Organization: Maddie's Fund
Investigator(s): Anastasia Shabelansky
Grant Amount: n/a
Project Type: Basic Research
Project Status: Research Complete
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.
To explore different United States sheltering organizations' policies regarding fosters and investigate the impact of policies on the number of fosters
The survey was distributed to a convenience sample, via Maddie's Fund® email list, Adopt-a-Pet newsletter and Best Friends network partners. The policy-based study uses a subset of 1239 unique respondents. Notably, the sample is slightly over-weighted by organizations who took in less than 500 dogs and cats per year (39%).
This study provides crucial scientific validation regarding shelters policies about fosters caregivers, demonstrating that organizational policies can have a significant effect on the number of volunteer caregivers. Organizations with stringent requirements to become a foster tended to have fewer fosters than organizations without them. Support and appreciation for fosters are another important factor to consider when revising foster program policies.