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for the 
24th Annual APAW Expo

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Opportunities to earn continuing education credits and a course completion certification to add to your resume are available to:

  • 23 CLE Hours for Attorneys. (Including 4 Ethics hours and 4 Trial hours)
    Georgia Bar rules require each attorney wishing to receive CLE credit must pay $4.00 per course that you attend. This fee is passed on directly to the GA Bar and is separate from our registration fee. Confirmations and payment will be collected onsite and submitted to the GA Bar.

  • LEAP for legal education veterinarians, requested (Vets/Vet Techs


  • 17 POST Hours for Law Enforcement Officers  
    IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR POST CREDIT -  You must sign in at the registration table each morning and provide your okey number.  (POST no longer charges per course)

  • 10 NACA Hours (National Animal Control Association) All conference courses are approved for NACA CEUs as consistent with the CEU policy.”
    (Conference In-Person10 CEUs per year with Proof of attendance/Certificate of Completion)


  • Certificate of Course Completion (All attendees will receive onsite)

2023 APAW Expo Agenda

Day 1 - Friday, October 20, 2023 
 Registration: 6:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Conference 7:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Exhibit Hall Open 11:00 am - 4:30 pm

6:30 - 7:30 EST       Registration


7:30 - 9:10 EST

Track 1:         

Welcoming Remarks, Deconstructing a GA Dog Bite Case, Proper Reporting of Rabies, New GA Figo’s Law  which Protects Public Safety Animals (K9, SARS & Cadaver Dog) and Avoiding Liability for LEOS & ACOS.

Claudine Wilkins will open with welcoming remarks and the schedule for the day, She will then go through a  Georgia dog bite case step by step.  Oscar Hulett will instruct on the proper reporting of Rabies.  Both will go over the new Figo's Law and how it protects public safety animals.  All three will teach how LEOs and ACOs can avoid liability.



Oscar Hulett, Former Director of Health, GA Department of Public Health. County Environmental Health Offices Jeff Davis County

Stephen Johnson, Environmental Health at Georgia Department of Public Health

Claudine Wilkins, Animal Law Expert, Founder of Animal Law Source

9:10 - 9:35 EST      Break  (Skelton Prefunction Area)  

9:35 - 11:15 EST

Track 1:       

Georgia Lawmakers - Round Table Discussion on Companion Animals

This will be round table discussion with these law makers and rule makers.  Learn about new laws that have passed,  new laws being propossed and an opportunity to hear directly from these animal friendly law makers.



Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones

Tyler Harper, New Department of Agriculture Commissioner

Senator Kay Kirkpatrick

Andy Lord, Lobbyist (8-10 minute Legislative Update)

and other special guests




12:45 - 2:30 EST   

Track 1:       

Plans for Companion Animals under the Georgia Department of Agrucutlure and Recent Law on GA Food Animal Cruelty.  This course will go over new plans for companion animals, procedures for the new Law Enforcement within the GA Dept. of AG and will cover new law on Georgia food animal cruelty.   


Harlan Proveaux, Inspector General/Law Enforcement Division Director, Georgia Department of Ag. and

Jason Smith,  Program Manager Companion Animal/Equine Division and Program Manager of the Livestock & Poultry

                         Division, Georgia Department of Agriculture 

Track 2:     

The Overwhelmed Dog - Helping dogs cope with a confusing world.
A deaf, mouthy adolescent Rhodesian Ridgeback, a Dachshund that can’t be left alone yet fears going outside, two barking Chihuahuas and a fence running French Bulldog. Victoria will use these real world case studies and more to help illustrate the challenges dogs and people sometimes face in overwhelming situations and environments. With an in-depth look into why behavior occurs as well as practical solutions for both ends of the leash, Victoria will help you recognize and tackle ‘overwhelm’ in your own dog or dogs you work with.   During this presentation attendees will:

•  Learn the importance of observation and not rushing to judgment

•  Understand what it takes to be more effective and empathetic listeners

•  Broaden their understanding of dogs’ individual needs and wants

Find practical solutions to complex dog behavior issues using real world case studies



Victoria Stilwell, VSPDT, APDT, Celebrity Dog Trainer and Behavior Expert, Trainer and creator of It’s Me or the Dog (Animal Planet), Bestselling Author and Founder of Victoria Stilwell Positively, Inc. and the Victoria Stilwell Academy of Dog Training and Behavior

2:30 - 3:30 EST     Break  (Skelton Pre-function Area & Exhibit Hall)

3:30 - 4:30 EST   

Track 1:        

How to Build and Package a Solid Animal Cruelty Case for Successful Prosecution

How to prepare and present your case to police, detectives, and the DA’s office to successfully create a working relationship to prosecute cases appropriately.              

Presenter:      Katrina Amaro,  Gwinnett County Animal Control Officer   

Track 2:       

Commercial Breeding Facility Investigations. 

Violations of animal cruelty law are often found at large-scale commercial breeding facilities, commonly referred to as "puppy mills." The sheer number of animals involved-often in the hundreds and sometimes thousands-and their unique circumstances create special investigation and case management challenges. Topics to be covered:

                                 • Specialized considerations

                                 • Different enforcement/regulatory agencies and their oversight

                                 • Collaboration and preparedness.                   

Presenter:   Shalimar Oliver, Animal Crimes Manager, Humane Society of the United States     

Adjourn – THANK YOU and see you tomorrow morning!

Day 2 - Saturday, October 21, 2023

 Registration: 6:30 am - 7:30 am EST

Conference 8:00 am - 4:30 pm EST

Exhibit Hall Now Open 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

7:00 - 8:00 EST       Registration

8:00 - 9:40 EST

Track 1:      

Things I Really Want You to Know... Ideas and Observations from Three Decades in the Prosecution Trenches PART 1 

So who’s working this case, anyhow?

• Is anybody working this case? Why somebody should be

• Meet me at the intersection of law enforcement and animal control.

• Where to get help and how to decide if you need it


Elements-Based Investigations

• How knowing the statute or ordinance you are trying to enforce and letting the elements of the crime guide your investigative actions ultimately results in more successful prosecutions

• The elements-based interview


Understand Your Authority

• Search and seizure overview for animal crimes cases

• Choose your path and follow it carefully: how the legalities of your seizure/impound affect your ability to appropriately dispose of animals at the close of your case. 

Presenter:     Kim Schwartz, Senior Assistant District Attorney, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit of Georgia

Track 2:     

Hoarders: Breeder/trainer (Malinois case), rescue hoarder and the overwhelmed individual.

How to handle the different types of issues associated with the animals in their care.       

Presenter:  Cindy Wiemann, Director, Newton County Animal Services    


9:40 - 10:10 EST      Break    

10:10 - 11:50 EST

Track 1:       

Things I Really Want You to Know... Ideas and Observations from Three Decades in the Prosecution Trenches PART 2 

Defense Awareness

• An(cipa(ng and defea(ng common defenses

• What is reasonable doubt, how does the defense develop it, and what can you do to stop it?



• The basics are still basic.

• Report-writing

• Physical evidence

• Digital evidence

• Making your body cam work for you


The Value and Perils of Social Media 

Presenter:   Kimberly Schwartz,  Senior Assistant District Attorney, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit of Georgia        

Track 2:      

Vets, their Roles in Animal Cases and What they Need to Know About Animal Laws

Every day Veterinarians come across animals that are possibly abused.  Learns what you need to know when faced with this predicament and other scenarios where you need to know how the law pertains to you.    

Presenter:   Claudine Wilkins, Esq.  Animal Law Expert and founder of TAPS, Animal Law Source and the APAW Expo   

11:50 - 1:20 EST  LUNCH BREAK - On your own at over 25 venues at Avalon


1:20 - 3:00 EST   

Track 1:   

Dangerous Dogs Why Are Our Best Friend’s Killing Us? 

Dangerous dogs are killing humans at a rate higher than ever recorded. This presentation explores the rise in fatal dog attacks over the last ten years and the public perception of dog breeds considered as dangerous. It will also discuss the human factors and societal trends that contribute to dozens of unnecessary human deaths each year and how the proper investigation of potentially dangerous dogs can help reduce the number of annual fatal dog attacks.           

Presenter:   Doug Eddins,  Founder and Executive Director, American Cruelty Investigations School  

Track 2:     

The Power Of Partnerships: This session's focus will be twofold.  First, looking at the power and growth which comes from a seamless internal partnership between a rescue's internal operations team and it's external affairs and fundraising team.  Second, Nikki and Mark will speak to how the efforts of a single animal rescue organization can be augmented and multiplied from both a program impact perspective and in externally focused awareness, trust, and fundraising activities. Please come to this session prepared to share your organization's experiences with partnerships and to ask questions as this session is meant to interactive and hopefully, via vigorous discussion, all participants will leave the session with new ideas that will help improve internal and external operations. 


Nicky Healy, New Executive Director, Good Mews,

Steve Hammond, Director, Cobb County Animal Services

Mark Dowis, Director of Developement of Good Mews.

3:00 - 3:30 EST     Break  (Skelton Prefunction Area & Exhibit Hall)

3:30 - 4:30 EST   

Track 1:      

Investigation Pitfalls: Common Mistakes That Kill A Cruetly Investigations

Animal cruelty investigations are considered special investigations because they require a unique skillset uncommon to most law enforcement investigators. This skillset requires knowledge of various animal species, husbandry practices, veterinary knowledge, and a thorough understanding of animal behavior. Without these skills investigators face major obstacles towards a successful prosecution of crimes against animals. This lecture explores the most common pitfalls to a successful investigation and what steps an investigator can take to help avoid them.   

  • Crime scene analysis and evidence collection

  • Proper identification and ownership of animals

  • Recognition of crimes and proper application of law

  • Report writing and courtroom presentation

Presenter:  Stephanie Eddins, Director of Curriculum Development, American Cruelty Investigations School    

Track 2:       

Work Together And Check Your Ego At The Door.

Showing how Rescues, Shelters, Fosters, Veterinarians, LEOs and ACOs need to work together                

Presenter:    Barbara Briguim, Founder and Director of The Rescue Ranch

4:30 EST                 AJOURN 



Top 10 things Everyone Needs To Know About Service Animals and the Law. 

Mr. Goren is an authority on the laws pertaining to Service Animals.  In this course, he discusses the top 10 things everyone needs to know about service animal laws.  What you can and cannot do and other top items to know.  Presented by: William Goren, 

Presenter:  William Goren, Esq., Expert on Service Animal Law


An Active Overview of Dog Bite Related Fatalities. 

Based on reviewing of over 500 fatalities by dog bite, this is an up today findings on common causes, victim profiles and contributing factors.

Presenter: James Crosby, M.S., CBCC-KA, Dog Bite and Canine Expert

Veterinary Forensics in Animal Investigations. 

This course is essential for Veterinarians, Law Enforcement and Animal Control Officers when using veterinary forensics in investigations. Dr. Miller will be going over all the top tips.            

Presenter:    Dr. Doris Miller, DVM, Forensic Vet, UGA Vet School Professor

Police And Dog Encounters  

What you should and shouldn’t do when encountering stray, or dangerous dogs. 

Presenter:  John Thompson, Vice President, Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association, Dog Bite Expert

Best Practices for Maximum Lifesaving in Animal Sheltering  

A look at the current nationally recognized proven strategies to decrease unnecessary intake & length of stay, and maximize positive outcomes & your relationship with the community. 

Presenter:  Carrie Ducote, MS Principal Consultant, Shelter Savvy



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