Sunday, April 5, 2009

Upcoming Conferences - HSUS and No Kill Advocacy Center

HSUS Conference in Vegas - April 6-9

The HSUS's Animal Care Expo is happening now,and let's hope this is one instance where what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas! I know it is very hard for most animal-welfare people to understand how the HSUS offers political cover and support to shelters that are mired in the unnecessary, systematic killing of animals, but this sad reality is true. What HSUS does is often ignore those communities and shelter directors who are showing that things can be done differently because they are too busy covering up for those that kill in the face of alternatives.

However, this is the first year at one of these expos that the HSUS is bringing down a bit of that wall--if just a bit. For those arriving early and willing to pay an extra fee, they can attend the Maddie's Fund day at this conference, where staunch No Kill shelter directors Bonney Brown (of the Nevada Humane Society) and Suzanne Kogut (of Charlottesville's SPCA) will be presenting. This is very exciting--this slight shift in allowing No Kill directors to have a say at the HSUS conference.

Also exciting this week is the meeting of the minds between HSUS and Best Friends, Bad Rap, and many other organizations struggling to offer pit bulls confiscated from dog fighters at least an opportunity for individual, equitable assessment so those that can be taken in and saved have the same opportunities afforded to the Michael Vic dogs, many of which are in homes now and some of which are even therapy dogs! Let's hope these talks go well so that HSUS will stop their courtroom defense and call for the killing of all these fighting dogs, even puppies born after the adults are impounded. It's time to realize there are shades of grey in every situation and circumstance.

No Kill Advocacy Conference in DC - May 2&3

This conference is sold out, so the best way to track its progress is via The No Kill Nation -- a national forum I highly recommend to anyone interested in what No Kill is when put into practice. Myself and others in the No Kill movement will be offering daily updates about what we learn and our experiences at this conference.

Just last night, I was half-asleep and dreaming that it was less than a month away before I peronally get to hear my heroes and sheroes speaking ... everyone from No Kill powerhouse Nathan J. Winograd and Maddie's Fund president Richard Avanzino--who is also the first shelter director to lead a community to No Kill back when he was the director of the San Franciso SPCA in the 1990s.

I will also be blogging daily here as well from that conference, so stay tuned!

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