Rancho Santa Fe, April 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Next Tuesday, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s renowned FREE training for animal welfare groups is taking an exciting new approach to address the COVID-19 crisis affecting shelters worldwide.  Center professionals will meet face-to-face with animal welfare advocates across the country, via ZOOM, to provide tailored The Business of Saving Lives classes specifically focused on best practices during this unprecedented time.  The Business of Saving Lives – COVID-19 Crisis Edition is FREE to shelter and rescue groups and will be held Tuesday, April 21st beginning at 9:00am PST. 

Through The Business of Saving Lives, Helen Woodward Animal Center has demonstrated its dedication to saving the lives of orphan pets, not only within its San Diego-based facility, but within shelters and rescues across the globe. The workshops, which began at the Center in 2002, are taught by Center management team members sharing the success the Center has experienced through President and CEO Mike Arms’ business-focused approach.   Business practices such as marketing, social media and customer service take on an equal importance to non-profit goals such as fundraising, volunteer-building and humane animal care. 

Shelters from throughout the United States and across the world have traveled to Helen Woodward Animal Center to take part in the free training.  In 2015, Arms decided to extend the program to organizations unable to afford the travel, providing life-saving training at absolutely no cost to the rescue groups right in their own cities.    Since that time, The Business of Saving Lives has made its way to U.S based shelters in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, and Nevada and abroad to Estonia, Sydney, Australia, and Puerto Rico.  

Now the program is making its next big leap by going on-line.  The decision to take the training on-line (and COVID-19-specific) comes with concerning news of more and more shelters affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, and the subsequent closures and lack of space for orphan pets.  

"There are orphan animals across the world being affected by this crisis through no fault of their own,’” said Arms. “We look forward to the time when a vaccine has been found and we can all rest easy but we don’t want to see the loss of millions of orphan pets before we get there.”

The Business of Saving Lives – COVID-19 Crisis Edition Classes will include information specifically targeted at the current “new normal” such as setting up CDC safety appropriate adoption appointments, applying for loans through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, creating COVID-19 focused fund raising campaigns on-line and through the mail, handling employee morale and fear, and engaging with animal-lovers through social media, among other topics. 

Another equally important component of the workshop will include the topic of compassion fatigue – a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress that leads to extreme tension and a preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped.  This portion of the workshop will be led by Julie Chippendale, a registered nurse with her own business in stress management. She has led groups through the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Program for over 20 years and has a private practice teaching mindfulness techniques through yoga, breath work, and meditation to help individuals cultivate an ability to be aware and to have choice when managing stress. 

“This is a very difficult time for all businesses but non-profit rescue groups that exist with no profit margins are in the most critical danger,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO Mike Arms.  “Our hearts are with all of the animal welfare organizations dedicated to saving lives that are struggling to stay afloat.  This is an important time for all of us who care about orphan pets to come together.”

The Business of Saving Lives – COVID-19 Crisis Edition will be held Tuesday, April 21st beginning at 9:00 a.m. PST.  To become an agent of change for animal welfare during this challenging time, or for more information or to register, visit or call 858-756-4117 x 302. 



Jessica Gercke
Helen Woodward Animal Center
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