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… Learn More


Community celebrates Independence Day by ‘Calming the Canines’ at their local shelter

August 16, 2018

It was the Fourth of July, and both of the shelters run by Maricopa County Animal Care & Control were full. Fireworks displays, a notorious trigger for canine anxiety, were scheduled in the areas surrounding both buildings. Worse, history had shown that the packed shelters would take in large numbers of dogs during and after… Learn More


Clicker training can reduce stress for cats in animal shelters

August 14, 2018

When shelter staff and volunteers talk about clicker training for cats, it’s mostly as a way to get the kitties to put their best paw forward for adopters. But what if it can be something more — even a tool to fight suffering and disease? That was the theory of researchers at Colorado State and North… Learn More


Can something in the air treat fights between cats in the same family?

July 31, 2018

What if you could sprinkle magic fairy dust to reduce fighting between cats in a family? That would certainly help keep cats in their homes, and encourage people to adopt multiple cats, so we wish we could tell you magic anti-cat fight fairy dust was a thing. What we can tell you is there’s something… Learn More


Tip: Create a ‘relaxation station’ for shelter dogs who need to chill

July 19, 2018

Do you have a dog in your shelter who could use some time away from the noise and activity levels of the adoption floor? How about a dog who just needs a staycation? With some creativity and a little bit of extra space, you can create your own “relaxation station” for a stressed-out dog! The… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: Shelter dogs on big, comfy chairs

May 25, 2018

The only thing better than getting adopted is getting comfy in the meantime! That’s the likely opinion of these shelter dogs who are benefiting from the recent craze of putting armchairs into animal shelters so the pets can chill out in comfort. The chairs make the pets more appealing to adopters, too. It’s a classic… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: Cats. Bubbles. What more do we need to say?

May 4, 2018

Stuck for ways to brighten the lives of the cats in your shelter, rescue organization or foster home? Think bubbles! Not only will bubbles make the cats happy, watching the cats play with the bubbles will make you happy, too! Just see what happened when Best Friends Animal Society turned the bubbles loose in their… Learn More


Study: Can foster field trips improve welfare in dogs?

May 1, 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… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: 50 boxes. 2 cats. A-MAZE-ing!

April 20, 2018

We could tell you the reason we’re posting this is to suggest an inexpensive, effective form of enrichment for cats in homes, foster care, or animal shelters. While that’s accurate, it’s also kind of untrue… because the real reason we’re posting this is because it makes us so darn happy just to watch it. And… Learn More


Every Day, Every Dog - Let Them Play! The Impact of Play Groups

Aimee SadlerMarch 2018

It's more than just fun and games; play groups save lives! Aimee Sadler, Founder and CEO shares case studies and evidence that playgroups improve the quality of life of dogs and their caretakers.

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Foster Sleepovers: How Temporary Fostering Can Improve the Lives of Shelter Dogs

Lisa Gunter and Kelly DuerMarch 2018

Whether you're looking to start a foster program at your shelter, or give a boost to an already-existing foster program, Maddie's Fund® has a webcast series for you!

This free webcast on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 9 PM Eastern will show you how temporary fostering can improve the lives of shelter dogs.

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Basket Muzzle Training

Fear FreeFebruary 2018

Conditioning a dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle is an important life skill. In this short video by Fear Free you can learn how to do exactly that.

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Study: Can a human drug help community cats experience less stress during TNR?

December 12, 2017

Can you imagine how terrifying it must feel for cats who are trapped for sterilization and returned to their outdoor habitat, especially when the cat is not socialized to humans? And you probably don’t need to imagine how much stress pet cats can experience when taken to the veterinarian — if you’ve ever owned a… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: Shelter dogs listen intently as children read to them

August 11, 2017

Children and shelter dogs: It’s pretty much the definition of a feel-good story, right? Absolutely! That’s why we’re bringing you this heartwarming blast-from-the-past of one of the earliest news stories featuring young children reading to shelter dogs at the Humane Society of Missouri, featured on NBC Nightly News. Given recent research showing that both human… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: Cats get happy in the ball pit!

July 7, 2017

We’re all about enrichment for sheltered pets at Maddie’s Fund. In fact, we’re also all about enrichment for pets in homes. And now that we mention it, we’re pretty into enriching the lives of the people who care for pets, too. That’s what so great about this video. It’s featuring a fantastic idea for fun… Learn More


#FeelGoodFriday: Builder creates indoor playland for his 15 rescue cats

June 16, 2017

Everyone knows cats like to climb, perch and explore. That’s why California builder Peter Cohen decided to turn his home into the ultimate feline playhouse for his 15 adopted cats. It all began when he moved into his home and found it came complete with two outdoor cats. When one was killed by a car… Learn More


From anxious to adoptable: An expansion of foster care using a Maddie’s Idea Lab Grant

June 7, 2017

Do you have shy or anxious dogs in your shelter who you just know would benefit from being in a foster home and out of the shelter environment? That's exactly how the Anxious Dog Program (ADP) started at Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colo. The Anxious Dog Program expands the shelter’s foster program to include specially… Learn More


Embracing kennel enrichment at your shelter can save lives

April 4, 2017

Could something as simple as enrichment in a dog’s kennel or run play a key role in saving more lives? Absolutely, says Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Center. In her guest blog post, Auerbach shares the power of kennel enrichment in reducing kennel stress and improving quality of life for dogs, and how… Learn More


How a dog named Patty sparked a lifesaving revolution for dogs with behavior challenges

March 28, 2017

Are there dogs in your shelter or rescue who you honestly think can’t be adopted because of behavior problems? There might be a simple solution — and if it works for them, they’ll have a dog named Patty to thank. Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at the Austin Animal Center, told Patty’s story… Learn More


Study: Audiobooks outperform music at reducing stress in shelter dogs

March 1, 2017

By now you’ve probably seen the research showing dogs in shelters are quieter when they’re listening to soft rock, reggae, and (at least for short periods) classical music. You may have seen programs where children come in and read to shelter dogs. So here’s the question: Do dogs like listening to audiobooks? The answer is… Learn More


Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell can keep cats in homes and reduce stress in shelters

January 10, 2017

Most of us know dogs put a lot of store in how things smell, their noses are legendary for their sniffing ability. It’s not as widely known that the smells in a cat’s environment are a critical part of what makes a cat feel safe and free of stress, whether the cat is living in… Learn More


The way shelters handle and care for cats can improve their adoption chances

December 13, 2016

Can something as simple as more frequent cleaning of food bowls and changing of water in a shelter cat’s housing get them adopted more quickly? A study soon to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science suggests that it is. The study was conducted in Austria, where it’s illegal for shelters to… Learn More


Study: How much space do shelter cats need to be happier, more playful, and less stressed?

November 15, 2016

Shelter cats are happier, more playful, friendlier with each other, and less stressed when they have more room — 4 square meters, or 43 square feet, per cat, to be precise. In a study published in the June 2016 issue of Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Swedish researchers tested the play, mutual grooming, and inter-cat aggressiveness… Learn More


Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs

Dr. Sara L. BennettJune 2016

Everyone wants to make sheltered life better for dogs while they wait to get adopted. Learn what works and what doesn't in this webcast.
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What animal-loving kids do on their summer vacation

June 1, 2016

What’s better than summer vacation for kids? Summer vacation spending time with and helping animals! If your kids are crazy about animals, and you want to encourage the development of empathy and compassion, summer programs working with homeless pets should be at the top of your family to-do list. Consider these possibilities. Reading programs are… Learn More


Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Cats on a Fast Track to Adoption

Dr. Brenda GriffinMay 2016

Stress can trigger physical, emotional and behavioral problems for cats in animal shelters. What can be done to help overcome stress and its negative outcomes?
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Toys and TLC in animal shelters: Looking beyond adoption rates

March 15, 2016

What if playing and interacting with shelter pets didn’t help them get adopted more easily? Would that be a reason to stop? Absolutely not, and here’s why. A number of studies in recent years have looked at the impact of toys, play, grooming and human interaction on pets in shelters. Some have shown those interventions… Learn More


How Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts

Dr. Sheila D'ArpinoFebruary 2016

It's well known that cat health is quickly and negatively impacted by stress. But is it also making it harder for them to get adopted? Learn strategies to identify those effects not only in individual cats, but in the entire population of cats in a facility. Learn More


Shelter medicine course opens its webinars to all, #ThanksToMaddie!

February 3, 2016

The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine’s Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Course invites all shelter veterinarians, shelter professionals, vet students, and community members to join them for their series of free webinars this semester: This lecture series not only discusses concepts key to sheltering but also helps veterinary students, shelter professionals and volunteers, and members… Learn More


Playing with dogs is the best medicine

January 14, 2016

Looking for an easy way to enhance the well being of your dog and yourself this New Year? Simply resolve to play! Just as with children, play for dogs isn't only about having fun. In fact, play is as essential for dogs' health and well being as it is enjoyable. Now is the perfect time… Learn More


How Stress is Sabotaging Your Dog Adoption Efforts

Dr. Sheila D'ArpinoJanuary 2016

Are dogs in shelters developing health and behavior problems because of stress? And does that make adoption more difficult and less likely for those pets? Learn to recognize the harmful effects of stress on sheltered dogs, and strategies to alleviate that stress in this free webcast. Learn More


Is stress undermining your pet adoption efforts?

January 12, 2016

Are dogs and cats in shelters developing health and behavior problems because of stress? And does that make adoption more difficult and less likely for those pets? Yes, says board certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Sheila D’Arpino. On January 14 and February 4, 2016, she’ll be presenting free webcasts on how stress is sabotaging your pet… Learn More


How foster homes set shelter pets up for behavioral success

January 5, 2016

Foster homes can provide a valuable safe harbor for stressed, fearful, or anxious shelter pets, as well as a place where they can learn behaviors that will maximize their chances for successful adoption into a permanent home. For that to happen, however, the foster family must also provide appropriate support for the easing of fears… Learn More


In shelters and at home, peanut butter makes dogs’ lives better

November 3, 2015

It’s a stickily delicious solution to a lot of common dog challenges, and it’s being celebrated during National Peanut Butter Lovers Month! Peanut butter can help relieve stress in shelter dogs, keep dogs in homes occupied and happy, and distract dogs from frightening or disruptive situations. And of course, it can be made into a… Learn More


TLC from humans staves off respiratory infections in shelter cats

September 23, 2015

Cats who receive positive attention from human caretakers while in animal shelters exhibit fewer signs of stress and a lower incidence of upper respiratory disease than cats who don’t. These results, reported in the October 2015 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, are consistent with the authors’ earlier study on petting shelter cats,… Learn More


Enrichment for Shelter Cats

Rebecca Lohnes, MS October 2015

Hear about enrichment options to increase quality of life for the cats in your facility, including low cost enrichment options, and positive training techniques. Learn More


Enrichment for Shelter Dogs

Rebecca Lohnes, MSOctober 2015

Positive reinforcement training and enrichment exercises are some of the best ways to reduce kennel stress and increase adoptability for shelter dogs. Learn More


Capacity for Care: When Less Adds Up to a Whole Lot More for Shelter Cats

Ollie Davidson and Kathleen OlsonApril 2015

How can your shelter save more cats? Take in fewer of them at a time, give each cat more room and care for them better. Learn More


Taking Troubled Tabbies from Naughty to Nice

Sara Cookson and Kristin Hill February 2015

Every rescue encounters troubled cats with issues that go beyond tortitude. The Austin Pet’s Alive! Cat Behavior Team will teach you how to prevent behavior problems before they start. Learn More


The Best Medicine: Playing With Shelter Dogs

Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIMOctober 2014

Dogs and games go together - never more than when they're shelter dogs! Play, particularly play with humans, can reduce stress and improve behavioral and physical wellness for dogs in animal shelters.  Learn More


Fixing the Feline Housing Crisis: How Shelter Housing Can Make Cats Sick - And What You Can Do About It

Sandra Newbury, DVMOctober 2012

Cats are extremely sensitive to noise, crowding, and stress - three things that are in abundant supply in many animal shelters. These adverse conditions often lead to illness in sheltered cats, particularly the most common of all feline shelter diseases, upper respiratory infection (URI). Learn More


Enrichment and Training for Dogs and Cats

Kelley Bollen, MS, CABCJuly 2012

Ms. Bollen talks about the benefits of enrichment and training for both dogs and cats, as well as the value of these programs in enhancing opportunities for adoption. Learn More


Stress Reduction for Shelter Cats

Kelley Bollen, MS, CABCJuly 2012

Various strategies for reducing the stress experienced by cats in a shelter environment. Learn More


Stress Reduction for Shelter Dogs

Kelley Bollen, MS, CABCJuly 2012

Various strategies for reducing the stress experienced by dogs in a shelter environment. Learn More