Best Friends, SUU expand learning opportunities with online symposium

Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society, St. George News

KANAB — Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization devoted to ending the killing of pets in America’s shelters, and Southern Utah University, are expanding their partnership, offering learning opportunities for practitioners and students in the field of contemporary animal services.

The next building block in the partnership between Best Friends and SUU is the new offering of the Best Friends Professional Development Symposium: “Reaching New Heights in Contemporary Animal Services”. This is a new dynamic online symposium for animal services professionals and students devoted to lifesaving innovation and revolutionary change for pets and people. It will be held Sept. 16 and 17.

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends and an SUU alumna, said the symposium is an example of the nimbleness needed not only in these extraordinary times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to propel the animal welfare profession forward towards the goal of ending the killing of shelter pets by 2025.

“We are thrilled to be engaged in offering new academic and career development opportunities in the field of animal services,” said Melynda Thorpe, Southern Utah University Community and Professional Development executive director. “This symposium is thoughtfully designed to provide consolidated access to experts gathering to share best practices and contemporary research to those wishing to enter or polish in their profession, or to anyone wishing to make animal services a field of academic study.”

To learn more about the Best Friends Professional Development Symposium and to register, visit the website here.

In December 2019, Best Friends and SUU announced the nation’s first university-endorsed animal services leadership program for working professionals. The Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification is a comprehensive, six-month blended learning program utilizing in-person and online interactive instruction. Training top-level leaders in animal services throughout the nation, the goal of the program is to end the killing of companion animals in shelters.

The summer of 2020 saw the launch of the Institutional Certificate in Principles of Contemporary Animal Services, which is for anyone interested in learning more about the animal services field and an opportunity for students to apply academic credits toward an undergraduate or master’s degree.

For more information on all partnership offerings, visit the website here.

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