ARF | ARF Events | Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 8: 30 am - 5 pm The annual Business of Saving Lives conference is an energizing, daylong learning experience packed with practical information and valuable tools at an affordable price.
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Business of Saving Lives

Saturday, March 25, 2017
8: 30 am - 5 pm

The annual Business of Saving Lives conference is an energizing, daylong learning experience packed with practical information and valuable tools at an affordable price. Professionals and volunteers from groups large and small are invited to join ARF for a conference filled with inspiring sessions from industry leaders, networking opportunities, and emerging trends and practices in the animal welfare industry. View the full conference agenda

Registration fee, per person: $45 

The non-refundable registration fee includes a continental breakfast and vegetarian lunch. Please contact Sara Bragg, Community Programs Director, with questions at (925) 296-3106.

Understanding the Emotional Lives of our Dogs: State of the Science and Real Life Applications

Ragen TS McGowan, Senior Behavior Scientist, Nestle Purina PetCare Most people who closely interact with dogs perceive them to lead rich emotional lives and believe that their experiences affect them profoundly in ways similar to how humans are af.

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Ragen TS McGowan, Senior Behavior Scientist, Nestle Purina PetCare

Most people who closely interact with dogs perceive them to lead rich emotional lives and believe that their experiences affect them profoundly in ways similar to how humans are affected. However, there is a lack of methodology to objectively assess emotional states in dogs, especially positive states. This session will highlight the current state of the science around assessing positive emotional states in dogs, providing examples from studies in both research and shelter settings. Dogs are an ideal non-human model for studying positive affective states because they have traditionally lived in close contact with people (so we are good at reading them and they are even better at reading us), are capable of forming close attachments to people (providing opportunity to study the human animal bond from the animal’s perspective) and are kept throughout the world as both companions and working animals (a better understanding of their affective states will help to promote optimal wellbeing). Using behavioral tests coupled with non-invasive physiological measures we can glean new insights into how to measure affective states in dogs. By using this type of holistic approach, we can produce scientifically sound evidence to identify which emotions dogs experience and how dogs express these affective states through their behavior. All in all, a better understanding of the emotional lives of dogs allows for the design and implementation of programs and enrichment to promote their optimal wellbeing.

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From One Sneeze to a Million Lives

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM, Program Director, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, UC Davis For over two decades, feline Upper Respiratory Infection has been Dr. Hurley’s nemesis.

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Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM, Program Director, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, UC Davis

For over two decades, feline Upper Respiratory Infection has been Dr. Hurley’s nemesis. How could it be that such a seemingly trivial disease – just a kitty cold! – could exact such an enormous toll on shelters, staff and cats? That question haunted Hurley through her career as an animal control officer. It followed her on her journey through veterinary school, as a shelter veterinarian, as the world’s first Shelter Medicine resident, and as director of the UC Davis shelter medicine program. That same stubborn question remained largely unanswered even after years of effort: through textbooks published and articles written, half a million dollars’ worth of research performed, new housing products developed and brought to market, and thousands of hours logged criss-crossing the country, lecturing, consulting, pleading, haranguing, and sharing the best science she could provide.

Finally, after half a lifetime chasing solutions to the common cat cold, the answer turned out to be surprisingly simple and accessible. It involved trusting the public; balancing our workload with our capacity; taking really good care of cats…and saving their lives. 

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Increasing Engagement with Adopters, Service Clients, and Grant Making Organizations

Aaron Asmus, CAWA, Co-Founder, Resourceful Elephant Group Understanding how to deliver and develop a compelling message to grant making organizations, adopters and social service clients is crucial to the survival and growth of all organizations.

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Aaron Asmus, CAWA, Co-Founder, Resourceful Elephant Group

Understanding how to deliver and develop a compelling message to grant making organizations, adopters and social service clients is crucial to the survival and growth of all organizations. During this workshop we will discuss how you and your organization could adjust and/or develop messaging to increase engagement from three key constituent categories: Adopters, Service Clients, and Funders 

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Common Aggressive Behaviors in a Shelter

Renee Harris, Animal Shelter Consultant and Teacher, Top2Cats Consulting When dogs and cats display aggressive behaviors while in a shelter care, we are often challenged in determining if they are safe to work with, and consider for placement.

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Renee Harris, Animal Shelter Consultant and Teacher, Top2Cats Consulting

When dogs and cats display aggressive behaviors while in a shelter care, we are often challenged in determining if they are safe to work with, and consider for placement.  Renee will discuss more common aggressive behaviors that we observe, and assist in identify perhaps type of aggression, more importantly discussing how to properly interpret the aggressive behaviors that are being displayed.  In conjunction with other behavior traits we will discuss possible positive outcomes for some of these dogs and cats. 

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Mamas from the Streets

Erin Kerley, Community Cares Program Manager, San Francisco SPCA - Audra Farrell, Community Cat Program Supervisor, Community Cares Program, San Francisco SPCA In 2014, the pilot year of the Feral Mamas from the Streets program, the SF SPCA trap.

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Erin Kerley, Community Cares Program Manager, San Francisco SPCA
Audra Farrell, Community Cat Program Supervisor, Community Cares Program, San Francisco SPCA  

In 2014, the pilot year of the Feral Mamas from the Streets program, the SF SPCA trapped and fostered three mamas and 10 babies. Through June of the 2015 kitten season, they’ve trapped and fostered more than 15 mamas and some 40 kittens. In this workshop, they’ll share their experiences growing the program, what’s worked...and what hasn’t. The learning curve has been big, but the benefits to the mamas, kittens, and the community have been even bigger.

Learn the “why” and “how” of successfully trapping feral mother cats with their kittens in an urban setting, the benefits of trapping the whole family together, setting up a nursery or finding foster homes, and eventual spay and return to the community for the mothers. Leave with your own tools to educate the general public on what to do when they find kittens, tips and techniques on how to separate kittens when it’s time, and discussions and demonstrations to maximize your chances of a successful trap.

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Bridging the Gap: Empathy as a Starting Point for Social Change

Laura Jean Schuhriemen, Community Programs Coordinator, Tony La Russa's ARF - Sarah D Williams, Outreach Coordinator, BAD RAP Hundreds of organizations in our area alone are dedicated to saving dogs and cats from the streets or shelters.

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Laura Jean Schuhriemen, Community Programs Coordinator, Tony La Russa's ARF
Sarah D Williams, Outreach Coordinator, BAD RAP

Hundreds of organizations in our area alone are dedicated to saving dogs and cats from the streets or shelters. Often these animals end up in our facilities as a result of owner surrender —because the owner perceives they can no longer care for their pet adequately or at all. And that’s where our work begins: after the animal ends up admitted and entrusted to our care. But what happens if we shift that starting line?

Welcome to the next frontier of caring for animals in our community. In this presentation and Q&A session, we look at the possibilities that open up when we intervene before someone gives up their pet. It all starts with empathy. And it all starts with us. Together we will explore how we can use empathy as the starting point for social change in our work with pet owners, clients, and communities-at-large. Bridging the empathy gap involves breaking down hard-held stereotypes and biases and recognizing how those biases, as well as privilege, affect our interactions with those who come through our doors. First and foremost, though, having empathy for others starts with having empathy for ourselves. Therefore, we will also discuss how empathy can bring beneficial change within us personally and within our teams, serving to help sustain us in doing work that carries high risk of compassion fatigue and burnout. Whether you are inspired to dive head first into animal social work or give out a few free bags of food in your spare time, empathy must be the starting point if you want to make it to the finish line.

Formerly titled "Compassion for People - Saving Pets"

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