Since launching Maddie’s® Pet Assistant early last month, hundreds of shelters and rescue organizations across the country have expressed interest in bringing the app to their own foster and/or adoption programs. As with any new technology system or app, feedback is key to making sure it’s doing what it was set out to do — in this case, to help foster caregivers or adopters with enhanced support for questions or challenges while providing valuable insights to organizations.
When Almost Home Humane Society (AHHS) in Lafayette, IN, started using the app back in early April, they were excited but not sure what to expect from bringing new technology to their programs. Liz Stamper, outreach manager and foster parent for AHHS, happily gave us her honest feedback.
One of her favorite things? The assistance it provides to her foster families.
“Like most shelters, summer is our busiest times and along with the foster care program, I oversee other departments at the shelter,” she said. “Being able to tell fosters to submit questions to the app not only helps me not feel so rushed to answer but has also helped minimize the amount of ’emergency’ phone calls I receive.”
“I also enjoy seeing the foster animal weights being recorded through the app, so I know which kittens may be a concern before the foster parents are even able to reach out to me. As a foster parent myself, I enjoy seeing when my kittens are due for their vaccines… as well as monitoring their progress.”
Stamper said the app has also been a time saver for her when it comes to taking photos when kittens return from foster, since she can download and upload to their shelter software, PetPoint, easily from the app.
Another favorite feature is the simplicity. “While it may not seem like much at first, the more you dive in to all of the categories, the more amazed I am. I’ve had foster parents show me sections I didn’t even know existed but I love. Honestly, the only difficult issue is finding the time to review it all from the website’s point of view.”
She continued, “The surveys have also helped for those re-checks I don’t have the time to complete. I honestly cannot recall the exact scenario but a foster had submitted a survey due to an issue their kitten was having. The app suggested some items and by the time I had reached out to them to suggest some tips, the issue had been solved!”
What about feedback from fosters or adopters? “They love it. While some are taking some time to get used to it, foster parents who have been fostering for some time have been telling me it’s been helpful in regards to knowing when their kittens vaccinations are due, tracking their progress and quickly getting answers to concerns they may have.”
Stamper explained that while it can be a little harder to get some of the seasoned foster parents in the routine of using the app, “New foster parents and younger foster parents are loving it! Since everything is turning toward technology, I feel in the next few years, all of my fosters will be using the app.”
Considering using the app for your organization? “Just give it a shot!” said Stamper. “It’s free and extremely helpful. And while I may not recommend starting in the height of kitten season since there are some new things to get used to, it has been a time saver for my foster homes and my sanity.”
Learn more about Maddie’s® Pet Assistant. Headed to the Best Friends Conference in July? Stop by our booth to learn more! If you haven’t registered yet, use the discount code: Maddiesfund for $25 off registration. See you there!