One Man’s Mission to Save and Protect Animals

By Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

One Man’s Mission to Save and Protect Animals

Don’t let his deceptively calm demeanor fool you. When it comes to saving animals, there is no one more tenacious than Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Arms found his calling in a dramatic and unusual way. Beaten and left for dead when he attempted to rescue an injured animal from a street in the Bronx in the 1960s, Arms made a promise to devote his life to protecting animals if he survived his injuries. He has more than kept his promise.

Using his background in accounting, Arms helps floundering rescue organizations by teaching their staff about the tools they need to become successes. “You have to treat this as a business,” he reiterates over and over to the thousands of animal welfare advocates who line up to hear him speak.

When Arms took over at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in the 1990s, it was on the verge of bankruptcy. By implementing a strong business model and recruiting the best people in the industry to help run it, the Center is now an internationally renowned facility for animal education and adoption.

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a small animal veterinarian and pet aficionado from San Diego, Calif. When she's not at work or with her family of two and her four-legged creatures, you can find her blogging about life with pets at Dr. Vogelsang's articles have previously appeared in The Dog Daily.

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