When I travel around the country, many advocates ask me, “how can I do more to help animals?” Responding to that question, sometime back, on “A Humane Nation,” I wrote a blog listing 55 ways to help. One of the best ongoing training grounds for engagement is our Animal Care Expo, a world-class educational conference and full-scale international trade show. This year, it’s happening in Nashville from May 8-11, and you can register online today (if you register by Sunday, you can get the bargain registration rate) to participate in a life-changing, inspirational event.
I predict this year’s Animal Care Expo will be the biggest one yet, with more than 2,000 animal care professionals and other advocates from 40 different countries. We’ll also have a trade show, with booths and displays from more than 175 corporations in our field. It’s the largest education conference in the fields of animal sheltering and control, rescue and emergency services and animal advocacy. It’s a way to recharge your batteries by being around others of like mind, and to learn about innovation, best practices, and issues in our field.
I’m excited to announce that Dan Heath, co-author of “Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard,” will be presenting during our welcome session on the Expo’s opening night. The HSUS team has found this book incredibly helpful in our work – and we’re sure Dan’s words of wisdom will empower our attendees and get them thinking in new and fresh ways. I’m also excited to announce that we’ve added new intensive networking opportunities and more than 55 professional development workshops, including new tracks in hot topics and rescue central. We’re also hosting a special session on the shelter community and its challenges in relation to cats and controlling cat populations called “Radically Rethinking Our Response to Cats,” as part of our continuing leadership on this issue.
In today’s world, about 3 million healthy and treatable pets are euthanized in shelters every year. There’s no simple or formulaic solution to this problem, but by combining our talents, together we have seen tremendous strides, and we will reach the goal of no pets euthanized for lack of a home. At The HSUS , our work aims to tackle this issue on multiple fronts from The Shelter Pet Project, which promotes pet adoption to potential owners, to our Pets for Life program, which extends the reach of pet care to under-served areas and through the support of local animal shelter and rescue groups. But at Expo, we’ll also be talking about horses, laboratory animals, farm animals, wildlife and every other kind of animal, and how we, together, can do something about their plight and to make the world a better place for every one of them.