About the Sessions: 2012 Maddie's ® Shelter Medicine Conference

Bound for Home

Bound for Home is a strategic initiative designed to eventually place all healthy and treatable animals. After a consult from the UC Davis Shelter evaluation team, the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota launched several components of Bound for Home to significantly improve the lives of the animals in our care, dramatically decrease length of stay, slash euthanasia rates, and drive placement rates. An important element of our success was to engage the community in improving the lives of animals in our area through a surrender-by-appointment process. This presentation will cover specific elements of the changes that were implemented and define the impact that they have had.  Presented by Kathie Johnson.


The First 60 Minutes: Animal Sheltering’s Critical Hour

From the minute a dog or cat sets paw inside an animal control vehicle or shelter, the clock is ticking on decisions, procedures, and practices that can spell health or illness – even life or death – for that animal. Find out how decisions made in that first critical hour impact the stress response and susceptibility to disease of sheltered animals and how you can use that time to maximize the life-saving capacity of your organization.  Presented by Dr. Brian DiGangi.


The Evolution of a Shelter Medicine Journal

Conflict to Consensus: The Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s Shelter Medicine Journal was created to eliminate conflict among veterinarians and the shelter staff tasked to deliver medical care. Learn how the document was developed and how it is utilized in shelter practice for medical treatment protocols and as an informational tool to communicate medically adoptable conditions to staff and adopters. An unexpected consequence of this document has been to significantly reduce length-of-stay and save more lives by driving consistency in treatment and decision-making to streamline shelter medical cases.  Presented by Dr. Lesli Groshong.


Resolving Upper Respiratory Infection in the Shelter

Upper Respiratory Infectin (URI) is considered an expected condition within the population of shelter cats and dogs. This presentation focuses on treatment and husbandry protocols that have transitioned an open admission shelter from one with crowded isolation wards to one with the ability to transfer in dogs and cats from overcrowded high euthanasia shelters. Learn how an open admission shelter, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, keepsadoption areas full and avoids URI outbreaks from transferred cats and dogs.  Presented by Dr. Lesli Groshong.


Parvovirus: An Integrated Communication Strategy is Part of Treatment

When approached from a team perspective, an outbreak of parvovirus does not need to be a crisis in your shelter. On a weekly basis, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley accepts large transfers of puppies from high risk shelters, and each group is considered at risk of breaking with parvo. Learn how communications with shelter personnel, clinic personnel, and adopters can lead to a positive, healthy outcome for the parvo patient.  Presented by  Dr. Lesli Groshong.


Saving the Bottom 50%

This session gives an overview of how Austin Pets Alive (APA) changed the face of shelter euthanasia at the city shelter by tackling difficult shelter medical issues. Knowing it would not be as simple as just saving more of the easy-to-save animals, APA examined the types of animals being euthanized and developed programs targeted at those types of animals to enable a live outcome for them. Austin went from a 50% save rate to a 90% save rate in 2 1/2 short years and is now the largest “No Kill” city in the United States.  Presented by Dr. Ellen Jefferson.


Treating Distemper and Parvo

In an effort to save all injured and ill animals at the city shelter, Austin Pets Alive (APA) developed a program for parvo treatment and a protocol for distemper treatment. As a result save rates for these diseases are near 85%. In this session, we will discuss the methods used to treat distemper, the illness manifestations and treatment course, and nursing care. We will also talk about why distemper occurs and how to prevent it, in addition to how APA treats parvo and has set up a volunteer-run ward to handle up to 350 cases per year.  Presented by Dr. Ellen Jefferson.


Saving Neonatal Kittens

Austin Pets Alive’s Bottle Baby Program saves over 1,000 kittens per year that would otherwise be euthanized due to their high needs without a mother. The program began by mimicking an open admission wildlife center’s nursery and began with no startup funding and only a handful of volunteers. It has since grown to ensure that every underage kitten that enters the open admission city shelter is saved.  Presented by Dr. Ellen Jefferson.


Shelter Crowd Control: Keeping Community Cats Out of Shelters

While innovative strategies are saving lives across the country, euthanasia rates for stray and feral cats remain stubbornly high in many communities. This presentation will explore the magnitude of the community cat population and redefine definitions for “home” and “rescue.” Data will be presented from a novel and bold program that cut shelter cat intake dramatically and almost overnight, preventing the tragic deaths of thousands of shelter cats.  Presented by Dr. Julie Levy.


Physical and Psychological Health Issues in Puppy Mill and Hoarding Rescues

Animals entering shelters after being rescued from life in a puppy mill or hoarding environment may be afflicted with numerous physical and psychological health problems at varying levels of severity. This presentation will cover the array of important physical and psycho-behavioral conditions exhibited by these animals that require therapeutic and rehabilitative intervention. Special attention will be paid to the impact of the change in the animals’ environment—leaving the familiar and entering a shockingly unfamiliar world.  Presented by Dr. Frank McMillan.


Therapeutic Insights for Treating Animals Rescued From Puppy Mills and Hoarding Situations

Shelters and adopters of animals rescued from puppy mills and hoarding situations were surveyed to inquire about the methods used to help rehabilitate their animal(s), specifically, what they did that was most effective, what was least effective, and what, if anything, caused a setback in the animal’s progress toward recovery. For psychological conditions, it was found that specific traditional therapeutic methods as described in current clinical behavior texts could be beneficial for one animal but unhelpful and even harmful to another animal with the same apparent disorder. This talk will present this wealth of clinically useful information for helping these animals overcome their physical and emotional difficulties.  Presented by Dr. Frank McMillan.


Specific Instructions and Prognostic Information for Adopters of Rescued Puppy Mill and Hoarding Animals

Animals adopted out after rescue from puppy mill and hoarding environments present adopters with a wide array of real and potential challenges. Fortunately, we’ve learned a tremendous amount that can now equip adopters with a very precise account of expectations, chances of specific outcomes, do’s and dont’s in caring for the animals, projected outlooks for the new pet’s recovery, and even the likelihood of adopters’ satisfaction. This talk will present a concise list of guidelines that can be provided to adopters of these very special animals.  Presented by Dr. Frank McMillan.