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April 30, 2013

Animal Welfare Organizations Converge on Nashville for Animal Care Expo 2013

World’s largest animal care conference and tradeshow opens at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center on May 8

Presented by The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Care Expo is celebrating its 22nd year as the world's largest international education and trade show in the fields of animal care, sheltering and rescue. Animal Care Expo 2013 will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., May 8-11.

The conference includes more than 55 workshops, as well as a large exhibit hall and five daylong certificate courses. About 2,000 attendees from animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal care agencies are expected to attend. This year marks the second time in four years that The HSUS has hosted this conference in Nashville, bringing thousands of visitors to the city.

“Expo is the largest gathering of its kind in the world, and it’s bigger than ever before,” said Betsy McFarland, vice president for companion animal issues at The HSUS. “We bring everyone together to celebrate successes, share ideas and learn the best ways to help animals in our communities.”

The U.S. continues to move closer to the goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in animal shelters. In the last two years alone, euthanasia in shelters has decreased by 10 percent and the proportion of pets in homes that were adopted from animal shelters and rescue groups has risen from 27 to 29 percent. A public service campaign launched in 2009 by The HSUS, Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council has generated more than $120 million in donated advertising to promote shelter adoption. On the international front, improvements are being made for the lives of millions of suffering street animals through spay/neuter, vaccinations, veterinary training and humane education. With a commitment to animal welfare steadily increasing worldwide, more pets across the globe share homes with caring families than ever before.

Expo workshops will cover a wide-range of issues, from increasing adoptions, expanding the reach of the animal welfare field into under-served communities to implementing the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s guidelines to improve shelter operations and, most importantly, saving more lives. Animal Care Expo 2013 also features a new track dedicated to those running or volunteering for a rescue group.

Animal Care Expo is an important part of The HSUS’ commitment to helping humane organizations. Another way The HSUS helps communities is through its Animal Rescue Team, which aids local organizations when natural disasters or cruelty cases exceed their capacity to respond, such as when Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012. The HSUS has sent staff to help organizations in Tennessee more than 20 times in the past five years, helping more than 3,500 animals in cases such as puppy mills, animal hoarding and horse cruelty seizures.

This year’s Expo will begin with an inspiring Welcome Session presentation by Dan Heath, co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Heath will explore why some big changes happen easily while many small changes prove impossible, revealing a simple, 3-part framework that will help animal welfare organizations continue their quest for change.

Visit animalsheltering.org/expo for additional information about The HSUS' Animal Care Expo 2013. 

Media Contact: Rebecca Basu, 240-753-4875, rbasu@humanesociety.org

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