The Future of Animal Welfare: Day 1 Highlights

While we all hoped to be meeting in person this year, we’re making it work virtually again and…. wow, are you working it! With more than 500 animal welfare professionals registered, we kicked off Day 1 with Jim Tedford’s pronouncement—“Welcome to the future of animal welfare!”—and never looked back. Here are some of the day’s key takeaways.

DC Cat Count

YES, the aim of this groundbreaking 3-year project was to develop data-driven methods for estimating and monitoring cat populations, but it also became an incredible community-building exercise that helped to unite DC and grew a crew of citizen scientists. Here’s the DC Cat Count Toolkit that’ll help you replicate the work in your town.

Just a few of the images captured by the project’s 1,500+ survey cameras installed with motion and infrared sensors 

Technology=Your Mission’s BFF

How can technology impact the future of animal welfare? “It’s not going to be a single product, or something you can outsource and not think about,” shared Chris Beard of CenterGrid, one of the panelists in today’s session on technology. We’ll share more tips from the panel in a future blog, but in the meantime, here are a few resources shared by the experts:

  • Owl Labs, featuring tools for hybrid meetings
  • Zoom meeting platform
  • Confluence remote-friendly workspaces
  • Miro, whiteboards for visual collaboration
  • Techsoup, resources for nonprofits


Winning PSAs Announced

Big shout-out to LifeLine Animal Project for nabbing the People’s Choice Award in Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s 2021 PSA Awards.

See all 5 finalists here, including the two Professional Choice Award Winners, “Rescue” by Dallas Pets Alive! and “Adopt An Attitude,” Peggy Adams Rescue League.

More Kudos, Heros & Sheros

Join us in celebrating the following newly minted Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWAs):

  • Laura Flamion
  • Kelley Likes
  • Debbie McKnight
  • Carol Lamar
  • Linda Anderson
  • Melanie Sadek
  • Gail Hughes-Morey
  • Britney Tennant
  • Lindsay Hamrick
  • Jed Kaylor
  • Todd Cramer
  • Karen Matson

Thanks to One & All Agency for hosting Game Night. All hail the top 3 scorers after 30 rounds of trivia questions:

  • Baby Red’s Mom (aka Ann Ensminger)
  • Drool Rools (aka Anna Payton)
  • Pepper (aka Matt Pepper)

And here’s an interesting trivia fact: All participants had the correct answer to “What breed of dog is Santa’s Little Helper from The Simpsons?”

Thanks to all for such a wonderful day of connecting and learning. See you tomorrow for Day 2.

The conference runs through December 9, so it’s not too late to register and attend tomorrow and Thursday, and listen to the recordings to catch up on what you missed.

Top photo: We asked attendees to submit photos of themselves with their conference buddies for the chance to enter a random drawing to win a free year’s membership to The Association. The Day 1 winner is Stacy Nee, an Animal Control Officer at Canton Animal Control in Massachusetts.


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


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