KEY NOTE SPEAKERS

 

Animal Protection Conference and Expo prides itself on partnering with amazing speakers and educators to provide the latest animal related topics, legislation and trends.  

 

Over the 2-day event, these speakers will share their insights and years of experience to provide the ongoing education necessary to encourage and inspire all professionals and advocates.

2020 Speakers

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DR. JEFF YOUNG

Veterinarian, Owner of Planned Pethood Plus


KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Time: Thursday Oct. 29th 12:30-1:25pm:
Topic #1: Spay-Neuter, Still Saving Lives

 

Time: Thursday, Oct. 29th, 2:40-3:35pm:
Topic #2: No Kill: The Controversy Continues

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Dr. Jeff Young is a charismatic hero who embodies a maverick, 'can-do' spirit while treating a wide variety of animals in Denver and beyond. Straight-talking, warm-hearted and effortlessly cool, he's one of America's busiest veterinarians. His clinic, Planned Pethood Plus, is a local landmark.

It's always a mad house in Dr. Jeff's animal house. With more than 80,000-plus clients, approximately 30 surgeries a day, 30 staff, a bustling emergency room, and a far-reaching mobile clinic, Dr. Jeff is under constant pressure to keep his staff, clients and patients both healthy and happy.

Dr. Jeff felt dismayed some veterinarians were driven by money rather than the well-being of their patients, so Dr. Jeff committed to his 'low-cost animal care for all' mission statement and moved to Denver. Working more than 100 hours a week, he built his Denver clinic and started travelling across America with his mobile clinic, which offers animal care to those who struggled to access it or can't afford it.

 

Dr. Jeff's biggest cause is spaying and neutering animals in an effort to control the population of cats and dogs that end up in shelters and improve health issues associated with intact pets. He provides low-cost spays and neuters for his clientele and has performed more than 165,000 surgeries.

Now 25 years later, Dr. Jeff's goal remains the same. Dr. Jeff lives and dies by his own code as rules sometimes are meant to be broken. He is not afraid to perform very difficult surgeries if he believes the outcomes could outweigh the risks. And, his loyalty to the welfare of animals sometimes calls for him to step in and remove pets from abusive owners and find them new, healthy forever homes.

Dr. Jeff always focuses on the big picture, which is why he values making a difference in Denver and across the country and beyond. Forever young at heart, Dr. Jeff loves the freedom, variety and sense of adventure that his mobile clinics offer. He has satellite clinics already in Mexico and Eastern Europe, contacts on every continent and a team that will follow him anywhere.

JANE VALEZ-MITCHELL
Founder, JaneUnchained News Network

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Time: Thursday, Oct. 29th, 11:05am - 12:00pm
Topic: Jane Valez - Mitchell and Animal Welfare, A Live Interview

Jane Velez-Mitchell is the founder and content editor of JaneUnChained, a multi-platform social media news outlet that produces original video content on animals rights and the vegan/compassionate lifestyle. 

For six years she hosted her own show on CNN Headline News, where she ran a weekly segment on animal issues. Previously, Velez-Mitchell reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, where she did numerous stories on animal issues championed by celebrities.

Velez-Mitchell is the author of four books. Her 2014 nonfiction New York Times bestseller, Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias offers a detailed psychological analysis of a salacious trial that gripped the American public. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir, iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life. Secrets Can Be Murder delves into the secrecy and deceit embedded in tragic scenarios. Addict Nation: An Intervention for America with co-author Sandra Mohr focuses on our culture’s addictive nature and our obsession with overconsumption.

 

Velez-Mitchell directed and produced the documentary Anita Velez: Dancing Through Life which won a Gracie award in 2001. She lives with her partner, Donna Dennison, and their 4 companion animals in Los Angeles.

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DR. JAY TISCHENDORF

DVM, Wildlife Biologist, Zoonotic Disease Specialist

Time: Thursday, Oct. 29th, 3:45 - 4:40pm
Topic #1: Zoonotic Disease: How to Protect Yourself and Animals 

Highlights on the Emerging Chaga's Disease Dubbed the "Heartworm of the New Millennium", Vaccines in the Anti-Vaccine World: Normal Responses vs. Bad Reactions; One Year vs. Three Year Rabies

Time: Thursday, October 29th, 4:50-5:45pm

Topic #2: Disinfection: Don't Let Your Disinfection Miss Infection

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Time: Friday, October 30th, 11:05am - 12:00pm

Topic: When the Covid-19 Coast Clears, Inpacts on the Human Animal Bond, Veterinarians and the Animals, and Moving Towards the "One Health Movement"

Dr. Jay Tischendorf is a veterinarian and wildlife biologist with special interests ranging widely from anesthesia, cardiology, dermatology, and parasitology to One Health, emerging infectious diseases and zoonoses. 

 

The founder and director of the American Ecological Research Institute (--AERIE), Dr. Tischendorf has a BS degree in Zoology from Ohio University and a DVM degree from Colorado State.  With experience spanning field biology and scientific research, clinical practice, and service in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Jay has literally worked across the entire North American continent and in Central America and Canada as well. 

 

He is certified as an Expert Animal Cruelty Investigator and serves as scientific advisor and trainer with the National Animal Care and Control Association, the Law Enforcement Training Institute at the University of Missouri, and the National Wildlife Control Operators Association. 

 

Additionally he is Human-Animal Bond and Fear-Free Certified, as well as a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council Zoonoses Committee.  Dr. Jay previously served as faculty at the University of Great Falls in Montana and is a former wildland firefighter and US Marine. 

 

He has ongoing research projects involving large carnivores, raptors, and reptiles.  He is also actively searching for the supposedly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, teaches courses on animal immobilization, has provided volunteer veterinary care for Native American Nations, and leads an annual tracking and winter survival course in the Rocky Mountains. 

 

He is a regular speaker at a number of veterinary medical and technical schools as well as conservation and ecological symposiums and veterinary and human medical conferences.  

CLAUDINE WILKINS 

Attorney, Animal Law Expert, Founder - The Animal Protection Society, Animal Law Source and APAW Academy

Time: Friday, Oct. 30th, 4:50 - 5:45pm

Topic: Dangerous Dog Cases - Law, Charging, Prosecution, and Practical Aspects

Claudine Wilkins is an attorney, animal law expert, founder of Animal Law Source, past chair GA Bar Animal Law Section, co-founder GA Pet Fd. She started her career as a prosecutor in 1997 and gained national attention in one of the largest verdicts in the nation in a landmark liquor liability case involving 3 fatalities. Since 1996, she has assisted in hundreds of animal abuse cases. In 1998, she created the Animal Protection conference.

In 2009, Claudine petitioned the State Bar of Georgia to create Animal Law Section which was founded later that year. 

 

In 2014, she founded AnimAnimal Law Source, an organization that serves as a resource for animal law professionals across the state and animallawsource.org, a website dedicated to assisting those professionals. Her continuing efforts to draft legislation protecting children and animals resulted in the passage of many state and local laws including: the Georgia Dog Fighting law, The Responsible Dog Owner Act (dangerous dog law) and the Animal Cruelty law and more.

Having trained over 5,000 professionals, she continues teaching prosecutors, judges, attorneys, police, animal control officers, veterinarians, vet techs, animal shelter staff, rescue/foster, dog trainers, students and professionals involved with animals on animal law, animal cruelty, neglect, fighting, abandonment, hoarding, large impound cases, equine cruelty, public safety, dangerous dog issues, dog bite cases and liability issues facing all professions involved.

PHIL ARKOW

Coordinator, National Link Coalition

Time: Thursday, Oct. 29th, 6:00 - 6:55pm

Topic: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty: The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence in a Post-COVID World

Phil Arkow is coordinator of the National Link Coalition – the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence – and editor of its monthly LINK-Letter. He chairs the Latham Foundation’s Animal Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Project. He teaches Animal Abuse and Human Violence at the University of Florida and Animal-Assisted Therapy at Harcum and Camden County Colleges. He trains internationally and has authored or edited over 60 key reference works in human-animal interactions and violence prevention. He has founded and served with a dozen national and state veterinary, animal welfare, human-animal bond, and criminal justice organizations. 

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DOUG BRIDGES

Special Agent | Office of Investigations | Office of Inspector General | United States Department of Agriculture

Topic: Anatomy Of A Dog Fight And Lessons Learned

Doug Bridges is a Special Agent with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Inspector General - Investigations (OIG-I).   He began his law enforcement career as Deputy Sheriff for Baldwin County, Georgia in 1999 – 2000.  He then served as Game Warden for the State of Georgia for six years before becoming a Border Patrol Agent for the United States.  Following his tenure as a Border Patrol Agent, Mr. Bridges worked for Homeland Security until 2010, at which time he commenced working as a special agent for USDA’s OIG-I.  He is widely recognized for his considerable expertise with animal fighting and animal welfare investigations.

CAROL BUCKLEY

Founder, Elephant Aid International

Topic: Starting a Sanctuary - Rules, Regulations and Things You Need To Know

Carol Buckley is an internationally recognized authority in the retirement, rehabilitation and welfare of captive-held elephants.  Buckley creates innovative models that set new standards of care for elephants in captivity.  With more than 40 years of experience working with captive-held elephants, Buckley is known for her extensive knowledge of elephant values, physiology and culture.  She has developed revolutionary non-dominant management systems and holistic healthcare programs that support the recovery of elephants while ensuring their autonomy.  A leading spokesperson and expert witness for elephant care and protection nationally and internationally, Buckley works with governmental agencies and private organizations to strengthen regulations protecting the welfare of elephants in captivity.

JASON CLARK

Snake Expert, Founder of Southeastern Reptile Rescue
Topic: Snakes & Reptiles: What Professionals Need To Know About Catching, Caring, Recognizing Neglect, Recording & Reporting Neglect, Info and Myths On Types Of Snake Bites & How Bites Affect Dogs, Cats And Horses

President of Southeastern Reptile Rescue, Licensed for Wildlife Education & Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Certified Master Naturalist through the University of Georgia, Contractor for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as an Alligator Agent Trapper

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JAMIE CONTRERAS

Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Topic: Cross-Reporting and Animal Cruelty

Jamie is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Criminal Justice Program.  In that role, she provides expert assistance and training to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and other stakeholders on all aspects of criminal prosecutions involving animal cruelty.  She also trains judges on issues involving animals as victims and the link between animal cruelty and human violence, in connection with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

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JIM CROSBY

Canine Aggression Consulting, LLC, Dog Bite Expert

Topic: Dog Mite Investigations and Case Scenarios

Mr. Crosby is a retired Police Lieutenant and has professionally trained dogs, taught individual and group obedience classes, and addressed canine behavior problems since 1999. He serves as Division Management Consultant of Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services, the municipal agency responsible for rescue and adoption needs, investigation of animal cruelty, animal fighting, and regulation of Dangerous Dogs for residents of Jacksonville. Holding a Master of Science in Veterinary Forensic Medicine, Jim is recognized in and out of Court as an expert in the US and Canada on Dangerous Dogs, canine aggression, fatal dog attacks, and related issues.  Jim teaches safe handling and rehabilitation of Dangerous Dogs and Investigation of Fatal and Serious Dog Attacks to police, animal control agencies, and others across the US and Canada. He has been instrumental in a number of successful prosecutions focused on dog related fatalities.

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Doug Eddins

Founder, American Cruelty Investigations School

Topic: Animal Control Officer Fundamentals

Doug Eddins earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Louisville College of Business in Louisville, KY.  He brings law enforcement experience and application of constitutional law during criminal investigations to AACIS.  He is an instructor at Gulf Coast State College and teaches the state-mandated animal control officer certification classes for the Florida Animal Control Association.   Additionally, he serves as a court-appointed cruelty investigator and assists other law enforcement and animal control agencies across the country with cruelty investigations.

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M. Jenny Edwards

Criminologist, Subject Matter Expert - What The Dark Web Has To Do With Animals

Topic: Correlation Between Human Trafficking and Sex Crimes Against Animals and Children

M. Jenny Edwards is a nationally recognized field expert in human-animal sexual interactions, more commonly referred to as bestiality or zoophilia. Her work is focused primarily on the criminal aspect of these interactions, but also applies to sociology, psychology, sexology, and veterinary medicine. She is an author, educator, and researcher, and was a consultant on the film "Zoo," a Sundance and Cannes award winning docudrama about a bestiality case in Washington State that drew international attention. Jenny has contributed to multiple books, journal articles, and other publications on the topic of zoosexuality, and is currently collaborating on several research projects with experts in the fields of Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, and risk assessment/diversion programs for animal sex offenders.

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WILLIAM GOREN

Attorney and Service Animal Law Expert 
Topic: What Professionals Should Know When Service Animals Are Involved In A Complaint

William D. Goren is one of the country’s foremost authorities on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For 28 years and continuing, he has been advising on ADA compliance as both an attorney and professor—of which during his time as a full-time academic at various institutions in Chicago, he won numerous teaching awards and achieved tenure.

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SHANA KNIGHT

Director of Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, GA 

Topic: Community Interventions to Reduce Neglect and Abuse

 Shaina Knight has been the Director of Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter since 2017. Shaina has a degree in education,  is a nationally certified animal control officer and has over 400 hours of continuing education in the field of veterinary and shelter medicine. 

 

She now gives back through training, putting her 15 years of experience in veterinary and shelter settings to good use. She has been a presenter, a trainer, and most importantly a friend to all the animals and people she meets.

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MICHELLE LONG

President and CEO of NP Voice (NVP)

Topic: Resource Development Strategies in the New Future for Non-Profits Part 1 and Part 2 

 A. Michelle Long Spears serves as President and CEO of NP Voice (NPV). Since founding this social impact enterprise in 2015, NPV has evolved  into a multi-service, international consulting firm focused on connecting mission to resources, funding and community. In the past three years, her team has impacted approximately 375 organizations; launched/engaged with 28 local, regional and national multi-sector collaborations; developed 91 fund and resource development strategy solutions; and coached/developed 87 regional leaders. 

 

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VITO MARIA

Founder and Owner, The Maria Group

Topic: The Need for Rescues and NonProfits to Learn Digital Marketing and Digital Funding

 A. Michelle Long Spears serves as President and CEO of NP Voice (NPV). Since founding this social impact enterprise in 2015, NPV has evolved  into a multi-service, international consulting firm focused on connecting mission to resources, funding and community. In the past three years, her team has impacted approximately 375 organizations; launched/engaged with 28 local, regional and national multi-sector collaborations; developed 91 fund and resource development strategy solutions; and coached/developed 87 regional leaders. 

 

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PROFESSOR LISA MILOT

Associate Professor of Law & Practicum in Animal Welfare Skills Director

Topic: Community Interventions to Reduce Neglect and Abuse

Milot's teaching is informed by her past experience as a tax and estate planning partner at Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chtd, and as a business and licensing associate at Cooley LLP. As a result, in addition to teaching more doctrinal subjects, in the classroom Milot emphasizes the skills and training necessary for young lawyers to succeed in practice. She was named the 2009 UGA Professor of the Year by the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers.

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TRICIA MONTGOMERY

Chief Executive Officer, PAWS Humane, Columbus, GA

Topic: Emergency Protocols and Disaster

20+ years of award-winning executive leadership in Health & Wellness, Medical Education, Veterinary Associations, and Pet Health and Nutrition. Expertise in TV and Media, Public Appearances, Speaking Engagements, Live Shows and Community Events. Passion for reaching audiences, giving voice to causes, connecting with people, building relationships and changing lives.

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MARK MURRAH

Manager, Companion Animal/Equine Section, GA Department of Agriculture

Topic: New Rules Affecting Government Animal Shelters and Much More

Mark began with GA Dept. of Ag in 1994 as a Plant Industry Inspector.  In 2001 he was transferred to the Animal Protection Division and was an Animal Protection Inspector until 2007.  Promoted to supervisor in 2007 until 2011, Mark has worked as Section Manager for the last four years.  Mark wrote the S.O.P. in 2010 for the Animal Protection Section and created rules changes for the Animal Protection Act rules which were approved in 2013 by Commissioner Black.

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DR. RAJ PANDYA

Orthopedic Doctor

Topic: Sustainability and Ecosystems Involving Humans and Animals

Dr. Raj Pandya is a surgeon, inventor, entrepreneur and restaurateur. Specializing in sports medicine, knee and shoulder surgery, he is the Founder and President of the Atlanta Orthopaedic Institute (AOI), AOI Surgery Center and AOI Performance Physical Therapy. He is Chairman, Founder and CEO of Unicore Health, and PanOrthopaedics, and Chairman of Twisted Taco restaurant group. He serves as Medical Director and Consultant to global companies and healthcare ventures, and as Team Physician to professional, Olympic and collegiate athletic programs.

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TRACY REIS

Atlanta Humane Society
Topic: Lessons Learned From COVID-19: Updates To Disaster Planning, Policy and Implementation

Bio to come

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KIMBERLY S. SCHWARTZ

Senior Assistant District Attorney, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit

Topic: Georgia's Animal Cruelty Statute: In-Depth Examination & Case Examples

From 2013 – 2016, Ms. Schwartz served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Griffin Judicial Circuit, and in early 2017, was appointed as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, where she currently serves as a member of the Drug Prosecutions Division.  In addition to her work in drug prosecutions, Ms. Schwartz also specializes in the prosecution of animal cruelty cases.  She was one of a core group of Georgia lawyers whose efforts contributed to both the passage of the Animal Protection Act of 2000, which provided for felony punishment for certain acts of animal cruelty, and HB 863, which revised Georgia’s Cruelty to Animal’s Statute in 2014.  In 2011, she received a Prosecutor Recognition Award from the Humane Society of the United States for her work on the trial of a defendant who was convicted of violently beating a dog to death with a garden hoe, in addition to other crimes.

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ALEX SESSA

Animal Trainer

Topic: CPDT-KA, CDBC, Dog Trainer

Peach on a Leash owner and head trainer, Alex Sessa, CPDT-KA, CDBC, VSPDT is a pet behavior expert who has been training dogs and studying dog behavior for nearly a decade. Alex is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam. She is also one of only five trainers in the state of Georgia to receive full certification as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. This high-level certification requires a rigorous application process that’s assessed by a panel of experts in dog training and behavior, and you must demonstrate the knowledge and ability to handle complex behavior cases in order to be certified.

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PAULA SEWELL

Georgia Department of Agriculture

Topic: Barn Fire Presentation

Bio to come

VANESSA SIMS

Emergency Management Director, Georgia Department of Agriculture

Topic: Lessons Learned from Covid-19: Updates to Disaster Planning, Policy & Implementation

Venessa A. Sims, MEP, GA-CEM is currently the Director of Emergency Management in the Inspector General’s Office of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. She has been an employee at the Georgia Department of Agriculture since 1999. Ms. Sims is an ESF 11 Coordinator for the Department and serves in that capacity at the State Operations Center. Her other duties include serving as the Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (RRT) Asst. Manager for the State of Georgia. She has served on planning and training committees for agriculture, public health, SAADRA, FDA, CDC, HERA, Georgia Public Library Service, Vigilant Guard, Super Bowl LIII, and the metro-Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). 

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JASON SMITH

Department of Ag: Animal Protection and Equine Division 

Topic: New Rules Affecting Government Animal Shelters and Much More

Jason began his career with the Georgia Department of Agriculture in November 2014. He quickly learned his position as inspector and was promoted to Senior Inspector in March 2016. In September 2019, Jason was promoted to Deputy Manager of the Companion Animal/Equine Division. In addition to these responsibilities, he participates in many special projects and investigations, conducts GDA presentations, and serves on the GDA Incident Management Team. Jason’s background is in law enforcement and animal control. He was formerly the Animal Care and Control Director in Habersham County, Ga, where he currently resides. Jason holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration from North Georgia Technical College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2019 from Shorter University and will begin pursuing an MBA from Shorter University in August 2020. 

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AMY SOELDNER

Retired Atlanta Police Department

Topic:  Law Enforcement: The Importance of Collecting Evidence in Animal Cruelty Investigations

Retired Atlanta Police Officer Amy E. Soeldner joined the Department in 1995. Early in her career she realized she had a passion for pursuing animal cruelty crimes. Over her years on patrol she realized that police officers were not prosecuting or investigating perpetrators of animal cruelty. There had never been any training offered on these types of crimes. Officers did not know that there was a proven correlation between animal related crimes and the propensity for human violence. She became instructor certified and developed a training program called “ Law Enforcement and Animal Encounters” which was mandated for the entire Atlanta Police Department. The training was also attended by officers from multiple agencies across the metro Atlanta area.  Retired Officer Soeldner was appointed the department’s first ever animal cruelty liaison heading a brand new Unit entitled “Animal Cruelty Enforcement and Prevention” or A.C.E.P. Before her retirement in 2019 she was able to help draft the first Standard Operating Procedure for the Animal Cruelty Unit. There are now two full time Atlanta Police Officers devoted solely to the pursuit, investigation, and prosecution of animal related crimes in the city of Atlanta. Retired Officer Soeldner still teaches the course to all new recruits at the academy.

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KAREN SPAULDING

Outreach Program, Atlanta Humane Society

Topic:  Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Updates to Disaster Planning, Polic & Implementation

Bio to come.

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VICTORIA STILWELL

VSPDT, APDT, Celebrity Dog Trainer and Behavior Expert, Trainer
Topic: Working With Reactive Dogs

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer and behavior expert best known as the star of the international hit TV series It's Me or the Dog (Animal Planet US) as well as Greatest American Dog on CBS, Dogs Might Fly on Sky One, Dogs with Extraordinary Jobs on Love Nature (coming in 2020 on Smithsonian Channel US), and her hit web series about the real world of police K-9’s and their handlers, Guardians of the Night.  A passionate advocate for positive dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively.com, the founder of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training – the world’s premier network of positive dog trainers. A best-selling author, Stilwell’s fifth book, The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy will be released on October 1st 2019. 

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MICHELLE WELCH 

Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office

Topic: Seizure To Getting A Conviction

Bonus Topic: Multi-Animal Impounding

She is the Director of the Animal Law Unit at the Attorney General’s Office. She is charged with taking all animal law questions in Virginia. She is called on by agencies all over the Commonwealth to act as a special prosecutor in animal cruelty and animal fighting cases. Ms. Welch has also been appointed a special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia to aid in animal fighting prosecutions.  Ms. Welch frequently gives advice to law enforcement authorities and prosecutors all over Virginia, the nation and internationally.   She trains prosecutors, animal control and law enforcement officers on the state of Virginia animal law and testified before a U.S. Congressional Caucus examining the enforcement of animal laws and the cooperation between state and federal partners. She is a frequent speaker at many conferences, including the Virginia Animal Control Association.

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Kathleen Wood

Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Topic: Cross Reporting and Animal Cruelty

Kathleen Wood began working with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program in 2016, first as a clerk and then as a fellow. Now as a staff attorney, Kathleen assists prosecutors, law enforcement, and legislators throughout the country to enforce and strengthen animal protection laws. In this role, Kathleen oversees the annual Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report which compares the various strengths and weaknesses of each state’s animal cruelty laws. Kathleen has also been instrumental in the creation of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Farmed Animal Cruelty Prosecution Guides, tailored to individual states, to help prosecutors bring cases against those who abuse farmed animals. Kathleen lives in Portland, Oregon with her rescued cat, Penny

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SUSAN JACOBS-MEADOWS - Bonus Speaker

Founder and Executive Director of Canine CellMates

Topic: Prison Dog Programs and How They Make A Difference

Susan began laying the groundwork for Canine CellMates while she was an entrepreneur and owner of a local boutique. Building Canine CellMate was an arduous 18 month process of planning, meeting, jumping through government hurdles and going back to the drawing board, but through passion and determination Canine CellMates became a reality in 2013. After 3 ½ years of running Encore Boutique and Canine CellMates, and working 100+ hours a week, Susan closed her business to spend her time focused on her passion - Canine CelllMates … Utilizing shelter dogs to change the lives of incarcerated men.

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MARK GRACE - Bonus Speaker

President of Beyondvia Technologies, Author of eight books on building experidigms

Topic: Enabling Both Animal and Ecosystem Welfare: Build Active Local Community Support and Get In-Court Standing.  Understanding the Positive Link Between Animal and Ecosystem Welfare

Described as a rainmaker and innovation leader, Mark Grace lives by the adage, "Aim higher, achieve more!" For Grace, "There will be setbacks, but the good side is just point upward and you go upward to better. You might not see better right away, but better is there if you keep looking and seeking. You can avoid and deflect the bad people who try and stop your growth." As an inventor, Grace has received over 17 patents, many trademarks and been honored with international technology awards. He is the author of a series of personal and corporate "how to grow" books: 1) Elements of Visual Talking, 2) Soaring to Awesome-Turd Throwers Beware, 3) Choosing Up, 4) Avoid Takers, 5) NEXT: "I am..." Experidgmer, and 6) MORE: "We am..." Experidigmers. 

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ANDY LORD - Bonus Speaker

Georgia Capitol Solutions, Inc.

Topic: Legislative Update

Andy Lord, An Atlanta native, Andy graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Upon graduation he went to work at Newton-Rockdale Substance Abuse Services, an outpatient treatment center for chemically dependent adolescents before writing and securing multiple grants to fund statewide health initiatives. In 2001 Andy became the “inhouse” lobbyist for the American Cancer Society and in 2006, he established his own lobbying, public relations and grassroots firm Georgia Capitol Solutions, Inc. to focus on health care, appropriations, insurance, education, and non-profit policy. He is currently working with HMHB to help establish the organization as a primary resource and advocate for lawmakers invested in making Georgia the “Gold Standard” for child and maternal health.

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TRACY BISHOP - Bonus Speaker

Television Creative and Documentary Filmmaker

Topic: Mercy Kennels: The Documentary - Free View of the Documentary

Award-winning marketing and content development professional with senior level communications project management experience, especially skilled at production of breakthrough on-air and online content, advertising and promotion, branding, creative direction, copywriting, photography, videography, communication, collaboration, client services, consulting, social media, inbound marketing, and efficient time and resource management. 

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MICHELLE LONG - Bonus Speaker

President and CEO of NP Voice (NVP)

Topic: Grant Writing - The Ins and Outs of Effective Grant Writing

 A. Michelle Long Spears serves as President and CEO of NP Voice (NPV). Since founding this social impact enterprise in 2015, NPV has evolved  into a multi-service, international consulting firm focused on connecting mission to resources, funding and community. In the past three years, her team has impacted approximately 375 organizations; launched/engaged with 28 local, regional and national multi-sector collaborations; developed 91 fund and resource development strategy solutions; and coached/developed 87 regional leaders. 

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DAVID ROSENGARD - Bonus Speaker

Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Topic: Wildlife Animal Law and Cruelty

As a senior staff attorney in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program, David work with stakeholders across the criminal justice system to pursue justice on behalf of animal cruelty victims. One of his focus areas is amicus briefs, where he raises appellate-level arguments aimed at enabling courts to reach decisions that not only address the needs of the animals involved in individual cases, but to also better position animals as a whole within the law. David additionally helms the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s groundbreaking work helping animals who have been harmed by criminal cruelty achieve the legal status of crime victims, including efforts to expand Courtroom Animal Advocate Programs which allow pro bono attorneys and law students to act as counsel for those animal crime victims in court.

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Justice For All Society & The Animal Protection Society are a 501c3 Charitable Organization.  EIN #: 30-0470643

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