By Steve Appelbaum, ABC President & CEO
Hello everyone. I hope you are all healthy and safe. Here is what is happening at ABC. First, I am delighted to report that our entire ABC team remains healthy and safe. I am not aware of a single one of our team members who has contracted COVID-19, which is excellent news. We will continue to operate remotely except for a few people who come to our physical location in Santa Clarita for a variety of reasons. Our lease on this building is up at the end of 2021, so this time next year, we will be looking to rent a much smaller space. How much smaller? Currently, we have a 22,000-sq.-ft building. I suspect we will look for something around 4,000 to 5,000 sq. ft.
It’s strange to consider a smaller space when business is growing, but this coronavirus pandemic has changed how we work and our needs changed with that. I am very thankful that we were in the kind of business that could withstand something this, and my heart goes out to all who have been affected either physically or financially by this. The only other thing I can say about this pandemic is a simple belief: It will eventually diminish. Our lives have been changed by it, but things will go back to normal—even if that is a new normal.
After an amazing amount of work, our Zookeeper Assistant Program (ZAP) launched on October 1st. Special thanks to our writers, editors, graphic designers, marketers, and admissions personnel who worked hard to make this happen. As of the third week in October, ZAP had the most successful launch of our programs.
New Things on the Horizon
- International program offerings: ABC is international, as we offer our programs in Canada and the United States. In 2021, we will be building the foundation for a launch in Europe and perhaps Japan in 2022. I love this kind of project and am very eager to see where our research leads us.
- A service dog program: We are looking to create a program for service dog trainers in North America in 2021.
- New short-Term programs: Research regarding new short-term programs will also be conducted next year.
- On our radar: New advanced grooming programs, a treating aggression in dogs course, and much more.
I will keep everyone posted as this year and the next unfolds. Until next time, be safe.