December Letter from the President

December Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

As we run the home stretch together toward 2017, I find myself reflecting on the year behind us. (Phew! 2016 was a wild ride.) I am continually thankful for our SAWA family and for the experiences we’ve shared in 2016.

For me, the year was filled with amazing opportunities to both visit with new friends and connect with old acquaintances. As we prepped for our two annual conferences, I couldn’t help but feel excitement — big things were coming down the pipeline.

At the Management Conference in June, after months of extensive research and discussion, the SAWA Best Practices Committee debuted our first ever Best Practices document on companion animal transportation. This is groundbreaking material — and while it may not be possible for all animal welfare organizations to implement immediately, we at SAWA truly believe this document represents BEST practices for the industry.  The hard work of this diverse committee proves that when we share our knowledge with each other, we become stronger.

Just a few weeks ago, the SAWA family welcomed dozens of newcomers to the Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. Whether attendees were new to the industry or seasoned veterans, there was something new and exciting for everyone. (And congratulations to our new CAWAs!)

Finally, we’re ending the year strong with the launch of our new Best Practices Webinar Series in partnership with our friends at ASPCApro. The webinar series will continue well into 2017; provided free of charge, it’s yet another opportunity for us to share our knowledge and advance our field. (Register here.)

Looking ahead to 2017, I am filled with hope for our association and for the continued growth and improvement in the fields of animal welfare and animal care and control.  The SAWA staff and Board of Directors are committed to continuing to work hard for you as you strive to fulfill your missions in your own communities.  It feels to me as though there’s nothing we can’t do together to help animals and people in the years ahead.

I am thankful to be making this journey along with each and every one of you.

Cheers to 2016 and bring on a bright new year!

Jim Tedford

Jim Tedford, CAWA, is President and CEO of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

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