2011: Washington DC

29 July 2011 – 2 August 2011

Having spent two weeks in New York some nine months ago, an opportunity presented itself to visit Washington DC. Could we squeeze in another visit to New York as part of this trip?

Washington DC came about as a result of the work I was doing in the animal welfare sector. As CEO of RSPCA ACT I was trying to change the everyday model of animal sheltering.

Here is some of the press at the time: 

Our achievements started to make news overseas and as a result of this I was invited to speak at the No Kill Conference, which was held in DC in August of 2011.  I was contacted by Nathan Winograd, a champion of the no kill movement who wanted to demonstrate that changing a traditional shelter model was possible. RSPCA ACT were changing the model and this was such a wonderful opportunity.

So off we went to Washington DC, and juts because we loved New York so much, we added a week in NYC at the end of the Washington DC leg.

Our time in DC was fantastic.  We caught up with a number of like minded animal welfarists and did a little bit of sight seeing before the conference.

The Mall, Lincoln, White House, Jefferson, Vietnam Monument, the museums, the Capital Building were just some of the things we squeezed into two packed days.  I don’t know how we did it.  The weather was awful, over 40C most days, with a hot wind and humidity in the 80% range.  We made the most of our stay.

After a few days in good company, it was time for the conference.  We met up at Washington University and quickly immersed ourselves in discussions and presentations on modern day animal welfare and animal sheltering.  It was heartening for me to see and learn about some strategies being used overseas, strategies I had implemented already at my shelter.

Conference breaks were filled with new faces and conversations about saving animals, homing rates, veterinary practices and fostering programs. It was such a great environment to be surrounded by.

My presentations went down well, with people eager to hear how we did things down under. I talked about our kitten foster program, dog walking and fostering program, quarantine protocols, adoption drives and events.  

The whole experience was a rich learning one for me as well as everyone else in attendance. I made strong contacts with animal welfare professionals from around the globe and cemented RSPCA ACT’s place as a world leader in animal welfare strategies.

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