Eighty people filled the seats of the Harrell Theatre Monday, July 31, 2017 as one person sat near the side bottle feeding a five-week old kitten, who was rescued over the weekend (pictured). Faint “meows” could be heard through the room, but the other attendees did not mind as they were all in the business of saving lives. Collierville Animal Services and the SPCA of Memphis brought the Helen Woodward Animal Center “Business of Saving Lives” Workshop to Mid-South animal rescue professionals.
The workshop drew attendees from Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Helen Woodward staff traveled the furthest – from their center in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that believes in the philosophy of “people helping animals and animals helping people”. The center is located on twelve acres, and holds an impressive 100% adoption rate along with hosting numerous programs including pet encounter therapy and therapeutic horseback riding, pet food donations for senior citizen pet owners, and educational workshops for children and animal rescue professionals.
The “Business of Saving Lives” Workshop focused on successful fundraising methods, creative public relations strategies, and social media best practices. Mike Arms, President and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, opened with informative and inspirational remarks about the mission of working in the animal rescue field. Sharing inspirational stories was a common thread throughout the day as session leaders shared their stories of their “call” to the cause.
“The staff with the Helen Woodward Animal Center are the gurus of animal welfare,” said Nina Wingfield, Director of Collierville Animal Services. “We are always working to improve what we do, and this workshop was a wonderful, educational resource to have here.”
The one-day workshop is offered by the center at no cost, and Collierville Animal Services took advantage of applying early in the year to bring the program to Collierville.
SPCA of Memphis handed out grants to all participants (over thirteen groups) in the form of “gas grants” for out-of-town attendees and spay and neuter grants for local groups. Blue Buffalo sponsored both breakfast and lunch for the day.
Participants were also invited to tour the Collierville Animal Shelter the day before the workshop – Nina shared that everyone was very complimentary of how clean and impressive the facility was, along with the benefit the shelter adds to the Collierville community.
(Pictured below: Animal rescue professionals attended informational sessions and participated in networking opportunities during the Helen Woodward Animal Center “Business of Saving Lives” Workshop hosted by the Collierville Animal Shelter and SPCA of Memphis.)