The Pet Professional Guild, along with our Geek Week co-hosting organizations, is passionate about the efforts and hard work animal shelter and rescue organizations make, each and every day, to help rehome and support animals in need. While PPG has a special membership level for Shelter and Rescue groups, providing access to a myriad of educational opportunities, we are furthering our commitment to their cause by honoring their efforts. The underlying theme for Geek Week 2021 – The Sequel is “The Love of Rescue,” where we will bring attention to the underdogs of second chances. In 2019, PPG launched the Pet Rescue Resource Program, an independent website with fabulous tools to help support rescue organizations. Have a look here. This resource was designed by the PPG Rescue and Shelter Division and supported by Jean Donaldson and the Academy for Dog Trainers. “The Pet Rescue Resource is an online toolkit for shelters and rescues designed to improve adoption and retention rates of homeless pets. The resource includes articles, step-by-step training plans and videos designed to support staff and volunteers in addressing common behavior and welfare issues.”
During our 5-day Geek Week 2021 event, K. Holden Svirsky, representing the PPG Rescue and Shelter Division, will present “They Just Want to Play: Increasing Welfare, Reducing Shelter Length of Stay and Increasing Live Outcomes for Dogs with Barrier Frustration.” In this webinar, Svirsky will provide attendees with an overview of the extensive Playgroup Project PPG rolled out in 2019, which is available for all pet professionals to share and utilize.
Included in the more than 90 sessions, Dr. Lisa Gunter will host two General Sessions titled “Investigating the Effects of Housing & Social Interaction on the Welfare of Dogs Living in Animal Shelters” and “Emergency Fostering of Dogs from Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Shelter Practices, Foster Engagement, & Dog Outcomes.” In addition to these focused sessions, the Geek Week 2021 schedule is filled with presentations from Academics who support and work within the rescue arena and trainers who understand the challenges that rescues face on a daily basis.
In addition to our advocacy efforts, each year PPGA, our sister association in Australia, sponsors the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards which is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of animal welfare organizations. As a bonus this year, PPGA President, Barbara Hodel, a member of the judging panel, has offered to sponsor Geek Week Tickets and webinars to further PPGA’s support of those committed to rescue work.
While all of Geek Week 2021’s sponsoring organizations work diligently to build supportive communities focused on ethical, science-based training and pet care, INTODogs, a UK-based nonprofit for pet industry professionals, created an associate organization, INTORescue, where their mission is to ‘Care for the Carers.’ Not only does this organization provide its members with opportunities for accreditation and personal career development, it offers resources that aim to address the emotional and mental health of those saving discarded lives. In creating a compassionate support system, INTORescue places the spotlight on the rescuers’ well-being, so they can focus on the work of rescuing.
ACTION WE ARE TAKING
In our ongoing mission to bring attention to Shelter and Rescue organizations, this year’s Geek Week 2021– The Sequel is committed to the following:
1.Each presenter has been granted 3 FREE tickets to assign to a rescue organization of their choice. If they do not have a preference, then the tickets will supplement our Rescue and Shelter Scholarship Program allocation.
2.In August, we rolled out our Shelter and Rescue Scholarship program where recipients will receive Geek Week 2021 tickets. There is a short application to complete before the presidents of our co-hosting organizations judge the applicants and announce the winners.
3.Shelter and Rescue teams will receive a group rate for tickets:
$100.00 per person for groups of 4 or more (50% discount)
$70.00 per person for groups larger than 8 (75% discount)
4.The Geek Week platform will also be configured to provide a special chat area for Rescue and Shelter peeps. On this thread you can promote fundraising opportunities, promote responsible adoptions, and network with trainers in your geographical area to establish connections for the future.
To all of you in the Shelter and Rescue environment, we thank you for the heart and hard work you invest in your mission and look forward to supporting these efforts now and for years to come.