The first thing removed from the budget during lean times is staff training. It is probably the last place funds should be touched. The best way to invest in your organization is through decent salaries and staff training.
A few days ago, the newspaper picked up on a story that animal control staff returned from a conference and wanted to implement TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release) program. The newspaper talked like this was something new and our community would be cutting edge by trapping cats.
Communities have been performing TNR for years. The fact that our community is starting it now only means that we are just catching up. If we had invested in staff training years ago and had the will to manage our community cats, we would be further along to become no kill.
Conferences are the place where our staff catches up with the rest of the world. It is important to send our best staff to training. If you were to pick a single conference to attend, I would suggest the Animal Care Expo.