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To promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of animals and people in the state of Tennessee, through proactive education and representation.

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Upcoming events

Promoting Quality of Life in the Shelter Environment    Dr. Brian DiGangi, ASPCA 

This session will introduce attendees to the various tools designed for evaluating animal welfare and discuss their application in the shelter environment. Attendees will learn how to effectively use the most important tool for promoting high quality of life in shelter animals and will practice managing virtual shelters through an animal welfare lens.

Managed Intake. What is it and How Can it Affect My Organization?  T’ Fisher, Houston SPCA

Today there are a variety of ways to implement "managed intake" spreading across the country. This session will define managed intake and show how it can help any animal organization recognize and work within their capacity for care. 

Reducing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress: What Exactly is Fear Free?  Dr. Christine Calder, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

An introduction to what Fear Free means including the clinical signs of fear, anxiety, and stress. Participants will learn how to identify these clinical signs and techniques for reducing distress in veterinary practices and the shelter environment.

Self Care for Folks in Animal Welfare: They Whys, Hows, & Whats of Supporting Your Health & Well-being  Monica Weiss-Sharp, MSSW, LVMT

Do any of the following sound familiar: burnout, compassion fatigue, moral stress? For many animal welfare professionals, these are part of everyday life. If you could use some help addressing these challenges, join us for this session where we define these terms, talk about what they look and feel like, and most importantly, offer some practical steps you can take to keep yourself healthy and able to do the important work of caring for animals.

Animal Behavior and Handling  Dr. Christine Calder, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine
This presentation will cover the signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in animals along with information on how to approach and handle fearful and aggressive animals especially in an emergency setting.

Nuisance Wildlife Management / Trapping & Rabies Control in Wildlife  Russell Boles, TWRA
Attendees will be exposed to valuable information concerning nuisance wildlife management and the control of rabies in and outside the Raccoon Rabies Surveillance Zone.  Feral dogs and cats will be discussed in regard to the impact on wildlife and the control measures currently in use.  A brief update on the laws, proclamations, and rules and regulations will be given.  

Investigative Principles of Blood Sports  Leigh Anne Garrard, ASPCA
Every Blood Sport related case starts with a solid investigation.  This block of instruction with cover history of dogfighting and cockfighting, identification of key items of evidence related to blood sports, and common investigative pitfalls associated with blood sport cases.  Anyone who works in animal welfare will benefit from this discussion as many of the elements of these crimes can be hidden in plain sight.  Tips for pulling together pieces of the puzzle throughout the investigation will elevate the case work of attendees.  The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team is a national leader in combating Dogfighting in the effort to end suffering for victims of cruelty.

The Role of Animal Control and Law Enforcement in Creating Successful Community Cat Programs  Alice Burton, Alley Cat Allies
Attend this session to learn more about the important role of animal control and law enforcement in building successful community cat programs that serve both cats and the public. During this session, we will talk about ordinances, and what might help or hurt your programs. We will use real life examples to highlight the benefits experienced once community cat programs are implemented. We will also address the many questions and concerns faced by officers in the field, and share answers, advice, and best practices. Attendees will leave the session with helpful talking points to share with their teams, staff, and communities.

Neither Here nor There: Tennessee’s Laws Protecting Animals  Joan MacLeod Heminway, Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law, UT College of Law

In 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund rated Tennessee’s animal protection laws 25th out of those in the 50 states.  This session will explore why Tennessee does not place higher—or lower—in these rankings and cover other notable aspects of Tennessee’s animal protection laws.

Outreach Basics: It Starts with Attitude  B.J. Rogers, Emancipet

Community outreach is all the rage at shelters and clinics across the country. And yet organizations routinely struggle to connect with their communities. Effective outreach requires a commitment to meeting people where they’re at, a foundational belief in the goodness of people, and a willingness to suspend judgment and act with compassion and empathy. Come explore those concepts and expand your thinking when it comes to implementing effective outreach strategies.

How to Eliminate Feline Upper Respiratory Infections in Your Shelter! Dr. Staci Cannon, Metro Animal Care & Control
Feline upper respiratory infections are the leading cause of euthanasia of shelter cats. Stress and shelter housing provide the perfect conditions for both exposure and illness. Can shelters really beat feline URI? Yes!  Learn about proven strategies for vaccination, sanitation, housing, stress reduction, and population management to eliminate feline URI in your shelter.

The Organizational Petri Dish  B.J. Rogers, Emancipet

Everybody’s talking ‘bout organizational culture, but what is it? How do we shape it? How do we keep it healthy and forward-focused? We’ll dig into the keys to employee engagement, articulating purpose, and cultivating space for people to thrive.

Removing Breed Labels  Nicole Juchem, Animal Farm Foundation
Removing unreliable breed guesses is the first step in having more open and honest discussions with the public about the dogs in our care. Real, community-changing success happens when you let go of language and other social constructs and stop putting dogs in boxes like “blockheads” or “power breeds.” Science tells us that visual identification is inaccurate and it also tells us that genetics does not necessitate behavior. This means dogs are individuals and we owe it to them to see them for who they really are. When we truly make that change, it affects not only adoption rates, but the way communities think about dogs and their potential as individuals. Ultimately, we bring more dogs and people together when we let go of our bias.  

Updates on Canine Heartworm Management  Dr. Brian DiGangi, ASPCA

Preliminary findings from the 2019 survey of Heartworm Disease Management in North American Shelters will be presented during this session. Survey findings will be discussed in reference to updated industry guidelines and recommendations. Attendees will develop an understanding of the resources available to guide them in the development of practices, policies and protocols for their organization.

ACCAT is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

P.O. Box 20124 

Knoxville, TN 37940


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