MONDAY, APRIL 23
Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director, Humane Society International Canada
Darren Chang MA, Queen's University
Mishka Lysack PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary
Julie W. MacInnes, Campaign Manager, Humane Society International Canada
Public opinion polling proves that Canadians overwhelmingly support the animal protection movement’s objectives. Yet, some animal use interest groups have sought to marginalize and isolate our movement, representing it as a fringe cause. Our challenge is to build bridges and find common ground with powerful sectors in our society, demonstrating that animal protection is a mainstream, shared societal concern we must advance together. In this panel, representatives from the corporate, political, religious and non-governmental sectors will discuss strategies for broadening and strengthening our movement to achieve lasting victories for animals in Canada.
- Better understand the motivations and techniques of our opponents in marginalizing animal protection ideology.
- Gain an appreciation of the many powerful sectors that share our goals and the key opportunities for coalition building.
- Learn the importance of broadening our reach and bringing the mainstream into our movement.
Rebecca Aldworth is the Executive Director of Humane Society International Canada. For 18 years, she has been a firsthand observer of Canada's commercial seal hunt, escorting more than 100 scientists, parliamentarians and journalists to the ice floes to witness the killing. She has testified extensively before international government committees in support of prohibitions on seal product trade and has published multiple articles and reports on the welfare, economic and environmental aspects of commercial sealing. She is a recipient of the 2004 Jean Taymans award for animal welfare and, in 2006, was named one of nine Eco Heroes by Alternet. In 2011, she was named Activist of the Year in the Canadian Empathy Awards.
Darren Chang recently completed a Master’s Degree at Queen's University, specializing in critical animal studies. From 2012-2014, Darren worked as a research assistant at the UBC Animal Welfare Program and has volunteered with various animal rights/liberation groups in BC and Ontario since 2011.
In 2006, Mishka Lysack began teaching full-time at the University of Calgary. He is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work, where he focuses his teaching, research and community outreach in the areas of climate change and environmental protection, environmental ethics, renewable energy and sustainable economies and communities. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine and teaches courses in the Faculty of Environmental Design. Dr. Lysack has had a long interest in environmental ethics and nature conservation, including how diverse faith communities can provide public leadership on how society can and must take better care of the environment and the diversity of life that flourishes on Earth, seeing the intrinsic value of other creatures as gifts rather than commodities, and as beings who have their own emotional life, compassion, justice and empathy (see Dr. Carl Safina’s book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel). It is through these acts of compassion and environmental justice with animals that our full humanity is fulfilled. Dr. Lysack has co-edited a book of faith-centered educational and learning resources for faith communities called "Living Ecological Justice" (2013), and has written and published several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in this area. In addition, Dr. Lysack has organized many conferences and workshops in Canada with leaders in diverse faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Baha’i about caring for creation and embedding practices of compassion and environmental justice into our society and public policy.
Over the past five years, Julie MacInnes has been working on campaigns regarding animal welfare and ethical consumerism. As a member of HSI Canada, Julie has participated in several protection campaigns, including campaigns to end the trade in the products of shark finning, opposing wolf culls and the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Most recently, she has taken on the challenge of finding innovative ways to reduce consumption of meat and other animal products in Canada and how that relates to environmental sustainability.
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer, British Columbia SPCA (BC SPCA)
With a recent change in government in British Columbia, a policy announcement in summer 2017 brought about mixed reactions from conservationists and animal welfare organizations. Slammed by resident and non-resident hunting lobby groups, an election promise to "end the trophy hunt" of grizzly bears was met with caution by the BC SPCA as details on new regulations and number of bears saved were yet to be determined.
What does the "end of the trophy hunt" mean for BC's bears, and in particular the Great Bear Rainforest? This presentation will review the status of the grizzly bear hunt in Canada and break down the available regulations to determine what new protections exist, and where wildlife advocacy is still needed. Perhaps this is a first step toward a new era of wildlife management framed by Compassionate Conservation.
- An update on the status of grizzly bear hunting.
- How these policy changes were achieved.
- Global trophy hunting and how animal welfare organizations can respond.
Dr. Sara Dubois is the BC SPCA’s Chief Scientific Officer, where she directs province-wide welfare science operations, education and advocacy projects. She works on: wildlife rehabilitation, oil spill response, captive wildlife and exotic pets, human-wildlife conflicts and compassionate conservation, and consults on wildlife cruelty investigations. Sara is a registered professional biologist with a BSc IN Biology (UVic) and an MSc and PhD from the UBC Animal Welfare Program, whose main area of expertise is in wildlife welfare and human dimensions. She is an Adjunct Professor with the UBC Applied Biology Program and Advisor to the Whale Sanctuary Project.
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Sage Pullen McIntosh, General Manager of Community Relations, Calgary Humane Society
Becky Taylor MA RVT, Instructor, AHT/VMR/VTA Programs, Olds College
Navigating the difficult conversations that come with working in Animal Welfare can be a pitfall for many organizations. Animal welfare professionals need to focus their energy on educating all types of people: lawmakers, donors, animal owners and the general public to further support best animal care practices. Often these conversations centre on topics that are controversial, political or policy-driven and can make it challenging for an organization to communicate effectively with its stakeholders.
The emotional connection that people have to animals and the emotional connection they have to their beliefs creates an emotional wall that may negatively affects a person's ability to converse, be open minded and to learn about important topics. Key messages need to be communicated in a way that the learner or audience feels comfortable listening, is keenly interested in what the speaker is saying and is compelled to action. In our mediated society, these messages need to be communicated face to face and through various online and social forums.
The good news is, there are skills that can be taught to help people become effective communicators and get their message across to all types of audiences. Through a 90-minute hands-on workshop, attendees will learn how to navigate difficult conversations both online and face to face and will focus their learnings on three key areas.
- What makes conversations about animal welfare difficult and how to become self-aware of personal triggers; learn the personal and societal triggers that make conversing about animal welfare so challenging.
- Identify communication strategies for negative social media and interpersonal dialogue.
- Practice communication skills with coaching and peer feedback. Conference delegates will leave the session with a deeper understanding of why these conversations are difficult, how they can manage themselves and the messages they are conveying online and develop skills to use when engaging in difficult conversations.
Sage Pullen McIntosh joined Calgary Humane Society in February 2015. Previously, Sage spent 16 years working in both radio and television news as a reporter, anchor and producer. Her most recent role was at CTV Calgary as a news reporter and Senior Producer for CTV Morning Live. Sage holds a diploma in Broadcasting from Mount Royal University and a Master's of Arts in Professional Communication through Royal Roads University. Sage's passion involves strategic and crisis communications and helping organizations create effective communication strategies both internally and externally.
Becky Taylor has been active in her career as a Registered Animal Health Technologist (AHT) in Alberta for more than 20 years. She graduated from Fairview College in 1993 and worked in a mixed animal practice for more than six years. In 1999, Becky joined the teaching team at Olds College in the AHT Program. Along with her teaching role, she is currently the coordinator of the following programs: Animal Health Technology (AHT), Veterinary Medical Receptionist (VMR) and Veterinary Technical Assistant (VTA). Becky holds a certificate in Veterinary Hospital Management and has completed extensive training in leadership and communication. Becky's passion for working with people has led to her devoting much of her professional development to learning and teaching communication skills in an applied manner.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Dr. Roger Haston, Chief Analytical Officer, PetSmart Charities
Much of the animal sheltering world has been focused on how to improve the lives of pets that end up in shelters. In this session, we will look at some of the key trends impacting animal welfare and veterinary medicine. We will then delve into some of the innovative approaches that are reaching out beyond the shelter walls and into the communities to help not only pet homelessness but really find ways to preserve, improve and grow the bond between people and pets. This will include a look at how animal welfare groups and veterinarians, both for-profit and not-for-profit, can benefit from each other. We will also examine the importance of animals in the human sector and look at how concepts like "One Health" will become more and more important when talking about the future of animal welfare.
- Large-scale trends in animal welfare and how they impact the future.
- A view of successful community-based programs that can be modeled for a variety of communities.
- An understanding of the potential that is untapped in the relationship between animal welfare and veterinary medicine.
Dr. Haston received a PhD in geophysics from the University of California Santa Barbara and a MBA in finance from Rice University. He has worked in the oil and gas industry and started and owned several successful businesses. In 2012, he dedicated himself full-time to animal welfare and now is the Chief Analytical Officer for PetSmart Charities. He also serves on the Boards of Emancipet, Animal Grant Makers, National Council on Pet Population and Shelter Animals Count.
Read our interview with Dr. Roger Haston here.
KNOWLEDGE POD #2
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Jaime Caza, Director, Advancement & Social Enterprise, Edmonton Humane Society
When a social media storm strikes, it can travel quickly, affecting your brand and reputation in the process. For animal welfare agencies, this can impact all levels of stakeholder engagement – from fund development to adoptions. The Edmonton Humane Society uses proven methods, as well as a few developed insights, to help manage negative online experiences and even transform them into success stories.
In this engaging presentation, the Edmonton Humane Society will share its approach to successfully navigating social media storms – from identifying potential crises to managing issues when they jump to mainstream media. Through proven reputation and crisis management techniques, we will detail how your organization can prepare, evaluate, craft messaging and respond on social media. Using real-life examples, we will explore how EHS was able to create positive customer service moments, predict the unpredictable and even successfully pivot a potentially damaging social media post into a positive media story, picked up by numerous news outlets.
- Preventing problems online by having a customer-service mindset.
- How to respond to issues that arise online, and when no response is the best response.
- What to do when an online issue becomes a reporter calling.
Jaime Caza is the Director of Advancement & Social Enterprise at the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS). Previous to EHS, she was the Director of Development with Ronald McDonald House Charities, where she was responsible for implementing strategies that led to three consecutive years of record-breaking revenue results. With 10 years’ of experience in the corporate sector, Jaime brings a deep knowledge of how to attract and build corporate relationships.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Sarah Dykeman, Animal Care Attendant, Guelph Humane Society
June Yang BSc MSc, Adoption Program Coordinator, Guelph Humane Society
While animal shelters are primarily involved in the welfare of domestic species, members of the public will still contact these organizations seeking assistance for sick, injured or orphaned native wildlife. Though animal shelters may lack the resources and expertise to provide long-term care and rehabilitation services for wildlife, the community still expects that an animal shelter should be able to provide assistance, regardless of the species.
In 2016, the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) established a Wildlife Committee to help with the temporary care and transfer of native wildlife to licensed rehabilitators. The committee, comprised of dedicated staff with varying levels of wildlife knowledge, admitted 638, 852 and (to date) 959 individual wildlife species in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Through ongoing training, GHS has seen success in the live release rate of transferred wildlife to rehabilitators and release, which has increased from 13 per cent in 2015, to more than 50 per cent in 2017.
- An overview of the protocols and procedures implemented to make a wildlife transfer program a success.
- The challenges in the temporary housing and care of various wildlife.
- How to successfully build relationships with wildlife rehabilitators.
Sarah Dykeman has been around animals her entire life and has always had a passion for their care and conservation. From life on the farm as the daughter of a large animal veterinarian, to working at a small animal clinic, zoos, parks, a wildlife rehab and now as an animal care attendant at the Guelph Humane Society, she continues to look for ways to expand upon her knowledge and experience in the field of animal care. She has completed her BSc in Zoology and MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Guelph and has used her passion and background to help implement and improve the wildlife care initiatives at the Guelph Humane Society.
June Yang has worked in animal shelters for three years, but has been actively involved in wildlife rehabilitation and zookeeping for over a decade. She has received training through IWRC & OWREN , and in 2012 was a finalist for the New Noah Fellowship. June has assisted in the training and protocol development for wildlife programs at two animal shelters, and is currently the Adoption Program Coordinator at Guelph Humane Society.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Stefanie Martin BSc, Supervisor of Stakeholder Relations, Edmonton Humane Society
Deanna Thompson, Executive Director, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)
Improving animal welfare is an endeavor of many independent organizations across the country. In order to most effectively aid animals in need, it is vital to develop and maintain strong working relationships between humane societies and SPCAs, rescue groups and municipal shelters.
For independent groups that decide to collaborate on animal-related initiatives, it is important to find a common goal to work towards, recognizing that groups may have different roles and responsibilities within the community. Exploring potential partnerships by identifying reputable groups, setting up clear expectations of each group and creating a written agreement are all necessary steps in establishing a successful collaboration. Formalized partnerships can provide many benefits to both organizations. Recognizing potential risks of a partnership can allow for proper planning and communication to mitigate problems.
- Finding a common goal to work towards to establish your relationship.
- Setting the expectations of each partner and putting them in writing.
- The benefits of a partnership and how to identify and mitigate potential risks.
Stefanie Martin has a vast understanding of animal sheltering operations, having been with the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) for eight years in a variety of roles. As Supervisor of Stakeholder Relations, she has overseen further development and growth of EHS’ volunteer program, foster program and rescue relations. A graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health, Stefanie has a passion for the complexities of animal welfare. Through innovation and collaboration, Stefanie believes nurturing relationships between organizations can help to advance animal welfare.
Deanna Thompson is the Executive Director of Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). A graduate from Mount Royal College, Deanna went on to complete her Bachelor of Management Degree in 2009 at University of Lethbridge. Since 2010, Deanna has lead of one of Alberta’s fastest-growing animal welfare agencies in Alberta. As an advocate for animal welfare, she has dedicated her life to improving animal welfare through collaboration, cooperation and continuous learning.
Under Deanna’s leadership, AARCS opened a 3,000 square foot quarantine shelter in Calgary in 2012, which resulted in dramatic growth for the organization. In 2017, the organization expanded operations to a 13,000 square foot facility, including a 3,000 square foot in-house veterinary hospital that features x-ray, diagnostics, dental and two operating suites. The organization current employs 17 staff members, including veterinary staff, behaviour staff and more than 1,400 volunteers and foster homes.
Focusing their efforts on rural areas of Alberta with limited or no animal services, AARCS rescues and adopts out approximately 2,500 cats and dogs each year, with the majority of their animals being cared for through their vast network of foster homes. With a vision of a Compassionate World for All Animals, AARCS focuses much of their work on improving animal welfare through Spay/Neuter & Disease Prevention Programs, Trap-Neuter-Return, Pet Assistance Programs, Emergency Foster Care and Humane Education.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Ron Gabruck, Director, Animal Care & Control Centre, City of Edmonton
Jamey Blair, Manager, Animal Health & Protection, Edmonton Humane Society
Collaborating with your local municipality makes it easier to provide both quality care for companion animals and superior service to the community and adopters. In this session, you will learn how the City of Edmonton’s Animal Care & Control Centre (ACCC) and the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) have been working together to help care for homeless, neglected and abused companion animals from within the city as well as the surrounding area.
- Working with and managing relationships with rescue groups and other stakeholders in a consistent manner.
- Developing programs, such as low-cost spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return and co-lead adoption/community engagement events.
- Managing intake with the best interests of companion animals in mind.
Ron Gabruck is the Director of the Animal Care & Control Centre for the City of Edmonton. He is a retired police officer and has held a variety of operational and administrative roles during his 35-year career with the City of Edmonton. He is a firm believer in the value of trusted relationships, and the leveraging of mutually beneficial partnerships in the interests of animal welfare.
Jamey Blair has more than five years’ experience in the animal welfare industry and more than ten years of leadership experience. She has previously worked for BC SPCA in the position of Branch Manager in a northern community before joining the EHS Operations team. She currently holds the position of Manager, Animal Health & Protection, leading the animal health, animal protection and animal behaviour departments of the Edmonton Humane Society.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Dr. Jeffrey Spooner, AGralytics / University of British Columbia (UBC)
Jackie Wepruk, General Manager, National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC)
Every Code of Practice for farm animals developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code process undergoes a public comment period before being finalized. However, once someone submits their comments – what happens? What assurances are there that any individual’s submission was heard? What is the point of having a public comment period if the final Code looks pretty much the same as the version that went out for public comment? Is farm animal welfare really improving as a result?
This presentation will pull back the curtain on the Code public comment period to answer these questions and more. The purpose and function of the public comment period will be explained, along with the results of a qualitative study that examined the integrity of the process. The study looked at the management of public input, procedural standards and practices, impartiality, procedural challenges and potential improvements to the process.
- Functionality of the Code of Practice public comment periods.
- How public feedback is tangibly addressed and incorporated into the Code process.
- Prospective enhancements to the public comment period process.
Dr. Jeffrey Spooner is an animal scientist who conducts social science research in the field of animal health and welfare. He is also a consultant who facilitates multi-stakeholder agreements involving animal care and handling practices. He supports NFACC, CFIA and the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council. He also helps individual industries meet increasing demands for more comprehensive approaches to animal health and well-being.
Jackie Wepruk has been the General Manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) since its inception in 2005. Jackie facilitates a partnership on NFACC between governments, farmed animal industries, the veterinary community, the humane movement and other allied groups. She assists NFACC’s partners in achieving practical solutions to farm animal welfare concerns that address the interests of farmers, domestic and export markets, governments and the Canadian public. Jackie has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Moderator: Julie W. MacInnes, Campaign Manager, Humane Society International Canada
Sheryl Fink, Director of Canadian Wildlife Campaigns, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Tommy Knowles, Executive Director, Wildlife Defence League Society
Sadie Parr, Executive Director, Wolf Awareness
***PLEASE NOTE THAT PAUL PAQUET IS NO LONGER ABLE TO PRESENT AS PART OF THIS PANEL DUE TO A FAMILY EMERGENCY***
Social, family-oriented and highly adaptable, wolves have a lot in common with dogs and humans. Unfortunately, a combination of old myths, fears and competition for land and prey has led to wolves being misunderstood and needlessly shot, poisoned, trapped and hunted for sport.
Many Canadians are surprised to learn that the highly-controversial poisons Strychnine, Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide are currently being used to kill wolves and other wildlife in Canada. The use of these highly toxic, non-selective poisons causes extreme and prolonged suffering, raising serious animal welfare concerns. They also pose a serious threat to human safety and to non-target species, including endangered species, companion animals and farmed animals.
This panel will have experts speak on why wolf culling programs have proven to be ineffective in the long-term in regaining prey populations and what other factors are truly causing population declines. The talk will then go through what non-lethal measures can be used to deal with predator conflict. There will also be an overview of the use of poisons being used to manage wildlife in Canada. We will discuss the ongoing campaign by a broad coalition of groups which seeks to ban the use, production, processing and sale of these poisons across Canada. Finally, the presentation will end with lessons learned on how to communicate campaigns such as these to decision-makers.
- Why Canada should ban specific poisons and end wolf culls.
- Alternatives and non-lethal methods.
- Lessons learned with coalition building and communicating to decision-makers.
Over the past five years, Julie MacInnes has been working on campaigns regarding animal welfare and ethical consumerism. As a member of HSI/Canada, Julie has participated in several animal protection campaigns, including wildlife campaigns to end the trade in the products of shark finning, opposing wolf culls, ending the commercial captivity of whales and dolphins and banning the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. She will be moderating this session.
As the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Director of Wildlife Campaigns in Canada, Sheryl Fink’s focus is on conservation and animal welfare issues affecting wildlife within the country. She is active in IFAW’s campaigns to end commercial seal hunting, marine animals in captivity, trophy hunting of polar and grizzly bears, the exotic pet trade and commercial trade in wildlife.
Tommy Knowles is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Wildlife Defence League Society. He has worked in conservation for the last decade, including time spent with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Antarctica, defending whales and other marine life. He believes in a more direct approach to wildlife conservation and supports initiatives that challenge unethical and inhumane wildlife management policies.
As the Executive Director of Wolf Awareness, Sadie Parr's work is centred on promoting wolf and large carnivore conservation through scientific research, education, and informed advocacy. Parr is active in campaigns in Western Canada to end wild canid bounty programs and wolf reduction experiments, alternatively promoting compassionate conservation and wildlife management based upon a foundation of ethics as well as sound science and ecology.