Here at Sparkie, we try to sponsor or attend an animal welfare-related event every year. It’s a great way to stay connected to the national animal rescue community and learn more about the latest trends in the space.
This year, Kelly and Brownie (yes, our 3-legged canine mascot came along!) had the opportunity to attend the ‘Making a Difference Now, Kentucky’ animal welfare conference on September 21st. It was a great day of learning and networking with wonderful speakers, representatives from Best Friends, and, of course, amazing local rescue groups!
Data, data, data
A common thread throughout all the talks given was the importance of DATA, DATA, DATA; in fact, we noticed the topic came up in about every 5th sentence! And we couldn’t agree more. Without data, animal rescuer groups may struggle to prove their impact or make the case for receiving grants or support from government organizations. The bottomline is that data unlocks opportunity.
Collaboration is key
Another area of focus during the conference was the importance of collaboration across different animal welfare groups. Creating communities that work together was cited as one of the best ways to go about giving more companion animals positive outcomes. In particular, building a coalition that is committed to reaching a common goal (for example, a 90% save rate in Kentucky) is what many states around the country are doing with the help of Best Friends and their local animal welfare groups.
The final topic we picked up on during the conference was the importance of being community oriented. We particularly enjoyed the talk by Kenny Lamberti, Best Friends Southeast Regional Director, who spoke about dispelling some of the myths and fears people have about entering and working in communities they aren't familiar with. We loved that he encouraged people to get out of their comfort zones and emphasized that “the more informed and culturally humble and competent we are as animal professionals, the better we can serve all communities.”
O.K., maybe not a theme of the conference, but we can’t help and share our favorite photos from MADNKY!
Kentucky has lots of good things planned for animals, and we intend for Sparkie to continue to be a part of their journey, well into the future!