American Pets Alive! 2020

In February 2020, national animal welfare leaders met in Austin, Texas for the American Pets Alive! Conference to exchange ideas, tools and solutions that are helping the United States get to no-kill. As a major sponsor of the event, Maddie's Fund presents 60 talks in five categories that will help you and your organization reach your lifesaving goals.

General Sessions

A Radical Rethinking of the Role of Animal Welfare

February 2020

Inspiring thoughts on what animals deserve from animal welfare advocates, workers and volunteers. Learn More

Building a Foster-centric Organization

February 2020

What does it mean to be foster centric? Learn from the people who have elevated foster care from a sideline shelter program to a best practice. Learn More

Defining No Kill

February 2020

Want to know what the top-performing shelter directors in the country have to say about the term No Kill? Kristen Hassen-Auerbach moderates this panel with expert voices. Learn More

Imagining the Future of Animal Welfare

February 2020

Hear from some of the most influential voices in animal welfare as they imagine what the future holds for homeless pets. Learn More

Increase Return to Owner Rates in Your Organization

February 2020

Gina Knepp offers solutions and insight into how to start innovative, progressive and proactive programs to increase RTO rates, anywhere. Learn More

Marketing the Euthanasia List

February 2020

This session explores why it is important to understand exactly which animals are dying in your municipal shelter and let people help you to get them out alive. Learn More

Model Government Reporting Requirements

February 2020

In 2019, Austin passed the most comprehensive set of lifesaving laws in the country. A decade of work drove Austin to be the safest city in the country for homeless pets. Can Austin be a model for communities all over the country to implement reporting requirements? Learn More

No Kill. No Harm. An Ethic for the Future of Lifesaving

February 2020

Join this presentation and learn how transforming our thinking about animal management and sheltering can lead to more live outcomes, cost-effective solutions for emerging animal management and welfare challenges and a more fully engaged public.. Learn More

The Most Important Lessons Learned after 12 Years in the Largest No Kill City in America

February 2020

Join Dr. Ellen Jefferson as she guides you through metrics in outcomes, intakes and the 12 programmatic ingredients to propel lifesaving forward in your community. Learn More

Top 5 Reasons Animals are Dying in Shelters and How to Save Them

February 2020

Dr. Ellen Jefferson and the Leadership Alive! group share solutions to start saving the lives of the most vulnerable pets in our care. Learn More


Establish a Lifesaving Foundation

Adopters Are Out There! Market Your Way Out of Space Crises

April 2020

Learn how adopters can be your biggest lifesavers when your shelter is experiencing space crises. Learn More

Animal Shelter and Rescue Law and Liability

April 2020

Ryan Clinton teaches the foundations of various animal welfare ordinances and what they mean for your organization. Learn More

Build Resilience and Excitement Around Change

April 2020

Shelly Thompson moderates this panel to help you get the insider tips on how to cultivate a team of resilience and build strong teams that will rally around you. Learn More

Daily Decision Making and Accountability: Identifying Key Performance Indicators

April 2020

Learn what it means to set KPIs and goals to instill an organizational lifesaving philosophy. Learn More

Data for Activists: Get the Information You Need

April 2020

Leave this presentation knowing what data you need and how to get it, through the use of public information requests. Learn More

Empowering Volunteers to Help Solve Every Challenge

April 2020

Learn how to create a volunteer program that works to the specific needs of your rescue, shelter or community. Learn More

Fundraising for Survival: Lessons for Any Sized Organization, Part 1 of 2

April 2020

Join fundraising innovator Maggie Lynch and learn how to raise money and how to get scrappy when you need to! (Part 1 of 2) Learn More

Fundraising for Survival: Lessons for Any Sized Organization, Part 2 of 2

April 2020

Join fundraising innovator Maggie Lynch and learn how to raise money and how to get scrappy when you need to! (Part 2 of 2) Learn More

Get Your Boss to Say Yes!: Piloting New Programs in Shelters

April 2020

Follow these steps and be ready to take a new idea to your boss and hear 'yes!' Learn More

How to Get Your Story Told: Effective Engagement with Local Media

April 2020

Learn how to cultivate relationships with news sources and tips and tricks from a marketing director and an Emmy-Award winning newscaster. Learn More

How to Use Research to Save Lives

April 2020

Learn which research is the most important to know about and what it tells us about animal sheltering. Learn More

Leading Through Relationships: Friends Who Can Effect Change

April 2020

Learn how to put No Kill on your community's public policy agenda. Learn More

Model Animal Shelter Hold Period and Rescue Access Laws

April 2020

Learn how to advocate for implementing model laws to save more homeless pets in your community. Learn More

Moving Through Adversity

April 2020

This session will shed light on the last 2 years as Paula Powell fights for animals and the people who love them. Learn More

No Kill Advocacy

April 2020

Learn how animal advocates in Austin, Texas, put no-kill on the City's public-policy agenda, and how you can do the same for your community. Learn More

Our Vet Just Quit

April 2020

Learn how to stretch the resources you do have to save the most lives possible, even in high-stress moments in your shelter or clinic. Learn More

Power Up Your Fundraising: Donor Management Systems

April 2020

This presentation covers why adopting a donor management system is important, when you should get one, how to choose a system that fits your organization's needs and what it can do to help your fundraising take off. Learn More

Public Safety and Lifesaving ARE Compatible

April 2020

Join Marc Peralta and Edward Jamison to hear about the increases and impact they have seen in public safety, when lifesaving takes priority. Learn More

Statewide Advocacy

April 2020

Learn from expert advocates as they share their success stories for state-wide efforts to transform to No Kill. Learn More

The Future of Animal Shelter Data

April 2020

As sheltering evolves, we face an evolving set of challenges. Learn what experts in the field of animal shelter data collection are suggesting. Learn More

The Leader's Guide to Communicating with Stakeholders: How, When and What

April 2020

Learn how to own your narrative and communicate your vision with major stakeholders. Learn More

What Qualities Do Emerging Leaders Need to Succeed?

April 2020

This presentation outlines a foundation for understanding how to cultivate the leadership abilities that will enable your or your staff to reach their highest potential. Learn More

Workshop: Marketing and Branding to Engage Your Community

April 2020

Learn from shelter branding experts how to identify steps to create and market your No Kill brand to your community. Learn More


Increase Live Outcomes

Don't Euthanize That! Building a No Kill Culture in Your Clinic

March 2020

Learn how to instill a culture in your clinic that requires all staff to treat every animal with the care and treatment we would expect for our own animals. Learn More

Ensuring Accountability Around Life and Death Decisions

March 2020

Learn how to implement policies that will keep your organization accountable and increase lifesaving across your organization. Learn More

Every Cat! Live Outcome Options for All of Them

March 2020

In this session, we'll take a look at innovative programs for cats that work, and outdated practices we still need to replace. Learn More

Innovation and Emerging Practices in Adoption Counseling

March 2020

Learn the most innovative and creative ways to counsel potential adopters and safely increase adoption in your organization. Learn More

Steal this! Five Free, Easy Foster Strategies to Start Now

March 2020

Everything you need to know to recruit more foster homes, start new programs and send more pets to foster. Learn More

Using Technology to Increase Return to Owner

March 2020

Learn how to increase your organization's RTO and attain a higher return to owner rate through innovative, progressive and proactive programs. Learn More

You Just Arrived, Now Go Home! Make Pets Ready for Adoption, Immediately

March 2020

Learn how to fast-track animals and make them available for adoption, foster and transfer, immediately. Learn More


Maximize In-shelter Welfare

Behavior Dogs Alive! Solving Eight Common Behaviors that Happen in Shelters

April 2020

Learn practical and manageable solutions for common canine behaviors and increase your lifesaving immediately. Learn More

Contagious Disease is Not a Death Sentence: How Communities Overcame Outbreaks without Killing

April 2020

Leave this session with the knowledge necessary to fight disease outbreak, medically and operationally from veterinarians who have lived through it. Learn More

FeLV: Current Research and Rehoming Practices

April 2020

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 FeLV cats. Learn More

Managing Big Dogs: The New Horizon

April 2020

In this session you will gain a deeper understanding of lifesaving best practices and innovations to increase lifesaving for big dogs. Learn More

Neonatal Kittens Q & A

April 2020

Listen in with expert kitten lifesavers as they answer questions about neonatal kitten care, including disease treatment and prevention. Learn More

New FeLV Guidelines: 5 Critical Takeaways for Your Shelter

April 2020

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to tackle the next frontier in cat lifesaving! Learn More

Our Most Vulnerable Creatures: Disease in Puppies and Kittens

April 2020

Leave this session with the knowledge necessary to fight disease outbreak, without unnecessary deaths or culling of puppies and kittens. Learn More

Shelter Medicine with a No-Kill Mindset

April 2020

Learn how to spend the least amount of money possible, to spread the meager wealth of medical resources and save more lives. Learn More

The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake & Animal Flow Process

April 2020

Join American Pets Alive! as they discuss what should happen within the first 72 hours after an animal enters any sheltering system. Learn More

What Do We Do About Our Long Stays?

April 2020

Learn how to analyze length-of-stay data and know what to do with it. Learn More


Proactively Reduce Intake

50 Ways to Keep Pets Out of the Shelter (or maybe 100)

April 2020

Learn some amazing ways shelters have come up with to serve the people and pets in their communities in ways other than simply taking them into the shelter Learn More

ACOs Gone Wild: Handling Fearful and Fractious Wildlife and Companion Animals

April 2020

Learn animal control officers' tips and tricks for humanely handling even the stickiest situations with fearful and fractious animals. Learn More

But We're Full: Smart Strategies to Increase Capacity for Dogs

March 2020

Come to this action-driven session to learn how to outsmart and overcome the impulse to kill in a space crisis. Learn More

Is Managed Intake Humane?

March 2020

Two animal shelter leaders from sizeable cities present ideas to keep your intake practices focused on serving pets and people. Learn More

Keeping Families Together: The Future of Animal Control

March 2020

Hear how animal protection units around the country are thinking about what's next for animal protection. Learn More

Pets are Family: Community Programs to Keep Pets Out of the Shelter

March 2020

In this presentation, Rebecca Guinn shares innovative ideas for community programs in the country. Leave with ideas to take back to your own community. Learn More

We're on the same team: ACOs and the Future of Animal Protection

March 2020

This session focuses on how to manage change amongst Animal Control officers and learning how to build teamwork and camaraderie even when things are different and new. Learn More

What If You Can't Return Them? When SNR is Not an Option

March 2020

Learn how you can safely save all the cats, even when SNR isn't an option. Learn More

When to Bring Them In: Pets That Truly Need Shelter

March 2020

Learn policies and procedures to implement in your organization and take the guesswork out of bringing animals in and streamline and prioritize the safety and wellness of pets and people. Learn More

Your Notes are Everything: How Officer Notes Impact Animals and Communities

March 2020

Learn how to ensure your staff is working to keep accurate & thorough notes to save more animal lives. Learn More