We Were There: 4th Annual Texas Unites for Animals
March in Austin—it’s not just for SXSW anymore! Last weekend, more than 350 staff and volunteers from shelters, rescues and municipal agencies rocked the Lone Star State capital for the 4th Annual Texas Unites for Animals Conference, presented by the Texas Federation of Humane Societies and the Texas Animal Shelter Coalition. The ASPCA was on hand to meet-and-greet, share learnings with our colleagues in the field and, yes, pose in goofy animal masks at the photo booth.
(Re)Location, (Re)Location, (Re)Location
The ASPCA’s Austin Gates and Kristen Limbert walked through 5 steps to starting a relocation program in their workshop, “They Just Need a Ride.” Here’s Step 2—preparing animals for transport:
- Make a guarantee that your animals will come healthy and then do everything possible to make it so
- Quarantine your animals prior to transport
- Vaccinate your animals: Distemper, Parvo, Bordetella, Rabies
- List available animals and let destinations choose animals they know they can move quickly
- Groom your animals
- Test for diseases/parasites: Heartworm, Parvo, Roundworm, Ringworm, etc.
- Spay/Neuter if you can
- Evaluate behavior
- Provide Health Certificates if crossing state lines
Austin and Kristen also debuted this nifty Transport Resume, a tool that’ll help you “sell” your transport program to destination shelters.
Managing and Leading Change
Want to implement change in your organization? One of the first things to do, explained Shelters’ Edge‘s own Bert Troughton, is to shift your thinking:
- Instead of “change,” think: “transition”
- Instead of “getting results,” focus on “getting THROUGH the neutral zone”
- Instead of “buy-in,” look for “input”
Click and Treat
Links we love, as shared by workshop attendees and presenters:
- Creating a Wish List for a Nonprofit Organization on Amazon.com
- The Social Animal’s “Facebook Pages Change to Timeline Layout—March 30, 2012″
- ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters
- How To: Free Adult Cat Adoptions
- Social Media Revolution 2011
Media Strategies with a Focus on Crisis Control
Savvy media tips—and mardi gras beads—were flying through the room during this workshop presented by the Louisiana SPCA’s Katherine LeBlanc and the ASPCA’s Meg Allison…
- Wanna get local media coverage? Watch bylines in newspapers to see who’s covering animal stories—those are the writers you should pitch to.
- Note: Reporters have more input on stories for evening news; if you want to pitch to a morning show, you’ll need at least 1 week lead time.
- Be proactive—come up with 12 ideas for stories and pitch one a month.
- Don’t just offer your story to everybody—”exclusive” is a magic word for the media!
- Get staff involved in your social media communications. How about a contest to see who can create the best Facebook status for an available pet—and then post the winner on your page.
Good stuff, huh? And that’s from just a few of the almost 50 workshops held at the 4th Annual Texas Unites for Animals. If you attended, please share what you learned in the comment box. And if you’re intrigued and want to join us next year, mark your calendars for 2013…
P.S. Looking for another kick-butt regional conference? The New England Federation of Humane Societies is holding its 67th annual training conference in Mystic, CT, from April 14-16. Get the deets here.