We Were There: Humane Alliance’s SNIP! Summit
Q: Take more than 800 spay/neuter industry professionals, put ‘em all in one big room and play this video, and what have you got?
A: An army of jazzed-up, teary-eyed folks ready to rock the SNIP! Summit, held in Asheville, NC, this past March 31-April 2!
Hosted by Humane Alliance, one of our partner agencies in Buncombe County, the conference drew shelter execs, spay/neuter vets and vet techs, clinic directors and managers—as well as many folks looking to get started in high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter. Like Naomi, the vet student from the University of Missouri who drove more than 11 hours with her two dogs to get to the conference, and staff from shelters in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward. “PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA gave 15 scholarships to these Florida groups who had not previously been exposed to Humane Alliance,” says the ASPCA’s Julie Morris, Senior Vice President, Community Outreach, “and it was fun to watch their enthusiasm and delight grow. Several of them mentioned to me that there is a very different energy at the SNIP! Summit.”
Hmmm…could that have had anything to do with the staffs from clinics all across the country dancing through the aisles during the opening session?!
Here’s more of what knocked our socks off…
They Liked It, They Really Liked It!
-Says the ASPCA’s Carolyn Brown, DVM, Director of Spay/Neuter Surgery, “I was especially struck by William McKelvy, the founder of the Humane Alliance. He spoke about seeing shelter workers care for animals and prepare them for adoption, only to have to hold them in their arms days later for euthanasia. When I heard that, I thought—I could never do that! That’s why I do what I do—so someday, no one will have to do that.”
[Watch this video to learn more about McKelvy and Humane Alliance.]
- “People were really interested in the SOP Manual we developed for our mobile/spay neuter clinics,” reported the ASPCA’s Kathleen Makolinski, DVM, who co-presented two sessions with Aimee Christian, Vice President, Spay/Neuter Operations. “They wanted copies so they did not need to waste time and energy re-inventing the wheel.”
Some Cool Stuff We Learned and Had to Pass On
- “I usually think of in-clinic spay/neuter clinics as a whole-day event where a rescue group utilizes a private-practice veterinary hospital to provide spay/neuter,” says Dr. Makolinksi. “However, I learned from Ruth Steinberger from Spay First! that in certain communities, it may work well to enlist private veterinary practitioners to do 10 spay/neuters (low-cost for targeted audience) before their clinic opens one day per week.”
- Recommended by Cheryl Pavlick in her session, “How to Hire & Manage the Right People:” Download Humane Alliance’s Human Resources Manual.
- Learn more about using GIS for truly targeted spay/neuter: “Are We Hitting Our Target?”
- Advice from Dr. Phil Bushby to the vet tech who wanted to get the vets she works with to use the techniques discussed in his workshops: “Make sure they have a copy of Humane Alliance’s pediatric spay/neuter video.”
What Gives Us Hope
- “It was incredible to see such a large number of veterinarians in attendance,” says the ASPCA’s Christa Chadwick, CAWA, Senior Director, Animal Stats Database. “Several years ago, I attended the Fix-It Forum hosted by PetSmart Charities, and while there were vets there, it was nowhere near the number who attended this conference. That also is an indication of how far we’ve come in getting the spay/neuter message out to the veterinary community—it has clearly resonated with them!”
- We know there’s funding to support high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter in the years to come. PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA are offering joint grant support to Humane Alliance—a $2 million capital campaign gift for a new training center and $5.2 million, over five years, for programs, including the SNIP! Summit. And we have also launched the ASPCA National Spay/Neuter Project. “I had lots of people come up to me and ask me about this, so I know we really hit a chord with this initiative,” says the ASPCA’s Morris. “The project will have a major impact on spay/neuter in smaller communities.”
And can you guess what else we’re all looking forward to? As Kimberly Smith, Administrative Manager of ASPCA’s Spay/Neuter Operations, sums it up: “800 spay/neuter professionals in the same room, with the same goal—to end pet overpopulation—was extremely powerful. Sign me up for next year!”
ASPCA National Spay/Neuter Project
ASPCA Professional website: Spay/Neuter Section
The SNIP! Summit Handouts (available only until April 30)
We Were There: 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
Photos: Mike Belleme Photography