Here’s an idea that sounds crazy. Ask foster families to come through a drive-thru like contactless pick-up service and take a dog from the shelter, not of their choosing, completely sight unseen, to keep for at least two weeks and try to get them adopted. The Dog N' Dash program was probably the most radical idea Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) staff had heard of in their COVID efforts but after five months, APA! can't imagine operations without this innovative idea.
In the beginning, APA! ran Dog N' Dash three days a week. Now Dog N' Dash is a daily event and the perfect way for new fosters to get their feet wet, or, for experienced fosters to continue helping quickly and effectively. APA! wondered if it was only going to be a beginning of COVID splurge effect, but they placed more dogs in foster homes in August through Dog N' Dash than any other month since May. In May, 126 dogs were placed in foster homes. From April to August they have placed a total of 632 medium/large dogs in foster through Dog N' Dash. This has made up a total of 22.5 percent of their total new dog placements in foster in the last five months. Are you imagining a high return rate? Think again. Only 5.97 percent of dogs fostered through Dog N' Dash have been returned. On top of that, an average of 51.75 percent of these dogs got adopted within the month they were placed.
Dog N' Dash is truly saving lives at Austin Pets Alive!.