March 2019 by Kelly Duer, Monica Frenden, Regan Goins and Lorian Epstein

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Video Length: 77 minutes

Nuts and Bolts of Large-scale Cat and Dog Foster Programs

Learn from experts the details of setting up and implementing a large-scale foster program. This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Kelly Duer

As Foster Care Specialist for Maddie's Fund, Kelly's focus is on helping shelters and rescue organizations increase lifesaving through the implementation of robust foster care programs. Her role includes consulting with shelters, creating and providing training for organizations and their foster coordinators, writing and assisting with research on foster care. Kelly previously coordinated a foster program that brought orphaned children to the United States in order to find them permanent adoptive homes, worked as the Foster Expansion Coordinator for a national study of foster care, and assisted with the behavioral foster study that was conducted at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Her work with foster care and social media has been featured in many national publications, websites and networks, including Animal Sheltering magazine, the Huffington Post, Best Friends magazine, BarkPost,, HuffPost Live and Fox News.

About Monica Frenden

Before teaching the Austin no-kill Model to students, Monica founded a trap-neuter-return organization in rural Illinois in 2008 and pioneered one of the nation's first, and largest, barn cat programs. In 2012, she joined Austin Pets Alive! where she served as the Cat Program Manager, led her team to an 88 percent growth in cat adoptions and helped Austin achieve a citywide 98% live release rate for cats. Now Maddie's® Director of Feline Lifesaving at American Pets Alive!, Monica is a frequent speaker and advisor on innovative ways to save every cat, including cats with feline leukemia, community cats, and shelter cats in need of medical care.

About Lorian Epstein

In 2015, Lorian became a volunteer at Austin Animal Center, fell in love with the shelter and no-kill commitment, and never looked back. Lorian was hired as the group volunteer coordinator in August of 2016, and then transferred into the adult dog foster coordinator role in January of 2017. She teaches others about creating and managing successful dog foster programs in the Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship and Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy.

About Regan Goins

Regan started from the ground up as a kennel tech at Austin Animal Center. She grew into enrichment, adoption, counselor, and finally, behavior team, roles throughout her tenure at AAC. Right before Hurricane Harvey, Regan joined Austin Pets Alive!'s staff, where she managed the dog foster team through a peak of 1,000 dogs in foster at one time. Regan has also pioneered APA!'s behavioral foster program and specializes in building programs to foster behavior dogs, which increases the options of long stays and behavioral cases while in care and provides them a faster road to decompression and adoption.