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April 14, 2010

Animal Care Expo

Humane Society International

Animal Care Expo is an educational conference combined with a trade show hosted by The Humane Society of the United States. The conference attracts the largest gathering of animal care and control professionals and volunteers in the world. In recent years, conference attendance has reached 1,700 professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 45 countries. For four days, participants attend workshops and exhibits related to the field of animal protection.

International program

Since 1999, Humane Society International has brought people from different regions of the world to participate in this conference. These individuals, mostly from developing countries, gain knowledge and skills to help run a successful program/campaign back home. International participants share their programs and projects, the issues and obstacles they must overcome, and the solutions they have found. Though the challenges they face vary, the wisdom shared by these groups proves valuable across cultural boundaries and presents an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences. The sharing and networking that occur during Expo are perhaps the most important aspects of the event.

Past workshop topics have included:

  • Setting Up a Field Sterilization Clinic
  • Animal Control: Assessment, Safe Handling and Capture of Animals in a Field Setting
  • How To Turn Your Animal Rescue’s Mission into a Sustainable Campaign
  • Quality of Life and Making a Hard Decision
  • Managing Street Dogs In India: Benefits for Dogs and Human Communities
  • Tips for Successful Fundraising
  • Effective Change in Government Animal Control

One of the highlights of the international program at Expo is the presentation of several special awards. The Animal Advocates award creates partnerships between HSI and international organizations that endorse, promote, and strive to adhere to certain basic policies of animal welfare. The HSI Award for Extraordinary Commitment and Achievement recognizes individual animal protectionists (particularly those in developing countries) whose sensitivity and compassion have led them to exceptional levels of bravery and self-sacrifice as they strive to mitigate and prevent the suffering of animals from neglect, cruelty and exploitation.

HSI scholarship program

HSI has brought people from different regions of the developing world to participate in Animal Care Expo by offering scholarship assistance to those who might not otherwise have the means of attending. An application process is in place to determine who would be most eligible for assistance. If you are interested in applying for scholarship assistance and would like to complete an application, please contact Donna Pease, Animal Care Expo International Coordinator, at dpease@hsi.org.

HSI internship program

HSI’s internship program was created to encourage and promote training of individuals involved in animal advocacy, sheltering/control, and humane education internationally. For one full week prior to Animal Care Expo, a U.S.-based humane society generously hosts a selected intern(s) for hands-on training at their facility. Many organizations in developing countries struggle to improve the welfare of companion animals in their communities. Some have established shelters and are striving to provide quality care for animals in their care, while others focus on stray animal control, humane education, or animal advocacy. The internship program has proven to be a wonderful experience for both the interns and the host organizations.

Prospective interns complete an application and an HSI staff committee makes the final selection. If you are interested in participating in the internship program, please contact Donna Pease, Animal Care Expo International Coordinator, at dpease@hsi.org. U.S. organizations interested in learning more about the internship program and the possibility of hosting interns should also contact dpease@hsi.org.