2019 Conference

The 2019 New Mexico Humane Conference:

The Heroes We Need

Coming August 8 & 9, 2019 to the Embassy Suites – Albuquerque

We are in the process of creating our awesome 2019 event. Check back regularly for event updates!

If you have any questions about information on this page, please contact us.

Registration for the 2019 New Mexico Humane Conference opens May 1, 2019!

Registration fees:

  • $120 for the two day conference. Conference registration includes access to any presentations held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Thursday, August 8 and Friday, August 9. Includes vegan meals and snacks served at the conference.

Need help to attend?

Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to offer a limited number of complimentary registrations to individuals representing small or rural shelters, or privately funded rescue groups. To find out if your registration might qualify and apply, email [email protected].

Register Here

Jessica Dolce is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator helping animal care and welfare professionals to navigate compassion fatigue and cultivate resilience, so that they can thrive while doing the meaningful work they love.

Jessica brings more than sixteen years of experience working with and for companion animals to her online classes, workshops, and coaching. She is an adjunct faculty member at The Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and has worked with organizations such as the ASPCA, Maine Medical Center, and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Her online program Compassion in Balance provides ongoing compassion fatigue education and support for animal care organizations and her project, Dogs In Need Of Space, offers practical, emotional support to dog owners and behavior professionals around the world.

Jessica holds a Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education degree and certificates in stress management, mindfulness facilitation, and positive psychology coaching. She lives in Maine and can be found online at jessicadolce.com

Director of Educational Programs, The National Kitten Coalition

Rosemarie Crawford is a licensed veterinary technician with a long history of helping animals – particularly kittens.  She is co-founder of The National Kitten Coalition and has almost 20 years’ experience in animal welfare.  As a medical staff member in a high-volume, open-access shelter in IL, Rosemarie worked closely with the shelter veterinarian to provide for the animals’ medical and surgical needs.  She assisted in developing and implementing progressive, proactive protocols for the care and treatment of kittens in the shelter’s kitten nursery room as well as for those in foster care.  Additionally, Rosemarie served in two shelters as the foster coordinator and understands the challenges and rewards of creating, expanding and maintaining foster programs.  In addition to presenting training sessions for The National Kitten Coalition, Rosemarie works at a six-doctor veterinary practice in northern VA, and in her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband or fostering kittens needing medical care.

Chief of Field Operations, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Adam J Ricci has worked in a number of positions and organizations through the United States as an animal welfare and public safety professional. Ricci started as a kennel technician before starting a non-profit education and advocacy group. It was not long until Ricci started in the public safety field as an animal control officer and eventually a police officer. During that time Ricci held positions as animal control supervisor, evidence technician, special deputy to the York County Sheriffs Office assigned to their crime intel task force and the Maine gang intel task force.

Ricci’s passion for animals never waivered. In 2016 Ricci was hired as the Chief Animal Protection Officer for Pima County, Arizona. While working in Pima County Ricci was elected to the board of directors for the National Animal Care and Control Association. Through efforts in Pima Ricci and his team developed innovative community programs to support pet ownership with the homeless community and that living in underserved communities.

In 2018 Ricci was hired as the Chief of Field Operation for the City of Albuquerque, NM. Under the leadership of Ricci and Danny Nevarez, lifesaving at the shelter has increased after a major focus on developing a new culture of understanding and individual growth.

Ricci has spoken at a number of conferences from Alaska to Maine. Ricci is currently sought after for presentations on forensic evidence, field training, communication and leadership. Ricci has also been published as an author as a regular contributor for the NACA News, National Sheriff’s Association and other smaller publications. Ricci has also been hired to contribute for training materials for national certifications.

Community Programs Manager, Pima Animal Care Center

Bennett Simonsen is the Community Programs Manager at Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson Arizona. He is developing a network of pet support programs designed to keep pets in their homes, including efforts to directly provide support to pet owners facing homelessness and pet owners who are possibly facing citations due to a lack of resources. Previously, he served as the Community Outreach and Pets for Life Manager at the Humane Society of Charlotte in North Carolina. A former teacher, Bennett is passionate about the intersections of animals, race, and class and is dedicated to providing resources to those who have traditionally been excluded from animal welfare.

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 2018, Clint was reelected to the National Animal Care & Control Association’s Board of Directors.

Clint currently lives in Las Cruces, NM with his wife of 19 years and their 7 children. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping.

Chapter Manager & Board President, New Mexico House Rabbit Society

Kirstin Tyler started fostering rabbits by accident and is now the Chapter Manager and Board President of the New Mexico House Rabbit Society, a 501c3 organization that rescues domestic rabbits and educates the public on proper rabbit care. She is also a licensed Educator for the national House Rabbit Society, a status achieved through passing a rigorous exam on rabbit care. Kirstin teaches both ‘Bunny 101’ classes to the public and ‘Rabbits in Shelters’ classes to shelters. Everything she does for the bunnies is voluntary. For her day job, Kirstin is a project controller at Sandia National Labs.

Shelter Management Advisor, American Pets Alive!

Faith is the Shelter Management Advisor for American Pets Alive! and conducts site visits and responds to crises from other shelters. She began her journey volunteering for APA! in 2009 and in 2011 became the Operations Manager for APA!. In 2016, her role shifted to Facilities, Information, and Legal Services Manager. Faith and her family have fostered over 800 animals since the beginning of her time with APA!. Faith has helped spread the word of the No Kill mission by moving temporarily to Edinburg, Texas and working as the temporary shelter manager at Palm Valley Animal Center. She helped increase their live release rate to almost 50%, up from 37%. Since her return to Austin, she has been taking weekly trips to area shelters in Texas and New Mexico to evaluate intake process, animal flow, and rescue efforts. Faith prides herself in taking home an animal to foster from each shelter she visits.

More courses added regularly! Check back soon!

Courses for Thursday, August 8, 2019

Presented by Jessica Dolce, MS,CCFE

Thursday, August 8, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Every day you step up to serve your community. You may not feel like a superhero because you can’t smash walls like Luke Cage, but you do have a massive muscle that saves lives: your heart.

With compassion you strive to relieve suffering and to create a better world for animals and people. You are making a difference.

But the needs are great and resources are limited. There are times when it can feel like nothing you do is ever enough. It takes real courage to keep showing up.

In this workshop we’ll explore what we can do to thrive in our meaningful, but often painful work, by practicing “compassionate badassery.” We’ll discuss how to keep your superpower strong and resilient, so you can continue to be the hero your community needs.

Presented by Jessica Dolce, MS,CCFE

Thursday, August 8, 1:45 – 3:15 pm

Reactive. Wired and tired. Running on adrenaline. Our fast-paced work can leave us feeling like we’re in constant overdrive. This elevated stress, combined with our empathy for animals and people, contributes to both burnout and compassion fatigue. In this workshop we’ll learn a number of simple, effective practices that can help us (and our staff) to pump the brakes on stress, so that we can recover our equilibrium, work more effectively, and feel better at work and at home.

Presented by Clint Thacker, Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley

Thursday, August 8, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Will the words “trust”, “transparency” and “government” ever be spoken in the same sentence? This presentation focuses on how any organization can be transparent. Through fun stories and audience discussions, the topic of transparency comes alive. Such topics as when should I be transparent, how to be transparent, what are the different types of transparency and how to recover when you were not transparent and many others are covered in this engaging presentation.

Presented by Faith Wright, American Pets Alive!

Thursday, August 8, 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Join Faith Wright of American Pets Alive! as she discusses the first 72 hours, model intake and animal flow process which aids in disease prevention and thereby make pets more adoptable, fosterable, and transferable.  Faith will also discuss best practices in the event of an outbreak of distemper.

Courses for Friday, August 9, 2019

Presented by Kirstin Tyler, New Mexico House Rabbit Society

Friday, August 9, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Rabbits are the third-most abandoned animal at shelters and the number one misunderstood. Most of the information found on the internet is wrong, and most of the rabbit items sold at pet stores are harmful. Set the record straight in this workshop where you’ll learn key information about housing, diet, handling, enrichment, health, and behavior.

Presented by Adam Ricci, City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Friday, August 9, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Develop data driven practices to improve lifesaving capabilities of your animal organizations.  During this workshop, you will be introduced to approaches to developing working teams, empowering all levels of an organization and creating implementation plans to anchor programs for future success. You will learn how modern business best practices can be utilized in a sheltering environment.  Attendees will see how these processes were implemented by the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department.

Presented by Rosemarie Crawford, LVT, The National Kitten Coalition

Friday, August 9, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Successful kitten care is multi-faceted, and looking at overall kitten care from many angles, reveals how individual parts can work together to produce spectacular results.  From the moment kittens arrive at a shelter (and in some cases even before they arrive), to the time that they are in foster care and ultimately to when they move on to adoption, each step along the way can have a remarkable impact on kittens’ health and wellbeing.

This session will take a clear look at how caregivers in shelters and foster homes can minimize risks and maximize positive outcomes for kittens.  Learn about proven protocols for preventative and daily care, get insights into some brilliant programs and strategies that can be put into place immediately, and leave with some gems of wisdom to benefit kittens at each step from intake to adoption.

Presented by Bennett Simonsen, Pima Animal Care Center

Friday, August 9, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

“They don’t believe in spay/neuter.” “They keep their animals outside because they aren’t part of the family.” “Their pets aren’t a priority.” These are just a few of the harmful misconceptions that animal welfare has about pet owners in underserved communities. This workshop will break apart these ideas and explore the impact they are having on your shelter and community. You will come away with new ideas about how to engage more of your community and a new understanding of your community’s love for their pets.

Presented by Jessica Dolce, MS,CCFE

Friday, August 9, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The animal care and welfare field is complex, trauma-exposed work which inevitably takes a toll on staff well-being. If compassion fatigue hits critical mass in the workplace, the organization itself is also impacted. Organizations may find themselves with high rates of absenteeism, teams struggling to work well together, outbreaks of aggressive behavior, and lack of flexibility or resistance to change. This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of organizational compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress, along with the practices organizations can implement to reduce risk and promote staff resilience. Learn how shifting from self-care to we-care will create a healthier workplace that can deliver on its mission.

Enjoy your stay in Albuquerque at our conference hotel – the Embassy Suites Albuquerque Hotel & Spa!

1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

(505) 245-7100

Reservations can be made by phone by calling 1- 800-EMBASSY / 1-800-362-2779/ 1-505-245-7100 or online using this link.

Special Room Rates for 2019 New Mexico Humane Conference:
$119/night Single and Double Occupancy
$129/night Triple
$139/night Quad


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