Conference schedule

With nearly 100 sessions on topics ranging from expert fundraising to coalition-building to innovation and technology, this year’s conference has something for everyone.

A live Q&A discussion with the speaker will follow each session.

Some sessions will qualify for continuing education units (CEUs). See a full list of credit and certificate opportunities.

Final deadline to register is June 21 at noon MT.

Register today »

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

09:00 AM – 9:55 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 09:00 AM – 9:55 AM MT

In an unprecedented year, 2020 brought about a lot of change, but also a lot of new opportunities for lifesaving innovation. In this year’s welcome session, you’ll hear from three industry leaders who will share how they not only navigated the COVID-19 pandemic but created major advancements at their shelters to save more lives. Shelter leaders Valerie Richardson, Cassandra Heffington and Alexis Pugh will share their experiences, “aha” moments and the pearls of wisdom that they acquired during the pandemic. You’ll also discover how the pandemic brought about the rise of community-supported sheltering. You’ll learn what it means for the future of sheltering and how it can save more lives than ever. Get ready to be inspired and ready to change the world for both pets and people.

Speaker(s):
Francis Battista, Makena Yarbrough, Valerie Richardson, Cassie Heffington, Alexis Pugh

10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

As the field of animal welfare moves toward a community-centric model, it"s important to remove barriers to fostering and adoption. In this session, we’ll explore why some staff members working on the front lines may be reluctant to remove those barriers, and we’ll discuss how data, empathy and understanding can improve overall lifesaving, keep families together and create a culture of inclusivity.This session is sponsored by Maddie"s Fund.

Speaker(s):
Bobby Mann

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Change can seem scary, especially when you’re not in control, but it doesn’t have to be. In this session, you’ll learn how to embrace change when you’re not in a leadership role. We’ll discuss the power of positivity and staying open to new ideas and programs. We’ll talk about how to navigate relationships with leaders and employees, and you’ll discover how to move past fear and use change as a growing experience.

Speaker(s):
Jennifer Held, Ramon Herrera

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Are you ready to save even more lives? It’s time to roll out or improve on your shelter medicine program. An effective shelter medicine program addresses several vital areas and contributes to greater lifesaving if implemented well. We’ll discuss critical components of a shelter medicine program during this session, including disease prevention, daily rounds, ways to address shelter bottlenecks and diagnostic testing decisions. We’ll also talk about choosing which medical conditions to address, as well as recruiting and training foster volunteers for medical cases. Even if you don’t have a veterinarian on staff, you can still work toward saving lives in your program, and this session will teach you how.

Speaker(s):
Dr. Erin Katribe

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Gina Knepp, the nation’s most well-known return-to-owner/return-to-home (RTO/RTH) expert, will showcase the fruits of her labor as she pioneered making reuniting lost animals with their people a priority in America. Gina has spent a year tenaciously speaking on the subject and coaching shelters to focus intently on this often-overlooked outcome. In this session, she will share a variety of case studies and examples of her teachings that were implemented in "real life" and produced incredible results. You"ll learn what makes a robust RTO/RTH program valuable and tangible, and you’ll be given actionable steps to implement a RTH program. You"ll leave the session inspired to implement many of the practical strategies that Gina recommends.

This session is sponsored by Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Gina Knepp, Brett Yates

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

If the pandemic has taught the animal welfare world anything, it’s that a community-supported sheltering model is possible. In this session, you’ll learn about the actionable changes that Memphis Animal Services made as an organization to move away from the old "dog catcher, impound everything" model of animal control and sheltering toward a focus on keeping pets in the community or home where they already live. You'll learn what actions you can take today to make this critical shift, what challenges and push-back you may face along the way, and how to navigate the change successfully.

Speaker(s):
Alexis Pugh

10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

In the field of animal welfare, volunteers are serving in an increasing variety of roles, including working directly with municipal animal control officers. In 2019, Pasco County Animal Services (PCAS) teamed up with Best Friends to become a Service Enterprise Organization, leveraging the full capabilities of the agency’s volunteer program. PCAS created dozens of new volunteer roles, including new volunteer opportunities within the animal control team, and the results have been outstanding. Volunteers help the animal control team with various tasks, including nuisance animal complaints, in-vehicle support for animal control officers, call creation, animal control dispatch and sustainability for the trap-neuter-vaccinate-return program. The efficiency and capability of both the volunteer program and animal control have grown and new, innovative volunteer opportunities have been created for the community. In this session, the presenter will talk about how PCAS overcame the barriers, what successes and missteps have occurred, and how you can encourage your community to volunteer with your municipal animal control force.

Speaker(s):
Spencer Conover

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Wouldn’t it be great if passion alone could save lives? But, of course, it takes money, too. Fundraising can be overwhelming at times, but we’re here to help make it simple. During this session, we’ll discuss some critical components of effective fundraising for small and private organizations. You’ll learn how to build easy and free donor stewardship, how to retain donors, how to set up a membership program and use social media to garner donations, and how to reach out to your community during times of crisis.

Speaker(s):
Heather Owen

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Saving lives is the reason we all entered this field and it’s the reason we go to work every day, but it can also feel overwhelming. Is it really possible to reach no-kill through innovative, groundbreaking programs? The answer is yes! In this session, you’ll learn how to maximize lifesaving, streamline operations and use grassroots fundraising and marketing efforts to save more lives, no matter what your organization’s budget is. We’ll break down how to get to no-kill without breaking the bank.

This session is sponsored by Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Stacy Rogers

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Your life is complicated enough, so in this session, we’ll teach you a three-step strategy for your organization to create tremendous success with less stress. We’ll give you the framework to build your lifesaving road map and develop a practical and effective plan that everyone can adopt. We’ll tell you how to tune up your organization and unite your team. And we’ll share insights to help you engage your supporters and raise the funds you need.

Speaker(s):
Diane Blankenburg, Bonney Brown

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

It can be hard to keep up with Facebook and Instagram, let alone Twitter and TikTok. And these are only a handful of the social media outlets for sharing our lifesaving journey. In this session, the presenter will cover social media basics, including what channels you should join, what makes posts effective and what times you should post to reach your best engagement rates. She’ll show you how to engage your staff and volunteers to share content and how to organize that content into a comprehensive social strategy. You’ll learn how to navigate the algorithms to make sure your content is noticed in a cluttered landscape and what metrics you should be measuring to gauge your social success.

Speaker(s):
Emily Tolliver

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Targeted trap-neuter-return (TNR) and return-to-field (RTF) programs are becoming the norm in communities across the country, reducing the number of cats admitted to shelters and increasing the number leaving alive. Still, the number of cats killed is more than twice the number of dogs. One remaining challenge is the concerns among some TNR/RTF supporters over "returning friendlies." Although these concerns are well-intentioned, the policy implications can be disastrous for community cats and the people who care for them. In this session, the presenter will discuss why some outdoor cats are sociable and the importance of returning these community cats to their outdoor homes. You'll be given the tools you need to advocate for change at your local shelter.

Speaker(s):
Peter Wolf

11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue was founded in 2009 with the primary mission of saving homeless and neglected dogs from overcrowded shelters. Yet, as the organization grew, staff realized that two huge needs were not being met. First, cats and kittens were dying in huge numbers at the same shelters where they were working so hard to save dogs. Second, committed Lucky Dog volunteers were eager to help cats and kittens in need. So, Lucky Dog began taking in kittens in 2015, and in 2020, 269 cats and 977 kittens came to Lucky Dog. During this session, the presenters will talk about the most recent national data on cats in shelters and the value of collaborating with other organizations and volunteers. They'll discuss successes and missteps and give you a road map to follow if you're considering a pivot in your mission, whether it's expanding to include another species or taking on a different area of focus.

Speaker(s):
Mirah Horowitz, Lydia LaSalle

11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Could you describe the culture of your workplace? Does it drive employee satisfaction, performance and happiness? In this playbook session, we’ll cover what culture is, why you should care deeply about it, and how to implement a culture initiative that can maximize your employees" contributions while making each one feel precisely what they are: a unique and valued part of the team. You"ll also get 10 specific actionable tips for launching a culture initiative, whether your organization is public or private, big or small, profit or nonprofit or government-funded.

Speaker(s):
José Ocaño, Erika Westbay

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Organizing a community isn’t the same as engagement or marketing. Community organizing mandates that we first understand the community we are targeting and empower community members to maintain their agency as a force for change. This session will explore both philosophy and a tactical strategy that will allow attendees to build a robust partnership with community members in order to achieve effective and sustainable lifesaving. We’ll talk about the framework for organizing an initiative, templates for organizing a community and resources available from Best Friends to use as grassroots tools.

Speaker(s):
Kenny Lamberti, Scott Giacoppo

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

All dogs, big and small, deserve a safe place to call home. But dogs with challenging behaviors often need a little extra help and out-of-the-box thinking to move them toward adoption. In this session, Best Friends staff members will share a pilot program they created and are using at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to help the most challenging dogs, allowing them to enjoy life and develop positive relationships with humans. They will introduce you to techniques to help at-risk dogs cope, some of which you can emulate in a shelter environment. You'll hear about the non-traditional use of traditional tools and get the resources you need to help your agency’s challenging dogs progress safely.

Speaker(s):
Michelle Logan, Tierney Sain

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Am I really helping this cat? Is this cat really in need or in danger? Do we have a different set of rules for cats depending upon the neighborhood in which we find them? Are we using our organizational resources effectively by bringing this cat to the shelter? If you’ve found yourself asking these or similar questions, this session can help you take a serious look at the complexities involved in helping cats in our communities, particularly communities that are underserved and under-resourced. You’ll be presented with some key statistics and asked to critically examine personal perspectives on how we help our feline friends.

Speaker(s):
Christie Rogero, Destiny Haney

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:55 AM MT

To make the entire country no-kill by 2025, we must know the state of animal sheltering and lifesaving in every state, community and shelter. That’s why, a few years ago, Best Friends launched the biggest data collection effort in the history of animal welfare, and it’s why we continue to keep the data as current as possible. In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into the Best Friends national dataset, providing attendees with key insights on progress toward achieving no-kill nationwide and, most important, ways that shelters and rescue groups can get involved and save more lives.

Speaker(s):
Brent Toellner

11:30 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 11:30 AM – 11:55 AM MT

Created in 2017, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s kitten nursery was the first stand-alone neonatal kitten nursery in the metro Washington, D.C., area. The kitten nursery has helped save the most fragile population of shelter animals through Kitten College, a unique and innovative program made possible by dedicated volunteers. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, Florida, has operated a kitten nursery since 2016 that continues to be the only program of its kind in Palm Beach County. Since its inception, the kitten nursery has provided critical lifesaving care for nearly 3,000 kittens. In this session, you’ll learn about the core concepts of these two successful programs, including how they are structured and operate, and you’ll leave armed with the resources and tips you need to start your own volunteer-based kitten lifesaving program.

Speaker(s):
Marnie Russ, Lawrence Nicolas

12:00 PM – 12:55 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 12:00 PM – 12:55 PM MT

COVID-19 brought about uncertainty, but it also brought about lifesaving change for the animals, and the latest data tells us this story. Join Holly Sizemore, Best Friends chief missions officer, and Brent Toellner, Best Friends senior director of national programs, as they reveal the new industry dataset, discuss the progress we’ve made together since 2016, and talk about where we go from here. Julie Castle, Best Friends CEO, will also join the conversation and talk to participants about Best Friends’ new shelter collaborative program, which enables no-kill shelters to mentor shelters that are not yet no-kill.

Speaker(s):
Holly Sizemore, Brent Toellner, Julie Castle, Denise Deisler, Sara Eckert, Jenna Arsenault, Jill Mollohan

01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Meaningful partnerships can be transformative for an organization and its ability to save animals. And that includes partnerships with funders. Do you ever wonder who’s reading your grant applications and what they want to see? Do you want to know what it takes to create an authentic partnership with a funder? If so, this session is for you. In this panel discussion, you’ll hear from some of the nation’s leading animal welfare and community foundation funders about the realities of being a decision-maker, what your proposal is really up against and how to deliver a winning application.

Speaker(s):
Gina Barker, Brett Yates, Ayanna Wakefield, Katie Tyler

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Can you imagine your organization helping to rehome even more pets in your community simply by offering a free listing service on your website? That's precisely what Marin Humane did, and it's helping to save more lives than ever. Marin Humane's No Place Like Home program offers free pet rehoming listings in their website's adoption section, giving community members looking to rehome pets the opportunity to connect directly with potential adopters. Demand for the program has skyrocketed since the first shelter-in-place order was implemented in California. Most of the listed animals successfully find new homes without ever entering the shelter. In this session, the presenters will discuss this alternative adoption technique and the benefits of starting your own private rehoming program. They’ll offer specific suggestions on technical details, tips on addressing common questions or concerns, and how to advocate for a private rehoming program in your community.

Speaker(s):
Carina DeVera, Keri Fennell, Patricia Castaneda

01:00 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:55 PM MT

When implementing new lifesaving programming or updating current programming, it’s important to understand what your shelter’s data is telling you. Studying the data can help an organization successfully implement new programs that keep cats and kittens out of the shelter. In this session, we’ll discuss how you can use data and infrastructure to build or strengthen a cat lifesaving program unique to your community’s needs, employing the resources you already have.

Speaker(s):
Leah Long, Jen Adkins

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:55 PM MT

In shelters that employ veterinary staff, it’s important that the medical and operations teams collaborate and make case decisions together. But sometimes those two teams have different priorities, leading to disagreements and defensive decision-making. The solution? Daily rounds. In this session, you’ll learn how implementing daily rounds that include both medical and operations staff lead to improved communication and overall lifesaving. You’ll discover what the rounds involve and how to begin successful rounds at your organization to make all teams happy.

Speaker(s):
Dr. Erin Katribe, Mike Bricker

01:00 PM – 1:55 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 1:55 PM MT

The Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA), located in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and Tangipahoa (Tangi) Parish Animal Services, located in Hammond, Louisiana, have elevated their partnership to a strategic relationship focused on moving the Louisiana shelter from its prior 20% live release rate to 90% by the end of 2021. Thanks to Best Friends" generous support, the BVSPCA has sent three employees to work at the rural Louisiana shelter for the year and invested in infrastructure to support program development. The shelters" prior relationship focused on relocating at-risk animals to the BVSPCA, where they are highly adoptable. This mentoring partnership increases the impact of relocation but, more important, is putting systemic changes and resources in place so that Tangi can sustain a no-kill community and subsequently help other struggling Louisiana shelters. This session will consist of a moderated Q&A discussion about what led the BVSPCA to take this role, the challenges and successes this year, and the steps ahead. Attendees will take away practical advice on leading change and building sustainable programs to transform struggling communities.

Speaker(s):
Julie Landy, David Owens, Linda Torelli

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Improved quality of life, stress reduction and increased welfare are all universal goals of play group programs. Play groups are also a great way to help dogs find new homes. A survey conducted by Dogs Playing for Life to over 300 shelters revealed that regular participation in play groups often leads to an increase in adoption and foster opportunities. Simply put, the best way to enhance a shelter dog's life is to get that dog out of the shelter and into a loving home. That’s why it’s crucial that play group programs are as inclusive as possible, so that all dogs (especially large breeds) get the lifesaving benefits that play groups deliver. In this session, the presenter will describe the most critical aspects of Dogs Playing for Life–style play groups, how shelters can implement these programs, and how to ensure that play groups are inclusive and safe, leaving no dog behind.

Speaker(s):
Mike Kaviani

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Sometimes, helping “unruly” animals shouldn’t be left to professional trainers. In fact, at times the best-case scenario is to involve more staff members, volunteers and other people dedicated to helping these pets grow and evolve as potential family members. These pets crave more time with more people, and with the help of all members of your lifesaving community, these animals can learn to adapt and adjust to their new environment and, in turn, find new homes. During this session, we’ll discuss how every member of an organization can dedicate time to reaching out to challenging pets and how these efforts can save more lives.

Speaker(s):
Lexi Cone

01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 01:30 PM – 1:55 PM MT

Do you know your organization"s save rate but don’t know how to increase it? Do you feel like you need to launch a hundred lifesaving programs at once? We can help! No matter what your organization’s current save rate is, this session can give you what you need to save more lives. We’ll break down successes from other shelters with various save rates and help you to create a lifesaving road map for your organization.This session is sponsored by Maddie"s Fund.

Speaker(s):
Sheila McLalin, Luis Quintanilla

02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

With more and more shelters and rescue groups moving away from brick-and-mortar buildings and toward foster-centric models, shelter clinics must simultaneously change the way they function. Clinics must meet the needs of the animals, of course, but they also should meet the needs of foster caregivers, which may be challenging as shelter clinics transition from an animal-centric operation to a more customer-centric operation. In this session, you’ll learn how to create a clinic that is foster-friendly and you’ll get all the tips you need to keep your clinic running smoothly and successfully.

Speaker(s):
Jordana Moerbe

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 2:25 PM MT

Less than 10 years ago, more than half of the animals at Chicago Animal Care (CACC) walked in but never walked out. There were no innovative programs, very few volunteers and no community outreach. CACC was known across the city as a depressing, uncaring, even callous place that people only supported despite what they felt happened there every day. Today, CACC has a live release rate of 93%, as a result of partnerships with hundreds of shelters, rescue groups and community partners; a proactive team of staff and volunteers working hard to network animals for transfer and adoption; and innovative lifesaving programs, a strong, positive social media presence and good relationships with local media. CACC is now known as a worthwhile place to support as the center of Chicago"s progressive animal welfare community. During this captivating session, you’ll learn about CACC’s successes and why it"s important to reach out for help, regardless of your organization"s reputation and stereotypes.

Speaker(s):
Jenny Schlueter, Mamadou Diakhate

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Challenging times have spurred innovative thinking and lasting change at Humane Society Silicon Valley. The presenters will share how they shifted the way they talk about the more challenging adoptable animals, launched new adoption options and grew foster capacity, all while creating unique, customized customer experiences that scale. You'll learn how minor adjustments and cross-team collaboration can have a long-term impact on your lifesaving work and how you can engage potential adopters and foster volunteers. You'll walk away knowing more about using balanced language when describing adoptable animals, piloting and evaluating new adoption options, and making adjustments to communications and adoption processes based on collected customer feedback data.

Speaker(s):
Sandra Mallalieu, Kristen Jahnke

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Keeping pets in their homes, especially in times of crisis, is crucial for the well-being of both pets and their families. But some people, including older adults and those with unique abilities, need help keeping their pets at home. In this session, the presenter will talk about how PAWS NY helps vulnerable populations to keep their pets. You’ll learn about the essential services that PAWS provides, the challenges and benefits unique to the owner retention programs, and how to start a similar program in your community.

Speaker(s):
Carolyn Nydick Finch

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

With so many news stories flooding our day-to-day world, catching the attention of the media can seem like an impossible feat. Animal welfare organizations typically have exciting and uplifting stories to share, and we want more than anything for the public to hear about our lifesaving work. Whether we transported dozens of homeless pets or succeeded at our Clear the Shelter event, we want everyone to know so that we can gain their support. During this session, we’ll talk about what the key elements are for gaining the media’s attention, how to craft effective press releases, how to be a top-notch interviewee and how to keep your organization on your community’s radar.

Speaker(s):
Nikki Reck

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Every year, Petco Love invests $30 million in animal welfare organizations across the country. Want to get in on the FUNding? This session will provide you with an insider’s guide to the grant application process, data requirements and evaluation metrics, and reveal the secrets to partnering with Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Chelsea Staley

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

We have come a long way in animal welfare. Shelters and rescue partners are continuously adapting and changing their programming and lifesaving strategies, garnering astounding lifesaving results. For rescue partners, it's not always easy stepping through the doors of a shelter for the first time. In this session, the presenters will give some helpful tips on building a positive relationship between shelters and rescue partners from day one. You'll walk away with communication tips for reaching out to shelters as a new partner and learn how to create programs targeted around key animal populations to help shelters in the most effective ways.

Speaker(s):
Alyss Tsukayama, Kaylee Hawkins

02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

During the pandemic, virtual events became a staple. But we have news for you: Even when it’s safe again to be in public spaces together, virtual events are here to stay. That’s why, now more than ever, your organization should take the opportunity to expand and improve virtual events to raise even more money and awareness for the animals. During this session, the presenter will explore best practices for virtual fundraising events, focusing in particular on real-world, tangible examples from development professionals in animal welfare.

Speaker(s):
Caitlin Watkins, Kim Kamins, Rebecca Genauer, Julie Barger

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

Foster homes make all the difference for homeless pets, and they make all the difference for shelters. In this session, you’ll learn about the five ways that Best Friends in Utah grew its foster network: short-term foster families, social media, unique marketing and events, innovative recruitment techniques and inclusivity. You’ll leave the session with a better understanding of how to grow your foster home network and embrace community support to pivot from a brick-and-mortar program to a community-based one.

Speaker(s):
Jessica Pollitz, Megan McCloud

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

Animal control officers haven’t always gotten the best rap, and it’s time we change that. During this session, we'll discuss the importance of animal control officers in our communities and the challenges these professionals face, including negative public perceptions, compassion fatigue and the support (or lack thereof) that they receive in their communities. We’ll also talk about how we can change perceptions about animal control officers and other shelter staff members and move toward a common goal of saving more lives and earning the community’s trust.

Speaker(s):
Audra Michael

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

Animal services and animal sheltering have gone through radical changes in the last decade, and the leaders who are driving these changes are showing no sign of slowing down. While the field used to draw animal lovers who may not have been very fond of people, we have found that to truly save the lives of animals, we need to help both people and their pets. As today’s leaders, we must help our teams adapt to this rapidly changing environment and keep everyone focused on saving lives. During this session, you'll hear from Dallas Animal Services managers Anthony Augello and Rachel Williams on how they have navigated change management through communication and relationship-building to instill a culture of constant improvement that doesn’t settle for the status quo.

Speaker(s):
Anthony Augello, Rachel Williams

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

While many people use the term trap-neuter-return (TNR), the presenter, Dr. Robert Weedon, has always advocated for including the word “vaccinate”: trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR). Why? Because TNVR doesn’t just emphasize the animal welfare aspect; it demonstrates the public health benefit, too. By vaccinating community cats, we create herd immunity and therefore a barrier to rabies between wildlife and people and pets, even without vaccinating every cat. In addition, using the term TNVR engages a whole new group of people, particularly community decision-makers. In this session, you’ll learn how emphasizing the public health advantages of TNVR will benefit your community and community cats, and you’ll discover how TNVR programs can help you build new relationships with stakeholders.

Speaker(s):
Dr. Robert Weedon

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM MT

While increasing your shelter’s save rate to 90% or higher may seem daunting, it is possible. Just ask Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Florida, which successfully increased its save rate from 33% to above 90%. During this session, you’ll learn which methods, programs, strategies and initiatives the shelter implemented to save more lives. You’ll also learn why perseverance, determination and a positive attitude pay off. You’ll leave the session motivated and excited about saving even more pets in your community.

Speaker(s):
Jessica Gutmann, Brad Baker

Wednesday, June 23, 2021: 02:30 PM – 02:55 PM

Public safety and animal welfare go hand in hand. But how is public safety impacted when lifesaving increases? Join Ed Jamison of Operation Kindness (formerly the director of Dallas Animal Services) to learn how public safety can be positively affected when lifesaving takes priority, even in an organization that has an annual intake of over 39,000 pets. In this session, you"ll learn strategies for balancing competing priorities to increase lifesaving outcomes and how to use laws to increase public safety and help both people and pets in need.

This session is sponsored by Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Ed Jamison

Thursday, June 24, 2021

09:00 AM – 09:25 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:25 AM MT

Creating and sustaining effective partnerships is vital to the success of your transport program and also critical for saving lives. During this session, you’ll learn how to start and grow rescue transport partnerships, regardless of your resources. You’ll discover how to establish new contacts, how to sustainably grow existing partnerships and why it’s important for your transport program to embrace your local community first.

Speaker(s):
Clare Callison

09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

Best Friends has lifesaving centers and programs in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Houston, New York City, Atlanta and Northwest Arkansas. And when COVID-19 struck, we began ramping up community-based sheltering at each of these locations. For organizations of any size and level of operations, community-supported sheltering principles can expand capacity, but it requires new tools and new ways of thinking. In this engaging session, you’ll learn the foundational principles of community-supported sheltering and hear from three leaders on how they switched gears, pivoted programs and empowered community support like never before.

Speaker(s):
Susan Cosby, Lydia LaSalle, Carolyn Fitzgerald, Jennifer Pimentel

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

All shelters want a positive outcome for each dog in their care, including (and perhaps especially) those struggling with behavioral issues. But it can be overwhelming to figure out precisely what your particular shelter needs to address behavior challenges and how to go about implementing it given your limited resources. Dogs Playing For Life (DPFL) has learned a great deal about effectively helping dogs, of all shapes and sizes, struggling in shelters throughout the country. The presenter will talk about the differences between a general enrichment program and a training and behavior program. She'll discuss how to assess behavior and what your shelter may need to best serve the dogs in your care. You'll leave with concrete strategies and practices to implement at your shelter, including canine socialization, loose-leash walking, and behavior modification techniques for reactive, shy and fearful dogs.

This session is sponsored by Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Aimee Sadler

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

When we strengthen our communication skills and build our confidence, we can have a stronger voice for pets and people, and we can use our voice to persuade coworkers, managers, civic leaders and the public to embrace and implement more effective lifesaving methods for the animals. During this session, animal services employees, volunteers and advocates will learn five ways to strengthen their voice and deliver inspiring, persuasive presentations confidently, whether virtually or in person. Attendees will leave this session empowered to speak up on behalf of pets and people.

Speaker(s):
Beth Wolfer, Tawny Hammond

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

"Catification" has taken the cat-loving (and design-loving) world by storm. Pioneered by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin in their best-selling books and the TV series "My Cat From Hell," catification is the practice of making simple changes to the physical environment to help cats go from scared and "unadoptable" to unique and vibrant companions. In this session, you'll learn how to apply the design principles of catification effectively to the shelter environment regardless of budget or resources. Even the most straightforward changes (like adding shelves to maximize vertical space and providing seating to accommodate visitors) can dramatically change the feel of a shelter to showcase the cats better, increase the number of adoptions, and boost staff and volunteer morale.

Speaker(s):
Kate Benjamin, Jackson Galaxy

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:00 AM – 09:55 AM MT

How do you pull together leaders who have different philosophies and operational models to work toward a common goal? In this session, the presenter will discuss how Florida leaders came together, let go of differences and focused on what they had in common in order to save more lives. You’ll hear about their unique but successful approach to collaboration, and you’ll learn how you can use their approach to create unity among leaders in your community.

This session is sponsored by Petco Love.

Speaker(s):
Denise Deisler

09:30 AM – 09:55 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 09:30 AM – 9:55 AM MT

In El Paso, Texas, people weren’t clear what to do if their pets were lost or if they found a lost pet. That’s because, like most other cities in the U.S., El Paso had no clear programs or messaging in place for lost pets. El Paso Animal Services decided to face the issue head-on. In this innovative data-driven presentation, representatives from El Paso Animal Services will discuss how they increased return-to-home rates through their Community and Pet Support program, and through the field and shelter. You’ll discover how the programs helped to improve community outreach, create streamlined lost-and-found messages and build partnerships. You’ll also learn how your community can replicate El Paso’s work to keep animals in homes and out of the shelter.

Speaker(s):
Sheila Kouhkan, Adan Parra, Michele Anderson

10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Over the past two years, the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) has worked hard to revise its outcome programs to eliminate implicit bias and systemic racism and increase the accessibility of adoption to all community members. The process involved reviewing and revising internal policies that created artificial barriers to adoption. It was clear that something needed to change. As a result, DACC implemented a conversation-based adoption process and a community foster program, a significant shift from the previous adopter interview practices and restricting fostering to underage animals. During this session, you'll learn how the country’s largest shelter system created more inclusive programming for the community and the animals. We'll talk about how to approach discussions regarding implicit bias and policy, using data to provide insight, and how to create culture change at your organization.

Speaker(s):
Alison Waszmer, Allison Cardona

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Stress in animals can lead to increased risk for complications with medical and surgical procedures and exaggerated behavioral issues after surgeries. This, in turn, can add tension to surrounding animals, staff and clients. However, there are environmental adaptations and medications that can be used in all settings to reduce pain and anxiety for animals in our care. In this session, we'll discuss available drugs and ways to use them synergistically to reduce fear, anxiety and pain in cats and dogs. Even in resource-limited settings, care and pain control can be high-quality and low-stress with a bit of preparation and creativity.

Speaker(s):
Anne Marie McPartlin, Dr. Mel Beyer

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

We all love receiving a major gift, but small monthly gifts have a unique place in lifesaving. Monthly gifts provide a predictable, reliable stream of income throughout the year. In this session, the presenters will highlight the powerful and foundational role that monthly giving can and should play in your fundraising plan. You'll learn how to start and grow a monthly giving program from scratch using the resources you already have available. We'll review examples of successful monthly donor requests and walk through the steps for retaining monthly donors, reactivating lapsed donors, and thanking and cultivating monthly donors to ensure vital sustainable support.

Speaker(s):
Erica Waasdorp, Cara Schwalbach

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25:00 AM MT

Legal and policy obstacles are frequently identified as primary reasons not to implement lifesaving programming. But given Best Friends" and the animal welfare world"s shift to a focus on community-supported sheltering, immediate remedies to legal and policy obstacles are necessary. Creative sheltering professionals around the country are using workarounds, both permanent and temporary, to these obstacles to increase lifesaving and add community-supported programming (e.g., community cat programs, return-to-owner in the field, impound-to-foster programs). These workarounds also provide an opportunity to highlight the chosen lifesaving programs" success while pursuing permanent policy changes. During this interactive session, you"ll learn examples of workarounds that you can utilize to overcome legal and policy obstacles (real or perceived) from legal, policy and sheltering experts in the field.

Speaker(s):
Richard Angelo, Luis Quintanilla

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

In this session, you'll hear from the co-founders of Human Animal Support Services (HASS) about the movement to build community-centered animal services to better meet the needs of people and animals. The presenters will cover the HASS elements, which are programs that any organization can implement to reduce shelter intake immediately, increase community engagement and help more pets stay with their families. These elements include intake-to-placement, community partnerships, remote customer service and supported self-rehoming.

Speaker(s):
Kristen Hassen, Dr. Ellen Jefferson

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM MT

Let’s face it: If we all had kennels full of fuzzy munchkins with perfect manners and zero health problems, we probably would have achieved no-kill years ago. But for most lifesaving organizations, there are always a handful of pets with behavioral, medical or public perception challenges that make finding adoptable homes more difficult. And the closer we get to no-kill, the higher that percentage of hard-to-place pets will get. In this session, the presenters will demonstrate how, with a little creative thinking, lots of transparency and some promotional efforts, even seemingly undesirable pets can land loving homes. The presenters will focus on how to break down barriers and build new possibilities for the pets most often overlooked by everyone. From Eddie the Terrible to stereotyped dog breeds, pets once deemed at risk and unadoptable now have people lining up to say, “He’s terrible. I’ll take him!”

Speaker(s):
Caitlin Quinn, Tori Fugate

10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

So many ways to raise money, so little time. That’s why sometimes you just need to know exactly where and how to devote your fundraising energy while still managing your day-to-day operations as you work to help more pets. In this session, you’ll hear from a Best Friends digital fundraising expert on the most effective ways to raise money across your digital channels, without having to stretch your human resources too thin. This is a great foundational session for anyone — from beginners to experts — who wants to be smart about fundraising but is short on time and energy for maximizing it.

Speaker(s):
Kate Moore

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Helping homeless pets get adopted is the most rewarding experience for people in animal welfare. We see families gain a new member, and pets gain a safe and loving place to call home. But it can be even more rewarding if we speed up the adoption process. Quickly placing animals through foster homes, transports and adoption reduces communicable disease rates and benefits the overall health of the pets in our care. In this session, we'll talk about the ideal methods your organization can embrace to move homeless pets quickly but safely and the importance of immediate medical care upon arrival.

Speaker(s):
Faith Wright

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

The Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life (PFL) program addresses inequities in access to pet-supportive services in more than 40 communities across the U.S. In addition to delivering direct care to tens of thousands of pets in underserved communities each year, PFL works to promote greater recognition within the animal welfare movement concerning how institutions produce and perpetuate unjust systems and policies. The challenge of addressing the issue of access to pet-supportive services in these communities, which are typically characterized by low socioeconomic status and high racial/ethnic diversity, is rooted in inconsistent and/or biased data collection. The University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) analyzed PFL’s internal data (which included over 100,000 pets served across 39 U.S. urban and rural communities) and debunked the long-held belief that race and ethnicity are determinants of a family’s willingness to spay or neuter their pets (Decker Sparks, Camacho, Tedeschi, Morris, 2017). To inform future work and collaboration that addresses the justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) issues in animal welfare, IHAC is conducting a series of studies to examine how the PFL program and other community-based animal welfare programs can promote the health of an entire community. This presentation will include a discussion of several of IHAC’s specialized survey instruments, including the One Health Community Assessment (OHCA) and the Cultural Competence Inventory, both of which are being used to understand how increasing access to pet support services for historically excluded communities contributes to the health of a community.

Speaker(s):
Sloane Hawes, Tess Hupe

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Though the pandemic has brought about unprecedented and challenging times, for homeless pets, the lifesaving never stopped. In this session, you’ll discover how the municipal operations of the Pet Resource Center (PRC) moved to a community foster-based operation during the pandemic. You’ll hear about how the organization reworked job descriptions, offered new and innovative programs, and worked toward a people-centric pet lifesaving model, saving more lives than ever before. You’ll also learn how to shift the public's beliefs about what a shelter’s role in a community should be in order to move your organization to a foster-centric model.

Speaker(s):
Scott Trebatoski

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

An optimal length of stay (LOS) for pets in shelters is one that's short but as safe as possible, and it's something every shelter should strive for. That means ensuring that lost pets return home quickly, while ensuring that those who need medical care or training have a longer LOS. In this session, we'll discuss how to revamp your organization and its operations to safely reduce a pet's stay, whether that pet is highly adoptable, has medical or behavioral challenges, or is returned to the field. We'll also talk about the benefits of shortening the LOS, including reduced incidence of disease, decreased expenses for the shelter and increased well-being for pets.

Speaker(s):
Dr. Kate Hurley

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 10:30 AM – 10:55 AM MT

Ready to take your foster program to another level? Want to engage your foster volunteers to become active advocates instead of just housing locations? Turn your foster volunteers into adoption ambassadors! Adoption ambassadors do more than foster pets. They are actively engaged volunteers who work in conjunction with the shelter to match foster pets with new homes. In this session, the presenters will describe what adoption ambassadors do and why they are so effective. They will outline the steps for beginning an adoption ambassador program and dive into technology built specifically to support the program. When it comes to welcoming new adoption ambassadors, we've got you covered from start to finish.

Speaker(s):
Chris Roy, Fraily Rodriguez

11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Cats are sometimes hard to understand, but we must understand the diseases that affect their health so that we can help them live healthy and enriched lives. In this session, we'll discuss new evidence-based best practices for managing feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in shelters, rescue groups and trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. We'll cover which cats to test, how to pick a test correctly and how to interpret results when they don't seem to make sense. We'll also discuss how to get positive cats into homes where they can thrive and be loved while still protecting other cats from infection.

Speaker(s):
Dr. Julie Levy, Monica Frenden

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

For every organization, it’s always exciting to receive a package with the famous Amazon Smile logo on it. Why? Because many times, it contains items on our wish list, donated by our beloved community members and supporters. During this session, we’ll discuss tips and tricks to help your organization receive the things you need most from your Amazon wish list. You’ll leave the session knowing how to describe the needs and benefits of items on your list, how to track donations and why it's important to send donation acknowledgments to your supporters.

Speaker(s):
Shanda Frost

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

How did the Lynchburg Humane Society go from a 49% save rate to a 90% save rate? By implementing a long-term plan that introduced radical changes across the organization. They tripled the board of directors' size, developed a more financially equitable relationship with the city, offered free spay/neuter services for cats, and substantially increased community awareness and funding. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. During this session, you’ll discover how you can create significant change at your organization by not only adjusting operations and increasing community involvement, but by improving overall communication and merely believing you can.

Speaker(s):
Makena Yarbrough

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

In times of crisis, because of the public’s lack of knowledge about pet care resources, community members have historically reached out to shelter and rescue groups first, leading to overcrowding in shelters and pets being separated from their families. You can change this situation by mapping your community’s human-animal support system and creating a comprehensive list of programs in your community that support pet owners and caregivers. In this session, you’ll learn what the ideal human-animal support system looks like and how you can begin mapping resources to provide community members with what they need to keep their pets at home.

Speaker(s):
Jamie Case

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Has the thought of combining the lifesaving endeavors of your organization with a people-centered program ever crossed your mind? Would you like to build a project to help both homeless pets and struggling people? The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, an open-intake shelter in central Texas, and Jail to Jobs, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of recidivism through employment-based mentoring, have discovered that bringing these two types of groups together at the shelter builds a mutual lifeline. In this program, the shelter animals experience more individualized care, and the people build a better sense of purpose and improve their life skills. Introducing training based on positive reinforcement between the dogs and humans teaches skills at both ends of the leash. In this session, you'll learn how animal services can work together with human services, what specific topics to discuss before you begin a program and how your shelter can replicate this program.

Speaker(s):
Misty Valenta, Eddie Franz

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 11:00 AM – 11:25 AM MT

Large-breed dogs with behavior quirks are not the easiest pets to find homes for. But Gateway Pet Guardians (GPG) came up with a solution in 2019 with the Unicorn Foster Squad, a program designed to help find homes for the most challenging dogs. And the results of the program speak for themselves. Before the program was implemented, the dogs’ average length of stay at GPG was 221 days. Today, the average length of stay is 90 days, and the program now has a save rate is 94% for the most challenging dogs in their care. In this session, you’ll learn what resources you need to start a similar program, how to recruit foster volunteers, how to find permanent homes for “unicorns” and keep them out of the shelter, and more.

Speaker(s):
Brittany Fleming, Brigitte Dietz

12:00 PM – 12:25 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:00 PM – 12:25 PM MT

Becoming an equitable organization is an ongoing journey of both the head and the heart. It starts with each of us doing our own work and creating safe spaces for all staff to learn, fail and grow. During this session, Shelina Davis, CEO of the Louisiana Public Health Institute, will share insights and tangible tools from her equity journey as an individual and as a leader of an organization.

Speaker(s):
Shelina Davis, Jose Ocano

12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

2020 was an unprecedented year, and one of the effects has been a dramatic escalation in competition for the public's attention. Between the pandemic and social unrest, we find ourselves advocating for homeless pets in the middle of an uproar. How can we keep the animals in the minds of supporters? During this session, you'll learn how you can rise above the noise by creating compelling content, diversifying your communications tools and finding new ways to engage with your community. We'll talk about what makes for great content that your audience will connect with and how tools like webcams and text marketing can help you keep the animals in your care relevant to the public.

Speaker(s):
Ashley Zeh

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

The pandemic has affected nearly every part of society, including the animal welfare industry. For this session, Best Friends has teamed up with PetHealth to share valuable information that has come out of COVID-19 and talk about the repercussions for animal welfare. The presenters will share data, trends and indicators for the future on topics such as length of stay, owner surrenders, fostering and spay/neuter rates of sheltered animals.

Speaker(s):
Vicki Kilmer, Steve Zeidman

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

Did you know that it only takes one mosquito to infect a dog with heartworm disease? Once a dog is infected, the American Heartworm Society's recommended treatment of heartworm disease is expensive for the family and painful for the dog. The irony is that heartworm disease is 99% preventable, but it requires prescription medicine. Often, low-income people cannot afford the veterinary care or prescriptions needed to prevent the disease in their dogs. In this session, we'll discuss The Inner Pup’s highly successful Heartworm Zero program, a monthly heartworm prevention clinic that keeps dogs heartworm-free and out of shelters because of the disease. You'll learn how it operates, how your organization can become an affiliate of the program, and how to begin your own community heartworm clinic program.

Speaker(s):
Lindsay Goldring, Gene Goldring

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

In 2018, the Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri launched a Planned Giving Advisory Council consisting of estate planning attorneys, financial advisors and wealth managers. This council was tasked with helping to formalize and support a planned giving program for the APA. Since the inception of this council, the APA has launched a comprehensive planned giving program that has helped the organization secure and realize more than $8.7 million in planned gifts. This session will provide practical and replicable details about the approach the APA took when developing and implementing a successful planned giving program. It will include an overview of planned giving and several easy-to-implement planned giving vehicles. Participants will also learn to identify, assess and cultivate prospective donors to build their own planned giving program.

Speaker(s):
Sarah Javier, Ashley Holmes

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

Whether you are managing space, providing direct animal care, running calls for service or strategically planning for the future of your shelter, saving lives is unquestionably difficult. It can be even more challenging when managing a team in conflict, with underlying bias or competing narratives. It"s physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. How do you make certain that everyone feels heard without compromising your initiatives or strategic direction? How do you ensure that your program is built from a foundation that honors diversity and inclusion? In this session, we"ll talk about navigating big feelings, the value in validation, and strategies to employ when faced with opposing positions and philosophies. We will also touch on program development"s critical components to ensure sustained practices that support diversity, equity and inclusion.This session is sponsored by Maddie"s Fund.

Speaker(s):
April Moore, Kimberly Washington

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 12:30 PM – 12:55 PM MT

Planning out a road map and having an effective mission statement are vital priorities for every animal welfare organization. Your mission statement binds and unites every person in your organization, whether they’re operations staff, volunteers, veterinary professionals or leadership. In this session, you'll learn how to build and implement a comprehensive strategic plan involving team members, leadership and stakeholders to provide a road map for lifesaving in your community. This plan will be the basis for all your lifesaving efforts as you strive for results and build lifesaving change. In this session, you'll learn how to "live" your organization's plan to help lead your team through budget processes, controversy, evolving change and even crises.

Speaker(s):
Paula Powell

01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Even though more dogs than cats enter shelters each year, in 2019 more than two of every three animals not leaving the shelter alive were cats. It can be challenging to balance resources, programs and marketing among all animals in a mixed-species shelter. But cats often receive less attention, despite being the species most in need of significant lifesaving change. This session will cover all aspects of cat advocacy as we look at some strategies that work well for dogs and provide cat-centric alternatives. We’ll also discuss cat lifesaving from a municipal shelter perspective and programs implemented to help community cats. We recommend this session for leadership, program staff, and development and marketing personnel who want to learn how to create equity for cats to increase lifesaving at mixed-species shelters that do not yet have robust cat programs in place. Self-proclaimed "dog people" are especially encouraged to attend!

Speaker(s):
Stephanie Muller-Simpson, Rene Vasquez

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

The term "community engagement" is used widely across the country in the animal welfare industry, but the definition varies depending on who you ask. The broader definition is that community engagement is a mindset or philosophy you take with you on every call you work. This session is intended to shift the perspective of animal control and animal services officers about what community engagement really is and challenge the narrative surrounding traditional, enforcement-based animal control. When an officer prioritizes positive relationships with community members and can properly navigate the blurry line between cruelty and neglect, that officer will save more lives. The presenter will share expert strategies for engaging effectively with your community and embracing a proactive approach to public safety and lifesaving.

Speaker(s):
Nick Walton

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

We often focus on how to get that next gift but forget to thank our current donors and supporters in the process. It's important to remember to thank supporters, who have opened their hearts to help save more lives. Simply acknowledging a donation, no matter how big or how small, boosts supporters' confidence and encourages them to continue supporting your organization. This multi-level, interactive presentation will focus on donor stewardship basics. You'll learn how organizations like yours can easily integrate effective recognition and stewardship tactics to help retain donors and strengthen relationships.

Speaker(s):
Kim Jensen, Gina Barker

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

Henry Ford once said, "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." Dallas Animal Services, Dallas Pets Alive! and Spay Neuter Network have been working together to reimagine how to provide services to people with pets and keep pets with their families. In this session, the presenters will discuss how a municipal agency, a nonprofit rescue group and a spay/neuter clinic focus on their strengths and work together to fill in service gaps to provide more resources to the Dallas community. They will also talk about how collaboration and technology offer a path forward, based on what they’ve learned during the pandemic. They believe this innovative program will be a model for other cities across the nation.

Speaker(s):
Marian Cannell, Victoria Cowper, Leslie Sans

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

As our industry evolves, we need freedom-based animal welfare leaders who effect change in their organizations and communities — leaders who know their purpose and live it each day. Freedom-centered leaders embrace their values, ethics and self-worth. With this self-knowledge, these leaders recognize that they can inspire creativity and dedication in their workforce by giving people the autonomy to perform the work they believe matters most. In this session, you will learn the difference between freedom-centered and fear-based leadership and the telltale signs that you inspire freedom in the people you lead. You’ll also learn to recognize the personality traits needed to lead in our industry, and you’ll gain the necessary tools to self-monitor controlling habits that disempower employees and hurt the creativity that drives innovation in the animal welfare field.

Speaker(s):
Shelly Simmons

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:00 PM – 01:25 PM MT

To better serve and leverage the community, it’s essential to evaluate the effectiveness of your programs. That’s where data comes in. In this session, the presenters will discuss the surprising (and not so surprising) results of recent Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) research. It will enable you to reflect on your current lifesaving statistics and efforts and consider how you can adjust strategies to better fit the needs of the people in your community.

Speaker(s):
Bethany Heins, Jon Davis

01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

At many shelters, a ringworm outbreak can lead to devastating consequences. However, it doesn’t have to; with proper protocols, ringworm can be safely treated and cured. At the San Francisco SPCA, more than 300 animals with ringworm are saved every year. In 2013, with the goal of saving more lives, the organization created a program called Shelters Preventing Outbreaks of Ringworm through Education (SPORE) to teach other shelters how to better detect, treat and manage ringworm. The presenter will outline research-based protocols in use at the San Francisco SPCA and examine how a variety of shelters and rescue groups can utilize those concepts to save the lives of animals once deemed untreatable.

Speaker(s):
Laura Mullen, CAWA

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Bringing together a town or neighborhood and building excitement about saving community cats' lives can feel like a major challenge for animal welfare organizations, but we're here to help. The presenters will talk about why community organizing and network-building are essential to saving cats' lives and sustaining community cat work. They’ll discuss how community organizing can lay the foundation for highly functional and sustainable lifesaving efforts and what components are critical to building community support. And they will provide examples and actionable items, focusing on cultural competency and inclusivity, that any community, large or small, can use to increase cat lifesaving.

Speaker(s):
Kaitlyn Simmons, Carol Reyes

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Capturing compelling stories about the pets and people you help and effectively showcasing them is how you establish your organizational brand in the community and save more lives. But how do you do that with little or no resources to devote to marketing? In this session, you'll learn how Humane Society Silicon Valley engaged the whole organization in cultivating hundreds of individual stories in one year. Through onboarding strategies, a story engine team, email and social media groups, this organization raised more than $10 million and engaged their community, even in exceptionally challenging times. The presenters will show you how to use the resources you have, harness intra-organization communications efficiently and start small before scaling up, regardless of your organization's size.

Speaker(s):
Alexandra Baggs, Sarah Armes Harwood

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

Do you want to learn how to maximize lifesaving at your shelter by automating processes and improving flow to ensure that animals don’t get “stuck”? This session will be led by two members of the Dallas Animal Services (DAS) leadership team, who built processes and systems to facilitate lifesaving with an intake of 40,000 animals. We will discuss how DAS manages high-volume intake by being strategic. You will learn how the team changed the process from beginning to end to improve efficiencies, reduce cross-contamination, and utilize opportunities for automation to avoid sticking points and save more lives.

Speaker(s):
Jordan Craig, Michael Burk

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 01:30 PM – 01:55 PM MT

As COVID-19 began to spread through the country and devastate the economy, the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS), like so many other shelters, saw a significant increase in people requesting to surrender their pets because of job and home losses. Moreover, LHS learned that COVID-19 had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, immigrant communities and low-wage earners. Enter the Crisis Pet Retention (CPR) Fund. LHS launched the fund to provide resources to pet owners experiencing crises related to poverty, houselessness, job loss, and other system issues and inequities. Within three short months, LHS, pet owners and social service providers in Douglas County felt the impact of this program on the community. In this session, the presenter will discuss the fund in detail and explain why it was created. You’ll leave with an understanding of the kinds of challenging organizational conversations critical to successfully running a program rooted in anti-racism and poverty decriminalization. You’ll also gain insight into your own personal and organizational blind spots, particularly regarding judgment-free service, program accessibility and engagement readiness.

Speaker(s):
Elina Alterman

02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Working in a field as emotionally driven as animal welfare can be challenging, but understanding and discussing these challenges can help. In this session, we'll discuss the traditional difficulties of a nonprofit environment and explore how we can foster and channel emotional intelligence. You'll leave with an understanding of how you can apply simple, proven 12-step principles to help reduce stress, cultivate compassion, promote healthy communication, improve relationships in and out of the office, fulfill personal goals, and ultimately save even more lives.

Speaker(s):
Melissa Treuman

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 2:25 PM MT

Does your poultry law have an exception for the Hmong practice of 30 days of confinement? Are your ordinances unintentionally targeting minority groups in your community? In this session, we will explore why it’s important to know the diverse communities that make up your town, city or county and to learn about their practices and beliefs and how they pertain to animal welfare. How do you connect with those communities and not only explain the legal requirements for animal ownership but also ensure that your legal process and expectations are fair, balanced and unbiased? We often justify our actions as “what’s best for the animal” while not considering what’s best for the humans. The discussion will focus on finding a balance that considers both ends of the leash and attempts to provide a long-term solution for the owner, the pet and the community.This session is sponsored by Maddie"s Fund.

Speaker(s):
Jace Huggins

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

In rural north Florida communities, like many communities throughout the South, cats remain an underserved sheltered population. In these areas, sheltered cats are experiencing high rates of euthanasia and shelter overcrowding due to a lack of financial and medical resources compounded by a prolonged kitten season. Through the collaboration of rural under-resourced shelters, the University of Florida's Veterinary Community Outreach Program and high-volume rescue partners implementing open adoption strategies, geographic and financial barriers to care and adoption are lessened. Simultaneously, these programs are used to maximize veterinary student learning in high-quality, high-volume (HQHV) techniques and cat handling techniques while exposing third- and fourth-year veterinary students to the field of shelter medicine.

Speaker(s):
Meredith Montgomery

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 2:25 PM MT

Proximate leaders are subject matter experts on the challenges facing their communities. Their solutions are often structured around insights only found through lived experiences. And when given the opportunity to lead, proximate leaders are far more capable of finding sustainable solutions for their community of friends, loved ones and neighbors than any outreach effort from an outside organization. CARE is supporting proximate leaders through grants, legal assistance and augmentation of skills. With the help of generous donors, CARE is helping to start several new 501(c)3 animal welfare organizations, all led by proximate leaders of color. In this session, you"ll learn how to find proximate leaders to create innovative changes and systemic change in your community, and how CARE can help.This session is sponsored by Maddie"s Fund.

Speaker(s):
James Evans

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

We humans are creatures, too — creatures of habit, that is. Most of us prefer predictability and stability, both in our personal and our professional lives. When change is introduced but not adequately communicated or managed, it creates a hostile and resistant workplace. But in recent years, because of challenging times and technological advances, most businesses and organizations have been forced to change their operations. In this session, the presenters will talk about how the Norfolk Care and Adoption Center in Virginia experienced an impactful culture shift, from one that resisted change to one that completely embraces and expects it. They'll discuss implementing new programs to adapt to the changing times, increasing community engagement and ways to get stakeholders to buy into recent changes.

Speaker(s):
Michelle Dosson, Annette Ramirez

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:00 PM – 02:25 PM MT

Too often, rescue groups and municipal services are at odds concerning how best to care for community cats. Instead of competing, community cats are infinitely better served through return-to-field (RTF) programs. RTF takes trap-neuter-return (TNR) to the next level, creating direct partnerships between rescue groups and municipal services to increase save rates. This year, Long Beach Animal Care Services reached a save rate of over 90%. During this session, you’ll learn from Christi Metropole of Stray Cat Alliance and Staycee Daines of Long Beach Animal Care Services how to best implement an innovative, lifesaving RTF program, what challenges to expect and how to involve the community.

Speaker(s):
Christi Metropole, Staycee Dains

02:30 PM – 3:15 PM MT

Thursday, June 24, 2021: 02:30 PM – 3:15 PM MT

Kindness, hope and innovation are the heart and soul of our lifesaving efforts and fuel our goal to make the country no-kill by 2025. During the closing session, Best Friends CEO Julie Castle will talk with two exceptional guests about key innovations in our industry, going against traditional convention, how animals connect people, and the importance of leading with kindness and hope. You’ll leave this year’s conference with more courage and compassion to save lives in your community and across the country.

Speaker(s):
Julie Castle, Jane Goodall