Best Friends Professional Development Symposium: Reaching New Heights in Contemporary Animal Services

Presented in Partnership with Southern Utah University (SUU)

September 16–17, 2020

The Best Friends Professional Development Symposium: Reaching New Heights in Contemporary Animal Services is a new dynamic online symposium for animal services professionals and students devoted to lifesaving innovation and revolutionary change for pets and people.

The field of animal welfare is rapidly evolving as animal services organizations become resource centers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated that change. In this creative two-day online event, you’ll learn more about the changes happening in the field and the latest in lifesaving from leading experts.

The symposium is part of a new initiative from Best Friends, presented in partnership with Southern Utah University (SUU). The goal is to develop prestigious academic learning opportunities that will facilitate career paths and clarity in contemporary animal services.

See the schedule.

Presentation topics include:

  • Redefining Animal Services
  • Field Services Moving Forward
  • Keeping Pets with Families
  • Lifesaving as a Community Ethic
  • Leadership for Lifesaving Change
  • Compassionate Badassery
  • Fundraising During Economic Uncertainty
  • What’s the Deal with Cats?
  • Fast-Tracking Pets Through the Shelter System

Isabel Wilkerson credit Joe HensonBIG NEWS! Symposium registrants will have access to a one-hour, private post-symposium live event with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson on October 6. James Evans of C.A.R.E. will facilitate a conversation on her book Warmth of Other Suns, as well as her newest release, Caste. The event is sponsored by Maddie’s Fund® and includes a live 30-minute keynote and Q&A with Isabel.


The registration cost is $155 and includes access to all event presentations, as well as bonus in-depth presentations after the event.

You’ll also get a virtual goody bag that includes:

  • A free one-month trial to the Best Friends Vet Access app      
  • A 20% discount to the Best Friends online store and more (Stay tuned for details.)
  • A free one-year subscription to Eusoh, a community pet health plan
  • The Rescue™ Disinfectants Pandemic Tool Kit from Virox Animal Health
  • Special discounts at Spray Master Technologies and Shor-line

Earn a continuing education credit (CEU) and academic credits

Your successful participation in the symposium will result in one Southern Utah University continuing education credit (CEU) and one certificate of completion (80% minimum attendance at the live online event is required).

Plus, if you choose, you can earn three professional development (PRODEV) credits that can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree or master of interdisciplinary studies (MIS), master of public administration (MPA) or master of business administration (MBA) at SUU. This option offers a significant cost savings to those with educational goals.

To earn your PRODEV credits, you will need to pay an additional registration course cost of $273 and complete an application. Please note that this discounted tuition rate is available only through approved SUU Professional Development & Leadership partner programs. Best Friends Animal Society is an approved partner. An application and additional coursework will be required. Learn more here.

And learn about more opportunities with Southern Utah University here.

Sponsored by:
Maddie's Fund logo   Wellness logo   Fresh Step logo