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The Helen Woodward Animal Center has expanded its already global outreach. Courtesy photo
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Helen Woodward Center offers help globally

RANCHO SANTA FE — In October, Helen Woodward Animal Center professionals met face-to-face with animal welfare advocates along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Through The Business of Saving Lives, the 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 latest evolution of these educational workshops has taken the training to foreign countries in-need that are unable to make the long journey to Southern California.  Helen Woodward Animal Center leaders are responding to the call for help from Estonian, Finnish, and Swedish shelter groups working toward humane treatment of animals on the other side of the world. The Estonia Animal Welfare Society hosted the conference Oct. 3, in Tallinn Teacher’s House in the Medieval Square.

The Business of Saving Lives began at Helen Woodward Animal Center in 2002 as quarterly workshops, taught by center management team members on the Rancho Santa Fe, grounds. The goal of the workshops is to share 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, leading to more pets placed in lifelong homes, expanded reach into communities and more generated funds to carry on programs. Over the years, shelters from throughout the United States and as far away as Argentina, Ethiopia, Singapore, India, Ireland, Kenya and Romania 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 Sydney, Australia and Puerto Rico.

The decision to take the training to the coast of the Baltic Sea came earlier this year when Arms attended an International Companion Animal Welfare Conference in Krakow. Invited as a speaker at the global summit focused on improving humane treatment of animals, representatives from The Estonia Animal Welfare Society approached Arms to ask for his assistance with the challenges faced by Northern European animal groups and he agreed to organize the trip.

The workshop included an informative session with Arms, targeted at adapting policies to meet the changing needs of the animals and the area, along with sessions taught by center management experts who will provide information on concrete and proven fundraising methods; creative, out-of-the-box public relations techniques; and social media best practices.

“The only way to change the world of animal welfare is to work together,” said Arms. “We are honored to join with The Estonia Animal Welfare Society and attending guests from throughout Northern Europe to discuss ways to continue working towards a more humane world.”

For more information or to register, visit or call (858) 756-4117, ext. 302.