Certified Animal Welfare Administrator Continuing Education

CAWA Continuing Education

Maddie's Institute® is proud to offer continuing education for animal welfare professionals through our CAWA approved webcasts (live and on-demand).

The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) is a non-profit individual membership organization of professionals in animal welfare, care & control, dedicated to the growth and prestige of our industry. SAWA strives to advocate humane ideals through professional advancement of members. Animal welfare leaders network with peers, establish mentor relationships, share best practices, form successful collaborations, and advance the field.

SAWA members benefit from targeted education and professional certification. SAWA Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWA) possess well rounded experience and unique animal welfare knowledge to support agency missions and long term growth.

Time to Stop Playing the Breed ID Game

January 2017

Ending the guessing game of assigning breed labels to shelter dogs will increase adoptions and make better matches between pets and people. Find out what the research says in this webcast! Learn More

Helping Shelter Pets find Health, Happiness and Homes with Fear Free

November 2016

Learn why fear is the worst thing a social species can experience, and how it causes permanent damage to the brain.   Learn More

Integrating Volunteers into Your Animal Shelter Programs and Culture

October 2016

Could your animal shelter use 5,000 volunteers? Learn More

Innovative Fostering: Saving More Dogs with Behavioral Challenges

August 2016

Has your shelter struggled to achieve live outcomes for dogs who display common behavioral challenges like kennel stress, barrier reactivity and fear-based aggression? Learn how you could turn that around and save more dogs lives. Learn More

Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs

June 2016

Everyone wants to make sheltered life better for dogs while they wait to get adopted. Learn what works and what doesn't in this webcast.
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Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Cats

May 2016

Stress can trigger physical, emotional and behavioral problems for cats in animal shelters. What can be done to help overcome stress and its negative outcomes?
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Outpatient Parvo Treatment for Dogs

March 2016

Learn about the feasibility of treating symptomatic parvovirus dogs in a twice-daily outpatient setting while minimizing the risk of infection to other dogs in a shelter environment. Learn More

Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts

February 2016

It's well known that cat health is quickly and negatively impacted by stress. But is it also making it harder for them to get adopted? Learn strategies to identify those effects not only in individual cats, but in the entire population of cats in a facility. Learn More

Stress is Sabotaging Your Dog Adoption Efforts

January 2016

Are dogs in shelters developing health and behavior problems because of stress? And does that make adoption more difficult and less likely for those pets? Learn to recognize the harmful effects of stress on sheltered dogs, and strategies to alleviate that stress in this free webcast. Learn More

Getting the Most Out of Shelter Medicine

December 2015

Shelter veterinarians are a powerful source of experience, knowledge, training and insight that can guide animal shelters to improvements in every area of animal care. This webcast will take a comprehensive look at the benefits of giving a veterinarian a policy-making role in shelter operations.
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What to Do About Ear Problems in Dogs

June 2015

Itching, pain and infection in the ears can be a major hindrance to finding a home for a shelter or fostered dog. That's because the suffering these symptoms cause can affect a dog's personality, as well as raise concern in potential adopters about the difficulty of treating ear problems. Resolving the condition, however, can be difficult for shelters and rescue groups, too. What can they do to help these dogs? Learn More

Stopping Seborrhea in Dogs

May 2015

Seborrhea in dogs can be caused by underlying skin disease or by a primary skin defect. While not life-threatening, the odor and appearance can make it very difficult to find a home for even the friendliest, most appealing dog. What can shelters and foster homes do to resolve this condition in dogs they're caring for? Learn More

How to Stop Itching in Cats

February 2015

Itching is a major reason cats get taken to the veterinarian. While there's no one underlying cause of itching in cats, getting to the bottom of the condition is particularly important due to the overlap in symptoms between contagious and non-contagious infections that may cause itching. How can shelters and rescue groups, with their limited resources, diagnose, treat and prevent this skin disease? Learn More

How to Stop Itching in Dogs

February 2015

Itching is one of the number one reasons dogs visit veterinarians, and it plagues dogs in animal shelters and foster homes just as much. What can be done to give an affected dog some relief and get to the bottom of the underlying cause? Learn More

Introducing the Million Cat Challenge

January 2015

Every cat counts. That's the premise of the Million Cat Challenge, a joint campaign of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. Learn More

Secrets to Pet Foster Program Success

November 2014

What if your shelter or rescue group had a long list of people wanting to foster pets for you? What if you had a great system in place to recruit, train, reward and manage those foster homes? What if you had a whole army of people to help get those pets ready for adoption? Learn More

Behavior Modification for Cats

October 2014

Getting a leopard to change his spots sometimes seems easier than getting a domestic cat to change her behavior. Fortunately, the science of feline behavior modification has come a long way in recent years, leaving animal shelters, rescue groups, fosters and adopters with plenty of new tools to help cats become happier and well-adjusted companions. Learn More

Playing With Shelter Dogs

October 2014

Dogs and games go together - never more than when they're shelter dogs! Play, particularly play with humans, can reduce stress and improve behavioral and physical wellness for dogs in animal shelters.  Learn More

Treating the Treatables: Medical Protocols and Foster Care

September 2014

Does your shelter or rescue group have medical protocols in place to care for your pets and for your fostered dogs and cats? Foster programs are critical if we want to help more pets who are facing treatable medical conditions, and to expand the capacity of a community to care for its homeless pets. Learn More

Treat and Prevent Heartworm in Dogs

August 2014

Heartworm disease is 100% preventable, yet experts estimate one million dogs in the U.S. are infected with the parasite. The challenge of prevention and treatment is particularly acute in animal shelters, which usually receive the dogs when they are already heartworm-positive and face challenges finding resources to treat them. Learn More

Animal Groups and Vets Working Together

August 2014

Have the words "veterinarians are only in it for the money" crossed your mind or lips? If you volunteer or work for an animal rescue group, have you ever passed up pulling a treatable pet from a shelter because you weren't sure you could find affordable treatment? If you run a shelter, have you ever wondered why local veterinarians don't want to participate in your programs? Learn More

What We Know About Free Pet Adoptions

July 2014

Would you love to give your pet adoption program a boost, but fear that free adoptions send the wrong message, attract the wrong people and result in bad outcomes for pets? Learn More

Treating and Preventing Parvo

July 2014

Few diseases strike as much fear in the heart of animal shelter personnel as canine parvovirus (CPV). Outbreaks can cause widespread death and suffering, and erode community goodwill the shelter depends on when seeking volunteers, adopters and donors. Learn More

Social Media Six New Things

May 2014

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for getting pets adopted, as well as for growing an adoption organization's pool of donors, volunteers and foster homes. But as social media has grown in power, it's also become more complex and specialized, with changes and new platforms emerging almost daily. Learn More

Critical Care of the Sick Neonatal Kitten

March 2014

Neonatal kittens' lives are fragile under the best of circumstances, and that fragility increases when they are orphaned or sick. How can shelter veterinarians, and those working with kitten nursery programs or rescue groups, provide the best care for this population? Learn More

Canine Distemper

January 2014

Canine distemper outbreaks are a fact of life in animal shelters across the country, and a frequent cause of loss of life for infected and exposed dogs. Learn More

Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide

November 2013

Can cats who are shy and fearful in the shelter still get adopted? Yes, says board certified veterinary behavior specialist Dr. Sheila D'Arpino. Feline behavior while in a shelter is not always a good representation of that same cat's behavior in less stressful surroundings. Proper housing, handling, and, if needed, behavior modification can turn that hissing and hiding cat into a beloved family pet. Learn More

Dollars and Sense of Sheltering

August 2013

Sheltering isn't just about good intentions. It's about planning and developing programs that have a good chance of keeping animals healthy and happy, as well as maximizing adoptions and lifesaving. Learn More

Community Cats, Part Two

July 2013

In Part Two of Making the Case for a Paradigm Shift in Community Cat Management, Maddie's InstituteSM will present some of the nation's leading experts on animal sheltering and community cats in a comprehensive Q&A panel discussion on the information in Dr. Hurley's webcast. Learn More

Community Cats, Part One

June 2013

Are common cat sheltering and animal control policies helping cats? Are they humane? Effective? Not according to Dr. Kate Hurley, Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.  Learn More

Update on FIV

April 2013

There is new information about FIV that can help shelters diagnose, treat and care for cats who test positive for the virus. Dr. Annette Litster, Director of Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses her 5-year study which follows 89 pairs of age and sex-matched cats; each pair is composed of one FIV-positive cat and one FIV-negative cat. Learn More

Orphaned Kittens Saving the Tiniest Lives

March 2013

In this two-part webcast, Dr. Jefferson discusses her organization's kitten nursery and foster-based care program while Heidi Beyer, CVT, gives foster caregivers a leg up with practical tips for orphaned kitten care. Learn More

Cracking the Infection Control Code

February 2013

Many diagnostic tests can be of tremendous value in helping shelters prevent future outbreaks of infectious disease. Diagnostic testing can also save money and - most importantly - can save animal lives. Learn More

Canine Behavior

December 2012

How can you get jumpy, mouthy or fearful shelter dogs adopted? By joining the "Shelter Dog Mod Squad" and learning how to identify and modify those behavior problems! Learn More

Fixing the Feline Housing Crisis

October 2012

Cats are extremely sensitive to noise, crowding, and stress - three things that are in abundant supply in many animal shelters. These adverse conditions often lead to illness in sheltered cats, particularly the most common of all feline shelter diseases, upper respiratory infection (URI). Learn More

Knocking the Snot Out of Feline URI

September 2012

Feline upper respiratory infections are killers. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians list it as the number one health issue in shelters, where stress and close quarters provide the perfect conditions for both exposure and illness. Can shelters really beat URI? Can outbreaks be prevented, or once started, stopped? Learn More

Beating Ringworm

July 2012

Ringworm. An outbreak - even one suspected case - can cause a corresponding outbreak of despair in shelter staff. How will they handle it? Can they disinfect the shelter? Can the cats or kittens be treated, or is it too risky? What about the impact on adoptions and the foster care program? Learn More

Feline Behavior Assesments

May 2012

What if every cat who entered your shelter had a little decoder ring that would let you know what her personality is like, what stresses her out the most, what doesn't bother her, and what type of future living situation will be just right for her? Learn More

Flow-Through Planning

March 2012

Ever wish you had a road map to saving more lives in your shelter? Gathering and understanding data will provide you with exactly that. Please join Maddie's InstituteSM and Drs. Jan Scarlett and Elizabeth Berliner for a special two-part webcast series on using data to save lives. Learn More

Magical Metrics and Data

March 2012

Ever wish you had a road map to saving more lives in your shelter? Gathering and understanding data will provide you with exactly that. In part-one, Dr. Jan Scarlett, Director of Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses the collection and use of medical data in animal shelters, and how this can significantly improve the health of individual animals and the shelter population. Learn More

Shelter Crowd Control

January 2012

Do you want to stop the tragic deaths of shelter cats, and cut your shelter's cat intake dramatically and almost overnight? Want to practice high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter and disease management on cats? How about learning how to get your community - including municipal government - on board with trap-neuter-return programs? Want evidence that such programs can actually work to reduce the population of community cats, prevent the spread of disease, and save resources and money for local shelters? Learn More

Saving Lives with Antibody Titer Tests

September 2011

Leading vaccine researcher Dr. Ronald Schultz doesn't want to see any more shelter pets die just because they've been exposed to a deadly infectious disease. That's why he offered a shelter a chance to make a different choice during their next outbreak, allowing them to save the lives of 17 dogs. How did they do it? With the use of a simple in-house antibody titer test that revealed which pets had an immunity to the disease. Learn More