Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ

There’s still time to join us this November 14-16 for the Fall Conference for Animal Welfare Advancement, where you can expect carefully curated sessions on topics that are the most relevant and important to the animal welfare profession. This year we’re bringing back Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, by popular demand, for a keynote and a regular session.

The Association: We can’t wait to see you in New Orleans—also known as the birthplace of jazz. In keeping with that theme, what are you most jazzed about these days?
Sarah Wooten, DVM:
Honestly, just speaking to a live audience instead of a computer screen has got me JAZZED. The energy of being together is truly magical and not one we should take for granted

The Association: What are you most jazzed about for our time together?
Sarah Wooten, DVM: I am jazzed for the opportunity to teach people ways to maintain a sense of compassion and connection, in even the most challenging situations. 

The Association: We are looking forward to your session on How to Deal with Unruly Humans, in which you’ll share 5 ways to respond to difficult situations. Can you share a little about some of these ways?
Sarah Wooten, DVM:
For SURE! This can be a challenging session for some people, because even though we start out talking out about how to practically manage temper tantrums coming from other adults, we end up focusing on really the only thing we can control in these situations: ourselves. I am so excited to teach people ways to stay out of the drama, and hopefully open some minds to new ways that support well-being and productive outcomes. 

The Association: What can attendees prepare or think about before your session?
Sarah Wooten, DVM:
As animal welfare workers, we need to understand and accept that the previous ways we interacted with and thought about challenging people and situations are no longer serving us, them, or the animals. It often just creates more drama and division, and in the end, the animals lose and we get burnt out.

I ask that people who are attending do the brave work of dropping preconceived ideas and biases about how they perceive unruly humans (harrrddd to do, I get it) and instead, attend with openness and curiosity about what new things they might learn about themselves and others. As Albert Einstein said it best, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We need to develop a new mind, a new mindset, and a new way of thinking, because that is where the answers lie.

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Also, be prepared for the slightly zany sense of humor that I seem to be known for. It’s perfectly normal to laugh at me…and whatever else might happen during the session…

The Association: What favorite Zoom meeting outfit will NOT be making it into your suitcase this November?
Sarah Wooten, DVM:
I have two flowery blouses that have been mainstays of my Zoom presentations that will NOT be coming with me. I am going to break out my new drip for you guys that makes me feel jazzed and fresh! 

More Presenter Q&As

Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Michael Kass
Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Lara Jakubowski
Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Dalbin Osorio
Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Jeremy Van Groll
Fall Conference: 5 Questions We Always Ask with Swati Patel


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


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