Animal Care Expo, our marquee training and exhibition event for animal welfare professionals, has moved online this year because of the coronavirus crisis. From the comfort and safety of their homes, participants can enjoy an interactive virtual conference experience during a three-day event packed with more than 30 sessions.
As this is our 29th annual Expo, we are offering animal welfare professionals and others the opportunity to participate at a registration fee of just $29 through July 7.
Expo has always been one of my favorite events. The energy and spirit is infectious, and it is exciting to meet and interact with so many people doing incredible work in the animal sheltering and rescue field. With the pandemic raging through the nation, we decided in March that canceling the in-person event, scheduled for San Antonio, Texas, was the best and safest course for everyone.
But we never gave up on creating an opportunity for animal protection workers to convene and learn together, and I’m confident that the online conference will offer the same value and experience that attendees have come to expect. Expo is known for featuring some of the best and the brightest speakers in the field of animal care and services, all sharing their innovative thought and their knowledge of good practices with participants from around the world. This year’s event will feature timely sessions on best protocols for transporting animals between states and nations, winning grants for animals, reducing community cat overpopulation, increasing access to veterinary care, and engaging audiences via social media, among others.
World-renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, best known as the star of the hit TV series “It’s Me or the Dog,” will teach “Coping strategies for every dog.”
We’re also featuring sessions to help shelters navigate issues tied to the global pandemic. Sarah Aguilar, foster program manager of Greatergood.org, and Kristen Hassen-Auerbach, director of Pima Animal Care Center, will host a session on #StayHomeAndFoster, a nationwide campaign to pair shelter pets with foster families. The campaign received more than 70,000 foster registrations, and speakers will share the lessons they learned concerning marketing strategies, budgeting for recruitment, and the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on shelter operations.
The welcome session this year will feature Larissa Wohl, host and pet rescue expert for the “Adoption Ever After” initiative for Hallmark channel’s morning show, “Home & Family.”
Online participants will be able to engage with exhibitors in our virtual exhibit hall, earn continuing education credits and connect with other attendees.
Responding to the coronavirus crisis, rescues and shelters pivoted swiftly to ensure that no animal was left out or left behind, and this year’s online Expo will be a networking event that celebrates the amazing good that animal protection advocates everywhere have been able to do in their communities. I am inspired every day by the stories coming out of the field in these difficult times, and I expect to hear a lot more about that work during Expo. One of the most important lessons we have all learned is that by working together, we can turn crisis into opportunity in our effort to make this a better world for our companion animals. Expo offers that unique opportunity for collaboration, networking and lifting spirits, so if you haven’t already registered, please do so here. I’ll look forward to seeing you there.