That's the view of ASPCAPro, which recently presented a free webinar on "Engaging Foster Parents to be Adoption Ambassadors," with Meg Allison, currently GIS data manager for the ASPCA and formerly the Louisiana SPCA adoption ambassador coordinator.
The ASPCA's enthusiasm is based on data garnered in a small study at the LA/SPCA. They compared the outcomes of two groups of 45 dogs each, one group was adopted from the shelter, and the other through their foster family.
From their study summary:
- Only 30.3% of those adopting from the fosters had adopted from a shelter or rescue group in the past, compared to 51.9 percent of the people adopting directly from the shelter. View the chart (.jpg)
- People adopting from fosters found their dogs through a wide variety of sources, including word of mouth and seeing the dog out in the community. People adopting directly from the shelter found their dogs primarily by visiting the shelter or the searching the Web. View the chart (.jpg)
- The AA adopters were much more likely to have purchased pets from a breeder in the past than people adopting directly from the shelter. View the chart (.jpg)
The data suggest that adopting directly from foster homes enables a shelter to reach a pool of adopters who might not have considered visiting a shelter to adopt.
View the archived webinar here.