Maddie's Fund® made a $100,000 investment in Shelter Animals Count in 2018. Shelter Animals Count is the only 501c3 independent organization dedicated to collecting, sharing and stewarding a national database of shelter statistics, resulting in a greater understanding of the state of animal welfare and, ultimately, more lives saved. This brings our total investment in this Shelter Animals Count to $365,000.

This grant will support the organization's day-to-day operations so they can continue to help communities at the local level to understand the trends, opportunities and challenges they face, and to help create a picture of how those translate to the regional and national levels.

As one of the original funders of this project, this grant demonstrates our belief in the importance of gathering data nationwide from animal rescue and sheltering organizations.

Transparency and sharing of data are key. In October 2018, eight national animal welfare leaders and funders issued a joint position statement to provide a better understanding of accountability expectations for organizations that take stray and homeless pets into their care. Intended to help guide shelter protocols and inform the future of the industry, the statement read:

"As a national animal welfare leader and funder of animal welfare in North America, Maddie’s Fund believes that organizations should be transparent about the number of animals that come under their care, and the outcome for all of those animals. That is why we support the public availability of key data (the basic data matrix as defined by Shelter Animals Count), from all animal welfare agencies and nonprofits, both publicly and privately funded and whether or not they provide government animal control services or humane law enforcement.”