The Humane Society of United States hosted their annual Animal Care Expo this year in Las Vegas last week (May 21-24). Representing Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I attended with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and Muttville’s publicist and Board Member Patty Stanton, and we were ready to soak up all that we could learn in two and a half days about animal care education.
In comparison to the Best Friends Animal Society “No More Homeless Pets” Conference in October, this conference was geared more towards SPCAs, municipal shelters, and human societies across the nation and internationally. We met an organization from Guatamala, and rescues based in the U.S. that rescue animals from Iran and Romania.
It was interesting to venture outside of the Marketing track and learn about fundraising techniques and business organization topics. Found Animals talked about their venture in retail, opening a store in Southern California in a mall. HSUS’ session on hosting an Adopt-A-Thon was very useful, and we are currently implementing a few new ideas learned as Muttville gets ready for Maddie’s Matchmaker Adopt-A-Thon, coming upon June 9-10. Keep an eye out for some unique promos from Muttville!
As a result of what we learned at the Animal Care Expo, Switchblade plans on expanding Muttville’s retail ventures, which can potentially be an effective revenue stream. On the retail topic, we were all wearing our Muttville and “Senior Dogs Rule” gear, which drew in quite a bit of attention, including some heartfelt tears from folks who were touched by our “senior rescue” focus. Three women from Puerto Rico approached me after a session, and they wanted their own “Senior Dogs Rule” tees!
We met a company modeled similarly to Switchblade called the Oklahoma Media Group, that owned a division or subsidiary called The Social Animal, focusing on animal welfare marketing and fundraising. Yes, we took many notes at their workshop, and truly enjoyed their advice on email marketing, social media, and content. Made my wheels turn…what should I call Switchblade’s animal welfare division? (Suggestions are welcome!)
It is always inspiring to be in a room full of animal advocates. Patty and I are always thinking ahead, and next year we hope Muttville can participate with some sessions on senior animal care (there was none this year). What do you all think? Nashville, here we come!