I am so grateful for the cameraderie, community, and useful information I gain by participating (live or by video) in the Weekly Community Conversations! Even topics I think will never apply to me turn out to be incredibly useful at some point. They're often fascinating, whether or not I'll ever need to know.... and sometimes they're spot on with a pressing need of the moment.
Here are two great examples of how impactful 2 of the presentation were for me in the past 5 days:
1) I volunteer in Montenegro, which is where I am at present. A new, "state of the art" shelter opened about 2 hours away, the first public shelter to include cats in their plans--space for 20! From what I had read the manager seemed progressive, and had involved WSAVA and Dog's Trust in staff training, protocol development, etc. For Montenegro, that is huge! Usually they use local "experts"--the kind who advise waiting until your cat is 12 months old to spay her. Most impressive to me, is that they quickly realized the shelter space for the cats was not well designed and stopped using it. Yay!
A couple of animal people from near the new shelter asked if I had heard about the it--they had EUTHANIZED parvo puppies! They expected an outraged reaction from me, but having watched the Community Conversation from May 8th, "Turning Crisis Into Action: How a Parvo Outbreak Changed a Shelter's Culture" I could actually address the reasons why a shelter might not be able to treat the puppies: everything from shelter design, and staff training to lack of community support or other resources. They actually listened and responded thoughtfully, then one asked me for a link to the video. I later found out that the shelter manager had quit his job because of how he was trashed on social media, and his children being told their dad was a killer, etc.
2) Last night an incident occurred that left me questioning what I'm doing here trying to change the culture and knowledge around animals, particularly community cats and spay-neuter. I was so distraught I was crying, which isn't normal for me. After I calmed down, I decided to take the rest of the evening "off" and listen to the Community Conversation I missed this past Monday: "Mind-Body Connections: Maximizing Performance and Building Resilience Through Thoughts and Emotions" It didn't sound particularly useful to me--maybe a bit "woo-woo"-- but HOLY COW!! it was exactly the right program at the right time! Instead of tossing, turning and ruminating all night, I slept well and woke up confident that I could face whatever would come at me today!
If you don't tune in regularly, you should check it our! Live or online, you'll find these presentations are thoughtfully chosen and well delivered! I can't say enough good things about the team that puts these calls together!
Hi, @April King!
I'm thrilled to hear how impactful the programs have been for you. We are so proud of the Community Conversation Steering Committee. Thank you for your kind words and for tuning in week after week. We appreciate your participation and all the amazing work you do for people and pets.
@Tai Olivas @José Ocaño (he/him/el) @Nadia Oseguera
Thanks for posting this, April.
It's helpful to hear examples of people coming around when they are offered a chance to be better informed - your story will help me be more confident when next I'm given the chance to take part in a conversation that might change people's views about shelter activities.
I'm watching this week's video on Mind-Body in small time segments, and I already can say I agree that it's really helpful, including entering conversations with positive thoughts about outcomes - with your story in mind, that will be easier.
Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad that, even though you were navigating so much you were able to get some sleep and feel confident about the day ahead. I hope that these tools continue to help!
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