ’em Home Challenge winning strategies for helping long-stay pets in animal shelters

August 13, 2019

This was posted to Maddie’s Pet Forum, but we’re sharing it here in case you missed it!  Young-Williams Animal Center won 3rd place for Most Creative Program Overall in the #GetEmHomeChallenge. You can engage with the organization directly on the original forum post to ask questions, get advice and more!  In order to find adopters…

Effectiveness of Rescue® in Reducing Parvovirus in the Environment

August 9, 2019

This University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Scholar study aimed to assess the effectiveness of Rescue®, a product with accelerated hydrogen peroxide commonly used in shelters for mass disinfection, in reducing Parvovirus in the environment, in comparison to bleach. Results showed that bleach solutions were the most effective disinfectant, followed by a 3% hydrogen solution, and a 1:16 Rescue® solution. Lower concentration levels of Rescue® did not show significant reductions of Parvovirus.

Sources of Pets in Austin, Texas: A Pilot Study of the Pet Acquisition Questionnaire

August 1, 2019

This survey-based study aimed to better understand pet acquisition history, disposition toward future pet acquisition preferences and social influences in the city of Austin, Texas, with the ultimate purpose of developing policies and procedures that will increase rates of adoption. Although sample size was small (n=86), 81 (94%) respondents reported that they would consider obtaining their next pet from a shelter or rescue organization, whereas on the American Humane Association (2012) survey, only 56% of dog owners and 64% of cat owners said they would obtain their next pet from a shelter or rescue organization.

The Forgotten Kitten Project

July 31, 2019

This Cat Town study aimed to evaluate the behavior of unsocialized kittens participating in a socialization program at Cat Town. Due to illness during the study period, only 7 kittens were able to complete the program where they were habituated to people. The kittens all exhibited improved behavior, with 5 of the 7 showing overall affiliative behaviors.

When After Adoption (or After Entering Foster Care) are People Most Likely to Report New Behavioral or Health Problems in Dogs?

February 4, 2020

This University of California Davis Summer Scholar study aimed to determine the prevalence of reported problems and any obvious data trends in dog foster and adopter survey responses by examining 36,000 surveys gathered by the Maddie's<sup>&reg;</sup> Pet Assistant mobile app. Behavior issues were the most prevalent problems reported, with house-soiling being the most frequently reported for both adopted and fostered dogs. Over 50% of respondents on Day 1, Day 3 and Day 30 reported no health issues in both adopted and foster dogs.

When After Adoption (or After Entering Foster Care) are People Most Likely to Report New Behavioral or Health Problems in Cats?

July 31, 2019

This University of California Davis Summer Scholar study aimed to determine the prevalence of reported problems and any obvious data trends in cats foster and adopter survey responses by examining 36,000 surveys gathered by the Maddie's® Pet Assistant app. Overall, cats fared well in their new homes. More than 70% of respondents on Days 1, 3, and 30 reported no health concerns for both adopted and fostered cats, and 85% of adopted cats peed in their litter box on Day 1. In both adopted and fostered cats, the most prevalent problems reported on Day 1 were associated with fear, including of fear of noise, environment, adults, cats and dogs.

To Evaluate the Effects of Incubator Housing and Feeding Frequency on Growth Rate and Diarrhea in Orphaned Neonatal Kittens

July 31, 2019

This University of California Davis Summer Scholar study is part of a two-year project investigating 1) if orphaned neonatal kittens kept in incubators have significant differences in growth rate or incidence of diarrhea compared to those not kept in incubators, and 2) how differences in feeding frequency affect growth rate and incidence of diarrhea. The study found the incubator kittens (n=70) had a far higher prevalence of diarrhea at 69% than the control kittens (n=15) at 20%, without clear cause. Kittens with diarrhea had a slightly lower feeding frequency than kittens without diarrhea, suggesting more frequent but small meals may be beneficial in diarrhea prevention in neonates. There was little to no association found in feeding frequency and growth rate.

#FeelGoodFriday: Million Cat Challenge has saved 2 million cats!

July 26, 2019

We can’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend than by celebrating the new Million Cat Challenge milestone! The campaign, originally launched to save the lives of one million shelter cats in North America, announced today that participating animal shelters have DOUBLED that original goal. You read that right – that means two…

Then and now: Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland

July 18, 2019

As our 25th anniversary celebration continues, we’re looking back “then and now” style at some of the grants we’ve given over the years, and the amazing impact they’ve had on their communities since then.  In 2006, after a couple of false starts, the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) was formed. The coalition, comprised of…

Best Friends Animal Society Receives $1.5M Grant for Shelter Outreach Program, Thanks to Maddie

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Best Friends Animal Society received a $1.5 million grant from Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, to expand its Shelter Outreach Embed Program.

Then and Now: Alachua County Community Collaborative Project

June 25, 2019

As our 25th anniversary celebration continues, we’re looking back “then and now” style at some of the grants we’ve given over the years, and the amazing impact they’ve had on their communities since then. We’re kicking off the stories with Maddie’s® Projects in Alachua County, FL. “The project originally started as a five-year project in…

#FeelGoodFriday: Actress Rachel Bloom finds a scene partner in a shelter dog

May 31, 2019

Is there a better way to rehearse a scene than with a dog? Rachel Bloom doesn’t think so. The star and creator of the show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, runs lines with her dog, Wiley, in The Shelter Pet Project’s campaign, #AdoptPureLove. “My shelter dog Wiley is a cuddly ball of energy. She brightens my day and adds…

Solving Economic Euthanasia by Early Intervention

May 31, 2019

This Waggle project evaluated an operating model that utilizes matching donations through crowdfunding to cover costs of veterinary care. Waggle connects with veterinarians and shelters to lend credibility to their crowdfunding. Their findings suggest that matching funds positively impact both the amount of money raised and the probability of reaching 100% of pet owners' financial needs.

#FeelGoodFriday: Logan Ryan says his dogs were like his first kids

May 10, 2019

“The coolest thing about dogs is their love is just unbreakable and their bond is forever.” That’s Tennessee Titan cornerback Logan Ryan, in The Shelter Pet Project‘s latest campaign, #AdoptPureLove. Ryan speaks of his love for Julius, who he says has the most calming spirit in a house with two young kids and two dogs.…

Jacksonville Humane Society wants you to steal their winning plan for long stay pets

May 09, 2019

The deck appeared to be stacked against 15-year-old Freckles, who had been awaiting adoption for several months. “Freckles had some hair loss and a fairly appropriate ‘cattitude’ for a lady of her age,” says Lindsay Layendecker, Jacksonville Humane Society’s (JHS) Senior Manager of Education and Outreach.  “Her age, look and behavior made finding her a…

Foster Family Preparedness, Compliance, and Retention at Midwest Animal Rescue and Services

May 1, 2019

This Summer Scholar research project assessed the foster program at Midwest Animal Rescue and Services (MARS), with the aim of understanding how to improve volunteer foster compliance and retention, develop effective training programs, and improve resources for volunteer fosters. Results showed 79% of foster caregivers felt that the training session helped them to feel better prepared; the majority thought it should take 24-48 hours to hear back via email or phone; and 36% of fosters missing prevention doses (36%) and rechecks (18%) among other findings.

5 marketing strategies to take your shelter dog field trip program to the next level

April 30, 2019

Dozens of animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country are launching field trip programs as part of a groundbreaking nationwide study of foster care. By making it easy for their communities to participate and using innovative marketing strategies, multiple organizations have sent so many dogs on field trips that they’ve cleared their adoption floors…

Evaluation of Newly Developed Lifesaving Protocol for Prematurely Born Kittens

April 30, 2019

The study evaluated the success of Second Chance Animal Services' protocol to save pregnant feral cats and their kittens by performing a C-section, spaying the feral moms, returning them to their habitats, and providing care for kittens until adoption. Kittens from litters born to reasonably healthy moms were all successfully adopted as pets and extremely well-adjusted.

Post Adoption Behavioral Training Support

April 30. 2019

Denver Animal Protection (DAP) evaluated a post-adoption program which offered free training services and supplies to adopters of dogs with manageable behavioral challenges. Fifty-two dogs and puppies were enrolled in the program and subsequently adopted. By the conclusion of the study, 32 adopters (61.5%) had utilized the post-adoption training services. Adopters who had utilized the training support were less likely to return their dogs (3, 9.4%) than were adopters who did not (5, 25%). None of the 52 dogs were euthanized for behavioral reasons.

Feline Leukemia Virus in a Shelter Setting: Effectiveness and Outcome

April 30, 2019

This study evaluated Austin Pets Alive!'s (APA!) model of care and adoption of FeLV-positive cats (FeLV cats) and assessed the experiences of their adopters. Results showed that 90% of the FeLV-positive cats remain alive 12 months after adoption and the average age of surviving cats is 3.32 years thus far, exceeding the commonly industry-cited 2-3 year lifespan for FeLV cats. The majority (65%) of FeLV cat adopters felt that APA!'s education about FeLV was very helpful. Almost all (99%) FeLV cat adopters were happy with their cats, and 80% would be very likely to adopt a FeLV cat again.

The Get ’em Home Challenge winners are here!

March 28, 2019

Yesterday we announced the winners of the Get ‘em Home Challenge. (If you missed the announcement, you can watch the recording.) Thanks to your unwavering support for the animals, over 16,000 dogs and cats found new homes! “We couldn’t be happier with this outcome. The Challenge brought together 109 organizations from nearly every region of…

The Get 'em Home Challenge Finds Homes for Over 16,000 of the Nation's Dogs and Cats, Thanks to Maddie

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Over 16,000 dogs and cats from across the country found homes, thanks to a special contest hosted by Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

The Use, Policies and Perception of Cat and Dog Foster Care Programs

February 28, 2019

Maddie's Fund® conducted an online survey to gain national baseline data regarding the utilization, structure and policies of cat and dog foster care programs. Foster programs appear to be fairly common practice in US shelter and rescues. However, most foster programs are relatively small with a small number of pets in foster care and a small number of active foster caregivers. The survey discovered a correlation between practices of a foster-centric shelter and having more foster caregivers. The majority of organizations who responded to this survey loved the foster-centric model of animal care, although there was considerably less interest in implementing it.

Sheltering Organization Policies Regarding Foster Caregivers

February 28, 2019

Part of a larger study: The Use, Policies and Perception of Cat and Dog Foster Care Programs Maddie's Fund® conducted an online survey to gain national baseline data regarding cat and dog foster care programs. This summary specifically focuses on foster caregiver policies of enrollment, support and appreciation. Overall, organizations with more stringent requirements to become a foster caregiver tended to have relatively fewer foster caregivers.

"Home to Home" Pilot Program

February 15, 2019

Jacksonville Humane Society's "Home to Home" program empowered people surrendering their pets by assisting them with rehoming their pets, negating the need to surrender them. The project provided rehoming support for 678 pets and successfully rehomed 208 pets.

Congratulations to over 100 Innovation Grant recipients!

February 12, 2019

It’s safe to say there’s no shortage of innovation in the animal welfare industry, as over 100 organizations across the country received an Innovation Grant during the October 2018 cycle. “People have really embraced this idea of thinking outside-the-box to save lives, and it’s showing on their applications!” said Kelly Clardy, Senior Grants Specialist at…

Trends in Intake and Outcome Data for Colorado Animal Shelters and Rescues

February 1, 2019

This cross-sectional study from the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, at University of Denver, aimed to measure data trends in cat and dog intake, euthanasia, adoption, return to owner, transfers, deaths and live releases in 76 animal shelter and rescue facilities in Colorado from 2000 through 2015. Findings suggest substantial improvements that reflected changes in unhoused animal populations, the impact of resource allocation to spay-neuter programs, adoption marketing, inter-shelter transfers, and evidence-based improvements in operations.

Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Best Practices and Public Policy

November 16, 2018

The Access to Veterinary Care Coalition at the University of Tennessee (UT) conducted a national study of pet owners, focusing on populations with inadequate access to veterinary care. The report entitled, Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy, was released December 17, 2018. The report found that an overwhelming barrier for all income groups of pet owners is financial for all types of care (80.0% for preventative care, 73.8% for sick care, and 55.7% for emergency care).

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to save more pets

October 25, 2018

It may feel a little like stealing. But when it comes to saving the lives of animals, borrowing ideas from other organizations is a great way to achieve your mission. “We are always stealing and polishing,” says Sharon Harmon, CEO of the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) and Maddie Hero Award recipient. “We can all learn…

Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Project

October 19, 2018

The goals of this Austin Animal Center study were to assess the effect of foster care on medium-to-large dogs at multiple shelter locations in the United States and to measure the impact of the foster program on staff morale. The results from this study suggest that dogs benefit dramatically from foster care. Behaviors associated with well-being improved and those associated with poor well-being lessened. Shelters should utilize foster care to improve welfare and find homes for dogs because it has a significant impact on behavior, well-being and adoption.

How foster field trips saved a dog named Kathy

October 16, 2018

Is there anything you haven’t tried to save your long-stay dogs who are getting kennel-stressed? Read Kathy’s story and see if what helped her will work for your dogs, too. As Kathy’s stay at Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) crept beyond 80 days, multiple signs of kennel stress began to appear: jumping, frantic barking at…

The Economic Impacts of Denver's Breed Specific Legislation

September 30, 2018

The University of Denver and Institute for Human-Animal Connection examined how the City and County of Denver's Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) ordinance, Section 8-55, introduced in 1989, has impacted the economic and social systems of the Denver community. The breed ban cost the city millions of dollars to implement and defend but resulted only in inconclusive public safety outcomes. Moreover, the ban has disproportionately affected individuals in underserved communities.

Do Labels Matter? A Pilot Study.

August 31, 2018

Best Friends Animal Society and Dr. Gary Patronek completed a pilot study at PACC investigating the effect of breed labeling, or lack thereof, on the adoption of shelter dogs. This study also compared breed assignments in the shelter's database with DNA data. However, because DNA analysis results were almost always not back before the dog was adopted, this part of the study involved primarily a comparison of staff guess of breed to providing no breed information. The results of this pilot study revealed that having no breed information on kennel cards contributed to a longer length of stay (LOS). Further investigation is needed before these results should be used to impact shelter protocols.

An adoption fee tweak that lets animal shelters help more pets

July 24, 2018

What if you could reduce the time animals have to wait to find a forever home, while increasing adoptions and seeing your adoption revenue go up? This positive turn of events has been playing out this year at San Jose Animal Care Center (SJACC)– and the center says a newly-implemented strategy called “variable pricing” is largely…

Innovative foster care for the win with Innovation Grants!

July 12, 2018

We can’t get ready for the next round of Innovation Grants without giving big congratulations to the grantees from last round, can we? Of course not! So, please join us in congratulating the 116 Innovation Grant recipients from April 2018! “The category was Innovative Foster Care, and we were thrilled to see so many organizations…

Screening Shelter Cats for FeLV

June 30, 2018

The University of Florida evaluated whether cats at Austin Pets Alive! who tested positive for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) at intake would remain positive upon retesting, by 4 different methods, at one month intervals for 6 months. The study found that a single test, or a test given at a single point in time, may not be sufficient to determine if a cat has FeLV or not, and that commonly used confirmatory tests may not be definitive. Practical follow-up tests are needed to help determine disease status with the understanding that FeLV disease states may be better represented as a continuum instead of discrete states.

Million Cat Challenge Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Continue Revolutionizing Animal Sheltering, Thanks to Maddie

June 26, 2018

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, is granting $2,580,741 to support the Million Cat Challenge as it expands to into its next phase of animal lifesaving in shelters across North America.

Foster Team Implementation at Nine Shelters

June 15, 2018

The University of North Carolina evaluated the implementation of foster teams at nine animal shelters. Overall, there was high excitement for but low engagement in the project. Participants reported that there many organizational barriers to implement the program. Smaller shelters were more successful in implementing foster teams than were larger shelters. Foster care managers reported a lighter workload and more support when teams were implemented.

Canine Parvovirus Treatment in Shelters

May 31, 2018

In part one of this project, Austin Pets Alive! evaluated the effectiveness of their in-shelter parvovirus treatment program and assessed the average treatment cost. It also researched factors that can increase or decrease the likelihood of dog survival. The project found that nearly 90% of the dogs treated survived parvovirus with supportive care, and that this care can be given at fairly minimal cost (approximately $53 and 8 hours of care per dog). In the second part of this project, both adopters of parvo-treated puppies and adopters of puppies who had not been infected (e.g., the matched control group) were surveyed regarding any post-adoption medical and/or behavioral conditions. The study found no significant impact on behavioral or health outcomes in parvo-treated puppies as compared to healthy puppies.

Louisville shelter teams up with local police to get dogs out into the field… and adopted!

May 03, 2018

Looking for ways to get your shelter’s dogs out into the community so they can get seen by more potential adopters? Consider partnering with your local police department! That’s what Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) did after Stephanie Jackson got back from the Maddie’s® Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Apprenticeship at Pima Animal Care…

Study: Can foster field trips improve welfare in dogs?

May 01, 2018

Can just a few hours outside the shelter make a difference for a dog? Data from an ongoing study suggests foster field trips can help improve welfare in dogs, increase adoption chances and create other advantages for the organization caring for the dogs. Here’s the background: About a year ago, Austin Animal Center received a…

Evaluation of Temporary Fostering Programs on Shelter Dog Welfare and Future Behavior in Adoptive Homes at Four US Animal Shelters

April 30, 2018

Arizona State University investigated the benefits of short-term fostering on shelter dog welfare at four animal shelters in the United States. Dog activity and urinary cortisol (a hormonal indicator of stress) were used to assess dog behavior and stress. The study demonstrated a reduction in stress (cortisol) when dogs stayed in foster homes. When dogs returned to the shelter, urinary cortisol returned to baseline levels. Shelter dogs with the highest baseline stress levels showed the most dramatic reductions in cortisol while in foster care.

Kitten Fostering 4 Rock Stars

April 30, 2018

Cat Adoption Team evaluated their program to teach organizations how to implement their Fostering 4 Rock Stars (F4RS) model for training and supporting foster caregivers. Three animal welfare organizations were engaged in this training, which focused on providing caregivers with foster kits, supporting caregivers by providing access to mentors, and making kittens available for adoption before spay/neuter. All groups increased their lifesaving capacity through adoption of the F4RS model. Based on pre- and post- project satisfaction surveys, staff and foster volunteer perceptions of the groups' foster programs also improved significantly.

Fundraising for Community Kitten Foster Initiative

April 30, 2018

Stray Cat Alliance evaluated the sustainability of the Safe-At-Home project by fundraising for the project within their community. The project used the following channels to increase the support: direct mail, email/social media, major gifts & mid-level donors, sponsorship and events. The project was successful; funding increased from 2017 to 2018.

Maddie's Fund Surprises Animal Welfare Superheroes With $100,000 In Grant Awards

April 24, 2018

Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has surprised 10 animal welfare leaders with Maddie Hero Awards for their incredible efforts in furthering the no-kill nation mission through community lifesaving and big picture thinking.

Study: Save 5 times more dogs, cut costs and improve health in your animal shelter

April 17, 2018

Short of finding a magic wand, there’s really nothing better than foster care programs for boosting lifesaving, cutting costs and improving health in animal shelters. Unconvinced? Check out the results of a study just published in the peer-reviewed journal Animals, “Factors Associated with High Live Release for Dogs at a Large, Open-Admission, Municipal Shelter.” The…

Behavioral Interventions to Promote Dog Adoptions

March 31, 2018

Texas Tech University studied meet-and-greets (e.g., the first physical meeting of an adoptable dog and a potential adopter) in relation to adoption rates in 8 shelters. The study found that shelters that already have more structured meet-and-greets adopt out a higher percentage of dogs, as compared to shelters with unstructured meet-and-greets. However, the results of implementing this behavioral intervention's best practices (baseline vs. experimental condition) were inconclusive.

How one animal shelter is keeping people and pets together

March 29, 2018

Helping people struggling with their pets’ behavior problems early on can keep them in their homes and out of the shelter. That’s exactly what Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester, has been doing for several years now with their Pet Peeves program and hotline. Now, Maddie’s Fund® has given them an Innovation Grant to…

Factors Associated with High Live Release for Dogs at a Large, Open-Admission, Municipal Shelter

March 28, 2018

This research project from The Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, sought to better understand factors contributing to live release (e.g., rehoming). Results showed that temporary placement of dogs, who were either not immediately eligible or not strong candidates for adoption due to reasons such as age or health, increased the odds of live release after subsequent return to the shelter. Over a fifth (21%) of dogs originally brought to the shelter for owner-requested euthanasia were determined to be potentially savable and ultimately rehomed.

Foster Field Trips Implementation

March 7, 2018

This project evaluated whether short-term outings (foster field trips) at Louisville Metro Animal Services improve dog welfare. Dogs that went on field trips showed significant improvement on 15 of 21 measures of behavior, among them increases in playfulness, happiness confidence and relaxation, and decreases in anxiousness, fearfulness and repetitive behavior. During the study, 51 dogs were taken on short-term outings lasting about 3 hours.

Community Kitten Foster Initiative

February 28, 2018

Stray Cat Alliance's Safe-At-Home project prevents unweaned kittens, who are at-risk due to their inability to eat on their own, from entering the shelter. The program works by intercepting community members bringing these kittens to the shelter and encouraging them to foster the kittens until they are old enough to be adopted. The program educates community foster caregivers on how to care for orphaned kittens and provides supplies and veterinary care. In 2017, the goal was to save 400 - 450 kittens; the program cared for 563 kittens and saved 468 (83%) of them.

Socialization and Problem Solving in Shelter Cats

February 28, 2018

The University of Tennessee studied the relationship between a cat's socialization toward humans and cats' problem-solving ability. According to the Social Intelligence Hypothesis, which states that intelligence evolved due to complex social environments, an animal's social life should result in higher cognitive abilities. The results of this study provide evidence that domestic cats are not only capable of problem-solving, but that their socialization towards humans influences their abilities.

Innovation grant recipients remove barriers to pet adoption and promote foster care

February 22, 2018

Another round of Innovation Grant recipients have come up with another inspiring list of ideas for growing foster care and adoption at their organizations. “It was fun to see the creativity these groups came up with for their programs in the October 2017 grant application cycle,” said Kelly Clardy, Maddie’s Fund Senior Grants Specialist. “Applications…

Study: Foster caregiver turnover and how your animal welfare organization can combat it

January 30, 2018

Ever wonder why foster caregivers stop fostering? How can your organization increase retention? Maddie’s Fund® set out to answer these questions by sponsoring a recent study at UNC Charlotte on foster care. The results, and what your organization can do about the problem, may surprise you. “The purpose of this study was to better understand…

Great ideas come from over 100 shelters and rescue organizations receiving Innovation Grants in August

January 18, 2018

Law enforcement training, tenant pet deposits and the expansion of a senior foster pets program are just three of over 100 innovative ideas that came from the August round of Innovation Grant recipients. It seems the ideas just keep getting more innovative each time we do this, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the…

The Use, Safety and Perception of Dog Playgroups in Animal Shelters

January 7, 2018

Maddie's Fund® conducted a nationalonline survey regarding dog playgroup practices. The majority (83%) of responding organizations utilize playgroups, and with some frequency (71% had> 3 per week). However, the average number of dogs in each playgroup was small indicating that most organizations don't provide dogs with the opportunity to play with other dogs on a regular basis.

Georgia animal shelter tries anything – and everything! – to get pets adopted

January 02, 2018

From expanding shelter hours to Sunday hikes with dogs, Animal Ark Rescue (AAR) in Columbus, GA, isn’t afraid to try new things, and it’s paying off big time for the animals and the community. The shelter has been open for a little less than six years and boasts a 99 percent save rate for its…

Foster Care for Stressed and Fearful Dogs

December 31, 2017

Longmont Humane Society evaluated an expansion of their foster program to include foster caregivers trained to foster dogs who are shy, anxious or otherwise stressed in the kennel environment. A total of 33 dogs were sent to foster homes through this project. Of 33 dogs, 31 were successfully adopted (94% live release rate).

This New Year, resolve to start a ‘Dogs Day Out’ program at your animal shelter

December 28, 2017

A dog named Feathers at Southern Pines Animal Shelter (SPAS) in Mississippi kept getting overlooked by adopters. That is, until she went on a day outing with a volunteer. The organization thought she’d be the perfect dog to trial their new “Dogs Day Out” (DDO) program, and it turns out they were right. “Feathers is…

Meet the 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award recipient!

November 08, 2017

Drum roll, please! We’d like to thank everyone for their nominations and patience during the review process for the Avanzino Leadership Award. We’re thrilled to announce Dr. Julie Levy as the 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award recipient! The prestigious award is named after Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement and Maddie’s Fund® President from…

Maddie's Fund Names Dr. Julie Levy As 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award Recipient

November 8, 2017

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has presented the 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award to Dr. Julie Levy for her outstanding leadership and significant achievements in lifesaving.

Maddie's Fund Names Dr. Julie Levy As 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award Recipient

November 8, 2017

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has presented the 2017 Avanzino Leadership Award to Dr. Julie Levy for her outstanding leadership and significant achievements in lifesaving.

No matter the struggles your animal organization is facing, you’re not alone

November 02, 2017

If you are working in animal welfare, it’s easy to think that the challenges faced by your community or your organization are unique — that you have to contend with problems, stakeholders, and circumstances other communities don’t. Amelia Monroe from Loudoun County Animal Services (LCAS) thought so, too, until she attended Maddie’s® Volunteer Management and…

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…

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…

How one municipal animal shelter is saving cats with ringworm, and you can, too!

October 05, 2017

How can a municipal shelter create a successful, lifesaving ringworm ward — run 100 percent by volunteers, no less? It’s easy, with a little innovation and a lot of determination. That’s exactly what Front Street Animal Shelter (FSAS) in Sacramento, CA, had when they applied for an Innovation Grant with us last year. Their goal…

Research: Why people adopt shelter pets, and recommend adoption to others

October 03, 2017

In 2014, the Shelter Pet Project, an Ad Council public service advertising campaign promoting pet adoption and funded by Maddie’s Fund® and the Humane Society of the United States, conducted a research survey of 1,402 people to understand how to increase the number of pets acquired from animal shelters and rescue organizations. What can we…

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…

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…

Effects of Probiotic Treatment on Cats Entering a Shelter

September 11, 2017

This University of Illinois Summer Scholar research project explored the use of probiotics to decrease occurrences of diarrhea in shelter cats. Forty-four cats were given a Fortiflora-supplemented meal for seven days. Seven percent of probiotic-treated cats developed diarrhea for more than two days, compared to 16% of the control group, suggesting that Fortiflora can be beneficial in reducing the number of cats with diarrhea in shelters.

Acupuncture as a Means of Reducing Stress in Shelter Cats

August 31, 2017

This University of Illinois Summer Scholar study investigated whether administering acupuncture to newly incoming shelter adult cats or kittens would reduce stress. The study results did not show significant difference in stress levels between cats that received acupuncture treatment and cats that did not.

Melatonin to Reduce Stress-Related Behaviors in Recently Impounded Dogs

August 31, 2017

The Summer Scholar study aimed to determine if giving melatonin to shelter dogs in the evening would have an effect on their overnight activity, barking, or daytime behaviors. The study results show that melatonin at this dose had no clear effect on anxiety in the shelter environment. The groups differed significantly in two respects: the melatonin group was more active, and the melatonin group spent more time showing multiple defensive behaviors, the opposite of what was expected.

Zoonotic Intestinal Parasites and Efficacy of a Treatment Protocol

August 31, 2017

The University of California at Davis Summer Scholar study aimed to determine if giving melatonin to shelter dogs in the evening would have an effect on their overnight activity, barking, or daytime behaviors.The study results show that melatonin at this dose had no clear effect on anxiety in the shelter environment. The groups differed significantly in two respects: the melatonin group was more active, and the melatonin group spent more time showing multiple defensive behaviors, the opposite of what was expected.

Comparison of Serotonin Levels between Pit Bull-Type and Non-Pit Bull-Type Dogs in Shelters

August 31, 2017

This Colorado State University summer scholar study aimed to determine and compare 5-HT (serotonin) concentrations in pit bull-type dogs, who would be subject to breed restrictions, and non-pit bull-type dogs entering northern Colorado shelters. The results indicated no significant difference (P=0.085) in average 5-HT serotonin levels between pit bull-type and non-pit bull-type dogs.

Evaluation of Temporary Fostering Programs on Shelter Dog Welfare and Future Behavior in Adoptive Homes

July 31, 2017

Carroll College evaluated a short-term foster program for dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. The results suggest that dogs' stress decreases while in foster care. The researchers observed a statistically significant decrease in dogs' cortisol levels (a hormonal indicator of stress) while on sleepovers. Dogs' cortisol returned to baseline levels after returning to the shelter, but did not increase above pre-foster levels.

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…

Los Angeles County's Agoura Animal Care Center Showcases New Colorful Look as Portraits of Hope Begins to Introduce its Latest Makeovers for the Shelters This Friday

July 27, 2017

Portraits of Hope will introduce the new look for LA County's Agoura Animal Care Center at a showcasing event on Friday, July, 28th at 11A in front of the horse area. All LA County animal shelter revitalizations by Portraits of Hope are imminent with the Carson Animal Center nearing its colorful makeover as well.

Foster Team Implementation at Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society

June 30, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte worked with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to evaluate the implementation of a foster team. PAWS successfully implemented the program; their participation aided in further development of the foster team concept.

Foster Teams Survey

June 30, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte evaluated the level of interest in developing teams of people (foster teams) who work together to find homes for foster pets. Foster Teams are comprised of people who fulfill different roles, such as team lead, photographer, pet transport, caregivers, etc. The results revealed that there was stronger interest in foster teams among prospective vs. existing foster caregivers. Many respondents felt that foster teams may lead to more community involvement in fostering and more adoptions.

Formalization and Analysis of ARK Transfer Programs

June 30, 2017

Animal Rescue Konnection (ARK) developed and formalized a simple yet effective and inexpensive set of programs that successfully transfer dogs displaying behavioral struggles in shelters to environments that support and encourage positive behavior, improving their chances for re-homing.

Foster Caregiver Turnover Study

June 30, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte evaluated reasons why foster caregivers stop volunteering and ways to retain them. The top five factors were: needing time to focus solely on one's own pets, adopting too many of the animals themselves (e.g. "too many foster fails"), schedule not compatible with foster caregiving, personal issues (e.g. age/health-related issues, taking care of loved ones, divorce, etc.) and living situation not compatible with foster caregiving. Factors that can improve foster caregiver retention include: improved communication, offer more training opportunities, assistance with finding homes for pets, offer more flexible fostering arrangements, more opportunities for caregivers to provide input, and increase recognition/appreciation.

Follow the Fellows: The first Maddie’s Executive Leadership Fellows begin their year-long journey

June 20, 2017

The future of animal welfare leadership is looking bright with leaders like Sheila Kouhkan, Miranda Hitchcock, Matt Chan and Sarah Humlie at the forefront. All four individuals work in animal shelters across the U.S. and have been selected as fellows for Maddie’s® Executive Leadership Fellowship program, an intensive professional opportunity for individuals committed to developing and…

Reducing animal surrender due to medical costs, #ThanksToMaddie!

June 15, 2017

What if you could help keep pets out of the shelter and with their families by subsidizing veterinary care costs? That’s exactly what Colorado’s Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) had in mind when they applied for an Innovation Grant earlier this year. “Their Innovation Grant was to help people surrendering their animals…

Let’s congratulate recent Innovation Grant recipients! Now, why don’t you join them?

May 16, 2017

Have you applied for an Innovation Grant yet? Hurry! The window is open, but it will only last until May 22. We’re kicking off this Innovation Grant cycle by congratulating the recipients from last quarter, and hoping you’ll be inspired by their ideas! “We’re excited that there were so many applications… nearly 500!” said Kelly Clardy,…

Maddie's Fund Surprises Animal Welfare Superheroes With $150K In Grant Awards

April 26, 2017

Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has surprised 15 animal welfare leaders with Maddie Hero Awards for their incredible efforts in furthering the no-kill nation mission through shelter medicine, community lifesaving and big picture thinking.

Maddie's Fund Continues Support of Shelter Animals Count Database With $100,000 Grant

April 19, 2017

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has made a $100,000 investment in Shelter Animals Count.

The kitties went down to Georgia – and their lives were saved!

March 14, 2017

Madi R. Hawkins, Director of Habersham County Animal Care & Control in Georgia, loves cats. She especially loves being in charge of a shelter that’s committed to saving them — even though it hasn’t always been that way. “The polices in place when I first started, especially in regards to feral cats, were heartbreaking,” she…

Factors Informing Outcomes for Older Cats and Dogs in Animal Shelters

March 8, 2017

This study from the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, at University of Denver, aimed to assess the factors that inform outcomes of older cats and dogs. This study found that a pet's condition at intake had the greatest impact on the outcomes. Additionally, the application of specialized veterinary care, such as orthopedic surgery or chronic disease maintenance, is discussed as factors that inform higher rates of live outcomes for these senior companion animals.

The Million Cat Challenge is saving shelter cats, #ThanksToMaddie!

February 16, 2017

“Every cat counts.” That’s the motto of our funded Million Cat Challenge, and it’s one Maddie’s Fund® wholeheartedly believes in. That’s why, from April 29 to May 31, 2016, we gave 596 grants totaling $617,500 to shelters that joined the Challenge, and to Challenge shelters that referred new participants. The Million Cat Challenge was launched…

Owner Personality and Psychology on Canine Behavior

February 2, 2017

The Center for Canine Behavior Studies explored the effects of owner personality and mental health on dog behavior and owner's choice of training methods. Overall, the study found significant associations between 4 of the 'Big Five' human personality traits and the prevalence of some canine behavior problems, and a strong association between male owner depression and the use of aversive/punitive training methods. However, there was little evidence that training methods are the primary mechanism for influencing behavior.

Maddie's Fund Invests $2 Million in Adopt-a-Pet.com

January 19, 2017

Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has made a $2 Million investment in Adopt-a-Pet.com to help expand its technology and bolster public interest and involvement in pet adoption and fostering.

Thanks for telling us what to do with our money, grant recipients!

December 07, 2016

The tables have turned at Maddie’s Fund®. “Our grant process used to be that we would tell you what to do with the money,” said Mary Ippoliti-Smith of the Executive Leadership Team. “Now people are telling us what they’re going to do with it. It’s pretty awesome.” She’s talking about the $360,000 Maddie’s Fund just…

Austin veterinarian receives first Avanzino Leadership Award from Maddie’s Fund

November 09, 2016

Were you at the American Pets Alive! conference this past weekend? If so, you probably heard about the Avanzino Leadership Award, Maddie’s Fund®’s new national leadership award named after the Dog-father himself, Rich Avanzino. This award recognizes outstanding leadership in the animal welfare community – and we interrupted the opening session to present the award!…

Maddie's Fund Awards Avanzino Leadership Award to Dr. Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive!

November 3, 2016

Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, awarded the first annual Avanzino Leadership Award to Dr. Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive! for her outstanding leadership and significant achievement in lifesaving.

Assessment of Short-Term Foster Care Programs in Shelter Animals

October 31, 2016

Maddie's Fund® conducted an online survey of shelter and rescue staff and volunteers to gain national baseline data around the duration, utilization, variation and perceived outcomes of short-term foster care programs for cats and dogs. Respondents reported that short-term foster programs often resulted in adoption and/or short-term caregivers becoming longer term foster caregivers.

Innovation grants pay off for the animals, #ThanksToMaddie

October 26, 2016

Lifesaving just got a whole lot more innovative! After the 2016 Humane Society of the United States Expo, we invited attendees to submit Innovation Grant proposals in various categories from adoptions and technology to public engagement. It’s no surprise the proposals came pouring in, and we just awarded more than $307,000 to 60 organizations across the U.S.!…

Study: Do DNA breed tests help dogs get adopted?

October 06, 2016

People, even veterinarians and animal shelter workers, are notoriously poor at identifying dog breeds. What’s more, there’s a growing trend to stop identifying shelter dogs by their breed at all. A recent study at Berkeley Animal Care Services in California took a look at whether or not obtaining DNA tests on dogs in the shelter…

Accuracy of Breed Identification in Shelter Dogs

October 5, 2016

Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS) assessed the accuracy of breed assignment by shelter staff and whether the display of DNA analysis on kennels impacted adoptability. The study found that displaying DNA results tended to improve a dog's adoption potential. Predominant breed assigned by shelter staff was often inaccurate, which is consistent with other studies, and did not increase a dog's adoption potential.

Exploring Foster Programs and Their People, Management and Leadership Challenges

September 30, 2016

Organizations that utilize foster programs are eclectic in structure and nature. The purpose of this University of North Carolina, Charlotte project was to learn about the structure of fostering organizations, what they need to carry out their missions and the principal challenges that they face from the perspective of people, leadership, and management.

These shelters and rescue groups won big, and so can you!

August 31, 2016

If you were at the 2016 Best Friends Animal Society National Conference last month, you probably heard a lot of whooping and hollering from the Booth 205. Yep, that was us! People lined up for a chance to play the Maddie Spin and Win machine and 36 lucky organizations won $500 and $1,000 grants. (Although from inspiring…

Maddie's Fund Invests $300K for Animal Shelter Revitalization Public Art Project With Portraits of Hope

August 17, 2016

Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, awarded Portraits of Hope (POH) $300,000 to support their public art initiative to make animal shelters more inviting, appealing and attractive public spaces to help drive people to those venues to adopt dogs and cats in need of a home.

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

August 09, 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…

People from all over the country learning to prevent, treat parvo in their communities, #ThanksToMaddie

July 13, 2016

Parvo is an often-fatal disease that affects dogs in shelter and community alike. And when Maddie’s Fund® put out a call for applicants for a community parvo treatment apprenticeship program, we were flooded with responses from all over the U.S. Out of the thirty-four people who applied for the program, eight were selected to attend a…

Foster Caregiver Involvement in Adoption: Community Pet Adoption Partnerships Survey

June 30, 2016

: In this survey, we examined the extent to which various organizations allow or encourage the involvement of their foster caregivers in the adoption process. Eighty-one percent strongly agreed or agreed that programs empowering foster caregivers to find homes for their foster animals are effective in increasing capacity and/or organizational resources, yet only 65% reportedly allowed foster caregivers to be highly involved in the adoption process.

Maddie's Fund Surprises Industry Super Heroes with $90K in Grant Awards

May 12, 2016

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, has surprised nine animal welfare leaders with the first ever Maddie Hero Awards for their incredible efforts in animal lifesaving and furthering our no-kill nation mission.

Maddie's Fund Invests $2 Million In Shelterluv

May 5, 2016

Maddie's Fund, a California-based national family foundation, today announced its investment of $2 Million in Shelterluv, a company focused on software for the next generation of animal rescues and shelters.

Maddie's Fund Steps Up to Million Cat Challenge with Incentive Grants

April 29, 2016

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, is offering grants to every qualifying animal shelter that joins the Million Cat Challenge between April 29 and May 31.

Maddie's Fund Offers Grants to Boost Participation in National Shelter Animals Count Database

March 25, 2016

Maddie's Fund, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, is offering grants to boost participation in the national Shelter Animals Count database during the period of March 25th through April 30th.

Say ‘no’ to puppy mills for National Puppy Day!

March 22, 2016

Puppies are wonderful. Puppy mills are places no dog or puppy should ever experience — and where no dog lover should ever get a pup. As photos and video of cute puppies break the Internet in celebration of National Puppy Day tomorrow, March 23, let’s not forget the horrors being experienced by the parents of…

Superstar pets and the Shelter Pet Project team up to find homes for millions of dogs and cats

January 29, 2016

Three of the Internet’s most beloved pets — all formerly in a shelter or rescue group– are teaming up with our funded Shelter Pet Project to help the millions of dogs and cats in shelters and rescue groups across the country find loving homes. Fashion icon Toast Meets World, globally recognized pianist Keyboard Cat and…

Social Media Superstars Lend Star Power to The Shelter Pet Project's 2016 Campaign

January 29, 2016

Three of the Internet’s most beloved pets are teaming up to help the millions of cats and dogs in shelters and rescue groups across the country find loving homes. Fashion icon Toast Meets World, globally recognized pianist Keyboard Cat and life of the party Hamilton Pug are lending their star power to "Start A Story. Adopt,” a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign from The Shelter Pet Project, a collaborative effort between Maddie’s Fund®, The Humane Society of the United States and the Ad Council.

Leading National Animal Welfare Organizations Launch Shelter Animals Count: The National Database Project

December 14, 2015

Several leading national animal welfare organizations today announced the launch of Shelter Animals Count: The National Database Project – a first-of-its-kind platform for the collection and reporting of animal shelter data for organizations across the country.

Stray Kitten Fostering as an Intake Diversion Strategy: Community Pet Adoption Partnerships Survey

May 31, 2015

In this survey, we examined a stray kitten diversion strategy - specifically programs or actions which ask community members who bring in kittens to care for them until organizational resources are available or until the kittens are old enough to be placed for adoption. Organizations that report being particularly proactive, consistent, and enthusiastic in asking community members to care for stray kittens report greater numbers of community members following through and doing so.

Pet Owner Rehoming as an Alternative to Surrender: Community Pet Adoption Partnerships Survey

May 31, 2015

In this survey, we examined the extent to which the concept of pet rehoming was encouraged or implemented as a pet relinquishment diversion strategy by sheltering organizations. Pet relinquishment (e.g., owner surrender) is a very common occurrence in our work; however, only 49% of organizations surveyed here reported to empower the pet owner to find a home for their pet themselves to a "great extent".

Shelter Pet Project 2014

February 20, 2014

Since its inception in 2009, The Shelter Pet Project has worked to lift public perception of animal shelters and shelter pets. The new campaign introduces a face-to-face experience with adorable shelter pets, inviting viewers to find out how amazing shelter pets really are by meeting one.

NBC TODAY Show

February 11, 2013

NBC's TODAY Show anchor Natalie Morales rescued her dog Zara from a shelter, so she chose to support The Shelter Pet Project campaign!

Shelter Pet Project 2011

November 15, 2011

Pet adoptions rise, shelter deaths fall as the Ad Council launches second wave of historic pet adoption campaign.

PSA Campaign

September 24, 2009

The Shelter Pet Project is the first national PSA campaign to bring together the largest animal welfare organizations and many shelters across the country for one unified goal - to increase pet adoption.

Ad Council

November 12, 2008

The goal of this campaign is to encourage pet lovers who are looking for a pet to make animal shelters and rescue groups their first choice, saving the life of a dog or cat in need, rather than buying from other sources. It is the first time ever that the prestigious, 66-year-old Ad Council has focused a nationwide public service campaign on an animal welfare issue.