Helen Woodward Animal Center President Michael Arms is a pioneer in the animal welfare industry. He is recognized worldwide as the creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and "Iams Home 4 the Holidays.”
Mike is credited with saving the lives of more orphaned animals than anyone else in the history of the planet.
Since his arrival in 1999, Helen Woodward Animal Center has grown dramatically. Pet adoptions have leaped to record levels. Our Education program has multiplied as we teach children about the unconditional love that only comes from animals. And our therapy programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of people each year.
Mike Arms. Just one more reason why Helen Woodward Animal Center is known around the globe as, "The Animal Shelter of the Future!"
The Story of Mike Arms
Mike Arms came to animal welfare in a most unusual way. He arrived in New York in the 1960s ready to take on the world with an accounting degree and the desire to make it big. An employment agency suggested that he might take a position at the ASPCA because it would look good on his resume. Mike didn't even know what the ASPCA was at that time, but thought it would be a good experience to manage the finances of such a large organization. The stress of seeing the horrors that mankind perpetrated against the animals of New York quickly became too much for Mike, as the ASPCA was killing over 140,000 innocent animals a year at that time. He gave his resignation and was running away from animal welfare.
With just six days to go until his last day, Mike got a call that there was a dog hit by a car on Davidson Avenue in the Bronx. There were no ambulance drivers available, so he took off his suit jacket and put on an ambulance driver jacket and drove out to the accident scene. Upon his arrival he saw a black and tan shepherd/terrier mix lying in the street. The dog had been hit with such force that his back was broken - he was literally bent in half. As Mike approached the injured dog two men came out of a nearby doorway and asked him what he was doing. Arms calmly explained that the little dog was dying and he was taking him to the hospital. The men told him that he wasn't taking the dog anywhere. Mike inquired as to if it was their dog and they said, "No, but we are taking bets on how long it is going to live." Arms told them they were sick and turned to lift the dog into the ambulance. As he bent to lift the injured puppy, the men attacked him with a bottle to the head followed by the smack of a baseball bat and the sharp pain of a knife thrust into his hip and shoulder. Mike was knocked unconscious and as he lay in the street bleeding the little dog, who should not have been able to move, crawled to Mike's side to lick him awake.
It was a true epiphany for Arms as he spoke to God and said "Let me live, and I promise you, I will do everything in my lifetime to protect them." Mike has remained true to his word as the man who has saved more animals than any other person, living or dead, in animal welfare history.