In May I attended the Animal Care Expo, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. This expo is the largest international education conference in the fields of animal care, control, rescue and emergency services; designed to help all people working in these fields to do the best and most efficient job possible. The expo is organised by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). We were welcomed by Wayne Pacelle, CEO and Betsy McPharland, Vice President of Companion Animals at HSUS and........ Jackson Galaxy, the man behind “My cat from hell”!
The conference started with a daylong course on Enrichment for happy and healthy animals. During the next 3 days I attended workshops on how to make sure the new centre will be built up to standard offering the animals the best possible enclosures, on how to advertise our homeless pets in such a way that we can rehome even more of them, on dog fighting, fund raising and many more things. It was a feast to have the combined knowledge of so many specialists in a huge quantity of fields readily available! Everybody attending was there to share and help each other get better at what they do.
The conference offered a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world, who all share the same goal: making the world a better place for the animals.
To give you an idea I’ve listed a few of the people I’ve met below (in no particular order):
Rey del Napoles, who almost lost his own life in his endeavour to stop dog fighting in the Philippines and Chetana Mirle trying to improve the life of farm animals in Asia, both working for the Humane Society International (www.hsi.org);
Joe Helm, an animal cruelty investigator in Abilene, Texas with 30+ years of experience (www.abilenetx.com/animal);
Miguel Abi-Hassan, shelter manager of the Halifax Humane Society running 43 different community programs at the same time;
Sara Turetta saving the lives of stray dogs in Romania for over 12 years already (www.savethedogs.eu);
Gregg Tully, managing the very successful Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand (www.soidog.org).
Mohamed Adany, vet at the Brooke Hopsital in Egypt, caring for working horses and donkeys (www.thebrookeegypt.org).
These are just a few out of many. There were people in attendance from the US, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi, Tanzania, Egypt, China, Azerbaijan, Russia, Philippines and Indonesia.