Friday, 1 August 2008

Dog Talk's Carolyn Menteith on what to expect at ICAWC 2008

It’s getting to that time of year again. The time when the animal welfare world starts turning it’s eyes towards ICAWC. And I am certainly no exception. This will be my 6th Conference and I am looking forward to this as much as my first – in fact probably more so. I know what to expect from ICAWC; I have to say I always love every minute of it and I know this one will be as enjoyable and educational - and as inclusive - as all the others!

I enjoy listening to all the speakers – but I think even more than that, I love listening to the stories from people around the world who are managing, against the odds, to do some truly remarkable things to benefit, protect and care for animals. It always fills me full of enthusiasm and hope, and I think this is what ICAWC is really all about.

For the last four years, my job at ICAWC has been to compile and write the ICAWC newsletter… so if anyone accosts you in the bar looking for quotes on what you think of the conference, that will probably be me! This year however a page of the newsletter will be devoted to blog quotes (I am finally getting the hang of all this technology!) so please post your thoughts – both before and after the conference – here. I look forward to being able to include them in the newsletter.

I also have another job at ICAWC this year and it is one I am looking forward to but also one I am somewhat nervous about….! I am presenting a new resource that is a joint project between Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – and it is a template designed to help anyone wanting to start up a trap, neuter return programme to help their local street dog population. It is based on both their expertise and also on their experiences setting up a successful TNR centre in Oradea, Romania. I have been spending the past few (well actually quite a few!) months compiling, writing, editing and designing this web-based template, and it will have its first outing at ICAWC. I am excited about it because I think it is fantastic, and has advice from some of the very best welfare brains in the business, and I believe that it will prove invaluable in helping dogs around the world. On the other hand, I am nervous because I want it to be the very best it can be…. So a few sleepless nights for me before ICAWC!

Carolyn Menteith, Dog Talk

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