2014 Conference

This is the 2014 conference overview with information describing the conference speakers as well as the conference courses.  If you have any questions about any of this information please contact us.

Presented by Sid Price, CPBT-KA, CPBC

Overview: The Making Choices seminar series is focused on exploring the fundamental principles of learning and behavior, and the behavior change technology known as applied behavior analysis. All animals change their behavior due to experience, i.e., they learn, which gives this course trans-species, and interdisciplinary relevance to all professionals working with behavior.  Three topics are presented with informative slides, illustrative videos and some participant activities. As a result of attending this seminar, participants will be better able to teach learners effectively and humanely.

Presentation 1: The Significance of Behavior Change Science and Functional Assessment of Behavior

Behavior is not something an animal “has” but rather something it “does”, given certain conditions. When we think problem behaviors are due to something inside the animal, we naturally consider it the animal’s problem.  When we think problem behaviors are due to the conditions in which the behavior occurs, we change the conditions, that part of behavior we can do something about.  In this presentation, the significance of behavior science is discussed and a model for assessing how conditions set the occasion for and reinforce problem behaviors is explained. This model, called functional assessment, reveals answers to the three fundamental behavior-change questions: What (identify the problem behavior in observable, unambiguous terms); when (predict the conditions under which the problem behavior occurs); and, why (what purpose does it serve for the animal).

Presentation 2: Procedures for Changing Operant Behavior

Learning is defined as behavior change due to experience, i.e., contact with the environment. The ability to change what we do is selected by the outcomes, or consequence of every behavior. Also, events and conditions that occur before we behave, called antecedent events, also influence what behaviors we choose to do. With thoughtfully arranged antecedents and strong, positive consequences, animals can be taught to behave successfully in human care. In this presentation, the basic technology of teaching/training is explained. Topics include three classes of antecedent strategies, and consequence procedures to increase or decrease behavior, effectively and humanely.

Presentation 3: The Ethical Hierarchy of Intervention

Many forces conspire to make effectiveness the sole measure of success of a training program. Factors like our client’s desperation, the animal’s quality of life, and even the dynamics of a professional work-for-pay relationship create the pressure cooker that fosters an exclusive “eye on the prize” or “as long as it works” focus for many professionals. In this session, we will go beyond effectiveness by adding another measure to our success criteria, that is, the process by which we achieve effectiveness. This second criterion is embraced in the concept “most positive, least intrusive” effective intervention, which has protected children participating in special education programs for almost 35 years, and is also referred to in law and medicine. By implementing this standard, we will become more thoughtful about the path we take to effective training outcomes, increasing the likelihood that we will be maximally effective and humane.

Presented by Lisa Gunter

Previous research from the Canine Science Collaboratory has uncovered the influence of breed labeling on perceptions, adoptions and length of stay for shelter dogs. What if instead of guessing about the breeds of shelter dogs we used science to inform our labeling practices? Could this be of benefit to dog adopters? In this presentation, we’ll be discussing the use of the MARS Wisdom Panel to identify the breeds of shelter dogs and the preliminary results of its effect on lengths of stay and return rates at three different shelters in the US.

Presented by April Harris

How hard could it be to source pets for an adoption program from animal shelters in an area that takes in nearly 160,000 pets a year? Harder than you think! Navigating different shelter populations with different policies and procedures can be a challenge. Establishing strong relationships with municipal agencies, public figures and shelter employees is the first step to saving the animals that your organization wants to help. The Found Animals Foundation sources thousands of animals from five different agencies each year for placement through our Adopt & Shop retail adoption stores and our Kitten Foster Project. Find out how we assess and select animals, manage transport, maintain our kennels and reduce length of stay.

Presented by Lisa Gunter

What exactly is a pit bull, and how confident are you in the breed labeling methods at your shelter? New research confirms that how you label your available dogs not only matters, but whether you use breed labels on adoptable dogs can make a significant difference in perceived attractiveness, adoptions and shelter length of stay for pit bull-type dogs. This presentation will detail the findings of our most recent breed labeling studies from the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University (with exciting updates from our work over the past year) – and, most importantly, how you can apply this research to improve perceptions and the experiences of pit-bull type dogs in your shelter.

Presented by Peggy Weigle, Bridget Lindquist, Misha C. Goodman, & Harvey Yocum

The past decade has brought amazing changes to the world of animal sheltering. Our techniques for working with owners, caring for animals, and reaching out to our communities continue to evolve. What does this evolution look like in New Mexico? What new techniques and standards of care have come into the state and what old standards have been thrown out? In this panel presentation, animal welfare leaders from around the state—some who have worked to improve New Mexican animals lives for years and some who are new-comers to this state—will discuss the good, the bad, and the changing in New Mexico animal sheltering.

Presented by Jodi L. Buckman

Shelter Animals Count is a new, collaborative initiative formed by a diverse group of organizations focused on creating and sharing a national database of sheltered animal statistics, providing facts and enabling insights that will help shelters save lives. This workshop will:

      • Review the basics of quality data collection in an animal shelter
      • Explore the basic data matrix, a nationally recognized tool for data collection and sharing, and
      • Introduce the national database and its powerful reporting tools, demonstrating how the national database could help your organization save more lives.

We hope you’ll join us for this workshop, and ultimately chose to join shelters from across the country in the national database! Together – we can turn data into more lives saved!

Presented by Armando Vargas & Yuri Pryor

We know that in shelter and rescue work, healthy animals have the best chance of being placed in adoptive homes quickly, leading to better live release rates and more animals served overall. But, how do you ensure your organization can keep animals at their healthiest? Join Armando Vargas and Yuri Pryor, seasoned Animal Care Managers from Animal Humane, as they cover the most important aspects of standards of care in shelter to prevent illness outbreak. Their presentation will cover everything from building effective protocols for vaccination, sanitation and outbreak control, to daily monitoring for health and capacity for care, and how to keep staff and volunteers motivated and focused on care protocols.

Presented by Misha C. Goodman

Animal facilities such as pet shops, boarding kennels, grooming shops, doggie day cares, pet sitting services, breeders, obedience classes and the like exist all over New Mexico. Very little regulation or standards exist to ensure the humane treatment of animals and the protection of the public consumer. This workshop will address investigative techniques, expectations, permit requirements and setting standards of care that officers can use to bringing facilities into the 21st century.

Presented by Phil Carter

Equines (horses, donkeys, and mules) are a frequently overlooked piece of the national humane infrastructure puzzle. However, increased awareness of the plight of New Mexico horses has produced huge accomplishments in the past ten years to ensure quality of life for these animals. Phil Carter, Equine Campaign Manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico (apnm.org), will discuss positive developments for New Mexican horses through public-private partnerships between humane facilities and federal/state agencies, forward-thinking legislative initiatives, and proactive humane programs for free-roaming horses on public and tribal lands. Additionally, Carter will speak on opportunities to improve the state’s humane network for equines.

This course is sponsored by Animal Arts and presented by Heather E. Lewis, AIA, NCARM

The design of an animal’s environment within the shelter can influence outcomes positively or negatively. No matter what your budget, you can renovate or fine tune the design of your dog and cat spaces to safeguard their health, prevent stress, and promote good behavior. Learn about a range of strategies that can lead to higher adoption rates in this seminar.

Presented by Debera A. Butler, DVM

New Mexico is seeing an increase in Mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. With this increase has come an increase in zoonotic and vector borne diseases. During this lecture we will discuss some of the key zoonotic diseases seen in NM. We will focus specifically on the clinical signs, transmission, prevention and treatment options for Plague, Bartonella and Heartworm disease.

Presented by Debera A. Butler, DVM

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex and Parvo are a huge concern in both the shelter and private veterinary communities. During this lecture we will discuss the current trends in CIRDC including the outbreak of the newest canine flu virus, H3N2. We will also look at how Parvo is continuing to evolve and the latest information regarding Parvo 2C

Presented by Ann Campbell

Communication – whether casual or formal — is a two-way street, and it can be a tricky business! Miscommunication of a message can lead to hurt feelings, misunderstanding, and even all-out war! Come explore what makes communication effective, including how seemingly clear messages get garbled, and how it’s ultimately up to the speaker to make sure their audience – the listener – understands the intended message. We’ll cover both formal and informal communication, and talk about why both types are equally important when communicating with the public and with staff.

Presented by Amy Mills

We all wish we could change certain things about the way people in our communities treat animals. Depending on where you live you may wish people would spay or neuter their pets, or adopt rather than purchasing purebred animals, or stop the backyard breeding. Changing people’s behavior may seem impossible, but that’s exactly the goal of social change movements and organizations. In the context of a social change movement, all problems, even big, hairy, challenging ones like animal homelessness, have solutions. In this talk, we’ll have a conversation about how social change works. Using examples from outside of animal welfare, we’ll discuss the sometimes-surprising strategies that transform attitudes and behavior at a community level, and learn how to apply best practices from social change movements in an animal welfare context.

Presented by Nellie Goetz, DVM

Do you feel like all of the recent spay/neuter research has you confused about whether or not you are doing the right thing? Do you find yourself defending your practices to other veterinarians? Have clients or partner organizations asked you about alternative spay/neuter techniques? With the plethora of research recently about spay/neuter (particularly early spay/neuter), it can be difficult to differentiate between what is important and what is less so. Also, alternative surgical and non-surgical options to traditional spay/neuter will be discussed.

Presented by Alexandra Protopopova, PhD, CPDT-KA

One of the leading preventable causes of death for a dog is euthanasia at an animal shelter. In fact, approximately every 10th dog currently lives at an animal shelter and only a portion will make it out alive. In this talk, I will describe the research on how we can improve adoption rates through behavioral training. First, I will describe what morphology and behavior of the dogs adopters are looking for when selecting a dog from the shelter. Then, I will demonstrate which training programs have been empirically validated to reduce inappropriate behavior both in and out of the kennel and, subsequently, how these behavioral programs influence adoption rates.

Presented by Emily Walker, DVM

We all know cats can be tough customers to work with in a clinic setting. This talk will explore ways to make working with feline patients easier and less stressful for all involved. We will cover handling techniques and restraint methods that apply to handling cats in scenarios most often encountered by those working in a hospital or clinic. We will include restraint aids, both new and old, and briefly cover safe and effective sedation protocols for feline patients of all ages and risk categories.

Presented by Paul O’Neill

The City of Midland Animal Services Division has lowered its rate of euthanasia for the last seven consecutive years. We have been able to do this through building relationships with rescue groups, starting a non-profit adoption agency, partnering with PetSmart Charities and, most importantly, changing our attitude. This entertaining presentation will cover our many failures and struggles that we have had to work through and the positive results that have happened and continue to happen. The presentation will be made using an internet based presentation platform and will be highly interactive with questions and comments from the attendees taken throughout the talk.

Presented by Todd Stosuy

On a daily basis, animal care and control officers respond to a range of calls for service in low income areas of their communities. These calls allow the officer to provide education and resources to pet owners firsthand. Far too often, however, animal care and control agencies are punitive in nature and spend a majority of time enforcing laws, issuing citations, and delivering humane notices ordering compliance. What would happen if instead of taking a law enforcement approach, officers spent their time providing educational information and resources to underprivileged pet owners? This session will focus on one agency’s day-to-day operation working within low income areas of their community. Officers provide information and resources in an attempt to resolve issues without enforcement action while engaging community members and understanding their specific needs.

Presented by Karen Medicus

Success through collaboration…that’s the principle of collective impact, a unified approach used by organizations to enact positive change and achieve a common goal: saving animal lives. Since 2007, the ASPCA Partnership has worked with animal welfare organizations in communities across the country to achieve significant lifesaving results for animals. The key to success is cooperation, a willingness to come together uniting your community toward a shared goal. Hear about specific programs that work and how you can start them in your community.

Presented by Susie Lim & Claire Sterling

What does it take to craft an irresistible funding request? If you’re thinking about applying for a grant from the ASPCA or from another animal welfare funder, this session is for you. You will learn practical strategies and tips on preparing for the application process, building a strong case for support, articulating clear goals and milestones, overcoming grant writing barriers and pitfalls to avoid, and how to think like your funder to craft a compelling request that stands out. But getting a grant is only the beginning of what can become a great partnership with a funder. Communicating effectively with the funder and thoroughly fulfilling all grant requirements after an award is received can help lay the groundwork for additional support from a variety of sources. Learn about concrete tips and tools for successfully reporting quantitative and qualitative outcomes back to the funder, promoting your funded work to the public, and tracking your grant expenditures.

jancarson-fe800711bffb0bc1eaf43d5a530a9a3dBoard of Directors, Pecos People for Animal Welfare Society

Jane Carson has been rescuing animals since her childhood days in Greenville, South Carolina, but it was not until she retired as an Army Nurse and moved to New Mexico that she became involved in animal welfare organizations. “I have learned animal rescue work by the seat of my pants and the school of hard knocks. When I joined PAWS in 2004, we were doing it all–rescuing, rehabbing, rehoming, humane education, and spay/neuter.” In 2013 the PAWS Board of Directors decided to concentrate resources where they felt that they could make the most significant difference for the pets in San Miguel County. It is not complicated. Every dog or cat altered is one less animal adding to the overpopulation. Spay/neuter, spay/neuter, spay/neuter!

Volunteer, San Juan Animal League

Kristin Langenfeld lives and works in northwestern New Mexico, where she also volunteers with the San Juan Animal League. She has been a part of League activities and programs for over 15 years, is a past president, and has served several terms on the Board of Directors. Kristin has been instrumental in the development of a number of League programs designed to meet the growing and changing animal welfare needs in San Juan County. In 2012, she organized the expansion of SJAL’s affordable Spay/Neuter Program and manages the program as it evolves and grows in its service to owned dogs and cats in the community. She has also been part of San Juan County’s only trap/neuter/return group since its founding in 2008 and helped to make it a funded SJAL Program in 2013. The Spay/Neuter and TNR programs work together to provide services for 100-150 animals each month.

sidprice-ae1f55075bc01dee737dd4c1c071d46bFounder, Avian Ambassadors

Sid Price is the owner and founder of Avian Ambassadors based in Tijeras, New Mexico. Sid presents Avian Ambassadors’ Flights of Education programs and is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and meetings around the USA and Europe on the subject of the ethical application of behavior science to bird training.

A life-long involvement in the entertainment industry as a designer has enabled Sid to design and build show production and animal release systems in use at major facilities across the USA.

Sid is the chairman of the International Avian Trainers Certification Board (IATCB), a past-president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) and served on the board of directors of IAATE from 2003 – 2013.

“As awareness of the importance of science-based practice grows in our behavior work with animals, quality assurance becomes a central concern. Sid Price is a sure bet for accurate information and innovative, effective and humane application of behavior science to improving the lives of animals in our care.” – Susan G. Friedman, PhD

caseyknox-87afed95e66643e94a842a09d4ad48dcTechnical Support Analyst, Mars Veterinary

Casey Knox, DVM, HonBS, is a Technical Support Analyst with Mars Veterinary for pet owners and veterinarians with questions regarding genetic testing, and contributes to research & development for the company. Her prior experience includes practice as a small animal veterinarian in the Portland metro area, and as a mixed animal veterinarian in central Oregon. She received her DVM from Oregon State University. She has special interests in client education’s role in preventative medicine and the human-animal bond, immune and endocrine disease, and dermatology. In her spare time she enjoys organic gardening, hiking with her family, and all kinds of crafting.

jodibuckman-22f60809d01550932e4e44fd54775787Senior Director of Community Outreach, ASPCA

Jodi Lytle Buckman is a Senior Director of Community Outreach for the ASPCA. She works directly with the Senior Vice President of Community Outreach on special projects and as a policy advisor. On behalf of the ASPCA, Jodi also works in partnership with other national organizations. Her service to national partners includes working closely with the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators as Chair of the Certification Council, the National Federation of Humane Societies as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board, and Shelter Animals Count, where she serves as Chair of the Board. With over 25 years of experience working in nonprofit animal welfare and protection, she’s served as an Executive Director for shelters in Maine, Minnesota and Ohio, and worked nationally for the American Humane Association as their Director of Animal Programs. Jodi’s focus and expertise is in board and organizational development, strategic planning and nonprofit administration. She achieved the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) designation in 2006.

With her husband, David Lytle, children, Sam and Zoë, and canine companions Skye and Sophie; Jodi lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

armandovargas-6ffeb3ff1ae10c5c08ce0b62b6186df2Animal Humane New Mexico

Armando Vargas joined the Animal Humane family back in April of 2006, and is one of two Animal Care Supervisors. When he is not at the shelter he loves to spend time with his family consisting of a wife, two daughters, a son and a cat.

yuripryor-3a59e31862f88d3ae42db28cb3376191Animal Humane New Mexico

Yuri Pryor joined Animal Humane’s team in July of 2006 as an Animal Care Attendant. He was then promoted to Animal Care Supervisor the summer of 2008. He has 2 dogs (both pit bull mixes), and 2 cats (a classic orange tabby and a black domestic short hair). A native of New Mexico he enjoys playing bass guitar in a punk rock band, cooking, and drawing (whenever he has any free time). He attributes his passion for animals to his mother who has fostered and rescued several dozen cats from the shelter in his home town of Espanola, and to his grandfather who was a veterinarian.

Goodman2015-3941897392fb5623cb96db6e2b761f7aDirector, Bernalillo County Animal Care Services

Misha Goodman was born in Los Angeles, California. She has worked in various animal related industries prior to taking a job in 1983 with the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation as an Animal Control Officer. Through her efforts and hard work she was promoted to a supervisory lieutenant position and directed operations for a large geographical area in Los Angeles. Her concentrations were on intensive neglect and cruelty including, animal fighting, hoarding, pet shops, breeders, circuses, livestock and ritual killing investigations. She produced the first humane education and assisted living visitation programs for the City of Los Angeles and worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District as an instructor in animal care and control.

In 1993, Misha took a job as the Director of Iowa City Animal Services. She overhauled the operations and improved public relations, officer response time, reduced euthanasia, assisted in forming a non-profit foundation arm to increase treatment of sick and injured animals. She introduced new software to increase operational efficiencies, track financial transactions and allow accurate reporting of statistical information. Misha came to Albuquerque in October of 2014 to take the position as Director of Bernalillo County Animal Care Services. She is currently assisting in the design of a new 17,000 SF shelter and resource facility slated to open in winter of 2016 that will be Bernalillo County’s first animal shelter. Misha and her spouse have five adopted children and two adopted dogs. They have been human foster parents for the past 13 years and have fostered over 30 children.

Heather Lewis-Partner-344b242f8bf3170b3c78c0729b45a709Animal Arts

Heather E. Lewis, AIA, NCARB is a principal of Animal Arts, an architectural firm that has exclusively designed animal shelters and veterinary hospitals since 1979. The firm has designed projects ranging in size from 600 to 85,000 square feet in 40 states, Canada, and overseas, and has earned 39 awards for architectural excellence from Veterinary Economics magazine. Heather was the project manager for the improvements to the Animal Humane New Mexico campus that included the renovation and addition to the intake building and the design of the new adoption building. She was also the project manager for the Denver Animal Shelter, the first LEED Platinum animal shelter in the nation. She is currently working on projects for the Dumb Friends League and Seattle Humane Society. She has spoken about practical and innovative design solutions at Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expos, Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conferences, the Wild West Veterinary Conference, the American Association of Equine Practitioners Conference, the American Association of Feline Practitioners Conference, and Texas Unites for Animals Conferences.

philcarter-4607457684bdfb9f6c618fe1a70212beEquine Campaign Manager, Animal Protection of New Mexico

Phil Carter has served as the Equine Campaign Manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico since 2010 and has worked to develop resources for New Mexico’s equine and equestrian community including the Equine Protection Fund (helpourhorses.org) and Horse Shelter Rescue Fund. Phil has been involved in efforts to assist horses including the Equine Stakeholders Working Group convened by Governor Martinez, the Native America Humane Society, and the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife campaign for tribal wild and free-roaming horses. Phil has raised horses since his childhood in rural Missouri.

hyokum-5cb360c08ad40cd9b151a0c514fa7996Humane Society of Taos, Inc./Stray Hearts Animal Shelter

Harvey Yocum has been a resident Taos for 2 years and has been coming to Taos for 40 plus years. His daughter and her family reside in Taos and have been residents for 15 years. Harvey was raised in Silver City, NM and he and his wife, Norma reside in Los Cordovas with their 3 rescue dogs, 2 rescue cats, and 14 chickens. They have been married for 44 years.

Harvey has an extensive background in business with an emphasis on re-inventing troubled businesses and getting them back on track. He spent several years in corporate America managing branch locations, regional management covering multiple locations, and developing teams to help businesses run more efficiently and with cohesiveness. Harvey has served as an instructor, consultant, and mentor on these methods. He and his wife are entrepreneurs and have owned and operated several small businesses. Harvey has been an animal advocate and been actively involved in animal issues throughout his life. Serving on several non-profit boards, he has had the opportunity to become educated in the operation and management of 501c3 non-profit organizations. Harvey has been involved in two (2) non-profits that were started from scratch and all of them are active and growing.

Harvey, along with the Board of Directors, developed a vision for a different kind of shelter. Innovation, training, established protocols and procedures, and a proactive approach to everything from sanitation to adoption. Harvey states, “The shelter system in America is broken and for us to create an environment of care and compassion, with the objective to give every animal a chance to live, we must take a different approach.” He continues, “once an animal crosses the threshold at Stray Hearts, they are in our care and we have a responsibility for their health, welfare, and safety. This is first and foremost in the daily activities at the shelter. It’s all about the animals; not about the people.”

Harvey’s first priority was to change the existing culture of fear that has plagued the Shelter. All of the staff and volunteers have been provided with his basic rules: “I don’t do drama. I don’t do gossip. Embrace change. Show respect for the animals and people and always look for common ground to help improve troubled relationships. My door is always open and everyone has access to me at any time to get the ‘real story’, so there is no need for mis-information to be going about.”

Harvey is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and is actively involved in Native American issues. He depends on his heritage and culture to help keep him grounded in what is most important in life.

Ann Campbell-fb6a10d80211ab696ba6905d24b129f8Director of Sales & Marketing, PetData, Inc.

A veteran of the communications field, Ann has conducted numerous workshops and seminars on communication planning and media/public relations. Ann began her work in Animal Welfare in 1998, and has worked for several organizations including Petfinder.com and the Champaign County, Illinois, Humane Society. She has also served on the board of the Illinois Animal Welfare Association. She currently works with PetData as director of sales and marketing.

Accredited in public relations (APR), Ann received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications-Public Relations from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Originally from Downers Grove, Illinois, Ann is a Texas transplant. She lives in Dallas with her husband Brian, and their super-cool white German shepherd, Bolt.

alexandriap-1Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, PhD, CPDT-KA is an applied animal behavior scientist. The goal of her research is to increase adoptions, and decrease euthanasia and return rates in animal shelters through the development of targeted training programs. Other research includes decreasing problem behavior in pet dogs, as well as studying pet dogs as animal models for human psychological disorders. Sasha’s research has been presented in numerous scientific conferences and published in a peer-reviewed journals. Sasha holds a PhD in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida and spends her day conducting behavioral research, teaching undergraduate classes in Behavior Analysis and Animal Behavior, mentoring veterinary students in behavioral research methods, and cuddling with her adopted bull terrier named Sonya.

Emily Walker_Headshot-d2aaa55039d3bb0b8df8a9ef66c04f03Owner, Albuquerque Cat Clinic

Dr. Emily Walker discovered her love of cats in the early years of veterinary school. She became the President of the Student Chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and completed her preceptorship at a feline-exclusive practice. She opened Albuquerque Cat Clinic in 2004, and continues to enjoy working with all of her feline patients. She finds it exciting to develop a haven for cat lovers and their feline companions, and values the bonds she forms with both clients and patients.

Dr. Walker is currently a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She has served as a board member for Animal Humane New Mexico, Southwest Veterinary Symposium and the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association. She also contributes to the profession by serving on the Legislative Committee of the NMVMA, and frequently travels to Santa Fe to support or oppose legislation in the state that affects those practicing veterinary medicine.

Animal Services Manager, City of Midland, TX

Paul O’Neill has been the Animal Services Manager for the City of Midland for almost 8 years. Prior to this position, he worked at the Brazos Animal Shelter, in Bryan, TX for five years. An open admission humane society that contracted with two cities and a county to shelter their stray animals, the Brazos shelter also partnered with the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, exposing Mr. O’Neill to some very unique programs while he was working for the shelter. The Midland Animal Services Division is a traditional municipal animal shelter, with field officers and shelter staff. Through an attitude change, along with ordinance amendments, policy updates, and a focus on building relationships, the Midland Animal Services Division have been able to reduce the amount of euthanasia by close to 50%.

claire_sterling-95e480f50dd2a7442be040475132fe56Director of Grant Strategies, ASPCA

In her position as Director, Grant Strategies, Claire works to increase the ASPCA’s grantmaking effectiveness and transparency by helping the Grants department to implement and promote best and promising practices in philanthropy; form partnerships with other philanthropic organizations; build the capacity of ASPCA applicant and grantee organizations by sharing effective fundraising and nonprofit management strategies and resources; develop grant metrics for measurable outcomes; develop and oversee a grants evaluation process; and communicate the department’s work and grantmaking strategies to internal and external ASPCA stakeholders.

Claire has extensive experience in philanthropy, having worked for 14 years at the Foundation Center in a variety of roles, including fundraising, database management and data analysis, and web design. She also served on the national advisory board of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) for 4 years, and is currently program co-chair for the American Evaluation Association’s Nonprofits & Foundations Topical Interest Group. Her personal blog, The Lion’s Share, provides philanthropy-related resources for organizations that better the lives of animals.

susielim-942ee930af912382da87c8a2342ed116Administrator of Grants Technology and Training, ASPCA

Susie Lim joined the ASPCA in August 2014 as an Administrator of Grants Technology and Training. In past years, she worked for ALIGN, Center for Working Families, Citi Foundation, Tides Foundation, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), former New York City Council Member Eva Moskowitz and Habitat for Humanity. She holds over eight years of extensive experience in managing grant-making processes and operations as well as having a programmatic background on HIV/AIDS, education and housing. She is a native New Yorker and graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Political Science.

Susie came to the ASPCA because of her enormous love of animals and her affinity for database work. She was a top-rated dog sitter with Rover.com and raised two Chihuahuas which developed her specialty in caring for small terriers. She is a steering committee member of the Asian Women Giving Circle and enjoys reading science fiction, running and volunteering for good causes in her spare time.

Harris-with-CocoPuff-7889077ab4c3d79b095c5ec6c5feb947Chief Program Officer, Found Animals Foundation

April Harris serves as Chief Program Officer for the Found Animals Foundation, a nonprofit geared toward reducing euthanasia through sustainable business models. With over ten years’ experience improving outcomes for shelter pets, April has been instrumental in developing and promoting best practices in animal welfare at Salt Lake County Animal Services, Best Friends Animal Society, and other nationally-recognized organizations. Her credits include implementing lifesaving cat, kitten, and pitbull terrier-focused programs, increasing revenue through grants and in-shelter retail, successfully negotiating over 30 animal ordinance updates in local municipalities, and obtaining “no-kill status” for Salt Lake County. April is a proud mother of a pack of small rescue dogs.

SusanFriedman-7983f7f326df94bd0a47c3de1b8fabb2Utah State University

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She has helped pioneer the cross-species application of behavior analysis to animals, using the same humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology that has been so effective with human learners. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 13 languages. She gives seminars on animal learning at conferences and zoos around the world, is a member of Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expo faculty, and teaches yearly hands-on animal training workshops with Steve Martin (www.naturalencouters.org). Susan is the Parrot Division Chairperson of IAABC, the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of American Humane Association Film and TV Unit, and a member of IAATE, ABMA, AZA, and ABAI. Susan’s acclaimed on-line course, Living and Learning with Animals for behavior professionals, has provided even wider dissemination of effective, humane behavior change practices to students in over 30 countries (www.behaviorworks.org).

Bridget Lindquist-ccb30a0d6167362f6e28a6538f4377ffExecutive Director, Española Valley Humane Society

Bridget Lindquist joined the Española Valley Humane Society (EVHS) in the summer of 2005.  She inherited an overwhelmed shelter staff in an aging facility with a live release rate of 56%.  Those problems were exacerbated by harsh realities in Española.  One in five residents is below the poverty line or just above it.  Heroin addition is pervasive and multi-generational.  Slightly more than 10,000 people live in Española and every year 4,400 animals were brought to EVHS.

Always open to new challenges, Bridget recruited highly skilled talent and “incentivized” the staff to increase adoptions and spay/neuter.  EVHS continued to accept every animal, regardless of how old, sick, neglected or abused.  These days the live release rate is 80%, mostly because of record-breaking efforts at offsite adoption events. 

Given the widespread poverty in Española, spay/neuter surgeries are free for residents.  Last year EVHS altered 4,360 animals.  Intakes have steadily declined in recent years, and in 2013, the shelter received just over 3,600 animals.

Bridget is most proud of Pet Amigos, a door-to-door program to help EVHS better learn how to serve the community.  Shelter staff provide information, education, and free food, collars, tags, and other rudimentary necessities.  The goal is to introduce residents to EVHS and, where appropriate, to ensure pets stay with their families.

Jayne Sage-60b890821e2c05fbc7d96ff5da4b6dbbPresident, Street Cat Hub, Inc.

Jayne began working with community cat Trap-Neuter-Return as a volunteer with Street Cat Companions of New Mexico Animal Friends in 2006. During her volunteer work, Jayne devoted much of her time to locating and mapping the location of Albuquerque’s many feral cat colonies and became very familiar with the feral populations of the city. She joined the Best Friends/PetSmart Charities collaboration for community cats with the Animal Welfare Department in 2012. She also continues to help organize New Mexico Animal Friend’s TNR volunteers. She holds a Bachelor’s of Education from Ohio State University.

kmedicus-3049653616c3e28ad90e2e8121d59562Senior Director, ASPCA Community Initiatives, Outreach Contact for New Mexico & Colorado

Karen Medicus leads the ASPCA Partnership initiative that launched in 2007. This initiative involves thirteen community partnerships across the United States focused on increasing live outcomes and reducing shelter intake. Karen started cleaning kennels for a small humane society in 1976 to supplement her freelance photography and has since served in nearly every capacity of an animal shelter or animal control agency. As a CEO, Karen led two major shelter turnarounds – including successful capital campaigns – for the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in Florida and the Humane Society of Austin and Travis County in Texas. While in Austin, she landed a $3.8 million Maddie’s Fund grant – the third such grant ever awarded to a shelter. Karen was also major gifts officer in the southwest region for HSUS and vice president of partner relations for Petfinder.com.

Karen is past president of the Florida Animal Control Association, Florida Action for Animals, Texas Federation of Humane Societies and has served on the boards of a number of organizations including the National Animal Control Association, Florida Federation of Humane Societies, Texas Humane Legislation Network, and local chapters in Florida and Texas of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has presented workshops at NACA, CHAMP, AHA, HSUS and at state conferences around the country. In 2003 she co-authored the HSUS’s Fundraising for Animal Care Organizations. Karen is a mediator, MBTI® and Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and a certified Dialogue Education fellow.

Goetz1-d751d00453af5676041f8122dbbb8ec0Owner, Spay/Neuter Solutions, LLC

Dr. Goetz is the owner of Spay/Neuter Solutions, LLC, a consulting company designed to help organizations get the best from their spay/neuter practices. She previously served as the Medical Director of the National Spay/Neuter Response Team at Humane Alliance from 2012-2014. She received her veterinary degree from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and is currently completing her Master’s in Public Health through Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves on the Development Committee for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, as well as the Veterinary Policy Committee for the American Public Health Association. Dr. Goetz has over 10 years of scientific research experience and her current research interests include high-volume spay/neuter research topics and veterinary public health. She currently resides in Asheville with her husband Matt (also a veterinarian), their multitude of animals.

senafitz-6b262c6aa81c1af999eae93ac18d34a1Volunteer, McKinley County Humane Society

Sena Fitzpatrick is a volunteer for McKinley County Humane Society in Gallup, New Mexico.  Retired after teaching for 34 years on the Ramah Navajo reservation, she does outreach on the reservation to help pet owners in getting their dogs and cats “fixed” through the shelter’s low income spay/neuter project.  Sena fosters dogs, helps with the TNR project and is active in horse rescue.


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