As an Industry We Must Do Better – and We Will
Published June 15, 2020
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, PPG released a statement affirming its commitment to Stand in Solidarity against Racism in support of #BlackLivesMatter.
It was important to our organization not just to make this statement, but to commit to action both in the short- and long-term. And, as promised, we have already been working with our membership “to develop an advisory group that can identify and develop tangible, actionable programs to help us move our industry forward in a more fully inclusive manner.” (Pet Professional Guild, 2020). As such, we are pleased to announce that we have appointed Connecticut-based dog trainer Christina Horne and Virginia-based dog trainer Laurie C. Williams to help us formulate, establish and oversee this advisory team to support our goals in this endeavor. Christina and Laurie will report directly to PPG president Niki Tudge. Together, they will ensure we establish enduring practices that hold us accountable to the commitment we have made and that both PPG and the pet services industry at large represent the diversity of our population.
“I am delighted that Christina and Laurie have accepted our invitation to steer us forward in this important role and guide our organization as we work towards our goals,” said PPG president Niki Tudge. “I have worked with Christina over the last 12 years on multiple projects in the field of shelter and rescue and also in private dog training. I have interacted with Laurie on social media for years and, more recently, had the pleasure of spending some time getting to know her better. I look forward to working together with them both to bring about change and deliver tangible results in the areas where we can be the most effective.”
“As the daughter of a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, I grew up observing the different ways my father was able to directly and positively impact each community he led,” said Christina Horne. “I am excited to now be in a position where I will be able to effect positive changes in our training community. It's a legacy I'm eager to continue.”
"As members of PPG, we are committed to the humane, fair and compassionate training and treatment of animals, therefore it only makes sense that we should extend these same principles to the treatment of our fellow human beings and fervently stand up against racism, discrimination and bigotry, both in our industry and the world around us,” added Laurie C. Williams.
As a first step in this new initiative, PPG will form the advisory group committee and facilitate dialogue so we may listen and learn as to what we need to do and how we can best move forward to support the BIPOC training community.
To our membership and our community, we see you, we will listen to you and hear you, and we are with you. We must do better, and we will.
If you would like to join the new advisory group committee to help affect change in our industry, please register your interest by completing this form. Please note that, depending on the level of interest, applicants may be added to a wait list during the startup phase of the initiative as committee spots are limited. Applications will be accepted between June 16-30, 2020. All applicants will receive a notification on their application by July 14, 2020.
Pet Professional Guild. (2020). We Stand in Solidarity against Racism. Available here.