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Learning labs

Add learning labs to your Animal Care Expo schedule!

Learning labs are $125 and are not included in full conference registration. Lunch is included. See the registration rates.

To assist you in selecting workshops that will be most helpful, presenters have coded their workshops using one of the following categories:

  • Level 1: Suitable for all attendees
  • Level 2: Best suited to those new to the field
  • Level 3: Best suited to those with a moderate level of experience in the field and/or those in mid-level leadership positions
  • Level 4: Best suited to those with extensive experience in the field and/or those in high-level leadership positions

All learning labs and workshops have been *approved for CAWA CE credits.
* KC Pet Project mini learning lab is pending approval


Monday, May 14, 2018

8:00am - 3:00pm (unless otherwise noted)

A workflow management boot camp: Expanding the shelter leader's capacity for care
We all know that shelters operate better when they are within their capacity for care, allowing healthy, happy animals to move through shelters safely and quickly, saving resources, staff sanity, and most importantly, more animal lives. But what about people? We too have limits, and working within our capacity for care maximizes our effectiveness and ensures a humane environment for ourselves, our staff, the animals we care for and the organizations we serve. This unique workshop for shelter leaders will provide an intensive daylong session in which each participant will be supported in identifying true priorities and building healthy habits and processes, while maintaining a healthy, happy balance between the work you love and the life you deserve. Level 4
Presenters: Dr. Kate Hurley, Director, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and Million Cat Challenge Co-founder; Laura Maloney, Principal, Adisa; Betsy McFarland, Principal, Adisa; Jyothi Robertson, Principal Consultant, JVR Shelter Strategies
AAVSB credit

Changing human behavior to advance animal welfare
This daylong session will cover the complexities of changing the human behaviors that harm animals, with an eye toward driving lasting change in your communities. In the early part of the day, we’ll cover some of the science behind human behavior and motivating people to change. Then we’ll delve deeply into some of the most pressing issues facing cats and dogs around the globe. We’ll also study how to create a smart, sustainable approach to the particular issues facing a community’s human and animal populations, honing in on gaining support from stakeholders and empowering a community to be part of the change.
Presenters: Amielle DeWan, Executive Director, Impact by Design; Nancy Janes, President & CEO, Romania Animal Rescue League; Ivan Kurajov, Executive Director, The Society for the Protection of Animals: Ljubimci; Hanna Lentz, Managing Director, Impact by Design; Matthew Payne, Community Neutering Officer, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, UK

Get ready to raise the woof: Shelter planning and design
The process may seem stressful, but planning and designing an animal shelter can be an exciting opportunity, with the right knowledge and information. Learn from architects and engineers who specialize in this unique building type as they share their expertise. You will leave with the right tools to build a successful shelter for your community and the animals in your care. Level 3
NOTE: This learning lab ends at 3:45 p.m.
Presenters: Richard S. Bacon, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, President and Principal Architect, Bacon Group Architecture; Michael Barnard, AIA, ACO, President, Shelter Planners of America; C. Scott Learned, MS, PE, LEED AP, President, Design Learned, Inc.; Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, Principal, Animal Arts; Martha Seng, FAIA, Principal, Jackson and Ryan Architects

Holistic approach to community and shelter assessments
In this workshop, participants will learn the powerful connection between accessible community programs and shelter intake/euthanasia. The session will begin with an introduction to best practices that include proactive programs such as targeted spay/neuter and strategic intake. The class will then do a walk-through of the Great Plains SPCA shelter and listen to the thought process behind an effective assessment designed to help alleviate bottlenecks, create more efficient work processes and provide humane housing and enrichment—all resulting in a shorter length of stay. Level 1
NOTE: This learning lab will take place at Great Plains SPCA. Roundtrip transportation from the Convention Center will be provided. Bus will depart promptly at 7:30 a.m.
CAPACITY: 40 participants
Presenter: Dr. Sara Pizano, Consultant, Team Shelter USA

Managing community cats: How to fix 300 cats in a weekend
Securing affordable, high volume spay/neuter services for free-roaming cats is often a challenge for trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs. One solution is a mass spay/neuter clinic which brings together veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other volunteers for one or two days to alter a large number of cats. Many organizations have turned to weekend mass spay/neuter clinics to expand capacity. In this hands-on learning lab, participants will learn the basics of setting up and operating a mass spay/neuter clinic. Level 3
NOTE: This learning lab will take place at Spay and Neuter Kansas City. Roundtrip transportation from the Convention Center will be provided. Bus will depart promptly at 7:30 a.m.
Presenters: Dr. Julie Levy, Professor of Shelter Medicine, University of Florida Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine and Million Cat Challenge Co-Founder; Dr. Christine Wilford, Founder, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project
AAVSB credit

Volunteer programs: The struggle is real
Volunteer managers frequently experience similar difficulties in their work regardless of the details of their program. But we’re all in this together, and we can solve these issues! Participants will learn critical techniques and gain tools for handling the most common problems/conflicts that arise within volunteer programs in rescues and shelters. Utilizing real-life examples to make the discussion fun and meaningful, this workshop will also provide practical solutions you can put into place the moment you leave the session. Level 3
Presenters: Ollie Davidson, Principal, Old Dog Consulting; Hilary Hager, Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement, The HSUS

Who needs data anyway?
Spoiler alert: It’s you! This session will promote the value of shelter metrics through a series of short lectures and breakout sessions where participants will complete exercises using and interpreting their own shelters’ data. Don’t be scared! We’ll cover the importance of metrics in reducing suffering and saving lives, and how to determine which types will best help you address issues specific to your organization. We will also cover issues relating to data quality, running reports, presenting and visualizing the numbers, and the timing of analyses. Learn how to make the most of your shelter’s data in this interactive workshop. Level 3
NOTE: Each attendee must bring a laptop to this learning lab
CAPACITY: 30 participants
Presenters: Dr. Michael Greenberg, Program Director, Target Zero; Dr. Tiva Hoshizaki, Shelter Veterinarian and Consultant; Jan Scarlett, Professor Emerita of Epidemiology, Cornell University
AAVSB credit


No Cost

FREE KC Pet Project Mini Learning Lab and Tour Sponsored by Maddie’s Fund
Small shelter? Tight budget? Those don’t have to be barriers to saving more lives. KC Pet Project repurposed space in its nearly 50-year-old building to turn the once high-euthanasia shelter into one that is saving more than 95% of its animals. Rooms that were once office spaces are now high-functioning cat adoption rooms, and a locker room is now a parvo ward. Tour its Veterinary Care Center, which is operated out of converted construction trailers just outside of the facility. Learn about KC Pet Project’s “Solutions—Not Excuses” motto and how many of its programs can be applied to your organization.
First tour: 8:30am - 11:30am | Second tour: 12:30pm - 3:30pm
CAPACITY: 40 participants


Continuing Education

All Learning Labs labeled with "AAVSB credit" have been approved for 7 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval. Call HSVMA at (530) 759-8106 or email info@hsvma.org for further information.

2018 Registration Sponsor