Big Dog Master Class Block 6 - Gaining Public Support for Saving Big Dogs (50 minutes total)
Sarah Aguilar, Senior Director of Operations, Austin Pets Alive
Bobby Mann, Chief Programs Officer, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center
Dr. Ellen Jefferson, DVM, President and CEO Austin Pets Alive! and American Pets Alive!
Medium and large dogs pose a number of challenges for animal welfare and it’s easy to lose community support, including support from the government leadership, if there is an ongoing perception that it’s just too hard to achieve live outcomes for them. In this session, attendees will hear from three leaders who are experts in gaining public support for shelter pets.
Session 1: Reduce Risk and Improve Public Safety (25 minutes)
Sarah Aguilar teaches the critical safety factors shelters need to be tracking, including bites in the shelter and in the community, injuries to staff and volunteers, risk management claims, and safety incidents and responses in the shelter. She shares how animal shelters can create safety tool kits for kennel areas and what training animal shelters should provide to staff and volunteers related to safety. She connects all of this to the practice of reporting this information publicly, to help leadership and community members understand how safety and lifesaving are related.
Session 2: Get Your Community On Board with Keeping Big Dogs Out of the Shelter (25 minutes)
Dr. Ellen Jefferson and Bobby Mann talk about the programs that can help keep animals out of shelters in the first place, and how to gain public support for these programs and how to engage human services agencies to promote them.
- Learn how to track safety data and share it with the public to gain community support.
- Learn how to create a culture of safety in their organization and how to keep shelter staff and volunteers safe and to mitigate risk factors.
- Learn about the three programs that can keep big dogs out of shelters and how to gain community buy-in to start and grow these programs.
- Earn 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits from The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and from the National Animal Care & Control Association.
- This course has been approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit for each block of presentations until February 14, 2024 in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval. Pass the quiz with a score of 70% or higher to access your CE certificate and then upload it to https://CEBroker.com. This is the broker that the AAVSB uses to track your continuing education credits.
Keywords: Community support, live outcomes, dog bites, obstacles to outcomes management system for big dogs, animal behavior, big dogs, large dogs, Maximize physical and behavioral health, Animal & Population Management, Strategic & Operational Planning, Policies & Procedures, webcast
BD Day 2
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Senior Director of Operations
Austin Pets Alive!
Sarah Aguilar is currently the Director of Santa Barbara Animal Services. Aguilar has a long history in animal services, most recently working as the senior director of operations at Austin Pets Alive in Austin, Texas. She has also served as the National Foster Programs manager at Greater Good Charities in Seattle; was the deputy director for the Pima Animal Care Center in Pima, Arizona; and previously worked as the foster care coordinator for Ventura County Animal Services.
President and CEO
Austin Pets Alive! and American Pets Alive!
Dr. Ellen Jefferson, a longtime shelter veterinarian, and groundbreaking animal welfare visionary, is the President and CEO of Austin Pets Alive!
Now a global leader in transformative animal welfare, Dr. Jefferson took over APA! in 2008, a grassroots, volunteer effort to protect Austin’s most vulnerable shelter pets. APA! has directly saved the lives of more than 100,000 at-risk pets from Austin and elsewhere in Texas.
Through tireless advocacy and APA’s lifesaving programs, in 2011 Dr. Jefferson achieved her dream to make Austin the country’s largest No Kill city, saving more than 90 percent of the city’s homeless pets.
Since that first benchmark year a decade ago, Austin has remained the safest city in America for shelter animals—in no small part thanks to Dr. Jefferson’s singular focus on those who are left behind: the dogs and cats often euthanized in other shelters because of age, medical condition, behavior, or who are otherwise considered by some to be simply “unsavable.”
Dr. Jefferson is also the founder of San Antonio Pets Alive!, an organization that has saved over 30,000 animals’ lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Expanding her reach far beyond Texas, Dr. Jefferson leads the work of American Pets Alive!, the national arm of APA!, which she founded in 2010.
AmPA! provides training and education to thousands of animal welfare professionals throughout the U.S. and the world, and helps animal shelters in this country and others implement the lifesaving programs that have been developed and tested in Austin over the past 15 years.
The American Pets Alive! conference, held annually in Austin, draws nearly 1,000 visitors to Austin and brings the leading animal welfare experts in the nation together to debate, teach, and lead the future of animal sheltering.
In 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic, Dr. Jefferson met the urgent need to keep pets out of shelters and with people by launching Human Animal Support Services (HASS), an international collaborative movement to transform animal services to support the bond between pets and people.
HASS quickly grew, and today more than 1,000 animal welfare professionals in more than 400 animal welfare organizations across the U.S. and Canada are working together to change the way we care for pets and people in our communities.
In 2016, Austin’s mayor Steve Adler and the City of Austin named November 5 Ellen Jefferson Day, to recognize her tremendous contributions to the city’s pets and people. She was named the Non-Profit Executive of the Year in 2013 by Mission Capital, Austin’s leading nonprofit resource center.
Dr. Jefferson serves on the national steering committee for Best Friends Animal Society, the Shelter Advisory Council for Pedigree Foundation, and the North American COVID-19 Response Coalition.
Before her work with Austin Pets Alive!, Dr. Jefferson founded and served as the executive director of Emancipet, another organization that brought national recognition to Austin for its work to make veterinary care affordable and accessible to everyone.
Dr. Jefferson graduated from the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She has 13 years of experience in private veterinary practice and over two decades of practicing shelter medicine. Among her many current passions are saving dogs with distemper and solving the toughest problems preventing progressive changes in the animal welfare industry.
Chief Programs Officer
St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center
In his role, Bobby oversees St. Hubert's organization’s advocacy efforts, community programs, humane education, and public pet services all with the goal of uplifting and keeping people and pets together. Bobby also oversees the WayStation program, St. Hubert’s best-in-class animal relocation program.
With more than a decade of experience at municipal animal shelters, Bobby’s deep operational expertise, leadership, and creativity have helped change the public’s perception of the animal welfare industry.
In his most recent role for American Pets Alive! as the Maddie’s® Human Animal Support Services (HASS) pilot director, Bobby's work focused on developing programs and protocols to implement community supported sheltering and help keep pets in homes with families who already love them.
Previously, Bobby spent more than a decade working in Sacramento animal shelters, at both the Sacramento SPCA and later at the state capital’s municipal organization, Front Street Animal Shelter.
Bobby is passionate about implementing and expanding programs that instill a people-first mindset, support youth engagement, further the inclusion of historically marginalized communities, and celebrate the love between people and pets.