Fall 2023 Online Instructor-Led Courses

Looking to implement a new program, learn more about a specific subject and create positive change for pets and people in your community? Maddie’s Fund® Online Instructor-Led Courses provide an interactive educational opportunity for those who are looking to benefit from the wisdom of established innovative programs. They’re the catalyst you need to take your programs and learning to the next level! 

These courses require completion of: self-paced online materials, Zoom classes with your instructor and classmates, and a final project. (The length and number of Zoom classes are course dependent, but can range from 4 to 6 classes, at 60- to 90-minutes.) Class size is limited and the selection process is competitive. 

THE FALL 2023 APPLICATION WINDOW IS AUGUST 31 - SEPTEMBER 13, 2023. Links to applications will be available below on August 31, 2023.

Sample Application

To apply (1) click the application hyperlink provided in the description below (2) click the green ENROLL button on the application webpage, and (3) click submit on the survey via Survey Monkey. To be eligible, your organization must be a U.S. based 501c3 or government animal welfare organization. All Maddie’s University courses are pre-approved for NACA and CAWA CE (continuing education) credits. Every hour of training equals 1 CE credit towards CAWA Recertification.

If you have any questions please email maddiesuniversity@maddiesfund.org.

Care Pathways: Guiding Animals Through the Shelter

Care pathways have long been used in human medical care, and now they are being used successfully in animal care too! Care pathways are standardized paths that guide a group of pets from intake to outcome and direct our often limited resources to the animals that really need them. These pathways aim to reduce shelter stay, providing high quality and efficient care for animals in your organization’s care, based on their common needs. During this course, you’ll generate a plan for your organization, including components for step-by-step implementation and programmatic evaluation. We’ll discuss all types of care pathways; however, there will be a slight focus on care pathways related to animal flow through the shelter and meeting behavioral needs.

(6) 90-minute Zoom classes over 6-weeks, estimated time commitment of 24 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Sheila Segurson, DVM, Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist and Director of Community Solutions, Maddie's Fund®

When?  Zoom classes will be held Wednesdays, 2:00-3:30 PM ET on 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1 and 11/8. Dr. Segurson also strongly recommends that each group schedule a private meeting with her at least once during the course to make certain your questions and concerns are addressed.

Who should apply? Care pathways require commitment from multiple different organizational roles and departments to be successful. Please note: We will be accepting applications from 15 organizations. Applying organizations will be required to have at least 3 students (maximum of 10) fully participate in the coursework and classes. Applications in which only one person from an organization will participate will not be accepted unless you note a compelling reason in your application. Directors, Shelter/Operations managers/supervisors/coordinators, behavior, foster, marketing, animal care and veterinary staff are encouraged to participate; basically anyone who is empowered to make changes and launch new initiatives or works to move animals along on their path to adoption. Representatives of organizations with physical sheltering facilities will get the most from this offering. 

Apply here

Feline Lifesaving: Essential Cat Programs for Shelters

Shelter programming for cats is radically changing every day! Learn how it’s evolved and how to create or grow coordinated programs that result in increased feline lifesaving. In this advanced-level instructor-led course, students will explore why cat services need reformation and how to lead their organization through challenges. Students will learn how to implement essential cat programs, lead staff and volunteers, engage their community, and be as effective as possible with limited resources. Course content includes: Handling Fractious and Feral Cats, Shelter-Neuter-Return and Community Cat Management, Intake Decisions for Cats, FIV, FeLV, Ringworm, Panleukopenia, Behavior Programs, Conflict Resolution, Adoptions, Matchmaking, Working Cat Programs, and more.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 20 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Monica Tarant, Chief Innovation Officer: Feline Lifesaving at Cincinnati Animal CARE and The Joanie Bernard Foundation

When? Zoom classes will be held Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 PM ET on 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 and 10/24.

Who should apply? For shelter-based organization directors, managers or coordinators who are empowered to make changes and launch new initiatives in their organizations. Representatives of organizations with physical facilities will get the most from this offering.

Apply here

Field Services: Community-Centered Programming

This Online Instructor-Led Course from NACA will teach you everything you need to know about the foundations and future of animal field services. You’ll hear from several shelters that are successfully redefining what field services mean in their cities, jurisdictions and within their communities, including time for Q&A. We’ll explore innovative and lifesaving programming involved in a community-focused field services approach such as fence fixing programs, reunification strategies in the field, data driven program targeting, and field intake to placement programs. In addition to program structures, common challenges with implementation and how to overcome barriers will also be discussed. The virtual (Zoom) classes for this Instructor-Led Online Course will be interactive. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of where field services have been, where we are now, and where we are going. 

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 10 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Jerrica Owen CAWA, Executive Director, National Animal Care & Control Association 

When? Zoom classes will be held Mondays, 3:00-4:30 PM ET on 10/2, 10/16, 10/23 and 10/30. There will be no class on 10/9 in observance of Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Who should apply? Directors, managers, coordinators and animal services officers are encouraged to apply. Best for shelter-based organizations with field services, like municipal organizations or organizations with municipal contracts. 

Apply here

Foster Care for Adult Dogs

Adult dogs are sitting in shelters. Let's get them out and into homes and let's get your organization on board with a foster-centric mentality for adult dogs. This course will teach you how to grow or create your program. We’ll discuss the biggest challenges and how you can avoid or overcome them. Topics of discussion will include: creating a shift in organizational culture, marketing foster dogs, field trips, short-term and emergency foster care, support and training foster caregivers, and more. Online (Zoom) classes are interactive. You will be expected to join breakout rooms to brainstorm ideas, interact with other students and have some fun.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 14 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Rachel Jones, consultant

When? Zoom classes will be held Tuesdays, 5:00-6:30 PM ET on 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 and 10/24.

Who should apply? For directors, managers or staff who are empowered to make changes and launch new initiatives in their organizations. Priority will be given to organizations that have two or more representatives apply (e.g., manager and staff teams).

Apply here

Humane Education: Tools & Techniques to Expand Your Reach

Humane education programs are an invaluable resource to any shelter, as they directly help them meet their organizational goals and benefit the entire community. These programs help expand your community reach into new populations of donors, fosters, adopters, and volunteers, while also generating revenue for the organization. Humane education exists with the hopes that by creating kinder, more compassionate youth, the future of animal welfare will be brighter. In this instructor-led course, students will learn about the tools and techniques needed to garner organizational buy-in, create programs to fit needs, and get tips and tricks to get started right away. If you are already facilitating humane education programs, we’ll dive into specific games, lessons, program details. Topics include safety and liability, marketing, funding opportunities, resources at your disposal, incorporating animal ambassadors, how to measure your success and more.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 12 hours for coursework and classes

Instructors: De Daltorio, Chief Education Officer; Heather Grogan, Director of Humane Education; and Kylie Wiest, Humane Education Manager at Charleston Animal Society

When? Zoom classes will be held Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30 PM ET on 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 and 10/24.

Who should apply? For shelter or rescue organizations looking to grow their youth programming. We encourage shelter directors, managers, staff and/or volunteers. 

Apply here

Marketing Communications 101: The Essentials of Community Connection

Interested in reaching more of your community? This Online Instructor-Led Course is for those wanting hands-on experience creating a marketing and communications plan for a specific community centric program* at their organization. You’ll walk away with a marketing plan specific to your unique program, audience and goals, with messaging and sample copy to use in emails, press releases and more. Together, we’ll take it from strategy to implementation. This interactive workshop style class will feature short informative presentations by instructors followed by ample time to discuss, ask questions, brainstorm and most importantly, work on your plan.

*Community centric programs include programs such as Lost Pet Reunification, Pet Support Services, Foster Care, Supported Rehoming, Field Services and Public Safety, Community Partnerships and more. 

(5) 60-minute Zoom classes over 5-weeks, estimated time commitment of 12 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Caitlin Quinn, Director Of Operations, HeARTs Speak

When? Zoom classes will be held Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 PM ET on 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26 and 11/2.

Who should apply? For animal welfare professionals looking to understand foundational concepts of marketing and communications, including those who develop communications, marketing, advertising, and fundraising messaging and materials, communicate with audiences using press releases, email, newsletters, website and social media posts. This class is best-suited for those creating a marketing plan for the first time or those looking to brush up on making marketing more strategic.

Apply here

Rehoming: Inexpensive and Easy Community Support 

Approximately 36% of animals come into shelters as an “owner surrender.” Many pet owners are willing to rehome their pets directly from their home to another but are unaware of how to do so confidently, safely, and successfully. “Supported self-rehoming” shelter programs aim to give pet owners the tools, support and knowledge to help them smoothly rehome their pet on their own, keeping more pets out of the shelter, decreasing overall pet stress, risk of disease, and shelter crowding. Rehoming is also better for people, giving pet owners the agency to personally select a new adopter, and even the option of potentially staying in touch with that new adopter. During this course, we’ll discuss the key components of a successful rehoming program, how to get buy-in, use technology to your advantage, communicate with the community, manage cases, measure progress, and more. We aim to give you the roadmap to either build a new pilot program or increase the success of your current one.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 10 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Lucy Fernandez, PASS Manager, Austin Pets Alive!

When? Zoom classes will be held Wednesdays, 12:00-1:30 PM ET on 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 and 10/25.

Who should apply? For front-line staff and volunteers providing intake diversion, pet support services, or otherwise interacting with community members. Best for organizations that are ready to implement or improve supported self-rehoming programs and are interested in how to get started. Best for organizations that have the goal of preventing up to 36% of animals from coming into the shelter and gaining community and leadership buy-in for supported self-rehoming programming.

Apply here

Shelter Clinic Management 

Logistically, managing a shelter clinic can be hard! And while there is a lot of help and support for private practice managers, it doesn’t always translate to shelter medicine. I can help you identify key points in your shelter clinic day-to-day operations that can help you streamline processes, create usable and applicable protocols, share solutions to common problems, and create an overall more efficient and effective shelter clinic. Another topic we will discuss is culture. I will share some proven, tangible actions you can take to improve the human connections in your workspace. Set the right example so you can bring the best out in your staff! 

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 12 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Jordana Moerbe, Shelter Support Director, American Pets Alive!, Maddie's Medical Program Advisor 

When? Zoom classes will be held Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 PM ET on 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26.

Who should apply? For shelter executives, veterinarians, clinic managers, coordinators or assistants; or anyone who wants to start or improve their organization's medical services via a shelter clinic. 

Apply here

Transport: Forming Equitable Partnerships

Transport programs are continuing to grow and evolve to meet the shifting needs of the sheltering and rescue community. Those looking to be "destination partners" will leave this instructor-led course with tools on how to expand their programs, how to say "yes" to more requests for help, and lessons on building sustainable and effective transport programs. Those looking to be "source partners" will leave with lessons on how increase transports, identify partners, and increase lifesaving outcomes. This course will focus on equitable transport partnerships, with a local-first approach. Join those involved in transport programs across the country to connect and learn from each other.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 10 hours for coursework and classes

Instructor: Clare Callison, Maddie's® Director of National Operations, American Pets Alive!

When? Zoom classes will be held Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 PM ET on 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26.

Who should apply? For transport coordinators, program managers, shelter/rescue directors, etc. who are empowered to make changes and launch new initiatives in their organizations. Best for organizations that are either currently transporting or close to starting a transport program. Open to both source (giving) and/or destination (receiving) groups.

Apply here

Transforming the Rescue Approach for “Hard to Place” Cats

Learn how Cat Town has transformed rescue work, helping cats who are least likely to find positive outcomes in a traditional shelter. Cat Town's proven programs match older unsocialized kittens (the “Forgotten Kittens”), senior cats, and those with medical issues or in hospice, with loving homes while also offering post-adoption support to ensure long-term success. This course will discuss Cat Town’s processes and protocols, as well as their strategies for assessing cats in a shelter environment, marketing, fundraising, building partnerships, fostering, going cage-free, and even creating your own kind of cat cafe or group-housing space. Watch hissy, fearful cats turn into loving pets at Cat Town.

(4) 90-minute Zoom classes over 4-weeks, estimated time commitment of 10 hours for coursework and classes

Instructors: Andrew Dorman, Executive Director; Dilara Göksel Parry CCBC, Program Manager; and Quinn White, Development Director and Deputy Director at Cat Town

When? Zoom classes will be held Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30 PM ET on 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 and 10/25.

Who should apply? For most staff and/or volunteers (executives, managers, coordinators or assistants, etc.) in shelters or rescue organizations that work with cats.

Apply here