Phase 1: The Foundational Course

The Shelter Consultation Mentorship Program is conducted in two phases. Training begins with the Foundational Course, in which mentees complete an online self-study program, required readings, and the Fear Free Shelter Program.

After completing the Foundational Course, participants can apply to complete Phase 2: Advanced Course to participate in an on-site professional consultation at a client shelter.

Foundational Course

1. Complete

  • Shelter Consultation Mentorship Course  (2.5 hours, free)
    • Note that Maddie’s University works most optimally in the Chrome browser; some versions of IE are not supported. Please contact Maddie’s University support if you encounter any issues with accessing or completing your learning.   
    • This class has been approved for 2.5 hours of continuing education credit until 02/19/2024 in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval.
    • This class has been pre-approved for 2.5 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.
  • Fear Free Shelters Program (30-45 minutes per module, free)
    • The goal of this program is to improve the experiences of animals by educating shelter, rescue, and animal welfare employees and volunteers about their emotional needs. The program will empower you to apply key strategies and techniques designed to reduce the negative emotional states that are commonly experienced by shelter and rescue animals—including fear, anxiety, stress (FAS), and frustration—and increase their enrichment opportunities. This program is suitable for every individual involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals.
    • Completion of the Fear Free Shelters program will earn 5 credits of RACE-approved continuing education.
  • March Fourward: The Future Is Four (48 min)
  • The Future is Four: The Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time to the Right Outcome (Series)
    • The Right Place (55 min)
    • The Right Time (58 min)
    • The Right Care (coming 5/10/22 at 3 pm)
    • The Right Outcome (coming 5/24/22 at 3 pm)

2. Watch

3. Read

4. Research a Shelter

  • Research a shelter by reviewing their website, Facebook page, and online news reports. You can set up Google alerts to be notified when news about the shelter occurs.
  • Review local municipal code(s) and state statutes regarding the regulatory environment in which the shelter operates. Some shelters serve multiple jurisdictions that may have different requirements. Reflect on how the laws facilitate or hinder the shelter best practices. Finding the relevant laws can be a challenge, and not all laws are necessarily indexed in prominent directories.

Additional Resources

By the end of the of this self-study course, you will have a fundamental knowledge of the following key topics:

  • Introduction to animal welfare assessments
  • Key research before onsite assessment visit
  • Community programs and the link to shelter success
  • Community cat management programs
  • Intake policies and managed admissions
  • Population management
  • Live outcome programs
  • Onsite assessment overview
  • Community messaging
  • Recommendations and reports
  • Follow-up post assessment
  • The Fear Free Shelter Program

After completing this Foundational Course, if you believe you are a good candidate, you may apply for the Advanced Course.

Thanks to the generosity of Maddie’s Fund, the Maddie’s Million Pet Challenge is offering skilled animal welfare professionals the opportunity for self-study and immersive on-site experience with a consultation team, free of charge.