ACES Pet Rescue Workshop at BlogPaws 2011

Precious PetsThere are few resources available to teach the art of marketing when it comes to rescued pets. The stories of these animals must be cast far and wide to capture the attention of that perfect, caring family. Not only is this important for that individual pet but, as a whole, rescue pets deserve a shift public perception. This requires us to illuminate the value of their beautiful lives, educating about their tremendous capacity for unconditional love.


Animal welfare advocates from around the world make the pilgrimage to the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) in Rancho Santa Fe, California. There, they learn “The Business of Saving Lives” from Mike Arms, HWAC’s president and CEO. Mike is responsible for saving more pets than any other.

HWAC’s free, 3-day program, Animal Center Education Services (ACES), offers training about all areas of effective pet rescue management, providing invaluable insight about pet adoption, volunteer management, education, pet therapies, fundraising.

Mike Arms   Krissie Newman   Angela Morris and Asanya

“Blogger Edition”
BlogPaws 2011

Sponsored by Iams and Eukenuba

On August 25th, Mike broke ACES down into a bite-sized piece with a focus on marketing and took this “blogger edition” on the road to BlogPaws 2011, the 3rd pet blogging conference in Vienna Virginia. He invited two friends along: Krissie Newman, co-founder of the Ryan Newman Foundation, and Angela Morris, Coordinator of P&G Pet Care’s Office for Animal Welfare.

Together, Mike, Krissie, and Angela outlined ways to increase adoptions and lower euthanasia through tried-and-true techniques that improve fundraising skills, education concepts, volunteer management, public relations, and marketing efforts.

Below are just a few points each made. You’ll soon be able to access a polished series (likely next week) at If you work in rescue in any capacity, mine through the ideas presented here. Each is so worthwhile.




Having attended ACES in Rancho Santa Fe and at the BlogPaws session, I recommend learning from Mike in any way, shape or form you can. He is truly an inspiration, to which Krissy and Angela (and I) can attest.


  1. Kat_and_dogs says:

    Thanks for posting this … especially the clip from Angela talking about pure-breed rescue. I absolutely adore Italian Greyhounds and will always own the breed. I too obtained mine through a responsible breeder who in addition to very limited and carefully selected breeding to improve the breed has been involved with breed rescue and also with breed health initiatives. She was a driving force behind the work done to get a carrier test for PRA for IG’s. Like the breeder Angela worked with, she is very picky who she will place a dog with, and looks for a good match between the house/owner and the breed, and she will ALWAYS take one of her placements back for any reason to ensure they never end up in a shelter. It is possible to own a breed you love and not add to problems like puppy mills and pet overpopulation – it is all about education. Most breed clubs have a rescue arm – just do your research if you have your heart set on a specific breed and your local shelter does not have any.

  2. CarenOsrinGittleman says:

    super important info! I shared, tweeted and sent it to a few rescue folks that I know. Wish I had gotten to spend some time with you at BlogPaws, hopefully in 2012!

  3. CarenOsrinGittleman says:

    Oh and I never got to congratulate you all on your HUGELY deserved Pettie!!!!! I voted for you a zillion times! 🙂

  4. wantmorepuppies says:

    Really great info… thanks so much for posting the clips. I can’t wait to see the rest. Wish I’d been able to go to this session!

  5. @Kat_and_dogs It is important to note too that, as I read on My Brown Newfies, the appearance of pure breeds like Newfoundlands in shelters is growing exponentially, which is truly sad for this (or any) loyal, beautiful breed. South Central Newfoundland Rescue covers Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky and their publication “NewfTide” offers these stats:

    In 2007, 14 Newfoundlands came into SCNR, of which three were heartworm positive, six needed altering, and three were dogs with heart issues.

    In 2008, 39 dogs came through rescue, of which five needed heartworm treatment, 24 needed altering, three had entropian, and four had thyroid issues.

    In 2009, the number of Newfoundlands in need rose to 46, of which one needed heartworm treatment, 17 needed altering, and three needed entropian surgery.

    In 2010, the numbers skyrocketed, with 69 Newfoundlands in need of rescue, of which four needed heartworm treatment, 37 needed altering, three had major heart problems, and one needed cruciate surgery.

    To date, June 10, SCNR has placed 26 Newfoundlands during 2011 and have 15 in rescue. At this rate they will surpass last year’s breaking numbers.

    I would urge folks to search breed rescues before purchasing – regardless of breed – because these dogs may die if not rehomed. Breed rescues like Great Pyrenese Rescue has a transport system that can retrieve these sweet dogs from anywhere, right to your doorstep. Others have the same systems in place.

  6. @CarenOsrinGittleman Thanks, Caren!

  7. @CarenOsrinGittleman Thanks, Caren!

  8. @CarenOsrinGittleman Thanks for the votes and I too wish we could have spent more time together in Virginia (per your comment below)! Glad we got that hug in though! It was important!

  9. @CarenOsrinGittleman Thanks for the votes and I too wish we could have spent more time together in Virginia (per your comment below)! Glad we got that hug in though! It was important!

  10. @wantmorepuppies I’m looking forward to the rest too – and I was there! There is just so much to absorb.

  11. It was so nice to finally meet you “in person,” @Kim Clune ! (Instead of social media and email – haha!)

    Thank you for all your support of the ACES program. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to get the word out about the conference, and you have helped spread the word to your fans and the organizations that follow you so well.

    We appreciate you!

  12. @HWAC Fabulous to meet you too, Marcie! I think I met everybody BUT you in San Diego in the Spring. Given our social media tendencies, it’s almost apropos that it played out this way.

    As for my support of ACES, it can’t be shared enough. Every person I know who has ever been through even a portion of it – like at BlogPaws – comes away with renewed energy, armed with incredibly useful tools. Mike’s inspiration is a gift to the soul and your staff’s expertise offers tremendous insight.

    I appreciate all of you too!


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