Adventures in Transport

Room: St-Laurent 7

Dr. Karen Ward, Chief Veterinary Officer, Toronto Humane Society
Larisa Nagelberg, Manager: Foster Care, Toronto Humane Society

Many Canadian shelters have a surplus of adopters, and a deficit of adoptable animals, particularly dogs. Meanwhile, other shelters struggle to care for and find adopters for their animals. Transport and relocation are life-saving programs that address this population imbalance using the theories of supply and demand. Animals are moved from areas of over-supply – and limited adoption options – to locations where the likelihood of finding a loving safe home are much greater. We will examine what is required to run a successful transport program, how to mitigate risks to animal health (domestic and wildlife) and public health and share our learning experiences with the Toronto Humane Society’s transport program. 


  1. Companion animal transport program best practices.
  2. Determining if transport is right for your agency, what you need to succeed and how to build successful partnerships.
  3. Expecting the unexpected: dealing with unforeseen medical and behavioural concerns.

Dr. Karen Ward received her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College. She was an ASPCA UC Davis Shelter Medicine Fellow in 2012-13 and continues to act as a mentor in the Maddie’s Fund University of Wisconsin/University of California Davis Shelter Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Ward is convinced that shelter medicine is the world’s best job, and she is privileged to work at the Toronto Humane Society.

As Rescue Transport Coordinator for the Toronto Humane Society, Larisa Nagelberg has been responsible for contributing to the growth of the organization's life-saving capacity through coordinating animal transfers from partner agencies. In the past year, Larisa has helped increase the number of animals transferred by 25%. With an interest in relationship-building, Larisa manages partnerships with 50+ organizations, such as shelters and rescue groups, successfully creating 21 new partnerships in the last year. Some notable accomplishments include Toronto Humane Society's acceptance to the HSUS Emergency Placement Partner program and SAWA's Transport Peer Pack, which is designated for subject matter experts.