Hundreds of Puerto Rican animal shelter and rescue professionals will receive free training and resources from the Humane Society of the United States on a holistic, community-focused approach to animal welfare.

The symposium begins year three of the Humane Puerto Rico program and will be held Nov. 13 in Caguas. Experts from the HSUS will present information on how to influence state and local pet-related policy; progressive strategies in adoptions, community outreach and shelter management and the power of collaboration.

This symposium follows trainings in April and September that focused on investigating animal cruelty including puppy mills and animal fighting. Attendees also learned about compassion fatigue, building humane communities and more. To date, more than 3,000 law enforcement officers and animal sheltering and rescue professionals have been trained in animal cruelty investigations, and more than 2,000 teachers have received humane education training.

Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director for the HSUS, commented: “We are thrilled that over 200 shelter professionals and volunteers will be provided tools to manage animal overpopulation in Puerto Rico, focusing on lifesaving programs and the power of collaboration.”

The HSUS will be conducting an additional training event in February 2017. The HSUS is also implementing the Sister Shelter Project, a mentorship program connecting Puerto Rican animal welfare organizations with a mainland U.S. shelter that will act as a partner and guide.

The Humane State Program of the HSUS was born out of the success of Puerto Rico’s initiative. The island received trainings and resources to address the growing number of stray, feral and abused dogs, cats and horses. As a result of the initiative’s success, the Humane State Program now aims to implement this effort in every state in the nation.

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