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Dog & Cat Foster Care in the United States: 2020 Survey Report - Maddie's Fund 

02-02-2022 11:37 AM

In February 2021, an online survey collected detailed information about the foster care programs at animal welfare organizations. Maddie's Fund first conducted this survey in 2018 and this allows us to roughly compare the changes over the last two years.

This survey collected detailed information about shelters' intakes and policies, pets sent to foster care, foster caregivers and their selection process and opinions about foster care. This report primarily focuses on brick-and-mortar shelters.

Key results:

1. Overall, the average number of pets who went to foster care was higher in 2020 versus 2018. There was a 20% increase for cats and a 7% increase for dogs.
2. The number of active foster caregivers increased 108%. The average number of active foster caregivers for cats and dogs combined in 2018 was 57 and average total in 2020 was 119.
3. Fewer shelters reported having a foster care program in 2020. In 2018, 875 (88.2%) of the 991 physical shelters reported having a foster program where homeless cats and/or dogs stay in volunteers' homes for a day or longer. In 2020, 858 (78.7%) of the 1,090 organizations with physical shelters reported having a foster program.

Read the Full Survey Report

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