Attending the 2018 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo in Denver? On top of fantastic preconference opportunities, wonderful educational sessions, and so many other incredible conference events, stop by the Host Committee table on Tuesday, March 6 from 12:00pm–2:30pm for a chance to meet a local rescue dog! That’s right, for the very first time, rescue dogs are making an appearance at a NIRSA Annual Conference!

Interacting with and petting an animal is a proven stress reliever for many people. Representatives from Foothills Animal Shelter, along with an Ambassador dog, will be present to accept your pets and ear scratches and answer questions about rescuing, fostering, and adopting animals. This will be a great way for NIRSA 2018 attendees to take a moment away from conference busyness to decompress.

We’re incredibly excited about this wonderful new conference offering and we hope NIRSA 2018 attendees are looking forward to welcoming a four-legged friend to conference!

Animal shelters and rescues

Shelters and rescue groups all over the country offer myriads of ways to volunteer. You can help by taking a dog on a daily run or walk. Or did you know some shelters let you “check out” a dog for a day-long adventure? This allows the dog to experience a new surrounding and gain exposure to new people and animals. You can also sign-up to cuddle cats and help them with their socialization.

Foothills Animal Shelter provides life-saving care to thousands of pets and offers adoption, lost and found, pet licensing, and affordable spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchipping services to the community. In 2017, staff and volunteers cared for over 9,200 dogs, cats, and critters.

We hope this inspires you to go home and get active with a local welfare group in your area!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Meetings & Events, and rescue dog mom, Sierra Smith.
Director of Meetings & Events at | NIRSA Profile

Sierra Smith is currently the Director of Meetings & Events at NIRSA.