2017 Conference

The 2017 New Mexico Humane Conference:

September 14 & 15, 2017 at Embassy Suites – Albuquerque

Vice President, ProLearning, ASPCA©

With nearly twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector – and more than a decade of leadership in animal welfare – B.J. currently oversees the team responsible for the ASPCA’s field-facing communication, including ASPCApro.org, field-facing social media, online learning, and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of companion animals.

B.J.’s professional path has included stints as s a nonprofit executive, college instructor, and campaign press secretary. He’s a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher (CDET) and has training in both mediation and Appreciative Inquiry. He’s a regular speaker on the animal welfare conference circuit and a strong believer that people are the solution, and not the problem.

Texas Tech University

Allie Andrukonis is a current Masters student in the Animal Science Department at Texas Tech University.  She studies animal shelter welfare, with an emphasis on compassion fatigue in animal care employees. Through her research, Allie hopes to first, increase public awareness of compassion fatigue, and second, implement treatment to decrease its prevalence.  Allie graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in both Animal Science and Psychology. Outside of school, Allie enjoys fostering dogs, playing chase with her cat, and selling wedding dresses.

Associate Director, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

A lifelong animal lover, Deb Brinkley rescued her first dog at the age of five, when a dog was dumped on the highway in front of her house. Growing up, her father sectioned off a portion of his workshop to care for rescued dogs. Following this same path as an adult, Deb has been involved in animal rescue for about 20 years. She spent many years working with private rescues and then opened a shelter of her own at her home in Colorado. She simultaneously worked as a caregiver for humans, working as an ambulance medic, and then operating an assisted living home for women living with Alzheimer’s. She has now moved back to taking care of animals full time as the new Associate Director of the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department and operating a new sanctuary for the animals still with her Colorado rescue when she moved.

Texas Tech University

Kelsea Brown is an applied animal behavior scientist and current Ph.D. student in the Animal Science Department at Texas Tech University. Kelsea studies canine behavior, with a focus on sociability. Through her research, she aims to advance our understanding of canine behavior and improve the welfare of animals living in shelters. Kelsea is also a research analyst with National Canine Research Council, where she is responsible for curating their vast, online canine behavior research library. Kelsea earned her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA, and her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from San Jose State University. Beyond dogs and research, Kelsea roasts a lot of vegetables, snuggles with her cats, and watches baseball.

AWD Program Manager, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Julie Buckland began her career in animal welfare in the early nineties at a private shelter. There, animals over 5 years old and all pit bull type dogs were immediately euthanized, in addition to general aggressive population management decisions resulting in euthanasia. This led Julie to develop a passion for animal welfare and animal rights organizations where she has dedicated her time over the years. In 2008, Julie came to the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) where she began her career as an Animal Handler with duties including but not limited to providing general care and adoption counseling to potential adopters. She then transferred to the Veterinary Clinic within AWD where she provided general care, medical treatments, surgical prep and humane euthanasia for severely sick or injured animals. Based on Julie’s demonstrated performance, she was appointed to her current position of AWD Program Manager in September 2013.  Her current focuses are intake prevention of animals and serving as a liaison and transfer coordinator for animals in need.  She is a firm believer in thinking outside the box and evolving her shelter and animal welfare, in general, on a daily basis. Julie cares deeply for all animals, especially those in special need, and has dedicated herself to this worthy initiative.

Companion Animal Behavior & Training Specialist, Santa Fe Humane Society & Animal Shelter

Emily Burlingame is a Companion Animal Behavior & Training Specialist and Co-Director of the Behavior Department at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter with more than 15 years of professional experience working with & training a variety of animals. Before coming out to Santa Fe Emily worked as a Trainer & Operations Supervisor for a private Daycare & Training center in California’s Silicon Valley, as well as many other animal related jobs there.  She is a Graduate of the University of California Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and an emphasis in Animal Behavior where she studied under the renowned Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin. Emily has been Certified Professional Dog Trainer for over 12 years, is a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified CGC Evaluator, contributing writer to Bay Woof magazine, and attends training and behavior conferences regularly across the country.  When she is not at work, she likes to spend time hiking on mountain trails with her retriever-husky mixed breed Zuni and her German Shepherd mix Kona.

Senior Director, Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation, ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center

Kristen Collins, Senior Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation for the ASPCA, oversaw the operation of the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J. At the Center, Collins and her staff designed and implemented behavior modification treatments to reduce fear and anxiety in severely undersocialized, fearful dogs, making adoption possible. The Center’s findings will serve as the basis for a study to be shared with the animal welfare and scientific communities in the near future. Due to the success of the Rehabilitation Center program, the ASPCA has decided to build a permanent facility near Asheville, N.C., scheduled to open its doors in late 2017. There, Collins and her expanded team will focus on saving more lives by continuing to work with behaviorally challenged dogs on-site, conducting new research projects and sharing knowledge with other animal welfare organizations across the country.

Prior to her assignment at the Rehabilitation Center, Collins worked with victims of animal cruelty as part of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team (ACBT), where she conducted specialized behavior evaluations for animals rescued from dog fighting, puppy mill and hoarding situations, collecting information to determine the best outcome, assist with shelter partner placement and provide supporting evidence for prosecution. Collins, along with the ACBT, also played an integral role in the creation of the ASPCA’s first enrichment and behavior modification programs for animals held as evidence during ongoing cruelty cases—an essential aspect of animal rescue operations, as custody proceedings can last for months to years.

Additional activities include conducting animal behavior research, writing and editing articles on animal behavior, and speaking on animal behavior topics at professional and academic conferences. Collins has been interviewed and quoted by publications including Woman’s Day, Parade, Reuters and the New York Post. She also taught an animal-behavior practicum at the University of Illinois and appeared as a guest lecturer for the University of Illinois Animal Sciences Department. Collins, an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB), holds a master’s degree in applied animal behavior from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Karen Dashfield is a shelter veterinarian with 26 years of experience designing disease control programs for shelters, kennels, and wildlife rehabilitators throughout New Jersey. She is the Supervising Veterinarian for the Jefferson Township Municipal Pound and through her Veterinary House call practice she provides consultation and animal care for numerous shelters and rescues including Friends of Ferals, Byram Animal Rescue and Kindness Squad, Shelter Showcase, and Liberty Humane Society. She has served as a Volunteer Medical Director for the Best Friends Animal Society NY Super Adoptions since 2010. Dr. Karen also works closely with the members of the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators and is the recipient of their 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. As the Director of the Sussex County Animal Response Team (CART), she initiated and ran a shelter for Hurricane Katrina Dogs in 2005/2006 that received, re- homed, and reunited over 200 animals. She prepares future animal control officers, shelter workers, and wildlife rehabilitators through her teaching for Career Development Institute, and at local and regional conferences. Karen shares her home with her four dogs, Delilah, Sadie and Pollywog, and Tadpole and a cat named Princess.

Assistant Professor, Anthrozoology, Carroll College

Erica Feuerbacher, M.S., Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPDT-KA is an Assistant Professor of Anthrozoology at Carroll College in Helena, MT.  There she leads the canine program in which students train and foster dogs during the academic year. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Florida under the advisorship of Dr. Clive Wynne in the UF Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab and her Masters in Behavior Analysis under the advisorship of Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, has attended the San Francisco SPCA Dog Trainer Academy, and has worked as a shelter behaviorist. She has published a variety of scientific articles on her research on learning theory and the dog-human relationship. She has taught Principles of Behavior Analysis, Learning and Cognition, Basic and Advanced Canine Training, Canine Science, and Research Methods. She has earned awards for her behavior analytic research on dog behavior. Her research interests center on dog-human social interactions, improving shelter dog welfare, and assessing training techniques.

Cat Program Manager, Austin Pets Alive!

Monica Frenden noticed the stark lack of resources for community cats in rural Illinois and decided to do something about it. In 2008, Monica founded a trap-neuter-return organization that sterilized thousands of cats. To further reduce euthanasia, she pioneered one of the nation’s first, and largest, barn cat programs. In 2012, Monica moved to Texas and joined Austin Pets Alive! where she serves as Cat Program Manager. Since 2012, Monica has led her team to a 40% growth in cat adoptions, helped Austin achieve a citywide 98% live release rate for cats, and oversees the adoption and care of nearly 4,000 cats each year. Her passion for improving the country’s sheltering systems for cats and love of sassy cats helps save even the most challenging of felines.

Shelter Manager, Hobbs Animal Adoption Center

Melissa is the “back bone” of Lea County Animal Transport. She provides her team, both employees and volunteers, with calm, assertive and definitive direction, loads of hope, a great deal of “heart” and, most importantly, a vision of saving lives and moving towards a more humane New Mexico. Melissa was born and raised in Hobbs, New Mexico. She began working at the Hobbs Animal Adoption Center in 2009 as a front desk assistant. But her undeterred determination destined her for more. From the front desk, Melissa advanced to become a Veterinary Assistant at the Hobbs shelter and finally, in early 2014, she accepted the position of Hobbs Animal Adoption Center, Shelter Manager. Since 2014, Melissa has overseen employees and volunteers of both the Hobbs Animal Adoption Center, a government run, open-admission facility, and those of Lea County Humane Society, with its goal of furthering wellness for all animals in Lea County New Mexico. Melissa has managed to merge the goals of these two distinctive but interrelated organizations into a single life-saving trajectory. It is from this shared mission facilitated by Melissa’s leadership and her many long hours that Lea County Animal Transport emerged, has grown and continues to expand.

Part of Melissa’s vision can be attributed to insights gained over the course of her work at the Hobbs shelter. While Melissa was the front desk assistant in 2012, the Hobbs facility was transporting animals in partnership with Petsmart Charities, Rescue Waggin and had decreased their euthanasia rate to approximately 56%. In 2014, Rescue Waggin was no longer an option for Lea County animals because of proximity of receiving shelters and duration of transports. Melissa, who now had moved into the management position, took action and Hobbs began its own transporting. As a result of these experiences, Melissa has developed a keen awareness of the unique barriers to increasing live release rates that impact rural New Mexican shelters in general and Lea County in particular. This knowledge has led to the development of a transport program that is exceptionally responsive to its rural reality …… all this while raising her daughter, her sister, her two cousins, her five rescued dogs and three rescued cats. Melissa truly is an inspiration to many!

Director, Bernalillo County Animal Care Services

Misha Goodman is the Director for Bernalillo County Animal Care Services.  Misha has been working in the animal control and welfare field for over 34 years. She is getting ready to break ground on the new 18,000 square foot Bernalillo County Animal Care and Resource Center.  She has worked on multiple new shelter projects with budgets ranging from one to six million.  Private fund raising as well as government budgets were used to fund these projects.  Misha has served on the board of directors for the National Animal Care and Control Association for the past twelve years.

Misha has five adopted children and two adopted dogs.

Arizona State University

Lisa Gunter, MA, CPDT-KA is a PhD candidate at Arizona State University in the Department of Psychology and conducts her research under the mentorship of Clive Wynne in the Canine Science Collaboratory. Before beginning her graduate studies, Lisa worked for nearly a decade with dogs both in animal shelters and with pet dogs and their owners. Lisa’s research attempts to better understand the influence of breed labels on perceptions of dogs; what breeds and breed mixes are in animal shelters; stress and its impact on the welfare of kenneled dogs; and post-adoption interventions focused on owner retention. She has published her research in scientific journals and presented her findings at numerous conferences. This year, she and Erica Feuerbacher launched the Institute for Shelter Dogs, a weeklong intensive learning opportunity designed to bring the latest science and best practices in shelter behavior and training to those working in animal sheltering.

Partnership Adoptions Events Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

Melissa Hubbell received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from New Mexico State University in 2008. An introvert at heart and alone in a new city, she decided to go out of her comfort zone and make some new friends…with pets. She signed up to be a volunteer dog walker and cat socializer at Dona Ana Humane Society in Las Cruces and quickly fell in love with working with shelter pets.

She joined Animal Humane as a volunteer in 2013 and was hired to be an adoption advisor the next year. She currently co-managers the Albuquerque Community Partnership, a five year grant program through the ASPCA, with her superhero colleagues, Leah Remkes and Julie Buckland.

Melissa loves helping people & their pets.  She’s a firm believer that the majority of people, regardless of how they look or where they live, love their animals. Melissa has a Pitbull named Chuckles, a Border Collie named Bonnie and a Beagle named Daisy. In her spare time she enjoys knitting socks and watching period pieces on BBC Masterpiece Theater.

Chief Legislative Office, Animal Protection Voters & Animal Protection of New Mexico

Jessica leads Animal Protection Voters’ legislative and political efforts for the protection of all New Mexico’s animals and oversees Animal Protection of New Mexico’s programmatic and legal work to prevent wildlife and equine cruelty. With more than five years experience in government relations on behalf of animal protection, her expertise includes citizen advocacy training, legislative analysis, campaign strategy, digital communications, and generally creating order from chaos.

Prior to her current position, Jessica served as a Senior Manager of Grassroots Advocacy in the ASPCA’s Government Relations department in Washington, DC, where she led efforts to organize citizens support for state and federal legislation, ballot measures, voter registrations and get-out-the-vote efforts.

Jessica earned a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2011, where she specialized in environmental and animal law and received the Animal Law Leadership Award upon graduation. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and beloved rescued canines, Polly and Zelda, with whom she enjoys hiking across New Mexico’s fabulous landscapes.

Education & Outreach Coordinator, City of San Antonio Animal Care Services

The daughter of a military veterinarian and a veterinary technician, Lyssa’s passion for animals and the environment led her to a Biology degree and, more recently, to the field of Humane Education. After graduating from college, she worked for several years as a zookeeper and animal trainer before accepting a position with the City of San Antonio in the Animal Care Services department. She has been with the City of San Antonio’s Animal Care Services since 2014 and worked as both a Rescue/Foster Coordinator and, more recently, as the Education & Outreach Coordinator. She has over 10 years of professional animal experience through her work at zoological facilities, wildlife rescues and animal shelters.

Volunteer International Transport Coordinator, Lea County Animal Transport

Joanna was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She attended the University of Toronto, Masters of Social Work Program, graduating in 2005 and has worked in both Ontario and New Mexico as a clinician and program administrator for children’s behavioral health agencies since her graduation. Animals have always been an integral part of Joanna’s life. She grew up riding horses and surrounded by dogs. In 2014 Joanna adopted her first “little” dog from the Espanola Valley Humane Society, and the trajectory of her work altered. This adoption “brought home” the animal welfare reality of New Mexico and the challenges faced by New Mexican shelters. At the time, Lea County Animal Transport had just begun its transport program. Realizing that Canadian shelters often have a dearth of adoptable dogs and that small dogs were underrepresented in Canadian shelters, Joanna reached out to Lea County with a proposal to transport small dogs to shelters north of the border. Together with her sister Claire, based in Canada, and with the financial support of the Canadian based Dunin Foundation, she began to develop a network of Canadian rescue partners and to learn the legal, political, health and humane issues that surround transporting animals across international borders. Operation Run for the Border is an integral part of Lea County Animal Transport and despite Joanna’s best efforts, our Canadian partners continue to have the ability to rehome more dogs, both small and large, than we can transport to them!

Medical Director, Espanola Valley Humane Society

Dr. Tom Parker received his DVM from the University of Missouri in 1982. He has lived and practiced in the Northern New Mexico area since graduation in 1982. For the past 10 years he has worked for both the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society and for the Espanola Valley Humane Society. His current position is Medical Director for the Espanola Valley Humane Society.

Department of Animal & Food Sciences, Texas Tech University

Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, MS, PhD, CPDT-KA is an applied animal behavior scientist in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. The Human-Animal Interaction Lab, directed by Dr. Protopopova, systematically explores questions of companion animal well-being, behavior, and human-animal interactions. Her research aims are 1) to improve the well-being of dogs housed in animal shelters, 2) assess and develop therapy dog programs to benefit human health and educational outcomes, and 3) improve our general understanding of animal behavior. Dr. Protopopova earned an MS and a PhD in Behavior Analysis from University of Florida and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent presenter in scientific and professional conferences. Dr. Protopopova spends her days conducting behavioral research, teaching university classes in Animal Shelter Management, and cuddling dogs.

Partnership Outreach Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

Leah Remkes graduated from the University of New Mexico in December 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish. She had always felt strongly about helping others and thought that the medical field was the route for her, until she began volunteering at Animal Humane New Mexico in May that same year. After volunteering as a dog walker for six months, she was offered a position as an Adoption Advisor during her last semester and realized that animal welfare was where she wanted to be.

She has since worked in many departments at Animal Humane: from counseling new pet parents as an Adoption Advisor to running an offsite cat adoption program (Cats Around Town) in local Albuquerque shops. Leah then moved to Marketing where she managed the organization’s social media platforms and e-blasts, as well as visited radio and news stations in weekly pet promotion segments. In April 2016, she moved into her current position in the ASPCA Community Partnership where she co-manages intake intervention & adoption promotion programs.

Leah enjoys weekends of craft beer & potting plants among her family of a Brown Tabby named Anton, a Siamese named Gypsy and her best friend, a one-eyed Pit Bull named Khaleesi.

Executive Director, Almost Home Humane Society

Stacy Rogers began working at the Almost Home Humane Society during her senior year at Purdue University.  A life-long animal lover who wavered between dreams of becoming a veterinarian or a wildlife biologist, she soon realized that animal welfare was the place she belonged. After spending time in all aspects of sheltering, she became Executive Director of Almost Home in 2014.  A trip to the No More Homeless Pets Conference in 2012 inspired Stacy and her then Executive Director to make changes that resulted in an increase in life saving that increased the shelter’s Live Release Rate from 78% to 92% in less than three years.

Stacy is a firm believer that great things can be achieved in animal welfare regardless of your organization’s budget, building or current situation. She believes the next frontier in animal welfare is directly helping pet owners so that intakes are diverted before ever reaching the shelter.

Stacy shares her home with two dogs, Clark and Ralphie, two cats, Mini and Pancakes, and three llamas. Her favorite things in life include traveling, reading and hiking with her dogs.

Cathy Rosenthal has more than 25 years of experience in public relations, communications and humane education in the animal welfare field. She has worked for local humane societies and national humane groups, appearing on hundreds of television and radio programs to address animal issues. Today, Cathy is a communications expert for animal welfare groups all across the country. She consults with local and national animal groups on their media and marketing plans and writes media, marketing, education and grant materials for these groups. She also gives workshops as state, regional and national animal welfare conferences on such topics as media relations, compassion fatigue, and customer service for animal welfare professionals. Cathy is a syndicated pet columnist for My Pet World and is the author of several children’s picture books on dogs and cats.

Owner, Simons Consulting Services

Susan has been working with and for non-profits for over 20 years. Her experience in fundraising ranges from grant writing to events to annual campaigns. She has been a Certified Fundraising Professional (CFRE) for over 15 years and received her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in 2010.

She now owns her own non-profit consulting business, Simons Consulting Services, where she has worked with Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Solace Crisis Treatment Center, Grant County Educational Foundation, United Way of Central New Mexico and Cornucopia Adult and Family Services. She has also served as Interim Executive Director for ALS-NM and St. Martin’s Hospitality Center.

Founder, NMDOG

Angela Stell founded the nonprofit NMDOG in 2010. This in-the-trenches dog rescue like no other has the mission to serve and protect New Mexico’s Forgotten Dogs: dogs who suffer in isolation at the end of their chains, dogs who are seized in animal cruelty cases and dogs in need of swift intervention in the field. Because of the nature of these rescues, the dogs that NMDOG serves come with medical and/or behavioral rehabilitation needs and have had little or no positive interaction with humans prior to entering NMDOG’s program. Angela’s goal is to safely handle the dogs she encounters without causing injury or stress to the dog, herself or her team. NMDOG reaches out to these dogs with a hands-on approach, knocking on doors, following up on reports of abuse and neglect through a partnership with law enforcement and Animal Control departments across the state.

NMDOG partners with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and Bernalillo County Animal Care Services, forming the Bernalillo County Animal Cruelty Task Force. Within the capacity of this partnership Angela has provided informal safety and handling training to Bernalillo County deputies & officers, and NMDOG provides support to the deputies and officers in the field during Animal Cruelty Task Force sweeps, taking custody of the dogs seized and surrendered, and providing rescue and rehab with the ultimate goal of placement into new homes. BCSO Captain Andi Taylor says that Angela’s support and guidance over the past 5 years as a member of the Task Force has proven invaluable to the department and NMDOG’s direct involvement has saved the lives of countless dogs who otherwise would have nowhere to go. Misha Goodman, Director of Bernalillo Animal Care Services says about Angela, “It is her dedication to the animals and the community that sets Angela apart & her willingness to get down and dirty, to do whatever it takes to get the job done, while always putting the safety, wellbeing and needs of the dog as an individual first, that makes Angela an asset to our Team.”

Angela is pictured with her soul-dog of 13 years and NMDOG co-founder, JoJo. Angela freed JoJo from his chain in 2004 and it was he that inspired her to start NMDOG. Angela also credits JoJo for teaching her “all she knows about dogs.” JoJo passed away in December of 2016 and is greatly missed as her most loyal partner. Angela and NMDOG continue their work in JoJo’s honor for all of New Mexico’s Forgotten Dogs.

Public Information Officer, The Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society

Ben Swan is the public information officer for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. An award-winning journalist in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico for many years, he delved into animal sheltering in 2010 after creating an animal-related section for Santa Fe’s daily newspaper, The New Mexican. As public information officer, he is responsible for media and community relations for the shelter, as well as the shelter’s marketing, website, digital newsletters and social networking outlets. He loves telling stories about shelter animals through photos, words and video.

South Area Commander, Field Services Division, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department

Captain Andi Taylor is a Commander with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has been with the department for 16 years. Captain Taylor attended the FBI National Academy and is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and she is currently working on an additional Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Captain Taylor spent her early career on patrol and was then promoted to detective in the Undercover Narcotics Unit. There, she spent 5 years working undercover to disrupt some of the largest Cartel cells in New Mexico and the Southwest states. She was promoted to Sergeant in 2008, and was a patrol and Gang Unit supervisor. She was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2011, where she worked patrol, Emergency Response Commander and the Special Investigations Unit lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations Division. It was during her time as a Lieutenant on patrol that she created the nation’s first Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) in 2012. The ACTF has gained notoriety and has saved the lives of hundreds of abused and neglected animals across the county and city she serves, with assistance from partnerships with Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and the non-profit dog rescue, NMDOG. She was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2015, where she served as the Commander over the Criminal Investigations Division and the Commander of the South Valley Area Command. She is currently still the Commander of the ACTF and takes great joy in her work with the communities’ forgotten animals.

In 2016, the book Goodbye Bad Guys by Kate Kuligowski was written and published. The book is the story of Captain Taylor’s life with animals and how to form an effective, no cost Animal Cruelty Task Force.

CEO, Mason Company

Greg Taylor is the CEO of the Mason Company, the leading designer and manufacturer of animal enclosures for humane societies, animal control, pet care, veterinarians and other animal facilities. Mason was founded in 1892, and has developed the widest product line in the industry, many with innovative designs and features, and has 9 patents or patents-pending, including the Sani-Slope™ and Silvis Seal™. Mason sells around the world, has installations in over 30 countries, and has worked with many of the most successful shelters and animal control facilities to develop animal housing unique to their facility’s needs. Greg is a frequent contributor to animal care periodicals and speaker at conferences. Greg earned a B.A. from Denison University and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Director, Valencia County Animal Control

Jess Weston is the Director of Valencia County Animal Control.  Jess manages the Animal Control Department, servicing 75,000 residents, and the Animal Shelter, containing 160 kennels.  He has a combined 19 years of experience in the animal welfare and control field, including 8 years working as a veterinary assistant and 11 years as an Animal Control/Code Enforcement Officer.  He is currently working on a $100k Quarantine expansion at the shelter.  His wife, daughter, and two boxers keep him motivated to make a difference in every animal’s life.

Multimedia Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

Joe Wilson is the Multimedia Manager for Animal Humane New Mexico, where he has worked in the Marketing Department for nearly 5 years. Joe’s 10 years of experience in web & graphic design, photography and videography help him to manage Animal Humane’s website & social media presence while creating digital content highlighting Animal Humane’s pets and programs. He has also helped to develop several multimedia campaigns executed across print, web and television media.

In addition to his work at Animal Humane, Joe’s freelance work includes national television campaigns, large scale websites for companies throughout the southwest, and freelance family & lifestyle photography. Joe received his BA in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico, focusing on interactive digital art as well as social practice culminating in an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

An Albuquerque native, Joe has two adopted dogs from Animal Humane, Marcel & Claude, and spends his free time watching sports and playing drums in local band St. Petersburg.

Courses for Thursday, September 14, 2017

Presented by B.J. Rogers, CAWA, ASPCA

Thursday, September 14, 8:30 – 9:30 am

In an often intense, dynamic, and emotionally jam-packed field like ours, keen skills in the realm of emotional intelligence (EQ) can be a game-changing asset when it comes to exercising leadership and managing change. In the last couple of decades, much has been made of the concept of EQ yet many of us have little familiarity with its underlying concepts – or believe it’s an inherent skill (perhaps even a “soft” one that’s personality-based and can’t be learned). To the contrary, with intention and effort, we can enhance our skills, exercising better leadership and more effectively managing change.

Presented by Melissa Funk, Hobbs Animal Adoption Center & Joanna Magee, MSW, LISW, Lea County Animal Transport 

Thursday, September 14, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Faced with the prospect of lower adoption bases, higher intakes and fewer financial and volunteer resources, rural New Mexican shelters often find themselves “on the wrong side of the tracks” when it comes to maximizing their live release rates. Nevertheless, despite the odds, since its 2014 inception, Lea County Animal Transport and Operation Run for the Border has moved over five thousand animals from two Southern New Mexico shelters to rescue organizations in Canada, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia and Wyoming. Both Lea County Humane Society-Hobbs Animal Adoption Center in Hobbs, NM and Lovington Animal Control in Lovington, NM have gone from an approximate 80% euthanasia rate to “no-kill” status. We have partnered with over forty local, regional and national welfare and rescue organizations and five Canadian shelters to save lives and we have increased our regional, national and international volunteer support accordingly.

Now we want to share our experiences with you. Our presentation will describe the detailed “nuts and bolts” of how our transfer program developed and how it works currently, its many strengths and some of its challenges. More broadly, we also hope to engender critical discussion and thought related to how grassroots, rural transport programs can continue to organize in a manner that is sensitive to the distinctive characteristics of the regions in which they will function. It is our belief that through collaborative effort, we can all save more lives!

Presented by Ben Swan, Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society & Joe Wilson, Animal Humane New Mexico

Thursday, September 14, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Social media managers from two of New Mexico’s largest nonprofit animal welfare organizations will discuss a range of topics centered on best social media practices, beginning with determining your organization’s goals and perceived role in the community. Focusing primarily on Facebook, still the largest and most accessible social media platform, discussions will cover what works on line and what doesn’t; utilizing low-cost advertising for fundraising and event purposes; inspiring engagement among your followers; as well as managing both positive and negative feedback through reviews and messages. The presentation will be followed by an extended Q&A.

Presented by Jessica Johnson, J.D., Animal Protection Voters & Animal Protection of New Mexico

Thursday, September 14, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Lunch sponsored by MWI Animal Health

The animal protection movement has grown into an amazing force for rescuing animals from cruelty. But how can we prevent cruelty from happening in the first place? We need strong laws on the books—and we need savvy, informed, effective advocates for passing those laws.

This presentation by the experts at Animal Protection Voters, the premier New Mexico-based lobbying organization on behalf of animal protection, will explain how the legislative process works at the state and local levels and arm audience members with the knowledge they need to work within the process to advocate for animals.

Getting involved in passing laws can seem like intimidating territory to the uninitiated, but this discussion will aim to help everyone feel comfortable and confident with making their voice heard on behalf of animals—and doing so effectively. Real examples and stories from past and current efforts to pass statewide bills and local ordinances will be shared to give listeners a sense of how lobbying works in practice—and hopefully to inspire every person to be a part of changing laws to change animals lives for the better.

Presented by Lyssa MacMillan, City of San Antonio Animal Care Services

Thursday, September 14, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

For over 5 years, the city of San Antonio’s Animal Care Service has provided a community program known as the Comprehensive Neighborhood Sweeps Initiative. This targeted delivery of free and low-cost pet resources has helped thousands of low-income families obtain affordable care for their pets. This program is organized and implemented by the shelter’s innovative Education & Outreach Team. Learn more about the team’s ground-breaking work through this program and others, and how you can implement similar education programs in your community. Through this workshop, you will:

  1. Develop a more thorough understanding of the relationships between community outreach, education, law enforcement, and animal welfare.
  2. Gain insight into the features, methods, and successes of a large animal shelter’s growing Education & Outreach program.
  3. Obtain valuable perspective on humane education & animal shelter partnerships through question & answer sharing with the audience.

Presented by Susan Simons, MNM, CFRE

Thursday, September 14, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

Volunteers are the life blood of many organizations -from shelter help to fundraising. We will discuss and share ideas about how to attract them, keep them and show appreciation without breaking the budget.

Presented by Alexandra Protopopova PhD, CPDT-KA, Texas Tech

Thursday, September 14, 1:45 – 3:15 am

Individual variability is evident in behavior and physiology of human and non-human animals. The influence of temperament on immune function and the endocrine response in dogs has not received much attention. An inquiry into the relationship of these systems is not only interesting from a basic science perspective, but, more crucially, may influence the management of dogs housed at animal shelters. While normally associated with mild disease and low mortality rates, respiratory disease nevertheless poses significant challenges to the management of dogs in the highly stressful environment of animal shelters. Therefore, the aim of the study is to characterize the relationship between temperament, the HPA axis, immune function, and occurrence and progression of upper respiratory disease in dogs at animal shelters. In a correlational study, close to one hundred dogs were assessed throughout their 2-week stay at a city animal shelter. The dogs were subjected to a temperament test, continuous in-kennel behavioral observations, and the collection of physiological stress and immune function markers. The occurrence and progression of upper respiratory disease was monitored through repeated clinical exams (rectal temperature, body condition score, and occurrence of nasal and ocular discharge). Understanding the role of temperament in immune responses to disease, disease progression, and sickness behavior may improve shelter management practices, and in turn, result in improved live release outcomes.

Presented by Angle Stell, NMDOG

Thursday, September 14, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Working with distressed dogs in the field is never easy, but some cases prove more challenging than others. Angela Stell, founder of NMDOG, a New Mexico non-profit that has helped remove dogs from chains since 2010, draws from her years of experience to offer tips and techniques on safe and successful handling for some of the most difficult cases that shelter and rescue workers might encounter.

During this presentation, attendees will explore many aspects of handling and working with chained dogs, from reading their body signals and approaching them safely, to the right tools and equipment to use with each case. We will also learn successful techniques to use with free roaming dogs and injured dogs. Finally, we will consider handling techniques for successfully working with shy, fearful or shut down dogs once they have entered a kennel or rescue environment.

Presented by Deb Brinkley, Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department; Misha Goodman, Bernalillo County Animal Care; Jess Weston, Valencia County Animal Control

Moderator: Donna M. Stumpf, Animal Humane New Mexico

Thursday, September 14, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

From renovating existing structures, to building new construction, to purchasing vehicles or finding support for large-scale community events — the need for major projects exists at every shelter. In this panel presentation, animal welfare leaders with rich backgrounds in New Mexico, as well as other regions of the U.S., will share their personal experiences on steps taken to: build a case for funding important projects/purchases, request and secure funding and oversee the successfully completion of capital projects/purchases and events.

Presented by Tom Parker, DVM & Kyle Martinez, Espanola Valley Humane Society

Thursday, September 14, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

In 2001, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) reported that the state of New Mexico had an average of 1-25 cases of canine heartworm disease/veterinary clinic. In 2013, that number had risen to 1-50 cases/veterinary clinic. Animal shelters are thought to be under-represented in this estimate, as not all shelters test for heartworm disease. The simple fact, however, is that the incidence of heartworm disease in dogs is on the rise across the country. AHS has issued comprehensive guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention, and management of heartworm infection in pets, which includes the gold standard of treatment with doxycycline, followed by a series of 3 adulticide injections.

Unfortunately, many shelters are often unable to fully comply with these guidelines due to resource constraints. Many shelters either employ no heartworm testing or treatment protocol, adopt out heartworm positive dogs to the public for treatment at the adopter’s cost, or implement suboptimal treatment practices (such as the “slow kill” method). This presentation will go over the basics of canine heartworm pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment, with special attention to the management of heartworm positive dogs at Espanola Valley Humane Society. We will discuss the particulars of the heartworm protocol, including outcome after treatment.

All NMHC attendees are invited to join in on a special reception, followed by a public screening of Second Chance Dogs

After the screening there will be a brief Q&A Session with Kristen Collins, Senior Director, Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center.

Reception begins at 6:00 pm.

Screening begins at 7:30 pm.

Q&A begins at 8:30 pm.

Courses for Friday, September 15, 2017

Presented by Captain Andi Taylor, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department & Angela Stell, NMDOG

Friday, September 15, 8:30 – 9:30 am

The Bernalillo County Animal Cruelty Task Force is the first of its kind in the nation. This presentation would inform the audience on how to form a expense free Task Force involving law enforcement, animal care officers and a non-profit rescue. A step by step guide will be presented as well as Angela Stell from NMDOG discussing the benefit of outreach to the community.

Presented by Allison Andrukonis, Texas Tech University

Friday, September 15, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Approximately 23% of the 6.5 million dogs and cats that enter United States’ animal shelters yearly will be euthanized (“Pet Statistics, 2017). The reason for the euthanasia is not always because the animals are sick or aggressive, but sometimes because of overcrowding. The animal shelter staff must not only deal with the stress of euthanizing healthy animals, but also the public scorn. These negative emotions that come from having to care for the animals and subsequently euthanize them, frequently lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, and even suicide in the employees. The less staff a shelter has, the fewer animals a facility can hold, and therefore the greater amount euthanasia that have to be performed. This loop of employee turnover and euthanasia continues indefinitely. There has been very little research on compassion fatigue in animal care employees and absolutely no research on the physiological indicators of compassion fatigue. Finding physiological indicators of compassion fatigue will not only validate the stress that animal shelter employees encounter, but will also hopefully inform treatment methods.

Presented by Emily Burlingame, BA, CPDT-KA, Santa Fe Humane Society & Animal Shelter

Friday, September 15, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Humans talk…a lot. As a species we are quite verbal and tend to think about communicating with one another in terms of spoken language, made of words and phrases. Often it is easy for humans to forget about how much our own communication is non-verbal, let alone how other animals communicate with almost no sound or words at all. Words are part of our nature and culture, not the dogs’. On the one hand, we can look at this as a handicap, having to teach dogs a few limited words in our language in order to get them to cooperate enough to fit in our world. But what if instead, for some situations we looked at the contexts in which it might be more beneficial for a dog (and a potential adopter) if he was able to respond with a specific behavior and he “just did it” without being asked in a way that benefited both?

Presented by Stacy Rogers, Almost Home Humane Society

Friday, September 15, 10:00 – 11:30 am

This session will explore how it is possible to save more lives no matter what your shelter circumstances.  Regardless of budget, building size or staffing, there are small ways to increase live release rate, one pet or one program at a time.   This session will cover evaluating programs to achieve maximum life saving, innovative ways to use your existing building spaces and creating a plan to share your progress with the community (and get community support).

Presented by Cathy M. Rosenthal, CHES

Friday, September 15, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Why don’t people sterilize their pets and how do you convince them to get it done? Your communication efforts may not be targeting the right audience. Learn creative strategies for marketing your spay/neuter programs, from social and traditional media to grassroots efforts that reach out to different audiences. Find out how to maximize free media, where to find free marketing materials, and how to incorporate spay/neuter campaigns into your overall PR program. Get ideas on how to find and raise monies for marketing and how to negotiate better prices for your paid media. The ideas and resources offered in this workshop will rev up your current spay/neuter program. This workshop is for anyone who works or volunteers to spread the spay/neuter message in their community.

Presented by Kristen Collins, MS, ACAAB, ASPCA Behavior Rehabilitation Center

Friday, September 15, 10:00 – 11:30 am

This talk will introduce the ASPCA’s groundbreaking work at the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, a program dedicated to the rehabilitation and study of extremely fearful, undersocialized dogs. Attendees will learn about problematic behaviors commonly seen in canine victims of cruelty or neglect, behavior modification and enrichment strategies designed to reduce fear and improve adoptability, the Rehab Center team’s research design and goals, and some of our early discoveries. The workshop will include video footage and time for Q&A. Intended audience: animal welfare professionals and volunteers who evaluate, rehabilitate, place and/or provide care for fearful dogs—and anyone with an interest in animal behavior.

Presented by Julie Buckland, Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department & Melissa Hubbell & Leah Remkes, Animal Humane New Mexico

Friday, September 15, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

We’ve all heard, or even thought, that people who surrender their pets do so because they don’t care about them. But what if asking one question could help keep those pets out of our shelters and in their homes? When staff began asking owners if there was a resource that could help them keep their pets, they were shocked by the responses they heard.

In this course, you’ll learn how Albuquerque Animal Welfare & Animal Humane New Mexico created different safety net programs to help keep families together.

Presented by Monica Frenden

Friday, September 15, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Often considered unadoptable and overlooked for rescue, feral and fractious cats can be saved through a progressive Barn Placement Program and given a new lease on life as working cats. Learn how to start a barn program from scratch, including selecting cats appropriate for barn placement, finding quality homes, proper relocation procedures, and safe handling and sheltering practices. The Austin Pets Alive! Barn Cat Program saves hundreds of feisty cats each year that would otherwise be slated for euthanasia, and you can, too!

Presented by Kelsea Brown, Texas Tech University

Friday, September 15, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Behavior evaluations and temperament tests are commonly used in animal shelters and rescue organizations to screen for potentially dangerous dogs, match animals to compatible adopters, and identify behavior issues that may need to be addressed. The validity, reliability, and efficacy of these tests are not well supported by the literature, yet they continue to be used to make life or death decisions. A critical, comprehensive review of the current research will be provided. New, original data will be shared, including people’s perceptions of and attitudes towards canine problem behaviors, and the effects of experimenter posture, social contact, and the presence of a leash on canine sociability outcomes. Alternative approaches will be suggested to replace formal behavior evaluations while still promoting public safety and animal well-being.

Moderated by Misha Goodman, Bernalillo County Animal Care & Debby Collins, Datamars

Friday, September 15, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Every had a difference of opinion with someone? Ever think that perhaps you may not have all the information or answers? Ever think your way is the only way? Do you like a good clean debate?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, join us for a round table discussion about the most controversial issues in our industry today. Audience participation is critical to this fun exchange as we share thoughts from across our community. Take away new thoughts, feelings and ideas for the future.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Feral Cat Colonies: Feed management or not?
  • Relocation and transport of domestic animals
  • Facebook and other social media: the good, the bad, the ugly
  • Enforcement Vs Community Engagement
  • Licensing: Is the dinosaur finally dead?
  • Shelter and re-home animals: Are we spending money in the wrong places?
  • Spay and Neuter: What if it was free to everyone?

Presented by Greg Taylor, Mason Company

Friday, September 15, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Everyone dreams of building a new facility with up-to-date holding and boarding areas but budgets, politics, zoning problems and other issues typically conspire to keep that goal a dream instead of reality. A more realistic –and quicker – solution is to renovate your existing boarding and holding areas rather than build new ones. This session will focus on how to improve the existing kennel and cattery areas of current veterinary facilities. A lot can be done for considerably less than the cost of new construction to brighten up existing holding and boarding or improve disease control, and therefore create a more enjoyable environment for staff and animals. Even just renovating a portion of a facility can make a huge difference.

Renovation is different from new construction and there are special issues to consider. Often building materials have degraded, the layout and flow needs to be re-designed, and HVAC, plumbing, flooring, and lighting systems need to be upgraded. Getting these and other problems addressed correctly will be critical to the success. Topic points will include different ways to refurbish kennels and catteries to make them more attractive and less prone to disease outbreaks; common problems encountered with rehabbing animal facilities and ways to address them; types of equipment that can be transferred and redeployed at a new facility down the road, incorporating new sound abatement technologies, etc. We will also briefly discuss the challenges and solutions to hiring contractors for this type of work.

Presented by Erica Feuerbacher, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPDT-KA & Lisa Gunter, M.A., CPDT-KA

Friday, September 15, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

One of the greatest stressors for dogs living in animal shelters is social isolation. Many studies have demonstrated that human interaction reduces cortisol in shelter dogs and incorporating longer periods of interaction yields even greater effects. More recently, animal shelters are utilizing short-term fostering programs to provide relief from the perceived stresses of kennel life and aid in rehoming efforts, however the effects of these programs are not well understood. In this presentation, we’ll discuss the findings of a series of studies we conducted across the United States in which we investigated the impact of one- and two-night fostering programs on the cortisol levels and health measures of dogs awaiting adoption, and the validity of behavioral questionnaires, completed by fosterers, in predicting future behavior of the dogs in their adoptive homes.

This year’s New Mexico Humane Conference has been approved for Continuing Education by the following organizations:

For Trainers, Behavior Consultants and Behaviorists: Our Medical & Behavioral Wellness Track has been approved for –

  • 7 hours for CPDT-KAs, CPDT-KSAs and CBCC-KAs by the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers!
  • 7 CEUs for IAABC members by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants!


For Animal Control Officers, Euthanasia Technicians, law enforcement & shelter staff: Our conference (all tracks) has been approved for –

  • 11.5 Continuing Education hours approved by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and the New Mexico Department for Public Safety!
  • 11.5 Continuing Education hours approved for Euthanasia Technicians from the New Mexico Animal Sheltering Board!


For Veterinarians & Veterinary Technicians: Our Medical & Behavior Wellness Track has been approved for –

  • 4 CEUs from the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine with retroactive approval in October.


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