Conference schedule: Animal professionals and advocates unite

Pre-conference workshops, general sessions, breakout sessions and networking — oh, my! There are so many great topics to dig into at this year’s Best Friends National Conference, you may find it hard to pick and choose. Not sure where to start? Check-in, of course. (Details subject to change.)

Already have your heart set on a few sessions? Once you register, you can start selecting conference sessions that you're planning to attend right away. They’ll be synced with the schedule on your conference app and you can always change your selections later. Choosing sessions in advance gives us a better idea of how many people are likely to attend a given session so that we can do our best to have seats available for everyone.

TRACKS
Cutting-edge animal care track icon

Cutting-edge animal care

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track icon

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track icon

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track icon

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare

Professional and proactive animal services track icon

Professional and proactive animal services

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track icon

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track icon

Community-based animal programs and advocacy

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track icon

State-of-the-art shelter medicine

Wednesday, June 17

8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Conference check-in

8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Pre-conference workshops (additional registration required)

Let’s Raise Some Money: Fundraising Expertise in Animal Welfare (Barbara Camick, Sandy Nelson, Elizabeth Reed, Kathy Stolzenburg, Amy Starnes, Patricia Tolbert)

 

Cats (Not the Musical): Everything You Need to Know to Save More Cats and Kittens (Kristi Brooks, Alyssa Dazza, Molly DeVoss, Kirstie James, Wendy Kaplan, Lydia LaSalle, Dr. Meredith Montgomery, Liz Stamper, Dr. G. Robert Weedon)

 

Our First Responders: Expert Knowledge, Critical Skills and Professional Support for Animal Control Officers (Michelle Dosson, Scott Giacoppo, Nick Lippincott, Audra Michael, April Moore. Lee Ann Shenefiel)

 

By the People for the Pets: Effectively Advocating for Pets and Their People (Janet Alderson, Sarah Aguilar, Reasa Currier, Jamie Case, Carrie Ducote, Lee Greenwood, Pat Guerrero, Emily Hovermale, Kenny Lamberti, Allison Watters, Kim Wolf, Abby Volin)

 

Modern Med: Communications and Protocols for a Progressive Shelter Medicine Program (Dr. Josh Fisher, Monica Frenden, Dr. Erin Katribe, Dr. Julie Levy, Dr. Robert G. Weedon, Dr. Melinda Whitaker)

 

Brilliant Behaviors: Cutting-Edge Programs and Practices to Save Dogs in Shelters (Amanda Audia, Cynthia Bathurst, Leslie Gallagher, Heather Gibbs, Emily Grossheider, Ellen Naumann, Aimee Sadler, Grisha Stewart)

 

Small Groups, Big Impact: The Wild and Wonderful World of Small Animal Welfare Organizations (Andra Adams, Emma Clifford, Bethany Colonnese,Natalie Corwin, Steven Hirano, Kathy Huddleston, Elsa Kohlbus, Kathy Powelson, Lisa Norwood, Leslie Sans)

 

5:00 – 8:00 pm

Welcome reception in The Hub

 

Thursday, June 18

7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Registration open

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Continental breakfast

8:30 am – 9:45 am

Welcome session

9:45 am – 10:15 am

Break

10:15 am –12:00 pm

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Using National Know-How for Local Lifesaving

South Central region OK, AR, TX, LA (Catherine Eldredge, Lee Ann Shenefiel)

 

Southeast region MS, AL, GA, SC, FL (Lisa Barrett, Tiffany Deaton, Carrie Ducote, Makena Yarbrough)

 

Northeast region PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE (Elizabeth Jensen)

 

Mid-Atlantic region KY, TN, NC, VA, MD, DC (Angela Rovetto, Makena Yarbrough)

 

Midwest region WI, MI, IL, IN, OH, WV (Stacy Rogers, Liz Stamper)

 

Mountain West region MT, ID, WY, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM (Arlyn Bradshaw, Melissa Lipani)

 

Great Plains region ND, SD, MN, NE, IA, KS, MO (Mandi Nieland)

 

Pacific region WA, OR, CA, AK, HI (Kaylee Hawkins, Sheila McLalin, Alyss Tsukayama)

 

12:00 – 2:00 pm

The Hub open (lunch provided)

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

General session

2:45 – 3:15 pm

Break

3:15 – 4:30 pm

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconThe First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention (Jordana Estrada, Faith Wright)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconThe Five S’s of Lifesaving: Conquering Chaos in an Inherently Chaotic Field (Michael Bricker, Luis Quintanilla)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconNonprofit Money-Makers: Six Fundraising Channels That Will Help You Save Homeless Pets (Julie Barger)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconStorytelling Unbound: Engaging the Whole Organization in Cultivating and Shaping Your Stories (Alexandra Baggs, Sandra Mallalieu)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconFinding Your North Star: Using Strategic Planning to Guide Your Work and Maximize Organizational Impact (Judah Battista, Holly Sizemore)

 

Professional and proactive animal services track iconControlled Chaos: Becoming Agents of Change in an Emerging and Chaotic Profession (Adam Ricci)

 

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track iconShelter Medicine Essentials: Everything Shelters and Rescue Groups Need to Know to Save Pets (Dr. Erin Katribe)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconThe Almighty Volunteer: Harnessing the Full Power of Volunteers for Animal Welfare Organizations (Gina Knepp)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconArtful Advocacy: Effecting Major Change for Animals in Your Community (Elizabeth Oreck)

 

5:00 – 8:00 pm

The Hub open

 

Friday, June 19

7:15 am – 6:30 pm

Registration open

7:30 – 8:30 am

Continental breakfast

8:30 – 9:45 am

Keynote Session (Scott Stratten)

9:45 –10:15 am

Break

10:15 –11:30 am

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconThe Cat Conundrum: Knowing When and When Not to Rescue (Especially When They’re Friendly) (Destiny Haney, Christie Rogero)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconSaying Yes to Success: Embracing New Ideas to Dramatically Increase Lifesaving and Staff Morale (Angie Friers, Susan Naylor, Veronica Vera)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconChannel Surfing: Social Media Skills for the Animal Welfare World (Emily Tolliver)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track icon21st Century Dog Fostering: Embracing and Implementing Short-Term Foster and Field Trip Programs for Any Size of Shelter (Finnegan Dowling, Kelly Duer)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconZero to 1,000: Taking Your Tiny Animal Rescue Group to High-Volume Lifesaving Powerhouse (Heather Owen)

 

Professional and proactive animal services track iconGetting ’Em Home: Advanced Tactics for Increasing Return-to-Owner (RTO) for Lost Pets (Gina Knepp)

 

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track iconLOS Eyes: Optimizing Animal Shelter Practices and Policies at Every Stage to Minimize Length of Stay (Dr. Kate Hurley)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconDynamic Data: Revolutionizing Your Data Entry Game to Save More Lives (Renee Wolfgramm, Darlene Duggan, Tanya Hilgendorf)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconVolunteer Reboot: Expert Strategies for Empowering Animal Welfare Volunteers to Work with You, Not Against You (Dr. Ellen Jefferson)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconThe Yellow Brick Road: Crafting a Compelling Fundraising Story for Animal Welfare Organizations (Don Jennings)

 

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

The Hub open (lunch provided)

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Breakout sessions

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconThe Perfect Pitch: Big Ideas and Advice from Petco Foundation’s Innovation Showdown (Jackson Galaxy, Susanne Kogut)

 

Cutting-edge animal care track iconDog Enrichment vs. Training: Learning the Nuances of Behavior Modification and Training Decisions (Dayna Villa)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconNo-Kill 2025: The Road Map for Achieving No-Kill for Dogs and Cats Nationwide and How You Can Be a Part of It (Brent Toellner)

 

Professional and proactive animal services track iconTransparency for the Win: Using Data and Mapping Tools to Save More Lives and Engage Proactively with Your Community (Ed Jamison)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconRadical Rescue Group Thinking: Embracing the Critical Role of Your Small Group in Community-Based Lifesaving (Jackie Roach)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconMock City Council Meeting: Convincing Legislators to Take Lifesaving Action for Pets in Your Community (Richard Angelo, Akisha Townsend-Eaton, Lee Greenwood, Kenny Lamberti, April Muller, Elizabeth Oreck, Kaitlyn Simmons, Elise Traub, Ledy VanKavage, Jeff Wiedner, Peter Wolf)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconYou've Got Mail: Mastering the Art of Email Marketing and Fundraising (Natalie Buxton)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconFoster-centric: Saving More Lives by Moving Fostering from the Periphery to the Center (Kristen Hassen)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconWait ’Til 8: How One Animal Services Agency Is Saving Kittens Through Community-Based, Tech-Savvy Solutions (Nick Lippincott)

 

2:45 – 3:15 pm

Break

3:15 – 4:30 pm

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconCat Enrichment that Clicks: Using Clicker Training to Save Our Feline Friends (Samantha Bell, Christie Rogero)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconWhere They Want to Be: Creating a Captivating Animal Welfare Experience in an Omnichannel Age (Lindsay Layendecker)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconSalty Dogs, Impossible Pets: Successfully Marketing and Adopting Hard-to-Place Pets (Tori Fugate, Caitlin Quinn)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconThe Rescue Business: Starting and Leading Small Rescue Groups Like the Professional Businesses They Are (Jackie Roach)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconField Engagement: Using Community Engagement to Gain Public Trust and Support for Animal Control Agencies (Michelle Dosson)

 

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track iconCommunity Cat Considerations: Knowing What Does and Doesn’t Constitute Humane Medical Care for Feral or Stray Cats (Dr. Heather Kennedy)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconPower to the People: Reframing the Relationship Between Animal Welfare and the Public (Kenny Lamberti)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconA New Paradigm: Shifting Our Animal Shelter–Centric Focus to an Intake Prevention and Pet Resource Model (Bethany Heins, Lee Ann Shenefiel)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconMajor Gift Magic: Strategies for Connecting with Key Donors and Securing Major Lifesaving Gifts (Tycely Williams)

 

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Break

5:00 – 6:15 pm

Breakout sessions

Ask Me Anything – Fundraising (Trish Tolbert: moderator, Don Jennings, Ginny Sims , Amy Starnes, Shelly Thompson, Tycely Williams)

 

Ask Me Anything – Shelter medicine (Andrew Marsden: moderator, Dr. Uri Donnett, Monica Freeden, Dr. Kate Hurley, Dr. Erin Katribe, Dr. Julie Levy)

 

Ask Me Anything – Leadership (Tawny Hammond: moderator, Denise Diesler, Gina Knepp, Heather Owens, Alexis Pugh, Holly Sizemore)

 

Ask Me Anything – Communications and marketing (Judah Battista: moderator, Sharon Fletcher, Sandra Mallalieu, Katie Pemberton, Eric Rayvid, Emily Tolliver)

 

Ask Me Anything – Community engagement and advocacy (Elise Traub: moderator, Dr Ellen Jefferson, Kenny Lamberti, April Muller, Elizabeth Oreck, Kim Wolf)

 

Ask Me Anything – Collaborative partnerships for shelters and rescue groups (Marc Peralta: moderator, Christina Arriaga, Jaime Case, Kristen Hassan, Ed Jamison, Makenna Yarbrough)

 

Ask Me Anything – Operations for shelters and rescue groups (Michelle Logan: moderator, Kristi Brooks, Nikki Harris, Amanda Paris, Dana Villa, Faith Wright)

 

Ask Me Anything – Cats (Scott Giacoppo: moderator, Kate Benjamin, Liz Finch, Jackson Galaxy, Dr. Heather Kennedy, Peter Wolf)

 

 

Saturday, June 20

7:45 am – 3:45 pm

Registration open

8:00 – 9:00 am

Continental breakfast

9:00 – 10:15 am

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconDogs Playing for Life: What We’ve Learned About Addressing Dog Behavior in Shelters and How to Use It (Aimee Sadler)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconBeyond the Benchmark: Continuing to Save Lives and Have Impact After You Achieve a 90% (Denise Deisler, Mandi Nieland)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconA Data Story: Leveraging Data Visualization Tools to Share Your Story with Your Community (Nikki Kelley, Jami Delagrange)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconOpen Doors, Open Minds: Why Promoting Hospitality and Embracing Open Adoptions Is Essential to Your Success (Elizabeth Jensen)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconStreet Cred: Using Organizational Goals and Stats to Build Credibility and Address Criticism (Makena Yarbrough)

 

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track iconThe Lowdown on Heartworm: Saving More Dogs in Shelters Through Critical Updates to Heartworm Diagnosis, Treatment, Management and Prevention (Dr. Uri Donnett)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconBreaking Bias: Ditching Outdated Approaches to Pet Adoption That Are Hurting Animals (and People) Rather Than Helping (James Evans, Kenny Lamberti)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconBeyond Spay/Neuter: Innovative Programs and Practices to Decrease the Number of Pets Relinquished to Animal Shelters and Rescue Groups (Kim Wolf)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconRemarkably Resourceful: Getting Proactive with Your Programming When Resources Are Limited (Spencer Conover)

 

10:15 – 10:45 am

Break

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconShelter Catification: Simple Design Principles for a Thriving Cat Adoption Culture (Kate Benjamin, Jackson Galaxy)

 

Cutting-edge animal care track iconSocialize, Not Hide: Why Dogs with Behavioral Challenges Need More People Involved with Their Shelter Stay (Lexi Donnelly)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconRoad Warriors: Establishing and Growing Robust Transport Partnerships (Clare Callison)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconOwning the Conversation: Proactive Public-Relations Tactics for Building Trust in Your Community (Katie Pemberton, Michelle Sathe)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconDefying the Odds: How a Collaborative Spirit and Community Engagement Is Transforming the Most Under-Resourced Animal Shelters in the Country (Michael Bricker, Terran Tull)

 

State-of-the-art shelter medicine track iconFeel-Good FeLV: Positioning Feline Leukemia as the Next Frontier of Lifesaving for Cats in Shelters (Monica Frenden, Dr. Julie Levy)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track icon1,001 Kittens: Strategically Engaging Your Community to Keep Kittens Out of the Shelter (Nikki Harris)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconDigital Fundraising 2020: The Top Three Ways to Drive Revenue for Animal Welfare Organizations (Kate Moore, Amy Starnes, Emily Tolliver)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconGrants 2.0: Crafting Substantive Grant Proposals to Sustain Your Animal Welfare Organization (Sandy Nelson, Ginny Sims)

 

12:00 – 2:00 pm

The Hub open (lunch provided)

2:00 – 3:15 pm

Breakout sessions

Cutting-edge animal care track iconMax Capacity: Getting Smart and Strategic About Capacity-for-Care Challenges (Amanda Audia, Michele Figueroa)

 

Progressive lifesaving for animal welfare track iconBig Brains for Big Dogs: Getting Your Big Dog Save Rate to 90% Regardless of Circumstances (Kristen Hassen)

 

Strategic communications for animal shelters and advocates track iconLethal Language: Using What We Know About Language and Critical Animal Welfare Issues to Craft Lifesaving Arguments (Ledy VanKavage, Emily Douglas)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconThe Shape of Success: Navigating the Winding Road to Victory in Animal Welfare (Alexis Pugh)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconPet-Friendly Housing: Effecting Positive Change Through the MFA/HABRI Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative (Aimee Gilbreath, Vince Wong)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconFree-Roaming Volunteers: Saving More Community Cats and Reducing Shelter Intake with Volunteers (Alyssa Dazza, Kirstie James)

 

Expert fundraising to save cats and dogs track iconMonthly and Mighty: Establishing a Monthly Giving Program to Support Year-Round Lifesaving (Erica Waasdorp, Cara Schwalbach)

 

Powerhouse leadership for animal welfare track iconSaving the Unsavable: Creating Targeted Programs to Save the Most Vulnerable Pets in Shelters (Dr. Ellen Jefferson)

 

Community-based animal programs and advocacy track iconFrom Conflict to Coalition: Overcoming Conflict Among Animal Welfare Organizations to Create Powerful Lifesaving Partnerships (Kristi Brooks, Karen Green)

 

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Break

3:45 – 5:00 pm

Closing session

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Closing party

Register today