One man’s mission to save and protect animals - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

One man’s mission to save and protect animals

Countless stray dogs, like those pictured here, have been taken off the street and given homes due to rescue organizations (© Hemera / Thinkstock) Countless stray dogs, like those pictured here, have been taken off the street and given homes due to rescue organizations (© Hemera / Thinkstock)
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By Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
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 Golden Retriever superfan from San Diego, Calif. You can read her blogs about life with pets at Pawcurious. 

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