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April 25, 2012

From Q to Catalyst: Bringing Animal Protection Ministry Coast to Coast

We connected with more than 4,000 Christian leaders at two conferences in Washington, D.C. and California

  • Catalyst conference, Irvine, Calif. The HSUS

  • A woman gets a greeting from a dog awaiting adoption. The HSUS

  • Crystal Nettles of Irvine Animal Care talks with Christine Gutleben, HSUS Faith Outreach senior director at Catalyst. The HSUS

  • Irvine Animal Care Center and the Animal Assistance League of Orange County had dogs for adoption at The HSUS booth at Catalyst. The HSUS

By Victoria Strang

This April, The Humane Society of the United States traveled coast to coast, partnering with two faith conferences to bring a message of animal protection and stewardship to more than 4,000 Christian leaders.

“Creation care” resonated throughout both Q Ideas in Washington, D.C., and Catalyst West in Irvine, Calif., showing that animal protection is making inroads through the faith-based landscape.

Good stewardship a conference theme

Several speakers at the Q Ideas conference expressed the importance of caring for the environment and being good stewards to the land. Highlights included presentations by Hans Hess, Founder and CEO of Elevation Burger, Nancy Sleeth of Blessed Earth and Rev. Mitch Hescox, President and CEO of The Evangelical Environmental Network.

Each emphasized the need for Christians to recognize the world that God has provided, and the importance of protecting it now and for future generations.

At Catalyst West, we were joined by representatives from both the Irvine Animal Care Center and the Animal Assistance League of Orange County. Both organizations brought some wonderful dogs up for adoption. Working with animal shelters and promoting adoption is one way faith communities can engage in animal protection ministry. The dogs were a huge hit (no surprise) and many conference attendees shared their own stories of adoption and how animals had changed their lives.

Stewardship in action

One particularly moving story came from a woman who explained that adopting her blood hound mix allowed her to see the importance of animals' lives. Since adopting, she said, she had learned to see the beauty of God through animals and the necessity of caring for such precious beings.

Victoria Strang is coordinator for The HSUS Faith Outreach program

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