Want to create a foster program designed to save more lives? Then the Maddie's® Starting a Foster Program Apprenticeship is for you! Learn how to develop, implement, and manage a robust foster program to increase lifesaving efforts in your community. This apprenticeship will teach you how to start a foster program, identify what gaps in your shelter can be solved by a foster program, through effective assessment and implementation of various practices and policies. Attendees to this apprenticeship will learn how to set up and run a comprehensive foster program.
This apprenticeship opportunity is for shelter/rescue organization directors, staff, and volunteers who are interested in learning how to be the most effective at implementing this type of program in their organization. Organizations with limited staff and financial resources are especially encouraged to apply, as the programs taught may actually reduce operating costs.
This apprenticeship is three days, plus travel. Interns will spend three days at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas. Lessons include building your foster program, recruitment and retention of foster families, building an effective system, formulating data tracking methods, and everything else to help you start your foster program.
Today in Austin 98% of dogs and 96% of cats that enter the shelter system have a live outcome. This is in large part due to the collaboration between the Austin municipal shelter, Austin Animal Center, and its largest rescue partner, Austin Pets Alive!. Both organizations utilize a large network of fosters to increase their capacity. The APA! foster programs utilize a network of over 80 volunteers to support the administration of the programs, which have over 1000 animals in foster homes at any given time. The AAC foster program has over 300 animals in foster at any given time as well. Both programs embody the idea that "people are the solution", and empower the foster caregivers to advocate for the dogs in their homes.
“Being able to take home standard operating procedures from a city that focuses on maintaining No Kill is a game changer in bringing our community forward from the animal control mentality to engaging the entire community in achieving high standards of animal welfare.”
“It was fantastic. I enjoyed it [the apprenticeship] so much and took away more valuable information than I ever thought possible… thank you as does all of the Eastern Madera County SPCA. You have made an imprint on my life that I will be forever grateful for.”
"While participating in an apprenticeship at APA! I learned more effective and cost-saving ways to better serve the animals in our care, while also providing established protocols and procedures to staff members. I was able to more easily and clearly create a framework for common symptoms and illness. Other takeaways from the apprenticeship would be HR development, crowdfunding, and drug and illness protocols."
"I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend your master class. I was shocked at the amount of information I learned from your class. Your candor and non-judgmental attitude made receiving information when I was admitting I had been wrong so much easier. Again, thank you for the opportunity, and I look forward to staying in contact with you!"
"Thank you for giving us the tools we need and the continued offer of support. I feel confident that between this course and the feline course I’m attending next month, our shelter is going to be able to save most of that last 10% and that is HUGE. You are amazing. Your staff is amazing. Your volunteers are phenomenal. Thank you."