Maddie's Research Network

Join Maddie’s® Research Network!

What is Maddie’s® Research Network?

Maddie’s® Research Network benefits dogs and cats in shelters and rescue organizations or those animals at risk of losing their homes. The network serves as a collaborative forum that supports:

  • Communication between animal welfare organizations and research scientists
  • Development of innovative lifesaving ideas
  • Implementation of research projects
  • The dissemination of project results

Who can join?

Currently Maddie’s® Research Network is in development as a beta test with a small group of invited participants. Once testing is complete, we will be inviting a larger group of participants to join, including shelter or rescue group leaders, shelter or rescue group staff and research scientists.

Why do we need a network like this?

By connecting with each other, we can share ideas that benefit animals not only in our local communities, but also across the United States. By brainstorming together, we can identify unmet needs and develop solutions. We'll identify the best ideas that are easy and inexpensive to implement, testing them on a small scale. Next, we'll expand the successful ideas by involving more organizations, sharing those results and solutions with shelters and rescue groups nationwide.

The more we work together the more lives we will save. By connecting shelters and rescue groups with research scientists, we bring more data-driven science to the work that we do. Scientifically proven research will take us farther faster than opinion or belief.

So, how does this affect YOU?

If you’re a shelter or rescue group leader/staff member:
Often times, a shelter or rescue group will come up with a new idea or way of doing things that aids lifesaving efforts. If that idea is successful, it makes sense to share that great idea in order to determine whether it can also be successful at other organizations. This network will allow shelters to connect with research scientists who may be able to scientifically evaluate that idea via a grant. Once an idea is scientifically proven to be successful, it’s often much easier to demonstrate to organization boards, managers, and directors that the idea is worthwhile to implement.

If you’re a research scientist:
As a research scientist, the network can connect you with a large number of motivated shelters and rescue groups, which will allow you to select the organizations that best match your needs for implementation of your study. The network will also allow organizations participating in your project to communicate with you about that project via communication channels dedicated to your project. Lastly, the network will allow you to promote the results of your research, thus encouraging even more organizations to implement your idea.

A new idea WITHOUT Maddie’s® Research Network:
Shelter A says that the cats in their free-roaming room get adopted much more quickly when they put sparkly collars on them. They share this with other shelters that start putting sparkly collars on their cats. Unfortunately, the other shelters aren’t experiencing the same success. No one knows why it worked in Shelter A but not the other shelters.

A new idea WITH Maddie’s® Research Network:
Shelter B tests Shelter A’s theory by utilizing Maddie’s® Research Network to engage a research scientist and use scientific methods to test this theory via Maddie’s® Idea Lab. They include one group of cats who wear the sparkly collars and a control group of cats who don’t wear sparkly collars. Factors like age, sex, color, and where the cat is housed are all taken into account. After testing this theory, the findings show that the sparkly collars only increased adoption rates in cats who were housed in the free-roaming room, but not in cats housed in cages. The data showed that the adoption rates increased due to the housing location AND the collars, not just the sparkly collars. Maddie’s® Research Network hosts a webinar to share these results and promotion of this idea changes, to focus on organizations that have a free-roaming cat room, and the idea is a massive success.

What type of research projects are you talking about? Are there guidelines for the types of research projects that can be discussed or created via the network?

Maddie’s Fund’s focus is on supporting research projects that are easy and inexpensive to implement, and have a high likelihood of increasing lifesaving, the utilization of foster care, or the development of animal welfare leadership.

Maddie’s Fund will also periodically solicit research proposals, for which research scientists can apply.

Maddie’s Fund does not support research projects that harm animals or people.

Are you interested in joining Maddie’s Research Network?

Please check this page in the future to sign up!