Recently SeaWorld provided a platform for Florida animal shelters to share insights and best practices in the animal welfare field. More than 85 leaders and workers from 35 Florida animal rescue organizations attended. The day-long "shelter summit" included invaluable insight and expertise on industry topics including effective shelter operation strategies and successful donor cultivation. Leading the discussions were animal welfare experts from the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a nationally recognized animal shelter located in southern California.
SeaWorld shared with participants how to use positive reinforcement techniques -- pioneered by our animal trainers and their work with marine mammals -- to create long-standing relationships between shelter animals and staff that are essential to running a successful animal rescue organization.
The SeaWorld parks have long supported local animal shelters by providing homes, and a second chance at life, for hundreds of abandoned and neglected animals. Considered by many untrainable, these adopted animals now steal the stage -- and fans' hearts -- as stars in the parks' shows that promote the importance of shelter adoptions.
"SeaWorld's Happy Tails" was developed to encourage adoptions of homeless dogs and cats from local animal shelters. The program provides pet lovers two free single-day admissions to SeaWorld when they adopt a dog or cat from a participating animal shelter. The program has helped more than 22,000 cats and dogs find loving homes in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio. Recently the program expanded to Virginia when Busch Gardens Williamsburg launched the program.