September 15, 2016
Categories: Adoption, Conference Recordings

Has there ever been something you wanted to try in your shelter or rescue group, but you were sure the rest of the team would hate the idea? Maybe it happened at the last conference you went to, or from watching an online webinar. Or maybe you just had a great idea float into your brain one day while you were falling asleep!

Whatever inspired you to want to change, there are ways to get others on board with your ideas. Here’s an example of one from Heather Cammisa, the president and CEO of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, as she shared it with the audience during Maddie’s Fund’s “Aha! Moments” sessions at the 2016 Animal Care Expo:

When I came to Saint Hubert’s, they had just started being open six days a week, but were closed on every federal holiday. So to ingratiate myself with my new staff I took away all the holidays and that beloved day a week that we were closed. Right: “That is the only day, Heather, that we can do a big deep clean project. That’s the day we do orders.” Right, everyone’s nodding. I heard the pushback.

We are now only closed two days a year. I was able to talk with the staff and say, when you add this up we are closed 60 days a year. Right?

So I had to tell it in a compelling way:

Sixty days a year that we can count on doing animal control, that we are going to have more animals the next day than we have to do. Sixty days that families can’t come in on days that they have off together maybe, and come and see these animals and give them a home. So what are we doing? Are we helping ourselves? Are we helping the animals?

So, now we are open. People can’t believe we used to be closed on Columbus Day. Once we started doing adoptions and people saw the whole families come in, the staff got excited about it.

After, Cammisa told us, “Whether an ‘A-Ha’ or ‘D’uh-ha’ strikes you, grab it, share it in a compelling way with others, and lean in yourself to make the inspiration come to life in improving lifesaving and the cause of animal welfare. By working that muscle, you’ll also create an environment where trying new things is embraced!”

You can view Cammisa’s complete 7-minute talk in the video below: