Sandy De Lisle
I'm here if you need me, team!
José Pedro Amaral Leitão
hi from Portugal
Hey Brian! Thanks for making time to help out!
Should I divert SMS questions to Brian now??
thatd be great :)
Foothills Animal Shelter, Colorado, USA.
Arlington Animal Services, Arlington, Texas USA!
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Deb Munini Schwartz
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hi from my ASPCA remote office in Oakland CA
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Faith Weiner, Yes!
Prattville Autauga Humane Shelter Prattville, Alabama
Humane Society of Harris County
hi Shannon! :)
20 kittens with 30 fosters
We often use a foster for more than one
Unfortunately no budget currently, relying on donations
Kitten season is now 11 mo a year
No current budget...zero emergency veterinary clinics in our area.
veternarians on staff daily
70 foster homes currently
We do not have that many fosters for our kitties unfortunately, but rn I have 16 kittens out to 3 different fosters
We have difficulty recruiting bottle-feeding fosters — so intense.
We have 200+ foster volunteers, not all of those do just kittens
25 foster homes, 55 cats, 4 litters, 2 pregnant mom. Funds are donation. Emergency 1-2.
We will try to address this question during Q & A time. :)
A consideration that we use is we have kittens enter a domestication/socialization formal program … 4-8 weeks
We'll be having a brand new facility with no fosters and no current specific budget and no on site veterinary care.
Our adoption rate is near 100%… because we do intense domestication activities
Hi from Los Angeles! :)
And we have a anytime return policy
We have over 90 animals in foster 3 queens kittens not born yet and 12 kittens currently in foster
Our kittens move out very quickly. Very little time on adoption floor. We bring them in from foster as soon as eligible aka able to spay/neuter.
Nadia, is your kitten foster system set up so that fosters keep kittens from beginning to adoptability? Or do y'all utilize a graduated system (i.e. once bottle babies are weaned, they move on to another home?)
@Jennifer G. We do have an Adoption Ambassador program where our fosters help us find homes for their foster kittens. We find this to be a very helpful tool! The foster parents know the kittens best, and they are very good adoption advocates for their foster kittens. We have more information about this practice on ASPCA Pro.
@Mattie M. Kittens stay in foster care through about 8 weeks of age -- when they are ready for Spay/Neuter surgery and adoption. Our goal is to place kittens up for adoption as soon as possible!
@Rachel G. That is a great idea! We find that giving fosters breaks when possible or when needed helps us maintain good relationships with fosters. We understand that as much as people want to help, a break is often appreciated!
@Ashley M. We use a program called Smartsheet, AirTable, as well as an internal database that was built specifically for our organization.
mandy- smartsheet and airtable
@Rachel G. Whenever possible, we divert kittens at intake. This means that most of the kittens do not enter the shelter. We realize that this isn't possible for all organizations. So, as a rule of thumb, we try to pull them from the shelter and into foster care as soon as we possibly can. Our priority are always kittens who cannot yet eat well on their own or who are at risk of getting sick inside the shelter.
Here are tips on holding online foster orientations: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/how-use-online-orientation-more-foster-parents-less-staff-burden
@Wendy H. We foster out orphaned kittens, queens with kittens, and juvenile and adult cats. :)
Nadia… I keep losing the WEBINAR…
@Edward M. I'm so sorry about the tech difficulties. If you miss any information, we'll definitely share this recording with everyone ASAP!
Sandy De Lisle
Hi, everyone! When using chat, please be sure to select ALL PANELISTS AND ATTENDEES before hitting send. That way everyone can see it! Thanks so much!
@Wendy H. We can address more in detail during Q & A. :)
Here is information on how to create an effective on-deck system: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/how-cut-foster-home-wait-times-deck-system
@Rachel G. Smartsheet and AirTable work really great for these operations!
We are losing the connection so much that we are going to terminate… But please make sure that we get a link for this, so that we can do it offline
somewhat related: What collaborative inbox program/software do you use for your foster inbox?
@Courtney G. We use Outlook organization-wide, but GMAIL may also work well for shared inboxes.
Sandy De Lisle
Edward, we will make sure you get the recording. So sorry you had issues with connecting!
Not sure if you mentioned this, but do you have a system for evaluating the fosters and adopters? Vet checks? Home visits?
Is there a way to get copies of these awesome documents so we don't have to start from scratch?
@Wendy H. We do not do home or vet checks. We have phone conversations with potential adopters and we allow fosters to have adoption conversations with potential adopters for their kittens as well.
@Wendy Hall - we do vet reference checks and have phone conversations with adopters. For fosters, our police department does background checks and we do in-person interviews and orientations
Amy and Jme - we can include all the links in the follow up email we'll send with the recording
how did you start the Facebook group?! we haven't been able to invite anyone. is it created but a person, not the business?
*created by a person
One of our kitten fosters has a committed Instagram account and drives sooo many adopters our way - for kittens and adults alike.
Re adding to groups - must be friend of someone in the grup.
To start group for the business page, you must be an admin.
Ashley - you should be able to set up a facebook group from a business page. Would you want to email me and I can help you set it up? I'm the director of social media at ASPCA :) Olivia.email@example.com
we have our volunteer/foster fb group connected to our business page, which is where lots of people find it
What are your strategies for combating "us vs. them" syndrome with experienced fosters vs. new fosters. We have been hesitant to start a facebook group due to fear of more experienced volunteers being snarky or critical of new fosters.
yes! that would be amazing! thank you
@Kelsey - thanks for the info on checks.
Hi all, Olivia from ASPCA here - we'll include relevant links and videos in the follow-up email, which will also include this webinar recording :)
@Olivia small world. :-)
Thank you! The less we have to create from scratch, the better!
How do you go about reaching out to fosters to alert them to new kittens available for fosters if you don’t have an on deck system? Currently we use email, but it seems like people aren’t able to check their email for a few days and we lose a lot of people because of that.
Any suggestions for applying any of this to foster-only groups (no shelter)?
You can ask questions
Thank you for the info... looking forward to reviewing all the links
We're a foster-based group. A fair number of our first time fosters end up adopting their foster, so we lose them as fosters. Any advise for dealing with that?
The Feline connection in VT is a new rescue, with 350 cats helped in 2019. We are all volunteer, all foster home rescue. What changes to the tips you provided or other info would be helpful for us?
Can we get copies of the documents you have on your BOX platform? Would be great to not have to start from scratch.
How many is to many for one foster parent?
I just started as a foster care coordinator, without previous experience! Any beginner suggestions would be great.
Looking forward to checking out the Smart Sheet, Air Table, Google Drives and Box. Are those the correct names?
Julie - that is correct! airtable is one word :)
Do you have resources available/suggestions for getting large dog fosters? Our biggest problem is finding fosters for our dogs
FB Group: How do handle negaivity in the group? Do you remove members that are no longer fostering? How do you handle off-topic posts? We have ALOT of problems with all of these items on FB.
@faith weiner - we've played with putting a 6-month block on fosters adopting to help this, but it's not always successful
I am in the middle of moving over to Volgestics from email any pro tips Sarah Dieppa Programs Manager Humane Society of the Nature Coast
Valerie - here you go: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/how-use-online-orientation-more-foster-parents-less-staff-burden
Hi Wendy - The program you're learning about is all foster. We don't have a brick & mortar shelter in LA. We divert kittens from entering 2 of the LA County shelters.
@Faith Weiner and @Wendy Hall - we are a foster-based rescue too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to brainstorm or have any other suggestions or questions.
Our biggest issue is finding fosters in the first place esp those with kitten experience. Small rural area.
Melissa — same here. State population less than 700,000.
Resources: Would it be possible to see some sample tip sheets? We are very small, so most problems we aren't prepared for, and have trouble with volunteers reading ALL of the foster guidelines and resource info. An online tipsheett bank might work for us.
Melissa Lacey same here
@Alana T. We use Smartsheet and AirTable :) -Nadia, ASPCA
We have a brick and mortar adoption center (for eligible adoptable cats/kittens), as well as a network of foster homes (for those too young/not vaccinated/etc.). Our current policy is not to advertise kittens currently in foster care as available, but fosters inevitably (and understandably!) share photos of their kittens and we get inquiries from the public. Any advice on balancing that? We would love to take advantage of fosters promoting their foster kittens, but have been hesitant to officially "pre-adopt" (pending surgery, etc.) those in foster, as we cannot always predict how long it will be before they're available, or if they become ill or get ringworm...
Maria Anselmo - please reach out to me at Olivia.email@example.com and I can provide resources for large dog fosters. I can gather that from a different team at the ASPCA
can you post a link to your online foster orientation?
OUr shelter is closed, but still dong intake. No adoptions. Thoughts on foster-to-adopt for potential adopters?
Ok, so when kittens are S/N and fully max, does foster keep them until placed? How are you promoting adoptions from that place? Meet and greets/adoption events?
fully fax :-)
fully vax :-) :-)
How to overcome potential foster's fear of fostering kittens? Foster who only want to foster kittens and won't take adults or seniors.
How have your operations changed about pulling kittens and cats with the CA lockdown in place?
Check out this page for resources on how to manage volunteers, including a whole section on volunteer job descriptions: https://catadoptionteam.org/services/fostering-4-rockstars/
here is our feline fostering facebook group in case you are not already a member: https://www.facebook.com/groups/160979301262247/?ref=br_rs
Oops - we are ALL volunteers. We have a vol coordinator. Maybe that person.
Jessica - we have a whole webinar on leveraging social media to recruit foster parents: https://www.aspcapro.org/webinar/2018-05-23/media-social-media-foster-recruitment
If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me directly, I'm the director of social media at ASPCA: Olivia.firstname.lastname@example.org
When someone finds a kitten, we always ask if they can be a "finder-foster" and hold onto them for just a few weeks until we can get them adoption-ready. But these kittens tend to be more prone to slip through the cracks and never be seen again. Any advice on maintaining communication with "fosters" who are not part of our regular/official foster community?
Cori, we'll include a sample online orientation in our follow-up email!
Do you have a link for the adoption ambassador resources?
we have a plethora of Adoption Ambassadors resources on ASPCApro.org: https://www.aspcapro.org/search?keywords=adoption+ambassadors&submit=
Are you using Petfinder, etc. to allow cats to get some exposure?
here is the texting tool: https://www.zipwhip.com/
The tool is called ZipWhip :) - Nadia, ASPCA
We are operating in a county with a shelter-in-place order. So basically the only way we could do adoptions without putting our adopters at risk of violating the order is to do shelter-to-door adoptions. Is anyone doing these type of adoptions? If so, how are you handling/justifying adopters not meeting the animal until it shows up at their door?
How do you vet your foster homes - phone screening? Home visits?
We like “Foster to Family” ;-)
links to ktten lady and your orientation?
Goodbye is the goal of fostering! Hannah’s video is great at getting that point across :)
here's the video from Kitten Lady that Tina referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB5zan--5ck
how many is to many for one foster person??
I like Hannah's first one- Foster Failing
If we're not able to get to your question during this webinar, please feel free to follow up at email@example.com and we'll make sure to answer your question!
We had foster who went on vaca and got house sitter for kittens, and didn't tell us!
Thank you Tina, Nadia, Olivia and the ASPCA crew! We did our first Zoom online orientation on Sunday. ~Maria from Irvine Animal Care Center
Jane and Ruth, please feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post your question in our feline fostering facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/160979301262247/?ref=br_rs
Great job Tina!!
thank you -- so much great info and samples
That's awesome, Maria!
Thank you. :) Stay safe.
Thank you all — great webinar!
Thanks guys! This was great. :-)
Ruth Monica Castelli
thanks a lot :)
Thanks everyone! Stay safe and healthy!!
Thank you! That was awesome!!
Deb Munini Schwartz
Thank you !
Thank you! So helpful!
Thanks a Bunch!
Good luck everyone!
thanks so much!