Who says fostering at a shelter is just for puppies and kittens? That’s definitely not the case at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in Tucson, AZ, thanks to a first-of-its-kind grant from Maddie’s Fund® for “A Foster Home for Every Pet.”
The three-year grant, totaling $573,536, was recently awarded to create a large-scale, high volume foster program, with plans to make it a model program for other shelters to follow. Specifically, the grant will fund three new critically needed positions, along with supplies.
“This is a game changing project for shelter pets,” said Dr. Sheila D’Arpino, Director of Research at Maddie’s Fund. “PACC, under Kristen Auerbach’s leadership, was our first choice for implementing this project because she has a history of implementing and sustaining ground-breaking programs to save dog and cat lives. PACC is a leading municipal shelter and serves as a model for other municipal shelters around the country.”
The goals of this expanded foster program include decreasing the time spent in a shelter for adult cats and dogs, reducing the overall number of pets housed at PACC, and providing a lifesaving pathway for pets who experience emotional decline due to the stress of living in the shelter environment.
“Our existing foster program targets very young animals as well as pets recovering from illnesses and injuries,” said PACC Director Kristen Auerbach. “Thanks to Maddie, this grant will allow us to help a population which isn’t typically considered for foster – healthy adult dogs and cats.”
PACC’s current foster coordinator will continue to dedicate her time to medically vulnerable populations, while grant-funded coordinators will aim to save healthy adult pets by placing them in loving foster homes.
Auerbach explained that the program will not only help increase PACC’s lifesaving, it will demonstrate to a nationwide audience the impacts of allocating resources to foster placement.
“It will also show the need to move fostering from the periphery to the core of shelter operations,” she said. “Increased lifesaving, improved quality of care, increased shelter capacity, economic benefit and cost savings, increased community awareness and education, and shortened length of stay will all be positive impacts of this model.”
To learn more, read the full press release.