#AAWASpring: Day 1 Highlights

They say the third time’s the charm and…WOW. There was definitely electricity in the (Zoom) air as 600-plus animal welfare professionals kicked off The Spring Conference for Animal Welfare Advancement today. Thank you to the sponsors, exhibitors, presenters and attendees for being so engaged and engaging, present and authentic. And yes, the following tips are just a tease—we’ll dig deeper into the info and inspo shared in many of the sessions in future blogs and webinars.

We are animal welfare leaders. We are world-changers. The difference we have made together is staggering. Now it’s time to focus on the people we serve and the people we work alongside.

– The Association’s Jim Tedford during his Welcome and Opening Remarks

Feelings are facts as well. Be honest about how things make you feel.

– Dex Hunter-Torricke, in his keynote speech, “How to Change the World: A Practical Guide.” (Read an interview with Dex here.)

Work on being empathetic. It’s a muscle—you just have to do it.

– DEI Committee Co-Chair Johnny Jenkins

Passing on the 4 norms for discussion that DEI Committee Co-Chair Johnny Jenkins shared at the start of the DEI panel today. Which resonates most with you?

What should white allies do? Use your power and privilege to advocate for racial justice, and don’t expect a cookie.

– Maria Morukian, MSM Global Consulting

I was surprised at how quiet the clinics were. People stayed with their pets all day and made it a family affair, watching the entire event unfold. In the States, we’re trained that this is a liability. The bond between people and their pets during this experience was profound.

– Dr. Julie Levy on Spayathon for Puerto Rico, and witnessing the families who brought their dogs and cats to the week-long MASH-style HQHVSN clinics

What else ya got? Leave a comment and share your Day 1 aha! moments.

The conference runs through June 10, so it’s not too late for you to register, attend tomorrow and Thursday, and take advantage of the full conference recordings through August.

Photos, clockwise from top left: Jamie Fitzpatrick’s Conference Buddy; keynote Dex Hunter-Torricke; Vicki Stevens’ Conference Buddy, The Association’s Jim Tedford

The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.

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