MMPC Learniverse – Finder Foster Legal Considerations with Shelter PALS

MMPC Learniverse – Finder Foster Legal Considerations with Shelter PALS


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What is a "Finder Foster" program - how does it work, how long do finders need to hold an animal and what are other important legal aspects of these programs?

In this course you’ll learn how Finder Foster programs can help you reunite more animals with their families, promote animal well-being and minimize stress by reducing time spent in the shelter, and reserve resources for animals who really do need to come in—all by engaging people who are already helping animals in your community.

We've asked a legal expert to help us understand these important details.  We'll be using the state of California and its legal requirements for these programs as an example.  You'll want to speak to your own legal counsel to make sure your area (state, county, city or other locality) doesn't have different regulations in place.

As part of Maddie's® Million Pet Challenge Learniverse program, Bruce Wagman, Lead Counsel for the Shelter Policy and Legal Services (Shelter PALS) program of the San Francisco SPCA, covers the concepts, legal specifics, and requirements of finder-foster programs for animal shelters in the state of California. The country’s first and only legal aid organization dedicated exclusively to the needs of animal shelters, Shelter PALS leverages the expertise of the best legal minds in animal welfare, and channels significant legal aid to animal shelters. Although the specific information in this course is applicable to and derived from California state law, many of the principles will be similar in other states.

This short, self-paced course has been approved for 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and by National Animal Care and Control Association. 

This course has been approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit until July 25, 2024 in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval. Upon completing the course and passing the quiz, upload your certificate to https://CEBroker.com. This is the broker used by the AAVSB to track your continuing education credits.

Keywords:  Animal Care Laws, Finder Foster, Lifesaving.

PLEASE CONTACT:  learniverse@sheltermedportal.com if you have any questions or concerns about this course.


With the Maddie’s®️ Million Pet Challenge, the Five Key Initiatives of the Million Cat Challenge have expanded to include other species at risk in shelters and evolved into the Four Rights.  

Within the Four Rights, every element works in concert to support one another: animals and people are treated as individuals, empowering shelter staff to make the best decisions for everyone; community safety net services are in place and flourishing; and humane care within the shelter is provided, with appropriate outcomes for the animals that do come in, allowing shelters to deliver the Right Care, in the Right Place, at the Right Time, and to the Right Outcome.

This course focuses on how Finder Foster programs support the Right Place, Right Care, and Right Outcome components of the Four Rights.

Learn more about  Maddie's®️ Million Pet Challenge Learniverse.  #ThankstoMaddie


You can also join the discussion about these concepts over on Maddie's Pet Forum in the Shelter PALS Legal Series Discussion Group

Discussion Group on Maddie's Pet Forum

Click to visit the Discussion Group (will open in a new window/tab).

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Finder Foster Program Legal Considerations
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. In this course you’ll learn how Finder Foster programs can help you reunite more animals with their families, promote animal well-being and minimize stress by reducing time spent in the shelter, and reserve resources for animals who really do need to come in—all by engaging people who are already helping animals in your community.
Course Feedback Survey
3 Questions
3 Questions We would really appreciate your feedback on this course to help us continue to improve and provide more of what you need in the future.
Course Quiz
5 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  5/7 points to pass
5 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  5/7 points to pass Let's check your knowledge after going through the Finder Foster course (and help you get your CE credits).
Shelter PALS Legal Series Discussion Group
Select the "Visit the Discussion Group" button to begin.
Select the "Visit the Discussion Group" button to begin. Shelter PALS Legal Series discussion group on Maddie's®️ Pet Forum will open in a new window/tab.
CAWA/NACA CE Certificate
1.00 CE Credits credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CE Credits credit  |  Certificate available This short course has been approved for 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (AAWA) and by National Animal Care and Control Association.
RACE CE Certificate
1.00 CE Credits credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CE Credits credit  |  Certificate available This course has been approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit until July 25, 2024 in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval. Upon completing the course and passing the quiz, upload your certificate to https://CEBroker.com. This is the broker used by the AAVSB to track your continuing education credits.

We have a dedicated discussion group on Maddie's Pet Forum to discuss the Shelter PALS Legal Series.  Bring your questions, comments, thoughts, and suggestions, or just see what others are thinking about these ideas.

Discussion Group Button
Click to visit the Discussion Group (will open in a new window/tab)
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Bruce Wagman

Lead Counsel

San Francisco SPCA - Shelter Policy and Legal Services (Shelter PALS)

For almost three decades, Bruce Wagman has been using his legal education and well-honed skills to help animals in all sectors of society, and benefit both society and the animals themselves. He is the only lawyer running an exclusive animal law practice in a major United States firm. He litigates, drafts animal-friendly legislation, oversees rescue operations, and consults clients who care for and protect animals. He has published two major works, the leading casebook for law schools nationwide—Animal Law: Cases and Materials—and a global survey of animal laws, A Worldview of Animal Law, the only global survey of animal law. Bruce also founded Project Chimps, a chimpanzee sanctuary that is home to chimpanzees retired from a research laboratory. Bruce’s clients include numerous animal protection organizations as well as private individuals. He has worked on behalf of many species, including alpacas, bears, birds, cats, chickens, chinchillas, chimpanzees, cows, deer, dogs, dolphins, ducks, elephants, elk, ferrets, geese, goats, gorillas, horses (domestic and wild), lions, mice, monkeys, pigs, rabbits, sharks, turkeys, whales, and wolves. In addition to his role as Lead Counsel of Shelter PALS, Bruce currently serves as Of Counsel at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP.

Learn more about the San Francisco SPCA - Shelter Policy and Legal Services (Shelter PALS)