Even though it’s only February, kitten season is rapidly approaching! That means tons of tiny kittens will soon make their way into shelters, not only in Oregon but across the country. To help more of these kittens find homes, CAT is hosting an apprenticeship program to teach 21 shelters about our nationally recognized kitten foster program.
The Maddie’s® Fostering 4 Rock Stars Apprenticeship at Cat Adoption Team is made possible by a generous $60,000 grant from Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Funds from this grant will cover the costs of hosting the program and providing stipends to attendees.
“Thanks to Maddie, this training pulls together years of CAT’s learning into ready-made materials, tips, and tricks so that attendees leave prepared to save lives immediately,” says Kristi Brooks, director of operations at CAT and the lead trainer of Fostering 4 Rock Stars. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our work and to help save kittens all over the country.”
Over four days of workshops and training, attendees of the apprenticeship program will learn how to build and run a comprehensive kitten foster program from intake to adoption, using the foster model developed at CAT. The first of three separate training sessions just finished up at the end of last month.
“We are hoping to make our foster program bigger, better, and more successful,” Maui Humane Societyfoster coordinator Nikki Russell shares. “CAT’s program is doing extremely well and we’re here to learn more.”
In addition to Maui Humane Society, local organizations such as Oregon Humane Society and Willamette Humane Society are participating in the training. By the end of the last session, groups from as far away as Florida and Pennsylvania—plus 12 other states—will have completed the apprenticeship.
This isn’t the first time CAT has taught its foster program model to others. With prior support from Maddie’s Fund®, three shelters participated in Fostering 4 Rock Stars training at CAT in 2017. In 2012 and 2013, Brooks took the training to 10 animal organizations throughout the United States.
Last year, CAT fostered more than 900 kittens. This program enables foster families to provide quality care for kittens in need, whether that means bottle-feeding a litter of newborns or socializing a shy older kitten. Along with donations made throughout the year, CAT hosts an annual virtual baby shower to gather the supplies that help save these lives. Keep an eye on CAT’s Facebook and Instagram for more information as kitten season gets closer.