Thursday, May 25, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
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Best Western Kelly Inn 
100 4th Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301

Driving Directions 


Vicki Davis 
Tri-County Humane Society 

CONFERENCE LODGING: If you plan to stay overnight, please call Best Western Kelly Inn directly for reservations at 320-253-0606 and ask for the MN Animal Welfare Conference rate of $94. 

2017 Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference Speakers:

Dr. Chumkee Aziz, DVM
Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach
Originally from Houston, Dr. Chumkee studied veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts.  After an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital, she completed a shelter medicine residency with the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis. Chumkee worked as a shelter consultant for the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and served as the medical director of Austin Humane Society.

Dr. Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP 
Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach 
Dr. Brian DiGangi received his DVM from University of Florida and completed a residency in shelter medicine.  Brian is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians since 2010 - serving two terms as President, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society.  Dr. DiGangi received an MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences and has published research on feline adoption, canine heartworm disease, and immunology.  Prior to joining the ASPCA, Dr. DiGangi was a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida.

Dr. Stephanie Janeszko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA
Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach 
Dr. Stephanie Janeszko received her DVM from Cornell returning to complete a shelter medicine residency.  She earned a Master’s degree in epidemiology and holds a graduate certificate in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida.  Stephanie is board certified in both Shelter Medicine and Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and is also a certified animal welfare administrator (CAWA).  She is a former board member and past president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

B.J. Rogers, CAWA
Vice President, ProLearning, ASPCA©  
With nearly twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector – and more than a decade of leadership in animal welfare – B.J. currently oversees the team responsible for the ASPCA’s fieldfacing communication, including ASPCApro.org, field-facing social media, online learning, and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of companion animals.  B.J.’s professional path has included stints as a campaign press secretary, college instructor, and nonprofit executive. He’s a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher (CDET) and has training in both mediation and Appreciative Inquiry. He’s a regular speaker on the animal welfare conference circuit and a strong believer that people are the solution, and not the problem.

Karen Medicus
Senior Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach  
Karen Medicus co-leads the ASPCA Relocation: Mentoring project and facilitates fundraising, strategic planning, and Board development for ASPCA Shelter Outreach. Karen started cleaning kennels for a small humane society in 1976 and has since served in nearly every capacity of an animal shelter or animal control agency. As a CEO, Karen led two major shelter turnarounds – including successful capital campaigns – for the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in Florida and the Humane Society of Austin and Travis County in Texas. While in Austin, she landed a $3.8 million Maddie’s Fund grant – the third such grant ever awarded to a shelter. Karen was also a CFRE and major gifts officer in the southwest region for HSUS and vice president of partner relations for Petfinder.com.  She has taught workshops at national and at state conferences around the country, and in 2003 co-authored the HSUS’s Fundraising for Animal Care Organizations.  Karen is a mediator, MBTI® and Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and a certified Dialogue Education fellow. 

Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP
Behavior and Training Manager Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens   
Cheryl Kolus received her DVM degree from Colorado State University in 2012.  She was a small animal practitioner until she left general practice to start her own veterinary behavior consulting business. She completed one year of a “non-conforming” behavior residency before becoming involved with a new non-profit, the Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens (CLICK), where she is now the Behavior and Training Manager. Before, during and after veterinary school, Cheryl volunteered at multiple animal shelters doing everything from office work and outreach to dog training and feline behavior assessments to surgeries. She has been seriously studying animal behavior since 2004, attending myriad seminars and conferences, and completing university courses in the field. In early 2015, she completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Course and is a Certified Training Partner. From 2012-2014, Dr. Kolus was on the Executive Board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and she remains an active member. Currently, she is the vice-president of the Larimer County Veterinary Medical Association. She lives with one very talkative cat and a patient husband. Her amazing dog lives on in her heart. 

Emily Garman  
Emily has been a foster mom and animal welfare volunteer for 15 years, and founded TheSocialAnimal.com in 2008 to teach animal advocates how to use social media to raise money, recruit volunteers and save more lives.  She presents on next-generation fundraising, social media and mega-adoption events all over the world.  In 2011 she traveled to Riga, Latvia to present at the Dogs Trust European Summit, and to the US Virgin Islands to consult with individual shelters.  She has worked with the ASPCA, HSUS, RedRover.com, NARSC, PetSmart Charities and Petfinder.com.  She is available for fundraising consulting as well as website development.


Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference 2017 

16th Annual Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference:  Meeting the Needs of Pets & People in the Animal Welfare Field 


The Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference is an annual educational and networking opportunity for the State’s animal welfare community.  

The Tri-County Humane Society volunteers to organize this annual conference because we believe that providing affordable opportunities for continued education and networking among animal welfare professionals is key to making Minnesota a more humane community.  

This year, attendees will once again have two tracks of learning to choose from with an impressive line up of speakers.

The General Track will focus on fundraising, leadership at any level, social media and clicker training for cats, and features highly accredited speakers: B.J. Rogers, CAWA; Karen Medicus, Emily Garman and Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP.

The Veterinary Track will focus on medical issues specific to shelter medicine featuring Sr. Directors with ASPCA Shelter Outreach veterinarians Dr. Chumkee Aziz, Dr. Brian DiGangi, and Dr. Stephanie Janeszko.  6 continuing education credits have been approved for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, although shelter directors of operations, executive directors and kennel managers are also welcome to attend these presentations.

General Track

Download detailed conference flyer (.pdf)

General Track Speakers: B.J. Rogers, CAWA,  Karen Medicus, Cheryl Kolus. DVM KPA-CTP,  Emily Garman
General Track Location: Best Western Kelly Inn University Room B

General Track Agenda:

8:00-8:55 Registration, Breakfast Served in Ballroom

8:55 Opening Comments

9:00-10:30  Workshop #1:  Building a Fund Development Program
Speaker:  Karen Medicus 
Participants will learn the critical components necessary to lay the foundation for a strong fund development plan and how to put it all together in a plan of action for their organization.

10:30 – 10:50 Break in Ballroom, Visit Exhibitors, Network

10:50 – 12:20  Workshop # 2:   Leadership at Any Level: Making Title Trivial
Speaker:  B.J. Rogers, CAWA
Plenty of us have felt the frustration of feeling as though change or progress would be within our reach, if only we had the authority to make a given decision or take a specific action.  The fundamental fallacy there is a conflation of – or confusion between – authority and leadership.  Turns out, making change happen may have less to do with your title or your authority than you’d think.  With a little work to understand the dynamics of change, an understanding of how authority and leadership are different, and embracing a strategy or two to identify the nature of a problem and to cultivate our emotional intelligence, we can initiate change whether we’re the CEO, an animal care tech or a volunteer. In this session we’ll explore those concepts and ID some strategies to lead at any level.

12:20 – 1:20 Lunch (Poolside),  Silent Auction Closes at 1:15 in Ballroom 

1:20 – 2:50  Workshop #3:  State of the State of Social Media: What’s New in the Social Media World to Help You Do More Adoptions, Raise More Money and Recruit More Volunteers
Speaker: Emily Garman
Everything changes frequently in social media, and this seminar covers the latest changes on social networks, as well as software and tools that nonprofits need to know about.  This seminar will teach you how to harness the tools and concepts of social media to accomplish your goals and help more animals in your program.  This session is great for beginners as well as more advanced users, as it focuses on strategies and ways to use social media rather than just technical specifics.  You’ll see what other animal welfare organizations are doing to literally raise thousands of dollars a month using social media, and to grow their volunteer and foster bases exponentially.  You’ll also learn about exclusive, non-publicized tools and resources available only to nonprofits that can make a huge difference in your online effectiveness.  You don’t have to be a technical guru or a Twitter expert to attend this seminar–all you need is an open mind!

2:50 – 3:10 Break in Ballroom, Visit Exhibitors, Network, Silent Auction Cashier Open

3:10 – 4:40 Workshop #4:  Yes, you can train a cat! A study exploring the implementation of a clicker training program for shelter cats
Speakers: Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP
Clicker training is a positive, humane method of training that's been used successfully with a wide variety of animal species including marine mammals, primates, dogs and horses.  Although use of clicker training is common with many species, there is very little in published research about feline clicker training.    This session will review a study that was conducted within a non-profit program designed specifically to assess the implementation of a clicker training program for cats residing in a nearby limited-admissions cat shelter.  Results suggest that a significant percentage of cats can be clicker trained in a shelter environment and learn multiple behaviors with relatively short periods of training over the course of two weeks.   Given the fact that dog training has been identified as one way to reduce shelter environment stress and potentially increase adoption prospects, these results are encouraging.  Shelters may be able to offer similar experiences for the cats in their care.  This data will be analyzed and discussed, along with ways to implement similar training programs at other shelters.  An additional discussion of working with fearful cats will complete the session. 

4:40 - 5:00  Door Prizes in Ballroom—Must be present to win! 
Fill up your stamp card by visiting each exhibitor to qualify. 

Veterinary Track

Download detailed conference flyer (.pdf)
Application has been made for R.A.C.E. approval of a full day of C. E. credits for veterinarians and veterinary technicians

Veterinary Track Speakers: Dr. Chumkee Aziz, DVM, Dr. Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP, Dr. Stephanie Janeszko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA 
Veterinary Track Location: Best Western Kelly Inn Ballroom

Veterinary Track Agenda:

8:00-8:55 Registration, Breakfast Served in Ballroom

8:55 Opening Comments

9:00-10:30  Workshop #1:  The ASV Guidelines as a Tool for Animal Health and Well-being in Shelters
Speaker:  Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA 
This session will provide an overview of the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animals Shelters, focusing on how the document can be used as a tool to assess and improve the health and well-being of animals in any shelter setting. Key recommendations will be introduced in this session and illustrated with practical examples of how these can be applied and implemented in specific situations throughout the rest of this track.

10:30 – 10:50 Break in Ballroom, Visit Exhibitors, Network

10:50 – 12:20  Workshop # 2:  More than Medicine: Population Management for Veterinarians
Speaker:  Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP
Shelter medicine represents a unique balance between individual and population health management. This session will provide a foundation for developing a proactive population management plan, including basic "shelter math" and an introduction to management techniques that can be used to decrease crowding and increase live releases.

12:20 – 1:20 Lunch (Poolside),  Silent Auction Closes at 1:15 in Ballroom 

1:20 – 2:50  Workshop #3:  Getting the Upper Hand on Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
Speaker: Chumkee Aziz, DVM 
Feline upper respiratory infection (URI) remains a persistent challenge for many shelters. However, the more we learn about feline URI, the better we understand how to prevent and manage it.  Proper cleaning, appropriate vaccination practices, and most importantly, optimal housing and handling to minimize stress, can lead to a dramatic reduction in feline URI while simultaneously improving feline well-being. This session will cover feline URI prevention, as well as evidence-based recommendations for treatment and management of feline URI.

2:50 – 3:10 Break in Ballroom, Visit Exhibitors, Network, Silent Auction Cashier Open

3:10 – 4:40 Workshop #4: Beyond Kennel Cough: From Bordetella to Strep Zoo and Everything in Between
Speaker: Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA 
Infectious respiratory disease, often referred to as “kennel cough,” can be a significant challenge affecting the health of dogs in a shelter setting. This session will provide an overview of the disease complex and discuss several of the more common and serious causative agents. Diagnosis, treatment, management and preventive strategies that consider both the individual patient and population as a whole will be reviewed. 

4:40 - 5:00  Door Prizes in Ballroom—Must be present to win!