Day 1: The Fall Conference for Animal Welfare Advancement

“You’ve all heard me say 100 times that the strength of animal welfare is in the community,” shared Jim Tedford, CEO & President of The Association, in his opening remarks at The Fall Conference for Animal Welfare Advancement.  “And the community is right here in this room, with each and every 434 of you connecting with each other.” Here are some highlights from Day 1, and stay tunedwe will dig into the inspo and info shared in many of the sessions in future blogs.

TLC for The TLC

Who doesn’t love a surprise? Especially when the surprise is a $150,000 gift from Aimee Gilbreath and the amazing team at PetSmart Charities to support The Association’s Learning Center. What an incredible way to open our 2022 Fall Conference.

Unruly Human? Check Yourself

In her keynote address on How to Deal with Unruly Humans, Dr. Sarah Wooten shared the initial step for defusing a reactive individual—manage yourself first. “If you have negative energy coming up and are drawn into another’s drama, then you’ve lost,” she says. But how do you know you are being triggered? Pay attention to the body and notice if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • tunnel vision
  • dry mouth
  • blushing
  • can’t concentrate
  • butterflies in the stomach
  • heart pounding
  • sweating
  • nausea

“Take care to be the witness of yourself,” urges Dr. Wooten. “What happens within you when someone is reacting? If you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to chill yourself out.”

Better Job Ads? Do This

For those facing a talent shortage and experiencing challenges filling open positions—consider the effectiveness of your JDs. One way to assess this, revealed Jeff Butler in his session on Generational Differences: Understanding Generational Preferences in the Workplace, is to ask recent hires. What in your ads resonated with them? What can be improved? “Also, if you’re looking to retain and engage staff,” adds Butler, “ask your longtime employees. Your workplace has the answers.”

And the Winners Are…

Hands up for the winners of the 2022 Wagsies Animal Welfare Video awards, sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and announced today during lunch.

Professional Choice Award Winners:
“Off Leash,” Austin Animal Center, Austin TX
“Frosted Faces Deserve Love Too,” Barks of Love, Fullerton, CA

And the winner of the 2022 People’s Choice Award, which received the most votes from the general public voting on the Hill’s website:

Dogs Matter, Dallas, TX


Attendees, what’s got you inspired so far?

Photo: Vincent Medley, Human Animal Support Services Project Director, Austin Pets Alive, Inc. 


The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


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