From its inception in 1993, NAIA has championed the rescue of purebred and mixed breed dogs and has worked with shelters and animal control agencies to improve the relationship between rescue groups and these animal welfare organizations and help with fundraising and pet adoptions.
That dedication to rescue resulted in the country's first national rescue conference in March 1995 in Clarksville, Indiana. This symposium brought dozens of rescuers together to hear featured speakers discuss a range of topics from rescue-and-shelter partnerships and rescue dog behavior to the legal aspects of rescue and AKC participation in the process. The day also provided plenty of opportunities for rescuers to meet each other and set up networks in the region.
This was the first of four such meetings in different parts of the country dealing primarily with purebred dog rescue. Topics covered over the years emphasized positive efforts to find new homes for dogs, organizational help for rescue groups, and building successful coalitions. They included writing contracts; dealing with burnout, fund-raising; training strategies for rescue dogs; nutrition for dogs under stress; partnerships between rescues, shelters, and training clubs; veterinarians and rescue; fundraising; screening foster homes and prospective adopters; finding homes for older dogs; and more. Speakers included shelter workers, dog breeders, independent rescuers, veterinarians, national breed rescue coordinators, dog trainers, and more.
NAIA hails the work of breed-specific and species-specific rescue groups and individuals who provide foster homes, transportation, and care for animals in need. NAIA also recognizes that the best of these groups and individuals cooperate and coordinate with shelters and with breed or species enthusiasts for the benefit of their animals and their communities. Therefore, NAIA's online rescue symposium picks up where the real-world meetings left off. Here we offer the best such conferences have to offer: a growing series of features about the nuts and bolts of rescue, an opportunity to network with rescuers in every state of the US; and a bulletin board for listing lost or stolen pets. Travel to these virtual rescue conferences is done at your leisure with the click of a mouse -- no plane tickets, long drives, or hotels are necessary.
This virtual symposium has another big advantage over real-world meetings: it allows us to expand networking opportunities to every species through state rescue lists and to provide a national bulletin board for posting information about lost or stolen pets.
Check out NAIA rescue columns by Chow Chow rescue chairman Vicki DeGruy found under "Rescue Article Archives."