American Pets Alive! 2019

In February 2019, national animal welfare leaders traveled to Austin, Texas for the American Pets Alive! Conference to exchange ideas, tool and solutions that will help the United States get to no-kill. As a major sponsor of the event, Maddie's Fund presents 56 talks in three categories that will help you and your organization reach your lifesaving goals: Advocating, Implementing and Strategizing. Also available are the five keynote speeches that will spark new ways of thinking and acting to save even more lives.

Keynote Presentations

Becoming No-kill

March 2019

Join attorney Ryan Clinton, founder of Fix Austin, as he kicks off the conference by sharing the obstacles, challenges, successes, and strategies that Austin faced on their journey to no-kill. Learn More

Blueprint to a Successful No-kill Journey

March 2019

Join Dr. Ellen Jefferson as she guides you step-by-step through what are considered Best Practice metrics in outcomes, intakes, and the 12 programmatic ingredients of lifesaving. Learn More

Enlightened Leadership: Daily Decisions and Beyond

March 2019

Join us in this panel discussion as some of the most integral no-kill leaders share what it means to them to lead with a no-kill philosophy. Learn More

Key Performance Indicators: Resources, Responsibility and Results

March 2019

In this fundamental session, join Dr. Ellen Jefferson and David Meyer as they explain how to prioritize goals and benchmark against them all along the way so that you can achieve success. Learn More

The Transparent Shelter, Building Trust with Your Community

March 2019

In this session, no-kill leader, Kristen Auerbach, will tackle two separate but important topics in order for you to be one with your community. Learn More


Strategizing Track

Build Team Resilience - panel

March 2019

Join this presentation and get the insider tips on how cultivate a team of resilience and how to build strong teams that will rally around you. Learn More

Create Leaders from Within: Build a Succession Plan

March 2019

So, you're a no-kill shelter leader, but what will happen in your community if the next shelter director who takes your place is not? Learn More

Every Life Matters: Using Past Data to Plan Better Outcomes

March 2019

Data is a key piece of the lifesaving puzzle, but how do we use it to save the lives of the animals in our care? Learn More

Fundraising Fundamentals for Scrappy Organizations, Part 1

March 2019

Join fundraising innovator, Maggie Lynch, and APA! Executive Director, Dr. Ellen Jefferson, to learn how to raise money and how to get scrappy when you need to! Learn More

Fundraising Fundamentals for Scrappy Organizations, Part 2

March 2019

What do you need to raise funds effectively as you grow your organization? Learn More

Get More Staff Without Spending More Money

March 2019

No-kill leader Kristen Auerbach will teach you how to increase staff productivity, without increasing your budget. Learn More

Get Them on Your Team: Engaging and Leveraging Activists to Reach Your Goals

March 2019

This session will teach you skills to help you view activists as partners and to inspire them to work with you, not against you. Learn More

How to Be the Boss of Your Organization's Save Rate

March 2019

In this session, you will learn what the Shelter Director's role is in stopping unnecessary death in the shelter, how to do it, and how to be successful. Learn More

Leading with Resilience in Extreme Crisis

March 2019

Join an impressive group of experts, who together will teach you the tools needed to save lives even when the deck is stacked against you. Learn More

Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy: How Austin is Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders

March 2019

Success stories from students of Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy and how apprenticeships are helping shape tomorrow's animal welfare leaders. Learn More

Managing Staff to Ensure Accountability - panel

March 2019

What does it mean to have an accountable staff and why is this important to no-kill shelter and rescue leaders? Learn More

Municipal Shelter Leadership: Getting and Starting the Job - panel

March 1, 2019

Join this session for expert tips and tricks and leave with a strong understanding of how to apply for, land and start a leadership position at a municipal shelter. Learn More

Using Your Data for Strategic Planning

March 2019

By the end of the presentation, you will be ready to make and implement strategic goals based on your organization's data. Learn More


Implementing Track

Analyzing Length of Stay: Make Your Animals Ready and Move Them Fast

March 2019

Time wasted means animal lives lost, leave this session with a plan to move animals through your shelter more quickly. Learn More

Animal Protection Officers: Using a Community-based Approach to Measurably Reduce Intake in the Field

March 2019

This session will teach approaches that value the human-animal bond, redefine 'animals in need,' and engage community members, shelter staff, and volunteers to solve problems together. Learn More

Bottle Baby 101 (Part 1 of 2)

March 2019

This presentation will teach you how to start a volunteer-run bottle baby nursery and how to build it to become to be one of the most engaging and lifesaving programs in your community. Learn More

Bottle Baby 102 (Part 2 of 2)

March 2019

This presentation will teach you everything you need to know to create, train, and retain a foster network for neonates. Learn More

Building No-kill Culture Throughout Your Organization - panel

March 2019

In this panel discussion, animal welfare leaders discuss how to instill a positive, no-kill culture in our shelters, rescues, and service centers. Learn More

Cat Medical Care on a Shoestring Budget

March 2019

In this session, you will have the chance to learn how to save cats with medical conditions on a tight budget from national leading cat experts. Learn More

Conquer Fear and Doubt: Managing Your Team Through Change and Controversy - panel

March 2019

Learn how to be a motivating people manager and help your team reach their goals - even through change and controversy. Learn More

Contagious Diseases: Euthanasia is Not the Answer

March 2019

In this session, two veterinary experts will discuss how to handle disease outbreaks medically, handle the PR, and handle the operations that must continue. Learn More

Distemper is Not a Death Sentence

March 2019

Join this session to learn about the process that Austin Pets Alive! developed to combat distemper without hoarding or culling them. Learn More

Dog Medical Care on a Shoestring Budget

March 2019

How to spend the least amount of money as possible so that your medical resources can be spread among all those pets that need you. Learn More

FeLV: What You Need to Know for Shelter Decision Making

March 2019

Come learn from shelter medicine expert, Dr. Levy, and leading cat advocates Monica Frenden and Natascha Hamman about the most current research and best practices for rehoming this vulnerable FeLV cat population. Learn More

High Volume Foster Programs for Cats and Dogs

March 2019

Learn how to rethink foster care in terms of capacity and expand the concept of what animals should be considered for foster. Learn More

How to Run A Sustainable, Low Budget, No Kill Municipal Shelter

March 2019

Successful shelter leaders share their knowledge on how to run a no-kill organization even when you have a very limited budget. Learn More

Momentum in Texas Sheltering Communities

March 2019

Learn from animal welfare experts about how Texas is getting to no-kill status. Learn More

Nuts and Bolts of Large-scale Cat and Dog Foster Programs

March 2019

Learn from experts the details of setting up and implementing a large-scale foster program. Learn More

Proactive Return to Owner Programs

March 2019

Learn about how two very large animal shelters reached higher live release rates by attaining Return to Owner rates over 25% - way above best practice! Learn More

Save Lives in Space Crises

March 2019

Learn how to not end lives due to temporary space shortages by pulling other levers that will decrease the pressure that you feel. Learn More

Saving All the Cats: Live Outcome Options for All Healthy, Outdoor Cats

March 2019

Learn how to start a barn program from scratch, including selecting cats, finding quality homes, relocation procedures, and safe handling and sheltering practices. Learn More

Saving Dogs with Behavioral Challenges

March 2019

Viewers will learn about cutting edge ways to solve non-shelter created behavior problems in shelter dogs. Learn More

Solutions for the Top Five Reasons Dogs are Dying in Shelters

March 2019

The presentation will provide you with practical and manageable solutions for the top five reasons dogs are dying and being killed in shelters today. Learn More

The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention

March 2019

Join American Pets Alive! staff as they discuss an intake and animal flow process designed to help you prevent outbreaks and ensure live outcomes. Learn More

The Modern Municipal Animal Agency

March 2019

Learn how modern shelters develop targeted neighborhood programs that serve the larger community's desire to be no-kill while serving the public safety needs of specific areas. Learn More

The Pet Resource Center: A Better Alternative to the Intake Department

March 2019

How "The Pet Resource Center" is a modern model for a successful alternative to traditional intake centers. Learn More

Transport Programs: Get Pets to Safety

March 2019

Hear how your average "Texas brown dogs" are making a big splash in places as far as Oregon, Connecticut, and even Italy! Learn More

Valuable Volunteer Programs: Successful Programs Proven to Work

March 2019

Join volunteer leaders to learn how to rethink volunteers and reach your goals together and as a united front. Learn More

Why Are Big Dogs So Hard to Save? Identifying and Maintaining Adequate Capacity

March 2019

Learn about the essential programs, best practices, and core philosophies needed to start saving big dogs in your communities. Learn More


Advocating Track

Combatting Anti-No Kill Extremism

March 2019

Watch this presentation to learn what anti no-kill extremism looks like and how to cope with it. Learn More

Demystifying No-kill Laws: The Nuts and Bolts of Ordinances

March 2019

Viewers will learn the nuts and bolts of various animal welfare ordinances, including stray holds, caretakers, and Austin's No Kill plan. Learn More

Effective Negotiation Skills and Techniques to Achieve Lifesaving

March 2019

Know when to stand your ground, when to compromise, and most importantly, how to communicate effectively so that people want to help you achieve your goals. Learn More

Know the Law: Liability in Shelters and Rescues

March 2019

Learn how shelters and rescue groups can implement strategies to limit their liability for saving lives. Learn More

Legislative Advocacy: Influence Laws and Ordinances

March 2019

This session will teach you how to move legislation towards supporting lifesaving efforts. Learn More

Lifesaving in the Deep South

March 2019

Hear the heartwarming and touching tales from two incredible leaders who have transformed seemingly impossible parts of the U.S. into true lifesaving communities. Learn More

No-kill Political Advocacy: How to Gain and Keep Political Support

March 2019

Learn how animal advocates in Austin, Texas put No Kill on the city's public policy agenda and how you can do the same in your community. Learn More

Save Rate: Exceed the 80% Benchmark - panel

March 2019

Attendees will learn about the experiences of people who successfully broached 80% and beyond save rates. Learn More

Save Rate: Upward Bound - Exceed the 50% Benchmark - panel

March 1, 2019

This lively panel discussion will shed light on the experiences of the expert leaders who brought their communities past a 50% live release rate. Learn More

Shelter Data: How to Get It, Use It and Read It

March 2019

This is an in-depth presentation on shelter data: how to get it, read it, and use it to influence change. Learn More

Social Science: Informed Animal Welfare

March 2019

This talk covers research aimed at connecting animal welfare policies and programs to human and community health. Learn More

State Level No-kill Advocacy

March 2019

This discussion revolves around states in the U.S. that have had state-wide efforts to transform to no-kill. Learn More