Mike Arms: Innovative shelter strategies inspired by COVID

Guest: Mike Arms is president and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center. He started with the ASPCA in the late 1960s before spending 20 years with North Shore Animal League. Mike created the International Pet Adopt-a-thon and the Home 4 the Holidays adoption campaigns, as well as the Remember Me Thursday adoption awareness campaign. The Home 4 the Holidays campaign now includes more than 4,100 organization participants in over 23 countries who have jointly adopted out over 17 million pets since 1999.

Main question: What innovative strategies has your shelter developed in light of the pandemic?


  • This is a lifesaving business. We need to use our brains as well as our hearts.

  • Take time to learn about the needs and desires of your staff and community. Innovative solutions (such as the Ani-meals program and accommodation for staff-members’ children, two examples Mike shared in this podcast) create loyalty in your team and your community

  • Learn the interests of your donors. If you haven’t made that effort to understand what motivates them and what they are passionate about, you will miss opportunities to frame requests in ways that connect for them on multiple levels. This is the best way to develop meaningful and valuable relationships with major donors.

  • Home 4 the Holidays is a free holiday adoption promotion campaign that has helped thousands of organizations find homes for more pets during the holiday season. Check it out to see if it may be a good fit for your organization.




Recorded Sept. 22, 2020

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