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Is your animal shelter working to increase lifesaving but having trouble getting to the next level? Is your community ready to bring down barriers to access to care for all pets but struggling to find a sustainable way to do that? Are you a shelter or veterinary professional interested in working with shelters and communities to improve operations and increase lifesaving?

Thanks to the generosity of Maddie’s Fund®, the Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge offers several opportunities, including a combination onsite community consultation, a comprehensive veterinary practice consultation program, and a focused shelter consultation program, all free of charge. For some communities and organizations, a combination of the Access to Veterinary Care and Sheltering portions of the Challenge will be applicable. For others, specialized consultations for animal shelters or veterinary practices – both planned and currently in operation – will be the best fit.

Shelter/Clinic Community Combination Consultation

The inability to access veterinary care is a major driver of shelter surrender. Bridging that gap is a crucial step in keeping pets and people together, but can present challenges of sustainability and potential conflict with private practice veterinarians. Organizations selected for a combined shelter and veterinary practice program will receive a mentorship on how to set up a sustainable business model with partnerships as well as all the elements of the standalone shelter and clinic consultations, including assessment, mentoring, individualized recommendations, and extensive follow-up. This may be for a shelter and a clinic or for an organization who is providing both services.

These services are offered completely free of charge. The consultations will be led by Team Shelter USA’s Dr. Sara Pizano, University of FL’s Cameron Moore, and Aimee St. Arnaud and Heather Cammisa of Open Door Veterinary Collective.

Veterinary Clinic Consultation

Mentors provide guidance for organizations operating veterinary clinics (non-profit and for-profit) on how to increase access to veterinary care in their communities with a sustainable business model designed to offer payment support options and tools that work for clinics and their clients. Existing or new veterinary clinics can implement and integrate these tools into their own practice in easy and cost effective ways to maintain strong client relationships. The program creates a network of professionals with supportive ties that span the nation. The consult team will be led by Aimee St.Arnaud and Heather Cammisa of Open Door Veterinary Collective.

Comprehensive Shelter Consultation

The Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge assessment team will provide expertise and make recommendations in the areas of facility design, intake policies, housing/enrichment, population management, community cat program management, public policy and enforcement programs, budgeting, management of employees and volunteers, access to focused spay/neuter and subsidized veterinary care, and physical and behavioral wellness.

Written recommendations will be provided by the assessment team following the onsite assessment. Any recommendations made will be fiscally responsible, address enforcement efficiencies to provide for public and animal safety, decrease intake, decrease length of stay in the shelter, and increase live outcomes to end euthanasia as population control. The comprehensive shelter assessments will be led by Team Shelter USA’s Dr. Sara Pizano or University of Florida’s Cameron Moore.

Focused Shelter Consultations

Every organization and every community is different. The support we offer will be tailored to your individualized needs based on an initial conversation and review of shelter statistics and programs. Having a supportive outside expert helping you through the process makes it much easier and more successful. With a personalized approach, the Focused Shelter Consultation will provide an onsite shelter visit, individualized recommendations, hands-on implementation support, and extensive follow-up. These services are offered completely free of charge. The consults will be led by Cameron Moore of the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida.

A collaboration of UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at UF, Open Door Veterinary Collective, and Team Shelter USA.

Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge is creating transformative “communities of practice” that deliver access to care through humane, community-centric programming—inside and outside of the shelter—to achieve the right outcome for every pet. Our consultative mentoring services are holistic, deep and practical, and delivered by the proven team who brought you the Million Cat Challenge, in expanded partnership with Open Door Veterinary Collective. This program is made available at no cost to participants, #ThanksToMaddie