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Community Conversations - 10/30/23 - Community Insights for Pet Fostering

  • 1.  Community Conversations - 10/30/23 - Community Insights for Pet Fostering

    Posted 10-26-2023 10:59 AM

    Updated 10/30/23 at 4:18pm PT - Recording now available to watch on demand!

    We hope to see you on Monday, 10/30 at 11am PT for our next Community Conversations call for a presentation by @Brandale Mills Cox, PhD, Founder & Principal, Inclusive Marketing Research Group on, "Community Insights for Pet Fostering."

    Despite the rise in pet fostering since 2020, according to the ASPCA, approximately 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters each year. Research published by the pet product retailer, Chewy, found pet fostering has increased by 17 percent over the past year, with 8 percent of U.S. households fostering pets (HumanePro, 2022). Other research has highlighted the increased intent for pet adoption (Adoption Barriers Study, 2016), which speaks to the existing interest that can be leveraged for pet fostering as well. These staggering numbers highlight the difficulty in creating strategic recruitment efforts that speak to the existing knowledge and expectations of potential pet foster caregivers.

    Little research has addressed the disparities between marginalized audiences and their white counterparts when it comes to pet fostering and overall knowledge about the pet fostering process. Through a combination of a survey and focus group discussions with self-identified BIPOC animal lovers, this research provides insight and recommendations on how to best engage more diverse communities in the pet fostering process. These findings will help inform marketing and outreach efforts to address the gap in pet fostering amongst BIPOC audiences.

    About Guest Speaker

    Meet Dr. Brandale Mills Cox, the visionary behind Inclusive Market Research Group. With an impressive career spanning over 15 years in marketing and public relations, and close to 10 years devoted to research, she brings a wealth of expertise. Her research is a testament to her specialization in Black consumer insights, media audience understanding, and adept focus group facilitation.

    As a DEI Consultant and strategic planner, Dr. Mills Cox boasts a remarkable track record in both branding and public relations consulting, underscored by her proficiency in crafting multicultural marketing strategies. Her prowess has been celebrated, earning her the esteemed title of Albuquerque Business First's '40 under 40.' Currently serving as an Assistant Professor at Howard University within the School of Communications, her influence extends to nurturing the minds of future communicators.

    Register here for our Weekly Community Conversations Calls taking place on Mondays at 11am PT:
    If you are unable to make it live on Monday, this thread will be updated with the recording and resources so you can watch and share whenever you'd like.  After you watch the recording on-demand or attend the call live, be sure to complete this October entry form to enter to win up to a $5,000 grant:


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/30/23 - Community Insights for Pet Fostering

    Posted 10-30-2023 04:23 PM

    Thank you to the 152 people who joined us on today's Community Conversations call! The recording is now available to watch on-demand. A sincere thank you to our guest speaker @Brandale Mills Cox for sharing such insightful research related to reaching and engaging more diverse communities as pet fosters. You can find a recap of the call below. Be sure to complete this grant giveaway form to enter to win a grant of up to $5k if you joined us live or caught the recording!:


    • Welcome from Hosts
      • @Clare Callison, Director of National Operations, Austin/American Pets Alive
      • Shannon Martin-Roebuck, Executive Director, Bridging Impact 
    • Question of the day:  With so much going on in the world today that negatively impacts both humans and animals, is your organization able to make space to discuss traumatic events that may be impacting employees?
      • "I currently have a volunteer MSW to help." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Interesting question and we have not openly suggested it to anyone." - Karin Baker
      • "Hello from Tucson AZ... Sol Dog Lodge and Training Center. Of course we leave many opportunities to talk about traumatic events. It's just part of our communication process where anyone who wants to share can do so safely." - Mary Flores
      • "I think we need a social worker on staff for many reasons. I have written a grant proposal to fund one but no luck so far." - Michelle Russillo
    • Bonus question of the day:  What's your favorite Halloween costume for pets?
      • "One of the best costumes I've seen recently is a cat dressed as a flower in a pot and the human as a gardener." - Amanda Gra
      • "My fawn greyhound has a lion mane that she has been wearing this season. At an event, I said something about her being a lion...the person I was speaking with said 'I thought she was Tina Turner!' " - Mary Flores

    National Updates

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    • Join us November 1 at 1pm PT for Hatching Hour, an inspiring online discussion with special guest Sara Schairer, author and thought leader on compassion as she delves deep into the concept of creating compassionate workplace cultures. In this powerful conversation, Sara covers the spectrum from self-compassion to institutional empathy. We will explore steps for managers to foster a compassionate team environment and learn actionable strategies for individuals to maintain their well-being in less-than-ideal work settings. Whether you're an executive, manager, or employee, this interview provides the tools and insights needed to transform your workplace into a community that achieves meaningful results through an employee-centric, culture first approach!  Meeting Registration:
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    • Humane Canada/Animaux Canada events:  Virtual Canadian Violence Link Conference is next week - November 8th and 9th!  We are having a flash sale with 25% off registration until November 3rd. Register here:
    • CAMP MADDIE: FOSTER EDITION! December 7 half-day virtual -- Registration for Camp Maddie is now open and free! This is where expanding your dog foster program begins. Learn more and register:
    • Austin Pets Alive! Training and Education Center:
    • Animal Care Expo 2024 in San Antonio! May 15-18. Registration is open:
    • Join Professor Katja M. Guenther on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 12:00PM PT/3:00PM ET for the latest Maddie's® Insights webcast, Strategies for Challenging Ableism in Companion Animal Welfare. Earn CAWA, NACA and RACE continuing education credit. Register at
    • Maddie's Fund® Monthly Giveaways! Enter here for a chance to win CA$H: Open to all who are watching live or on demand! Be sure to enter each week you attend!
    • Maddie's Pet Forum monthly give-away:  Maddie's Fund® is giving away a $3,000 grant each month to one lucky Maddie's® Pet Forum member. You'll automatically be entered to win each month when you start a new discussion, reply to a new post. More info:
    • Past Community Conversations recordings:

    Today's Presentation: Community Insights for Pet Fostering 

    Highlights From The Chat:

    • Comments after 3-minute Maddie Camp: Foster Edition video
      • "This looks amazing." - Tracy McQuarrie
      • "Love this video. Great content." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Great video!!" - Sharon Fletcher
    • Comments after APA Training and Education Center info shared
      • "Thanks for sharing the training" - Michelle Russillo
    • "Pets are FAMILY! Love this visual." - Irene Chansawang
    • "It was the first word for many of the participants." - Sharon Fletcher
    • "We provide the crate, food, medical care and a community to talk to via BAND app. for dog fostering but we still struggle with the current population of dogs. Many are not super social and require more skill to handle. This may be our barrier - as a belief or reality of mix of both." - Michelle Russillo
      • "There are a lot of housing issues. People can't foster if pets aren't allowed where they live" - Maria S
    • "Fostering means the animal is available for adoption. Taking care of an animal while owner is unavailable but plans to take back the animal is not fostering. That is dog or cat sitting." - Nora Wood
      • "It could be either. Sometimes we don't know if/when the owner will be able to take the pet back. If not, it can be available for adoption. But sometimes I do see people asking for "fosters" when what they really want is pet sitting." - Maria S
      • "Many organizations provide fostering - short term for community members who have lost housing for example. It's a wonderful program to help keep pets and their people together." - Sharon Fletcher
      • "Most animal rescues do not have the resources to offer free pet sitting which is what that is. We are so short of fosters as it is." - Nora Wood
    • "Loved the presentation." - Vincent Medley
    • Presentation prompt from research results that Gen Z has the most time to foster
      • "It surprises me that this age has the time. My experience with my friends this age is that they are extremely busy...?" - Amy Charles
        • "The ones without kids? :)" - Maria S
      • "Would be good for their mental health to reduce stress." - Christina Avila
    • "Did we find out what are the best places on social media to promote fostering?" - Nancy McKenney
      • "Tiktok, Instagram, etc." - Maria S
    • "Thank you for that. Engendering that love of fostering would be so beneficial." - Amy Charles
    • "We have found that the more hybrid and remote employed the more fosters we have. Even for dogs day out fosters like -Paws Around town." - Lisa Pearce
    • "our intake has become out of balance between adoptable pets and those with special needs or behavioral issues. This balance has made it hard to bring in adoptable pets since the special needs end up staying in the shelter longer.  Did your survey hit on special needs?" - Mary Ellen Shivetts
    • "I recall signing a foster agreement, besides attending orientation at our local SPCA. The Maddie's Pet Forum might have templates, or further details, for anyone interested." - Irene Chansawang
    • "We have found this with our Spanish speaking population. There's not a single "word" that describes pet fostering and it can be difficult to convey what pet fostering is." - Krisin Moro
      • "oh that is interesting" - Amanda Gra
    • "I would think having a support group for new fosters would be a great idea." - Anita Selby
      • "Yes, love that" - Allison Cardona
      • "We've definitely seen that...facilitated via Facebook groups and so forth." - Irene Chansawang
      • "I agree with a support group for new fosters. When I fostered, we had a Facebook support group. I loved it!" - Laura Sherman
    • "Thank you for the great research." - Nancy McKenney
    • "Excellent session - thank you!!!" - Kathy Duncan
    • "TY, great ideas" - Debbie Loveland

    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund

  • 3.  RE: Community Conversations - 10/30/23 - Community Insights for Pet Fostering

    Posted 10-30-2023 06:34 PM
      |   view attached

    Thank you for having me! Attached is the presentation from the discussion.

    Brandale Mills Cox
    Principal Researcher
    Inclusive Market Research Group