Comprehensive Shelter Consultations Is your shelter looking to improve operations and boost lifesaving, but not sure how to get started? If you’re ready to address issues around intake policies, housing/enrichment, community cat program management, budgeting, access to spay/neuter and veterinary care, and more, then a Comprehensive Shelter Consultation is right for you!

Thanks to the generosity of Maddie’s Fund®, the Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge is offering Comprehensive Shelter Consultations, which provide expertise and make recommendations in the areas of facility design, intake policies, housing/enrichment, population management, community cat programs, 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. Comprehensive Shelter Consultations are led by experts with decades of combined experience and are completely free of charge.

If you are selected for a Comprehensive Shelter Consult, our team will contact you to schedule a kick-off meeting with key shelter leadership. During this meeting we will discuss the infrastructure of your organization, understand the chain of command and learn more about your major concerns. You will be provided with a list of documents to be submitted prior to the onsite visit as it is imperative that we complete basic research about your shelter so we can maximize the impact of our time with you in person. Our team is highly sensitive to and respectful of the challenges every shelter faces and we strive to make all interactions with your team positive. We are here to support you!

During that kick-off meeting we will also discuss a mutually convenient time for the onsite visit. Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge is dedicated to educating the next generation of veterinarians and animal welfare professionals in general so we will likely have mentees with us. These mentees may be veterinary students, interns or residents, practicing veterinarians or other animal welfare professionals.

We ask that you educate the staff prior to our arrival about the consult as we hope that will alleviate any apprehension about the onsite visit and process. Upon arrival at the shelter we ask to meet with the entire staff or as many staff as possible to introduce our team, explain our process and answer any initial questions. During the onsite visit we will be meeting with key stakeholders and leaders within and outside of the shelter organization, observing staff and learning about your current operation and programs so we can make the most impactful recommendations.

The purpose of this information-gathering is to benchmark current practices so those working in line with Key Performance Indicators can be highlighted and celebrated and recommendations can be made to improve efficiencies in other areas.

The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters will be provided for key leaders and a written report specific for your shelter with opportunities for improvement will be submitted within 2 weeks of the onsite visit. That report will include recommendations already discussed your leadership team and should be considered the addendum to the playbook that will serve as your reference.

After your team has had time to review the report, a follow-up meeting is scheduled within 2 weeks to discuss concerns, next steps and implementation of key foundational recommendations. After this meeting, we will be available to you by phone, text or virtual meetings and continue to support your efforts.

On behalf of Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge, thank you for pursuing these opportunities to improve the animal welfare system in your community and teaming up for pets and people!

If after reading all of the qualifying requirements, you believe your organization is ready for a Comprehensive Shelter Consultation, apply here.

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