top of page

Grant Received; ASCPA NTSI

For Attending the 2023 AAWA Conference in Portland!

Screenshot 2024-01-29 184117.png

How this Grant Affected Hidden Gem Cat Rescue


Hidden Gem Cat Rescue was able to have two key team members attend the 2023 conference in Portland, benefiting the rescue and the felines we care for. Both attendees found the conference to be highly informative and relevant to Hidden Gem Cat Rescue's work. The conference also inspired Hidden Gem Cat Rescue to try out new ideas such as adjusting their adoption process to make it more accessible for potential adopters. Additionally, they are exploring some of the new policies they learned from the conference to create positive experiences for their volunteers.


The topics at AAWA included fundraising, conflict management, creating and sustaining a thriving culture, implementing of pathways for improved teamwork and management, reuniting lost pets with their owners, and building better relations and networks within our community to support animals, and harder topics such as euthanasia. The knowledge our team received from this conference was unparalleled compared to any other format of learning. 


Both team members appreciated the opportunity to network with fellow shelter leaders from northern tier states. One of our team members has expressed how beneficial it was to connect with other professionals working in animal welfare during the AAWA conference. They have already reached out to some of them to discuss other related topics. For small rescues that are just starting out in the industry, building a network of connections can be incredibly beneficial. By connecting with other individuals and organizations in the field, it's possible to gain valuable insights, learn about new opportunities, and collaborate on projects that can help further our mission.

Summary of Seminars Attended

Our two team members were able to attend many seminars while at the AAWA Conference in Portland thanks to the ASPCA NTSI Grant opportunity. One of these topics included "Self Care During a Time of Crisis"; sponsored by Maddie's Fund, which is incredibly important for our team as well as the well being of our volunteers and fosters, thank you Vu Le for the wonderful presentation!

Another great Seminar topic that was visited was "Creating and Sustaining a Thriving Culture" presented by Alexandra Reese (Thank you so much for the great presentation!). This topic dove into interacting with our community, how we are seen by those around us and how we continue to grow in a positive way. A thriving culture means a welcoming environment, one where we can continue to help our community with honesty so we may continue our mission to the fullest and help the animals around us.

The two seminars above stood out because we cannot continue to serve our community if we do not have a healthy organization on the inside and a healthy connection to our community.

Many other seminars that were attended included fundraising strategies, conflict resolution, solutions to access to care, finding common ground, and forward thinking.

Hidden Gem Cat Rescue has made significant progress in various areas thanks to the seminars we have attended. We have been able to refine our rescue process, improve the care we provide to cats, and are improving our adoption procedures. Our team has gained valuable insights and knowledge that will help us continue to grow and improve the services we offer.

We are excited about the positive effect our improvements will have on our organization in the coming years, particularly in 2024. We are confident that our continued efforts to enhance our practices and provide the best possible care to cats in need will lead to even greater success. We are committed to our mission and will continue to strive towards excellence in everything we do.

bottom of page