Boyne City and Munising MPAW Workshops Post Big Success

More than 30 representatives of animal shelters from across the Upper Peninsula gathered on June 13, 2014 in Munising to network and learn together.

They traveled from as far away as Ironwood at the far western tip of the U.P. to attend the 2014 MPAW Workshop, and found friends and colleagues from eight other animal shelters with whom to network and share. The Delta Animal Shelter closed its facility in order to allow all staff members to attend! Two new shelter directors from Quinnesec and Houghton came for the latest techniques and information. 

Channels 6 and 10 drove down from the Marquette area to film and interview attendees, who were glad to talk about animal services in their own communities, and their desire to learn the latest on animal care topics brought to them by MPAW. The host, Alger County Animal Shelter, kindly offered tours of their newly re-painted facility just around the corner after the workshop. Topics included sanitation and cleaning, microchipping, physical exams, canine personality testing, gastrointestinal problems, and adopting longtime “overlooked” pets. A roundtable discussion led by UPAWS of Marquette enabled groups to network for events, animal transport, etc. The second annual U.P. workshop was presented by Michigan Humane Society and the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers, and was sponsored by the Kenneth A. Scott Trust, a KeyBank Trust with additional support from Merck Animal Health.

Later that evening, another important meeting was held: this time for private practice veterinarians who are guiding or assisting animal shelters and rescue groups in the U.P. Vets from Escanaba, Iron River, Houghton, and several other places discussed challenges and best practices for shelter medicine over a dinner led by Dr. Shirene Cece, Director of Shelter Medicine for the Michigan Humane Society. Topics included pediatric spay/neuter, vaccinations, disease prevention and management, etc. The dinner was generously sponsored by Merck Animal Health.

A roundtable discussion of ways groups can better collaborate to save animal lives.

The day before, the first MPAW Northern Regional Workshop was held near Boyne City for animal shelters and rescue groups from the upper lower peninsula. Hosted by the Charlevoix Area Humane Society (CAHS) and held at a 1920′s-era camp on lovely Lake Charlevoix, the event featured presentations on animal respiratory diseases, microchipping, vaccinations, horse investigations, animal parasites, and training animals pre-adoption. As in Munising, the CAHS offered tours of their shelter for attendees, and roundtables to discuss networking and animal control issues were held after lunch. A veterinary roundtable dinner was held the night before, which brought together vets from several surrounding counties to learn about and discuss shelter medicine.

The Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare (MPAW) is a project of the Michigan Humane Society. Its purpose is to promote professional development and networking in animal sheltering and rescue statewide, while respecting the individual missions of the many animal organizations in Michigan. One final regional meeting will be held in Frankenmuth on June 27, with the associated veterinary roundtable the evening of June 26. Register at www.mpaw.org/training-conference/ The three-day MPAW/MAACO Animal Welfare Conference will be held in Mt. Pleasant on October 28-30. Online registration for this national-level event opens August 15. Speakers from across the country on a variety of topics will present 60 sessions in 9 nine tracks–don’t miss it! Learn more at 248-283-5697.

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