Best Practices for Rescues - Do You Measure Up? 

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Michigan is home to hundreds of private animal rescue groups. Most want to do the best they can for the animals they serve. Why reinvent the wheel in terms of identifying procedures, documenting policies, and developing programs?

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Best Practices for Rescues - How Do You Measure Up? Home-based rescue organizations serve a tremendous need - especially those that collaborate with shelters to solve or remedy challenges with animals' health or behavior issues. It is important each rescue organization operate using best practices for the animals' well-being, as well as sound business practices. Join Jaime Wolfe from NBS Animal Rescue as she leads a panel discussion of several Michigan Pet Fund Alliance Certified home-based rescue organizations as they discuss the advantages and challenges of certification. Missi Bellottie, Detroit Bully Crew; Nicole Fear, Canine Companions Rescue; Jillian Kane, Furever Tails Animal Rescue; Jaime Wolfe, NBS Animal Rescue
Meet the presenters: 

Missi Bellottie
Missi  Bellottie  started rescuing canines in 2008.  She moved to Lapeer MI from South Texas in 2011. In Texas, her husband Bill Bellottie operated a rescue for canines and farm animals such as horses and cattle.  Upon arrival in Michigan in February of 2011, they planned to take a "break" from rescue.  That didn't last long as they saw a tremendous need for their experience in Detroit.  In March of 2011 they  became Detroit Bully Corps  and in 2016 became a certified shelter with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Development and a Certified Rescue with Michigan Pet Fund Alliance.

Nicole Fear
Nicole Fear  began fostering for Canine Companions Rescue Center (CCRC) in 2009 and specializes in harder to place and senior dogs. She worked closely with CCRC's manager to change intake policies to concentrate on local Michigan shelters and dogs with medical needs. She is an active animal advocate and currently works for Warren Animal Control.

Jillian Kane
Jillian (Jill) Kane  is a founding director of Furever Tails Animal Rescue, a foster-based, no-kill 501c3 canine and feline rescue. She has been prominent in the rescue community since 2012.  She has always had a love for animals. In  Dryden, where she graduated high school, she participated in the local 4-H programs and raised chickens, ducks, rabbits pigs, goats. Jill has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science but her passion has always been for helping animals. She currently resides in Oakland Township with her husband and sons in a large ranch home on 5 acres. She has taken part in rescuing more than 300 lives in only a few years. Her compassion and patience speak true for those whose voices cannot be heard.

Jaime Wolfe  is a Co-Founder of NBS Animal Rescue, a Five Star Certified Rescue.  She is also the Certification Coordinator for the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance's Rescue Certification Program that was launched in 2012.  Jaime devotes her time and energy to NBS Animal Rescue finding shelter animals who are high risk, fostering, screening adopters, and doing home visits.  Her heart is with senior dogs and those needing extra medical help.

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Organizational Transparency and Understanding Your Numbers

When did you last think about your organization's operations in terms of transparency and data analysis? Suited for rescue and shelter staff, policy makers, volunteers, and the general public, either or both of these sessions at the  2016 Getting to the Goal  conference will inspire you with new ideas and ways to make your organization even better than it already is:

Transparency and Accountability - What does the word "transparency" mean for a shelter or a rescue organization? How transparent is your operation? Does everyone know the conditions or criteria that would result in euthanasia? Do you post all of your performance results? Are your financials available for public inspection? Transparency and accountability help build trust with your supporters, contributors and taxpayers. Listen as a panel of speakers from a shelter, rescue and not for profit explain how they define transparency for their organization.  Cheryl Gault, Michigan Pet Fund Alliance; Tawny Hammond, Chief Animal Services Officer, Austin Animal Services; Courtney Protz-Sanders, Executive Director, Paws for Life Rescue

Why the numbers count - Every shelter is required to collect information on the intake and disposition of the animals that come into their facilities. If the only time those numbers are used is to provide an annual accounting to the state, a valuable resource is being lost. Understanding your intake, common conditions, length of stay, etc. helps to identify programs to reduce intake, serve the community and measure success. Learn how the Humane Society of Huron Valley uses their numbers to improve their operations and provide animal welfare programs for the dogs and cats of Washtenaw County.  Tanya Hilgendorf , Humane Society of Huron Valley

Meet the presenters: 

Cheryl Gault
Cheryl Gault is a founding member of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance and has served as Treasurer since inception of the organization in 2003.  Cheryl's career background was in commercial lending having work as consultant, Vice President and loan officer for several financial institutions and directed Oakland County's financial services for economic development including administration of the federal SBA program for the county.  Cheryl has been a dog Mom to various rescue canine companions over the years.  Her current four-legged children include a rescue and a foster that became a full time family member 6 years ago.

Tawny Hammond and Judy
Tawny Hammond, Chief of Animal Services for the City of Austin Texas, has spent the last  29 years working in the public service arena, creating and implementing programs and services for people and their animals. For five years, Austin Animal Services has been a leader for municipal shelters in the nation, saving more than 90% of the more than 18,000 animals that come through the doors each year. Austin is the largest No Kill city in the nation. Chief Hammond has a proven track record of success, serving for more than 25 years in municipal government in Fairfax County, Virginia and bringing the Fairfax County Animal Shelter to No Kill in less than three years. Austin reached a new milestone, achieving live outcomes for nearly 95% of the more than 18,000 animals who came through its doors this past year.

Tanya Hilgendorf and Georgia
Tanya Hilgendorf has been leading HSHV for over 10 years. With a BA in Political Science from University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Masters in Social Work Administration and Public Policy from Wayne State University and having served as Executive Director of Ozone House, her passion centers on protecting the vulnerable (human and non-human animals) and transformational leadership that helps failing nonprofit organizations achieve mission success. With an incredible team of staff, volunteers, and supporters, HSHV built a state of the art facility and has become a thriving, dynamic animal welfare organization with a multi-service organization, with 100+ employees, 700+ volunteers, and a 95% save rate focused on rescuing, healing, saving and protecting. Tanya currently is the proud mom of several fabulous felines and a beautiful teenaged human.

Courtney Protz-Sanders and Bubba
Courtney Protz-Sanders  began her career in animal welfare in 2000 at the Dumb Friends League, the largest open admission animal shelter in the Rocky Mountains. With more than 16 years of experience in animal welfare, Protz-Sanders has led or participated in numerous projects, coalitions and organizations, including the committee to reform Detroit Animal Control, the Michigan  Pet Fund Alliance Rescue Certification Task Force and the National Disaster Animal Response Team. From wildfires to hurricanes, and from animal hoarding to dog fighting, Protz-Sanders is skilled in triage and emergency sheltering for animals. In 2014, Protz-Sanders was a professional speaker at the largest international animal welfare conference, the HSUS Expo. Protz-Sanders was also a presenter at three past Michigan No Kill conferences. In 2005, Protz-Sanders founded Paws for Life Rescue, a non-profit, foster-based, all-breed rescue for dogs and cats. She continues today as Board president and executive director. Protz-Sanders also currently serves as a founding member, Board trustee and spokesperson for Michigan's Political Action Committee for Animals (Mi-PACA). In 2014, Protz-Sanders helped develop and launch Make Michigan Next, a coalition of advocates working to end breed discrimination in Michigan, and also served as the rally \ emcee at the state Capitol in September of that year.

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance's 2016 No Kill conference,  will be held September 15-16 at the  Holiday Inn Gateway Centre Flint - Grand Blanc .

View conference information here.

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More Questions?   Contact  or 877-387-7257.

About Michigan Pet Fund Alliance 
The single mission of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is to stop the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan shelters. 
MPFA is an all-volunteer organization collaborating with shelter and rescue organizations to achieve No Kill through training, technical  assistance,
 education and advocacy.
For more information: 
877-FUR-PALS  (877-387-7257)
The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as defined by the IRS and is a Guidestar Exchange Gold Participant.
 Contributions are tax deductible. 
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