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Out of the successful lessons of the Million Cat Challenge and the hard lessons of the pandemic, and thanks to Maddie’s Fund’s support, the Maddie’s Million Pet Challenge has brought together four teams dedicated to helping communities build programs to keep families and their pets together, improve outcomes for all shelter pets, and assure that pets who already have families will receive the care they need.


Together the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at UF, Open Door Veterinary Collective, and Team Shelter USA have taken aim for a new horizon, one that assures the 4 Rights, where every animal receives the Right Care, at the Right Time, in the Right Place, and with the Right Outcome.


This free education, mentoring, and assessment opportunity will focus on strategies that any community can implement to keep pets and families together, including teaching veterinary clinics a financially sustainable model that removes barriers to access to care; promotes rehoming systems for self-rehoming so shelter surrender is the last resort and not the first option; and ensures that when pets enter a shelter it is in a Fear Free environment with the shortest length of stay and meets the unique needs of each individual pet.

“These opportunities include a combination shelter and veterinary assessment and mentorship program; standalone shelter and veterinary consultations; an intensive online learning course; on-demand, self-paced education; and shelter consultation mentorships for shelter and veterinary professionals designed to support their development as future leaders in animal welfare.”


Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today. The Foundation has awarded over $255 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.

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