2018 Conference

The 2018 New Mexico Humane Conference:

August 9 – 11, 2018 at Embassy Suites – Albuquerque

Vice President, Emancipet New School

Myles has extensive experience in supporting new and established spay/neuter clinics, full service veterinary hospitals, shelters, and community outreach programs. During his tenure at Emancipet, he has overseen all aspects of clinic operations, outreach, and training. Through Emancipet New School’s popular seminar series, Myles leads workshops on organizational culture, leadership skills, community engagement and more. Prior to his work at Emancipet he was with the National Spay/Neuter Project at the ASPCA coaching new clinic directors as they established their programs. His areas of expertise are leadership, training, staff management, low cost veterinary clinic implementation, and social change strategies.

Practice Manager, Petroglyph Animal Hospital

Pat is the Practice Manager at Petroglyph Animal Hospital in Albuquerque and Coronado Pet Hospital in Rio Rancho. She received her Certified Veterinary Practice Manager certification in 2012, Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) designation in 2013, and recently became certified under the Fear Free program. She has been a volunteer trainer at Animal Humane New Mexico since 2009.

Pat spent a year as the New Hope Rescue Coordinator at the NYC Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan shelter and formed close bonds with many of the rescue groups working out of that busy facility. In her role as hospital manager at a busy two-location hospital, she works closely with the Albuquerque Metro rescue community to make sure the medical needs of owned, stray, and rescued animals are met.

Animal Humane’s Extra Push Animals (EPA) team is a group of individuals representing departments across the shelter. Once weekly, the team comes together to discuss “difficult case” animals in Animal Humane’s care, to determine the best paths for live-release for each animal or, as a team, deciding when euthanasia might be in the best interest of the animal or public. Members of the EPA team include:

Sam Blankenship is the Adoption Operations Director at Animal Humane New Mexico. He has worked in animal welfare since 2009 and currently his work supports adoptions, admissions, and shelter behavior at Animal Humane, the Bernalillo Anti-Cruelty Task Force, and the ASPCA’s First Responder unit. He oversees Project Fetch, a state-wide transfer program of Animal Humane that partners his shelter with over 20 other shelters and agencies in New Mexico.

Kelsey Gutierrez is the Senior Adoptions & Behavior Manager at Animal Humane New Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Animal Behavior and Physiology from Arizona State University. She completed a 6 month work-study program at INBioparque, a zoo and botanical garden in Costa Rica dedicated to biological diversity, where she supported the educational outreach efforts of the zoo and working farm. She started at Animal Humane as a volunteer in 2012 and was hired on as an Adoptions Adviser, working up to Adoption Lead and Adoptions Manager. Currently, she manages the behavior programs at Animal Humane, which includes behavior modification programs that rehabilitate 100+ pets for placement each year.

Adrianne Lommason is the Rescue Coordinator & Adoptions Manager at Animal Humane New Mexico. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of New Mexico. She started her career in animal sheltering in 2015 with Animal Humane, but has long had a passion for rescue. She is currently responsible for partnering with external rescues for live exit opportunities for pets struggling in the shelter environment due to either medical or behavioral needs. She also started Animal Humane’s Working Cat program in 2017 after attending a Barn Cat program internship with Austin Pets Alive!

Samantha Montgomery is the Foster Care Manager at Animal Humane New Mexico. She began her career in veterinary medicine working in the equine industry as an RVT in Fort Wayne, IN after finishing her degree in 2010. She gained small animal experience in private practice through lead technician and hospital manager positions in New Mexico before coming on board at the Clinic at Animal Humane. She has been with Animal Humane for four years.

Yuri Pryor is one of two Animal Care Supervisor at Animal Humane New Mexico. Since joining the Animal Humane team in July of 2006 and becoming supervisor in 2007, he has dedicated his focus to helping shape Animal Humane’s standard operating procedures to fall in line with those outlined in the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, and build a strong Animal Care team that care for thousands of pets every year, from intake to adoptions.

Val Wilson is the Clinic Manager at Animal Humane New Mexico. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for her undergraduate degree, with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine & Animal Sciences. She has an extensive background as a veterinary technician, with over 15 years of experience. She has worked in shelter medicine for the past 3 years.

Veterinary Dentistry & Oral Surgery of New Mexico, LLC

Kris Bannon, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC received her veterinary medical degree from Texas A&M University in 1998. She worked in a small animal hospital in Santa Fe, NM for ten years before starting the first veterinary practice in New Mexico dedicated to the oral health needs of our companion animals.

In 2008, she was the first veterinarian in New Mexico to earn the title Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (FAVD). She became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (DAVDC) in 2010. Both certifications are earned after years of intensive training, followed by a rigorous application process and examination.  As a Diplomate of the AVDC, Dr. Bannon became the first and only board-certified veterinary dentist in the state of New Mexico!

She was chosen for the Board of Directors for the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) in 2006 and elected to President of the AVDS in 2013 for a 2 year term.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, is a consultant on the dental specialty board of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and is on the Animal Health Advisory Board for HealthyMouth, LLC.  In her free time, Dr. Bannon enjoys volunteering with the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, using her advanced dental skills to benefit disadvantaged and captive wildlife in sanctuaries across the country. Dr. Bannon enjoys teaching other veterinarians about quality dental care, and lectures frequently within New Mexico, nationwide and internationally.

Dr. Bannon is very enthusiastic about dentistry, and wants to share with everyone the positive effects that good dental health and oral hygiene can have on the quality of life for our beloved furry friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to call, email, or just ask.

Field Operations Manager & Cruelty Investigator, Odessa Police Animal Control Division

Joe Barreraz has over 13 years’ experience in Animal Control field operations, management and investigations. He was the 2008 recipient of the Animal Control Officer Award for Excellence in region 9/10 and served on the board of advisors with the Texas Adult Protective Services task force. He is an approved instructor for the DSHS and currently the Field Operations Manager and the Local Rabies Control Authority for the city of Odessa. He is also TCOLE certified in Cruelty investigations, certified in zoonotic disease control with FEMA, and certified in Euthanasia, Basic and Advanced Animal Control through the Texas DSHS.  He has handled several cruelty investigations cases ranging from passive cruelties to hoarding and the aggressive cruelties of torture and confinement. He has taught basic cruelty investigations, advanced cruelty investigations, aggressive animal capture/handling, animal bite investigations, officer safety/field tactics, officer professionalism courses and bite stick training. He is also a certified instructor for Canine Tactics (TCOLE) which is a required course for all law enforcement officers.

Adoptions Operations Director, Animal Humane New Mexico

Sam Blankenship has worked in animal rescue since 2009 and is currently the Adoptions Operations Director for Animal Humane New Mexico. He has had the blessing to work hands on in several different areas of the animal welfare world. Currently, his work supports adoptions, admissions, and shelter behavior at Animal Humane, the Bernalillo Anti-Cruelty Task Force, and the ASPCA’s First Responder unit. He oversees Project Fetch, a state-wide transfer program of Animal Humane that partners his shelter with over 20 other shelters and agencies in New Mexico to help with state-wide shelter pet populations. Since the programs beginning, nearly 12,000 pets have been transferred into Animal Humane. In addition to his regular duties, Sam’s work in animal welfare has allowed him to assist pets in other ways, including appearing in the 2014 broadcast of the A&E limited documentary series, Dogs of War, on pairing military veterans with shelter dogs for service work through partner organization Paws & Stripes, and traveling to Havana, Cuba to assist with street pet rescue.

Senior Human Resources Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

John Brant joined the Animal Humane New Mexico team in 2013 and has nearly 30 years’ experience in leadership and human resources management with specialization in employee relations, talent retention, employee development and engagement, and leadership development. Prior to joining Animal Humane, John provided employment services to homeless women and youth, leading a successful workforce development program at Nevada’s largest shelter for homeless and abused women and children. He was also the shelter’s Human Resources Manager for 2 years. John served 24 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and the United States Air Force. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University and Associate Degrees in Personnel Administration and Information Management from the Community College of the Air Force.  He is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and holds both Professional in Human Resources and SHRM Certified Professional credentials.

Dr. Stacie G. Boswell grew up in southeastern New Mexico, and her educational process has taken her around the country. She has worked with horses in veterinary medicine in Texas, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, New Mexico and Montana. After five additional years of intensive academic specialty training in surgery and lameness evaluation, she passed the rigorous American College of Veterinary Surgeons examination, earning diplomat status.

In every part of the country, there has been a need to rescue horses. Dr. Boswell’s passion for helping horses in need has grown from heartbreaking cases. She has seen common themes, and repeated problems in rescue horses. Learning how to manage these cases is not widely published, and her goal is to increase awareness of veterinarians and caretakers to ensure that we can achieve a successful outcome and help more horses.

Program Manager, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Julie Buckland began her career in animal welfare in the early nineties at a private shelter where animals over 5 years old and all pit bull dogs were immediately euthanized in addition to aggressive population management decisions also 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 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 of 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.


About 15 years ago, after a totally unrelated career, Mikal Deese was unaccountably gob-smacked by wild birds. She began studying and then rehabilitating the unfortunate individuals: the orphaned, injured or ill that could be returned to the wild after human help. Thousands of birds later, she is even more entranced by the wild creatures that share our world. She now holds Federal and New Mexico permits to possess wild birds for both rehabilitation and education purposes, and has earned International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator status. Her non-profit, ON A WING AND A PRAYER, presents educational programs using live raptor ambassadors and accepts any wild species into care. She is still unable to fly.

Director, Bernalillo County Animal Care Services

Misha Goodman is Director of Bernalillo County Animal Care Services.  She has been working in the animal welfare field for 35 years.  She has served on the National Animal Care and Control Association Board of Directors for the last 12 years and is a Sheltering Committee member of the New Mexico Veterinary Board.   She and her staff will open a new 17,000 square foot full service shelter and resource center this summer.

Misha has 5 adopted children and 3 adopted dogs.

Animal Welfare Coalition Pet Center, Las Vegas, NM

Martina Holguin began working in animal welfare in New Mexico in approximately 2010.  At that time, Ms. Holguin was returning to Las Vegas, New Mexico after being away for many years.  Upon return, Ms. Holguin looked around her community and knew she needed to help.  In her previous work as an attorney working in international human rights, Ms. Holguin committed herself to being a voice to those who had none.  Little did she know, seven years later, she would be a voice for animals who truly do not have a voice.

With no prior experience in animal welfare, Ms. Holguin started volunteering with spay/neuter clinics, rescues, and at the local shelter.  Ms. Holguin found those who were providing responsible, professional animal welfare services in our state and our region and kept her eyes and ears open.  From in-the-field outreach to chained dogs to assistance with surgery prep on a mobile spay/neuter clinic, Ms. Holguin sought every opportunity to educate herself and bring additional resources to her community.

In 2013, the City of Las Vegas invited the Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC) to take over the management of the city animal shelter.  The AWC felt confident in the team led by Ms. Holguin and the keys were handed over on September 3, 2013.  There is a never-ending flow of animals in need entering the AWC Pet Center and the contacts Ms. Holguin has built and maintains enable her to find after-hours emergency care for animals in distress, transfer thousands of animals to other communities, and seek training and mentoring opportunities for staff.

Partnership Adoption Events Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

Melissa Hubbell received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & 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.

Volunteer Manager, Animal Humane New Mexico

Jessica Langer graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in English Literature. She moved to New Mexico in 2007 and fell in love with the open spaces and blue skies of the desert. She also found her calling in animal welfare when she began volunteering with several small rescue groups in Albuquerque. Jessica joined the Animal Humane team as a volunteer in 2009 and was hired as Volunteer Coordinator in 2010. She was promoted to Volunteer Manager in 2014. As part of the Volunteer Team, Jessica has facilitated streamlining and simplifying the onboarding process for new volunteers and helped to increase retention rates and volunteer satisfaction.  In her spare time she enjoys astonishing people by knowing the lyrics to nearly every 1980s song (and singing along…badly), reading, hiking and spending time with her husband and their herd of rescue cats.

Belinda is recently retired after twenty-eight years as the Director of Animal Care and Control in Fort Wayne, Indiana and thirty-three years in animal sheltering and field services.  She currently serves as an instructor for Code 3 Associates, teaching for the NACA/ NACHO academies and occasionally responds for the Field Investigations and Response (FIR) team for the ASPCA.  Her training specialties focus on cruelty investigations, animal hoarding, and forensic photography.  Belinda completed her undergraduate work at Northern Illinois University, her Master’s Degree at Indiana Wesleyan, is a graduate of the Fort Wayne Police Academy, and a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) through the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA).   She served ten years part-time in various divisions of the police department to enhance her own agencies relationships and abilities.  Belinda started working with animals in veterinary technical assistance then held the position of Executive Director of a non-profit humane society prior to moving to Fort Wayne.  Her agency represented the best of field services, sheltering, coalition building, cruelty investigations, and community relations.  Belinda has been a national advisor for both the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association.  She is a frequent instructor at state and national conferences, provides training opportunities both domestically and internationally, and has completed multiple organizational program evaluations. She enjoys travel, hiking, and nature photography with her husband and their cattlepoo.


Karen started cleaning kennels for a small humane society in 1976 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 Senior Director, Shelter Outreach at ASPCA,  CFRE and major gifts officer in the southwest region for HSUS, and vice president of partner relations for Petfinder.com. She is currently available for facilitation of Strategic Planning, Board Development, and special project management.

She has taught workshops at national and at state conferences around the country, and in 2003 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.

Maddie’s Fund/Austin Pets Alive! Neonatal Program Director

A native of South Carolina, Casandra graduated from Clemson University with a BA in Psychology and traveled around a bit before finding her way to Austin, Texas in 2009 where she found her calling with the Austin Pets Alive! Bottle Baby Program. APA! and Casandra learned about saving neonatal kittens together from the ground up and quickly saw a vital need for this program not only in a humanitarian sense but as an important part of the No-Kill mission in Austin. Under her direction, the APA! Neonatal Program achieved an unprecedented 91% save rate during the 2015 season and consistently maintains a save rate around 90% while taking in more kittens every year. Today, as the Maddie’s Fund/APA Neonatal Program Director, Casandra is sharing her knowledge and expertise to help shelters and rescue groups across America develop and sustain their own neonatal programs.

Animal Services Supervisor, City of Denton, Texas

Paul O’Neill has 16 years of experience in the animal welfare field, working at a nonprofit humane society, and open admission municipal animal shelters.  He currently has his Euthanasia and Administrative Animal Control Officer certifications through the DSHS.  He has completed the FEMA – Professional Development Series, is an approved CE instructor by the DSHS and graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in 2006.  He is a former advisory board member for the Midland Humane Coalition, served as the Animal Control Officer Representative on the state’s Licensed Breeder Advisory Committee, and has served on the board of the Texas Federation of Human Societies and is currently a board member for the Texas Animal Control Association.  He has worked for the Brazos Animal Shelter, City of Midland Animal Services, and is currently the Animal Services Supervisor for the City of Denton.

Senior Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

Kate Pullen joined the staff of the ASPCA in November of 2005 with the specific job of assisting the Louisiana SPCA recover from the effects of hurricane Katrina.   She is now a Senior Director for ASPCA Shelter Outreach, working again with organizations around the country, helping them find opportunities, grow programs, and solve problems.

Kate has over 26 years of shelter experience and prior to joining the ASPCA she was the Director of Animal Sheltering Issues for the Humane Society of the United States from 2000-2005. Prior to HSUS, Kate was the director of was the Director of the Humane Society of Baltimore County from 1990 to 1992, the Director of The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, VA, from 1993-2000.

Kate is a sought after speaker/advisor and expert on shelter operations, program development, shelter design, program implementation, disaster response, crisis intervention, board operations, and, strategic development. She provides extensive advice on a variety of topics to the animal welfare industry.

Kate has a degree in Business Administration and currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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 & 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 & e-blasts, as well as visited radio & 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 & her best friend, a one-eyed Pit Bull named Khaleesi.

Supervisor of Forensic Sciences, ASPCA New York City

Dr. Reisman is a 1980 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.  Dr. Reisman first joined the ASPCA as a clinician in 1988. He is currently Supervisor of Forensic Sciences at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. Dr. Reisman has testified in New York City courts more than 80 times.

Dr. Reisman has received many distinctions for his dedication to fighting animal cruelty, including: the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City’s and Veterinary Medical Association of New York State’s Outstanding Service to Veterinary Medicine Awards (2016), the Brooklyn District Attorney’s “Making A Difference” award (2010), the ASPCA’s Angel Award (2006), and the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City’s – Veterinarian of the Year (2008) and Merit (2002) Awards.

Dr. Reisman has contributed chapters to Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse (1999), the Shelter Veterinary Medicine Textbook (2005, 2013), Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations (2013), Forensic Science and its Applications to the Judiciary System (2012) and Veterinary Forensic Pathology (2018).  He is a co-author on numerous scientific journal articles about veterinary forensic medicine.  He has delivered lectures and presentations on Forensic Veterinary Medicine locally in New York City and nationally.

Chief of Field Operations, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Adam Ricci grew up in a suburban city outside of Portland, Maine.  Ricci started his animal welfare career at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook, Maine.  While a member of their kennel staff Ricci co-founded Southern Maine Pit Bulls, better known as SOME Pit! a pit bull education and advocacy group.  Soon after Ricci moved away from the sheltering side of animal welfare and started employment with the Buxton, ME Police Department as their animal control officer.  Ricci continued to work for Buxton PD but added additional responsibilities as a part-time police officer.

Ricci graduated from the 26th Basic Law Enforcement Training Program and became a post-certified officer for the Buxton PD.  As police officer, Ricci took on additional roles to include the following: Property and Evidence Manager, Evidence Technician, Animal Control Supervisor, York County Special Deputy and represented the department on the York County Crime Task Force and the Maine Gang Intel Task Force.  Ricci was also an instructor for the State of Maine Animal Control certification training.

In 2016, Ricci and his family moved to Tucson, AZ where Ricci took on the role of Chief Animal Protection Officer for the Pima Animal Care Center.  Ricci currently oversees their animal protection division that includes their Community Support Services division assisting pet owners with resources and is the lead for the Pima Domestic Animal Response Team.  Ricci was elected as a Board of Director for the National Animal Care and Control Association and represents NACA as their chair for their Disaster and Social Media Committees. He was recently hired as the Chief of Field Operations for the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department.

Executive Director, Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley

Clint Thacker’s career in the Animal Care & Control industry started in 2002 as an animal control officer with Sandy City, UT. In 2009, he was hired at Salt Lake County Animal Services as the Shelter Supervisor. There, he successfully helped manage the shelter’s transition to a lifesaving program. In 2010, Clint was asked by management to be an ACO Sergeant and help the ACO’s through the same transition.

In 2011 Clint was hired as the Director of Davis County Animal Care & Control in Fruit Heights, UT. Davis County Animal Care & Control covers 17 contracting cities or entities. Over 11,000 calls and 6,000 animals are handled by a staff of 21 employees. When Clint left Davis County in 2017, the shelter had a Live Release Rate of 95.5%.

Clint is presently the Executive Director of the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, NM. The Animal Center provides sheltering services to 10,000 animals a year.

In 2013, Clint was elected to the National Animal Care & Control Association’s Board of Directors. Clint is currently serving as the Secretary of NACA and a member of the Executive Committee.

Clint currently lives in Las Cruces, NM. His wife and family still live in Layton, UT and will make the move to Las Cruces when the school year is over. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing & camping with his wife, five children and their adopted dog.

Cindy was probably three or four years old when she took “full responsibility” for an imaginary litter of kittens that she “found.” They grew up to be wonderful cats. This had to be the beginning of why she is doing what she does today. She grew up on 10 acres where she had an assortment of animals throughout the years.  She was an animal husbandry major in college and had aspirations of becoming a large animal veterinarian. Life took a couple of different turns and she went down a road of 20 years in retail management. She had the opportunity to work for several major retail operations, which afforded her some extensive management and customer service training.

But the animal world continued to call. In the late 90s, she became an Animal Control Officer with Sacramento County in California. She held many positions such as kennel staff, kennel lead, field officer, and volunteer coordinator. She became involved with doing presentations at schools, working with adult consumers at Easter Seals, an after school group called “The 4 and 2 Club”, Girl Scouts and many other groups. She had found a passion in humane education.

She had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start the Animal Services department for the City of Folsom, CA. (Yes, that is the Folsom as in Folsom Prison that Johnny Cash sings about.) She worked as the only Animal Services officer for the City of Folsom with a population of approximately 70,000(excluding inmates) for over 7 years. Folsom quickly became a community that was coached and educated on compliance, by believing that both the animals and owners in the community benefit by educating people about responsible pet ownership.

Cindy has retired after serving nearly 20 years in the position of Animal Services Officer. She is a certified cruelty investigator, equine investigator, disaster responder, and a Pro Responder for the ASPCA FIR Team, a board member of National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA), board member of FieldHaven Feline Center, and member of Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE). She lives in Loomis, California with three dogs, several cats, three pot belly pigs, and “the girls” (7 hens), all of whom are shelter rescues.

Owner, Albuquerque Cat Clinic

Emily Walker, DVM graduated from Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.  She worked for about 4 years in “mixed” practice (dogs and cats), and then moved to Albuquerque to be closer to family.  In March of 2004, she opened Albuquerque Cat Clinic and continues to practice full-time, working exclusively on kitties.

Dr. Walker has been active in organized veterinary medicine since relocating to Albuquerque.  She has served as President of the Albuquerque Veterinary Association, the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association, and Southwest Veterinary Symposium.  She has received the New Mexico Veterinarian of the Year Award and the Southwest Veterinary Symposium Visionary Award.  She currently serves as the Chair of the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Committee, and spends a considerable amount of time in Santa Fe, advocating for animals and the veterinary profession.  Dr. Walker has also been involved in the community, serving two terms on the Board of Directors for Animal Humane New Mexico.

Dr. Walker enjoys spending time with her husband, Matt, and her son, Jack, playing board games and traveling when time is available.  She is an avid reader, and looks forward to time outside at her family’s property near Angel Fire, NM.

Founder & Director, Beyond Breed

Kim Wolf  is the Founder + Director of Beyond Breed (www.beyondbreed.com), a nonprofit organization supporting the bond between people and pets. Kim has more than a decade of professional experience in social work and animal welfare, including her current role as the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Her previous experience includes positions at the Pennsylvania SPCA, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, and numerous social service agencies that serve vulnerable populations. In addition to presenting frequently at animal welfare conferences, Kim has trained dozens of human services agencies on integrating pet care topics into their programs. Kim lives in Des Moines with her three dogs, Mary Todd Lincoln, Cappy and Snickers, and her cat, Miss Kitty.

Courses for Thursday, August 9, 2018

Presented by Myles Chadwick, Emancipet New School

Thursday, August 9, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Over the last decade, non-profit work has become increasingly challenging to navigate as technology, standards, resources and goals have shifted more rapidly than ever before. In the face of constantly evolving needs, animal welfare leaders and new comers alike are often so focused on the task at hand, that succession planning rarely happens. Our movement needs both new and experienced perspectives and leaders who have been prepared and equipped to create lasting social change for the communities we serve. In this workshop we will explore what learning to lead takes and how passing the reigns can be an intentionally curated process, and not a reaction or event.

Presented by Belinda Lewis, MS, CAWA

Thursday, August 9, 10:00 – 11:30 am

The photographic compilation of the animal cruelty case should provide a permanent record of the scene and even more importantly, tell the story.  Your photography will compliment your full report package but only if completed, handled, and stored properly to maintain admissibility.  This session will cover the basic rules of crime scene still photography and video, appropriate handling of images to maintain continuity, and we will spend time with photographic challenges to ensure quality images that meet your goals.  We will discuss image capture from the scene in the field through transport, exams, and housing of animals in your shelter.  The objective is a case your prosecutor will be proud to carry for you.

Presented by Karen Medicus, Consultant & Kate Pullen, ASPCA

Thursday, August 9, 10:00 – 11:30 am

As we look at sheltering today, remembering the basics and also embracing the newer approaches is key to providing the best care for the animals in our charge.  In this workshop we will review the basics and discuss the more recent approaches that have proven to be critical to the success of our programs.

Presented by Casandra Mensing, Austin Pets Alive!

Thursday, August 9, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Austin Pets Alive! has saved over 9,500 neonatal kittens since 2009. In this presentation, we’ll cover how to start and build a bottle baby nursery, plus how to improve the current survival rate for neonates. During the first hour, Casandra Mensing will share her experience running APA! Nursery, from its meager beginnings to the groundbreaking phenomenon that it is today. This presentation will give you the tools to start saving kittens in your community today. Don’t miss finding out how we proved the experts wrong and surpassed a 90% survival rate!

Presented by Mikal Deese, CWR, ON A WING AND A PRAYER & Justin Stevenson, RD Wildlife Management & Consulting

Thursday, August 9, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

Animal Control Officers and shelter workers are often the first contacted when wildlife is either in trouble or deemed troublesome. This presentation will help you know what to do, when it is appropriate to intervene, and how to proceed for the safety of all involved.

Mikal Deese, Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator, holds federal and state permits for wild bird rehabilitation and is the founder of ON A WING AND A PRAYER. She has worked with orphaned, wounded, and ill native wild birds, from hummingbirds to the largest hawks, for over 15 years. How can you help a tiny baby bird? What about the kid that is shooting songbirds? She will demonstrate techniques for capturing a frightened, wounded raptor, and how to transport to available resources. She still has all ten fingers and only minor scars.

Justin Stevenson is a wildlife biologist and owner of RD Wildlife Management & Consulting. During his career he has worked with a wide variety of wildlife including the capture and handling of dozens of North American species. He has over 20 years of wildlife management and research and human-wildlife conflict during his career. He will present issues, decisions and concerns related to the capture and handling of New Mexico native mammal species, including but not limited to raccoon, skunk, coyote, bat, fox, bobcat and others. The presentation will focus on safe handling and low stress techniques for a variety of scenarios, with a strong emphasis on animal welfare and decision making prior to capture or handling techniques.

Presented by Karen Medicus, Consultant & Kate Pullen, ASPCA

Thursday, August 9, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

On top of everything else we do in a shelter every day – now we have to be concerned about the 5 Freedoms?!  Many of us have heard about the 5 Freedoms but we work in older buildings that were not designed for modern animal sheltering.  So, why are these important and what can we do to meet them?  We will review the 5 Freedoms, but more importantly we will dig into three things everyone can do on a daily basis to improve our services and programs for the animals in our care.

Presented by Emily Walker, DVM

Thursday, August 9, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

Feline Infectious Peritonitis continues to be a mystifying disease, presenting diagnostic challenges and a heartbreaking prognosis.  We will go into the most recent research regarding the possibility of promising new treatments, as well as ways to get to an accurate diagnosis.

Presented by Adam Ricci, Pima Animal Care Center

Thursday, August 9, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

This presentation will dive in to how data, and many types of it, can aid your field operations. Field operations have always been about reactive response. Through the review of data trends, needs and operational planning can be developed to increase field response times, cut down on complaints and increase community rapport. This is more than just number crunching of complaints but includes census, shelter and other community metrics to determine needs that can improve the quality of life, not only for pets but for their owners too.

Presented by Myles Chadwick, Emancipet New School

Thursday, August 9, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Peter Drucker first said “Culture eats strategy for lunch” and since then, organizational culture has become a buzzword and a way of life for organizational development consultants. In this workshop, we’ll discuss what culture is, why it matters, and how you can create and preserve a great organizational culture through hiring the right people. This workshop is based on a transformation that our organization, Emancipet, went through, resulting in lower turnover, increased employee engagement, and improved culture overall. We’ll specifically discuss hiring in the animal welfare environment, which is particularly challenging when most of your job applications just say “I love animals!”

Presented by Dr. Robert Reisman, ASPCA Forensic Sciences

Thursday, August 9, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Animal cruelty is a legal determination. This lecture will focus on recognizing and reporting animal cruelty based on historical information and the animal’s health status, whether a complaint is made by a member of the public, or the animal presents at an animal shelter or an animal hospital. An overview of the ASPCA/NYPD Partnership in NYC and its effect on the fight against animal cruelty in NYC will be presented.  Case information will be presented to illustrate different aspects of animal cruelty cases.  Resources to help veterinarians learn about veterinary forensic medicine will be provided.

Courses for Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday, August 10, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Round Table Leaders:

Paul O’Neill, City of Denton

Joe Barreraz, Odessa Police Animal Control Division

Adam Ricci, Pima County Animal Control

Clint Thacker, Animal Service Center of Mesilla Valley

There are so many opportunities for advancement in our profession and it takes more than just being a good field officer or shelter attendant to move up and positively impact our communities. In this Round Table Discussion, current animal control leaders hope to share what they have experienced in their careers, what they are doing now that they have the ability to mentor future leaders, and what they are searching for in leadership candidates.

Presented by Myles Chadwick, Emancipet New School

Friday, August 10, 8:30 – 10:00 am

A toxic workplace is the Achilles Heel of any organization’s success: it leads to higher turnover rates, unhappy staff, and a reduced ability to deliver on mission. Conversely, a healthy workplace fuels teams to believe that the impossible is not just possible, but absolutely achievable. In this workshop we will discuss the important role managers play in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, and attendees will leave with a set of tools and systems they can start putting to use right away in order to strengthen their skills as a leader, increase employee engagement, and guide teams towards success.

Presented by Robert Reisman, ASPCA Forensic Sciences

Friday, August 10, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Animal cruelty cases are legal medicine cases.  Veterinary forensic medicine is veterinary medicine practiced within a legal framework. Animal cruelty cases can be divided into criminal neglect cases and non-accidental injury cases.  There are basic pieces of medical evidence needed to successfully prosecute an animal cruelty case; identification and severity of injuries (or compromised health); discomfort and/or pain the animal experienced, age of injuries, duration of medical problem and information that may indicate in a non-accidental injury case that there were multiple traumatic events.  Case information will be provided to help differentiate non-accidental injuries and accidental injuries and to illustrate different aspects of animal cruelty cases.

Presented by Belinda Lewis, MS, CAWA

Friday, August 10, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Agencies and individuals responsible for receiving animals for intake are frequently not the law enforcement arm that may be assigned an animal cruelty investigation.  When presented with an animal we suspect may have been a victim of cruelty or abuse we all want to do the best we can on behalf of that animal and any forthcoming investigation that may ensue.  How do we achieve that goal?  This session will review types of cruelty and what presentations create that initial suspicion along with the cognitive empathy approach that will achieve a productive conversation with the individual presenting this animal.  We set the tone for a successful intake to assist both the animal in need and the officer who will be receiving this assignment.  Once your intake responsibilities are complete it is time to move on to notifying authorities, exams, photographic documentation, care protocols, and housing.  We will discuss legal status of animals, costs of care, and continued housing through legal release.

Presented by Kim Wolf, Beyond Breed

Friday, August 10, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

In every community some pets are more “at risk” for entering the shelter system, but for every pet that ends up in the shelter there is a human component as well. A growing body of research has shown that most people would keep their pets if certain “safety net” resources were made available. This presentation will take a holistic approach to helping animals by understanding the challenges and barriers facing the people in their communities, especially those that threaten the human-animal bond. We will use a multidisciplinary approach — drawing from animal welfare, social work, economics, and public policy — to assess risk factors for the people/pets in your community and help identify which “safety net” programs could have the greatest impact on your mission. Attendees will learn a variety of best practices, see real-life examples of what works/what does not, and hear practical tips for maximizing and sustaining your success. This presentation is applicable to staff and volunteers from brick-and-mortar shelters, foster-based rescue groups, animal control agencies, advocates, veterinarians, and any individual who wants to make a difference in the community!

Presented by Stacie G. Boswell, DVM, DACVS

Friday, August 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

An organized overview of the rescue process, beginning with acquisition, biosecurity, and routine health care. Safety while handling the down horse is discussed. Problems such as nutritional deficiency management, lacerations, and reproductive issues will be presented from most to least common. Finally, nutritional and management options of the orphan foal will be outlined.

Presented by Animal Humane New Mexico’s EPA Team

Friday, August 10, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

At some point, staff or volunteers at every shelter or rescue find themselves in the intense scenario of making outcome choices for difficult-to-place pets. These might be for animals that enter your care with challenging medical or behavioral concerns, or animals that struggle within the shelter environment and experience behavioral deterioration, or simply for pets who cannot seem to find a home for a variety of other reasons. How do you decide what path is the right one for any given pet? Should all pets be considered for placement? How do you make these calls?

At Animal Humane New Mexico, the burden of these intense decisions has been lightened by having a team work together to evaluate all difficult-to-place cases. The EPA (or Extra Push Animals) Team represents departments across the shelter. Once weekly, the team comes together to discuss the best paths for live-release for difficult-to-place animals or, as a team, decide when euthanasia might be in the best interest of the animal or public.

In this session, members of the EPA Team will share why Animal Humane turned to a team approach for outcome decisions, what roles the different departments play in decision-making, how behaviorally or medically challenging pets are tracked, determining time allowances for all possible solutions, and the role of a euthanasia/behavior matrix in deciding outcomes and how to create one for your organization.

Presented by John Brant, PHR, SHRM-CP, Animal Humane New Mexico

Friday, August 10, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Hiring employees is just a start to creating a strong work force. High employee turnover is costly and leaves a deficit internally. The retention of carefully selected employees is vital to the success of any organization.  It is an area we can’t afford to ignore. This session looks at four basic principles which can contribute greatly to reducing employee turnover and retaining your best talent.

Presented by Kris Bannon, DVM, Diplomate AVDC, Fellow AVD

Friday, August 10, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Oral pathology and dental disease are extremely common in small animals. In rescue situations, many animals have different or more severe oral problems than in private practice and client-owned situations. Some common problems in rescued dogs are severe periodontal disease, malocclusions, and traumatic dentoalveolar fractures (tooth and jaw fractures). In cats, fractured teeth, tooth resorption, and stomatitis are very commonly seen in rescue or shelter conditions.

This 90 minute presentation will demonstrate the presentation of the most common dental and oral problems associated with animals in rescue and shelters. Treatment options that can be performed prior to adoption will be discussed, as well as the short term and long term effects of these health conditions.

Presented by Cindy Walden

Friday, August 10, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Humane education is not normally in the job description for the animal control or animal care positions most of us hold. However, we are in the position to make humane education a part of every day, a part of day-to-day community involvement. When addressing issues such as animal abuse and neglect, aggressive dogs, loose dogs, barking dogs, pet overpopulation, feral cats and even loose livestock, we are most often afforded the opportunity to educate. In this presentation we will explore many of the different opportunities for education that present themselves or opportunities you may be able to search out and be a part of. We will discuss the art of turning a problem situation into a positive education opportunity, taking the classroom into the field.

Moderated by Sam Blankenship, Animal Humane

Panel members: Pat Anderson, Petroglyph Animal Hospital, Martina Holguin, Animal Welfare Coalition, Misha Goodman, Bernalillo County Animal Care

Friday, August 10, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Over the years, one animal welfare lesson has become increasingly clear: none of us can do it alone. The work is huge, and making substantial impact on our communities is challenging. Luckily, partnering with other organizations not only lightens the load for your facility or rescue, it also opens new opportunities for the pets and people you serve. But, how do you know which partnerships will benefit you and your community the most? How do you approach other organizations? How do you know what they have to offer?

In this 90 minute panel discussion, leaders from several organizations working together from Albuquerque through Northern New Mexico to save more lives will talk through answers to these questions and more.

Presented by Jessica Langer, Animal Humane New Mexico

Friday, August 10, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Whether your volunteer force consists of five or 5,000 people, it’s a safe bet that your organization depends on the people who generously donate their time to further your mission. But what if you are looking to start a volunteer program from scratch? Where do you even start? There is a lot of great information out there, but that is just what it is: A LOT! Join Animal Humane’s Volunteer Manager, Jessica Langer, as she helps distill and condense important points for anyone who works with volunteers (or wants to). Some of the topics we will cover include:

  • Job Descriptions
  • Painless Onboarding
  • Finding the Right Fit
  • Recruiting for Hard-To-Fill Spots
  • Quantifying Volunteer Impact
  • Saying Thank You
  • What If It’s Not Working Out?

Course for Saturday, August 11, 2018

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

Saturday, August 11, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (breakfast beginning at 8:30 am)

In 2014, after receiving a Community Partnership grant from the ASPCA, Animal Humane New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) worked together to offer community Pet Health Fairs in underserved neighborhoods in Albuquerque. Offering vaccinations, microchips, behavior advice and outreach support in an easy-to-access format for community members, the Pet Health Fairs quickly gained support in target neighborhoods, and have reached over 3,000 pets with 5,500 vaccinations during their 5-year-span.

Now, as we enter our fifth year of providing Pet Health Fairs and other community empowerment programs, Animal Humane New Mexico hopes to share with you what we have learned about how these outreach programs can serve people and save pets!

During this free half-day workshop, join Melissa Hubbell and Leah Remkes, Partnership Managers at Animal Humane and Julie Buckland, Program Manager at AWD as they break down the benefits of Pet Health Fairs for the community and your organization, what it takes to put on frequent, high-volume outreach events, and getting community partners and funding to make them possible. Our goal is to see such events spread across the Southwest, so join us to learn how!

Happy Homes, Healthy Communities: Empowering Owners Through Community Pet Health Fairs

Saturday, August 11, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm

In 2014, after receiving a Community Partnership grant from the ASPCA, Animal Humane New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) worked together to offer community Pet Health Fairs in underserved neighborhoods in Albuquerque. Offering vaccinations, microchips, behavior advice and outreach support in an easy-to-access format for community members, the Pet Health Fairs quickly gained support in target neighborhoods, and have reached over 3,000 pets with 5,500 vaccinations during their 5-year-span.

Now, as we enter our fifth year of providing Pet Health Fairs and other community empowerment programs, Animal Humane New Mexico hopes to share with you what we have learned about how these outreach programs can serve people and save pets!

During this free half-day workshop, join Melissa Hubbell and Leah Remkes, Partnership Managers at Animal Humane and Julie Buckland, Program Manager at AWD as they break down the benefits of Pet Health Fairs for the community and your organization, what it takes to put on frequent, high-volume outreach events, and getting community partners and funding to make them possible. Our goal is to see such events spread across the Southwest, so join us to learn how!

Workshops held on the campus of
Animal Humane New Mexico
615 Virginia St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.

Click on the Left and Right arrows on the image below to scroll through the schedule for all three conference days.

The 2018 New Mexico Humane Conference was approved by the following bodies for Continuing Education Credits:

  • For Veterinarians & Veterinary Technicians
    • Approved through the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine for of 8.0 hours for veterinarians and veterinary technicians for the 2 day event (Thursday & Friday)
  • For Certified Animal Welfare Administrators
    • Approved for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) continuing education credits for up to 15 hours (11.0 hours possible on Thursday & Friday and full 15.0 hours for Thursday, Friday & Saturday)!
  • For Euthanasia Technicians
    • Approved through the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine for 11.0 hours for the 2 day event (Thursday & Friday) and 15.0 hours for the 3 day option (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)!
  • For Animal Control Officers, Public Safety and Law Enforcement professionals
    • Approved through the New Mexico Department of Public Safety for up to 15 hours (11.0 hours possible on Thursday & Friday and full 15.0 hours for Thursday, Friday & Saturday)!
    • Approved through the Texas Department of State Health Services for up to 15 hours (11.0 hours possible on Thursday & Friday and full 15.0 hours for Thursday, Friday & Saturday)!

Questions about your continuing education earned from attending this event? Email [email protected]


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