Embodying the Expert: You Decide the Future for Canada's Animals

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 1:00-1:45PM

SPEAKER: Amy Morris, MPP, Policy and Outreach Officer, British Columbia SPCA

As people who are passionate about animals, we have all experienced moments where we feel disheartened. From a bylaw change that results in more euthanized animals to watching a person drag a dog down the street with a choke collar on to going to the same house over a 7-year period without being able to get a ban on owning animals in the courts: you bear witness to the suffering. This session will give you the tools you need to be strong and innovative. Taking the time to reflect and plan will give you a sense of agency and turn dark emotions into positive change.

Three Key Learnings:
1. Process moments where you've witnessed harm and neglect
2. Use stories to inform a systemic problem in the community
3. Gain skills to identify how to make impactful change with less effort

Examples will include:
• Inhumane handling and veterinary care in the farming industry
• Negative attitudes towards feral cats
• Poor animal genetics and socialization

Outcome examples will include:
• BC adoption of the Code of Practice for Dairy Cattle
• BC adoption of the Code of Practice for Kennel Operations
• UK adoption of stricter genetic standards
• Community cat coalitions

References and resources provided:
• Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change (Nick Cooney)
• Communicating for Change: Strategies of Social and Political Advocates (John P. McHale)

• Processing after a negative event, Becoming or partnering with an expert
This session will incorporate immediate coping techniques of mindfulness with strategic planning skills. It will be well-suited to both frontline staff and organizational decision-makers. It highlights the value of having a staff member dedicated to advocacy and also building partnerships with outside organizations. While it is indicated as a presentation, there will be workshop elements, as participants think through examples of their own throughout the presentation.

Amy got her start volunteering at the SPCA Montreal emergency shelter with hoarder cats and puppy mill dogs, while studying sociology. Disturbed that society’s laws allowed these animals to suffer, Amy studied Public Policy through a Master's program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in 2011 and has been working with the BC SPCA on societal and policy change ever since.