Animal Welfare Experts to Share Industry Insights with 35 Animal Shelter Organizations

Orlando, Fla. (June 29, 2012)

For the first time, SeaWorld® Orlando is providing 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 shelters will be in attendance.

The day-long “shelter summit” will include invaluable insight and expertise on industry topics including effective shelter operation strategies and successful donor cultivation. Leading these discussions will be animal welfare experts from the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a nationally recognized animal shelter located in southern California.

SeaWorld will share with participants how to use positive reinforcement techniques -- pioneered by SeaWorld 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 by SeaWorld’s sister park, Busch Gardens® Williamsburg.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center regularly hosts animal lovers and shelter workers from around the world for workshops that teach participants more effective ways to find homes for orphaned pets. The center is a participating “Happy Tails” shelter. 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ :

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainmentinspires people to celebrate, connect, and care for the natural world through the power of entertainment. The company owns and operates 10 parks across the United States, as well as the newly formed SeaWorld Pictures division.  The parks play host to 24 million guests a year and provide lasting memories through up-close animal encounters, world-class shows and rides, and high-quality themed attractions.  Locations include SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove® and Aquatica® in Orlando; Sesame Place® near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island® in Tampa and Water Country USA® in Williamsburg. 

A global leader in animal care and conservation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment cares for one of the world's largest collections of animals including 200 endangered or threatened species. This commitment extends to animals around the world: The company contributes to conservation, wildlife rescue and environmental stewardship initiatives and operates one of the world’s most respected animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. SeaWorld has rescued more than 25,000 orphaned, injured or ill animals over four decades.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs 20,000 people nationwide and is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX).