Frequently Asked Questions

What are the chances that my session will be selected?

We receive hundreds of session proposals every year. Our Animal Care Expo session selection team does their best to select the top proposals on a wide variety of progressive topics relevant to animal sheltering and rescue. The odds of a session being selected depend on the quality of the proposal, the total number of proposals received and the quantity/quality of similar proposals.

Please understand that opportunities are limited, so not every proposal can be accepted. The HSUS reserves the right to select session topics and presenters at its sole discretion and may reject a proposal for any reason. If your proposal is accepted, we will notify you via email by October 4, 2019. 

What can I do to improve the likelihood of my session being chosen?

There are a number of steps that you can take to make your session submission more likely to be selected:

  • Fill out the session submission form completely, correctly and on time.
  • Consider submitting an advanced-level session for those attendees with many years of experience in the field.
  • Choose a topic and be specific. Subjects like "dog behavior" and "fundraising" are very general, so be sure to explain what specific aspects your session addresses. Better examples would be "using clicker training to improve dog behavior in the shelter" or "how to attract new donors through Instagram."
  • If your session is meant to address a broad topic or is aimed at those newer to the field, explain that, as well as the unique angle that you bring to that topic.
  • Make the most of the description space. You don't need to use all 500 words, but do your best to paint a clear picture of what your session entails.
  • Check your spelling and punctuation. A sloppy or incomplete application doesn’t reflect well on a potential speaker.

What topics are most likely to be selected?

Topics change from year to year. Based on feedback from Animal Care Expo 2019 attendees and what we are seeing in the field, the following are topics to consider:

  • Behavior (cats and dogs)
  • Volunteer Management
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Human Resources
  • Rescue Groups
  • Community Outreach
  • Animal Control/Law Enforcement
  • Fundraising/Marketing
  • Advanced Leadership/Non-profit Management
  • Social Justice​
  • Foster Programs
  • Future of Sheltering
  • Science and Research
  • TNR, cat issues, kittens

What if my session doesn't fit into one of the listed topics?

The topics listed above have been made available to give you an idea of what attendees specified they are interested in, but do not necessarily cover all topics for next year's Animal Care Expo. 

Can I submit more than one session?

Yes, we encourage and prefer for you to submit at least two sessions. If you choose to submit multiple sessions, please be sure to complete a submission form for each one.

How much time is allowed for the sessions?

Standard sessions are 90 minutes, Learning Labs are 7 hours with an hour lunchbreak, and we are considering some one-hour sessions for 2020. 

How many presenters can I propose?

For a standard 90-minute session, no more than two speakers. Learning Labs may have up to four speakers.

Who can submit a session for consideration?

Anyone—as long as the topic is relevant to the conference and the person submitting is qualified to speak on that topic.

Do you reimburse expenses or pay speaking fees for Animal Care Expo presenters?

As a general rule, The HSUS will provide a complimentary Animal Care Expo registration. We have limited funds available to cover speaker travel expenses to Animal Care Expo for those from non-profit or municipal animal welfare organizations. The HSUS does not provide travel reimbursement for for-profit companies or Animal Care Expo exhibitors, and we are unable to pay a honorarium or speaking fees for Animal Care Expo speakers. 

Can representatives of for-profit companies submit session proposals?

Yes, but make sure your session isn’t simply an advertisement for your company. Sessions must aim to educate shelter and rescue professionals, not sell them a product. Overtly commercial submissions will not be considered. 

What should I expect if I am selected to present at Expo 2020?

If your proposal is selected for Animal Care Expo, we will contact you via email to confirm your availability and proposal content. You will receive a number of emails over several months from your HSUS speaker contact with deadlines for registering for the conference, submitting handouts, signing up to host a round table and more.  We reserve the right to edit your session title and description in our conference materials, or to pair you with another presenter on your topic.

What should I do if I have technical problems submitting my session?

Please email us at with a detailed description of the problem.