Best Practices Webinar Series: Adoptions

Product not yet rated

Much animal welfare organization work is centered on preparing and supporting animals for adoption into a new loving home. In 2018, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement published a set of guidelines on adoption best practices. This document outlines the specific best practices for the adoption process and post-adoption support for animals and families who adopt.

This three-part webinar series will walk you through the Adoption Best Practices document and explain how to create an organizational framework for successful adoption outcomes. All three webinars are free of charge to anyone – both Association members and non-members.

  • 03/21/19 Groundwork for Adoptions

    Includes Credits

    This webinar, the second in the Adoption Best Practices series, will discuss the components of getting an animal adopted.

    ** Due to technical difficulties, this webinar was been postponed and March 21 is the new, rescheduled date. We apologize for the inconvenience! The webinar will be recorded and available 24/7 afterwards.*

    Adoption staff and volunteers are an organization’s primary point of contact with the public. Therefore, it is of vital importance that these individuals are well trained and well suited for the position. Learn about the components of getting an animal adopted, including training staff, marketing, and innovative ways to get animals adopted faster. This webinar, the first in the Adoption Best Practices series, will discuss:

    • Key elements of a training program for staff and volunteers who facilitate adoptions
    • Creative and fun ways to promote available animals
    • Best practices for processes that support animals going home, including tips for fast tracking animals and request lists

    Anyone in animal welfare who is involved in some aspect of adoptions will benefit from this study of ways to ensure a successful pathway to adoption.

    This webinar has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    Beau Archer, CAWA

    Vice President, Animal Welfare, San Diego Humane Society, CA

    Beau Archer is the Vice President of Animal Welfare for San Diego Humane Society. With a strong background leading shelter operations, he was most recently at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., where he served as Vice President of Strategic Operations, and prior to that he worked for The Humane Society of the United States both in the companion animals department and on its puppy mills campaign. Beau received a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and he is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).

    Jerrica Owen, CAWA

    Director, Strategic Initiatives, San Diego Humane Society, CA

    Jerrica Owen is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for San Diego Humane Society. She has 15 years animal welfare experience, her first 6 years concentrated in animal behavior where she implemented, executed and managed a behavior evaluation program at SDHS. Her experience and expertise includes animal behavior, effective animal shelter inventory and population management, process efficiencies, program development, and progressions in policy and procedure. Jerrica received a B.S. degree in Health Science from California State University, Chico, and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).

  • 03/13/19 Assessing Your Adoption Program

    Includes Credits Recorded On: 03/13/2019

    In part one of the Adoption Best Practices series, we will show you how to assess your adoption process and offer ideas to improve the experience for both potential adopters and staff.

    Matching pets and people is a rewarding outcome for staff, adopters, and the animals we serve.  A strong bond can be developed, resulting in a commitment to the animal and long term support for your organization.  But today, there are many competitors luring potential adopters from shelters and rescues – is your adoption process contributing to adoption attrition or making your adoption rates skyrocket? 

    The adoption process is based on creating trust and respect between adopters and the organization with a focus on creating the best outcomes for the people and animals involved. Does your process look for reasons to place an animal into a home or does it focus on why a home is not a good fit?

    In part one of the Adoption Best Practices series, we will show you how to assess your adoption process and offer ideas to improve the experience for both potential adopters and staff. We will discuss:

    • Components of a selection process and criteria based on the organization’s resources and philosophies, as well as the community’s needs
    • How to apply your criteria to match the right animal with the right family and lifestyle as soon as possible
    • Why to conduct an adoption through open dialogue and interaction, rather than an application and interview – or an interrogation
    • Ways to educate potential adopters and ensure they have a positive experience, whether they adopt or not

    Staff and volunteers involved in adoptions and shelter operation supervisors will all benefit from this 60-minute webinar.

    This webinar has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    Think about these questions before you join the live webinar or watch the recording:

    • How do you define a successful adoption? 
    • What is your vision of a successful adoption program for your organization and what are the barriers to achieving it?

    Jan McHugh-Smith, CAWA

    President and CEO, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Humane Society, CO

    Jan McHugh-Smith is the President/CEO of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, an open-admission organization that adopted more than 12,000 animals in 2018.  Jan’s animal welfare experience over the past 34 years also includes being President of the San Francisco SPCA; CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Boulder CO; and Director of Eagle County Animal Control, Eagle CO.  Jan is the Chair of Shelter Animal’s Count, creating a national database for shelter statistics. She is the past Chair of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) and served as Chair of CATalyst Council which works to raise the level of care and welfare for cats.  She is a Certified Animal Welfare Professional (CAWA) and started her career as an adoption counselor. 

  • 03/27/19 Completing the Adoption, Post-adoption & Returns

    Product not yet rated Includes Credits Recorded On: 03/27/2019

    In part three of the Adoption Best Practices series, we discuss finalizing adoptions and maintaining relationships with adopters after the animal has gone home.

    Join us for a conversation about finalizing adoptions and maintaining relationships with adopters after the animal has gone home. Staff or volunteers with organizations that conduct adoptions will benefit from this third and final part of the Adoption Best Practices webinar series. Topics covered will include:

    Completing the adoption:

    • Writing a comprehensive and specific adoption agreement
    • Building a bundle of animal-specific information and resources to send home with adopters
    • Making final preparations to transport the animal home

    Post-adoption:

    • Continuing the adopter relationship through appropriate and routine follow up
    • Ensuring adoption success by providing ongoing support
    • Welcoming returns
    • The benefits of proper animal tracking

    This webinar has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    Lauren Lipsey

    Vice President of Community Programs, Humane Rescue Alliance, DC

    Lauren Lipsey is the Vice President of Community Programs with the Humane Rescue Alliance, where she drives the strategic direction of the foster, volunteer, humane education, and community cat programs, in addition to expanding the organization’s community outreach program called Help Out Partner and Engage (HOPE). She is the project administrator for the DC Cat Count, a collaboration between animal welfare organizations and wildlife scientists that endeavors to count the number of cats in Washington, D.C. in order to support practical, humane solutions to conflicts between cats, wildlife, and people in our communities. She joined HRA’s legacy organization, the Washington Humane Society, as the Director of Rehoming in 2014 and has been in her current position since early 2017. Prior to joining HRA, Lauren worked at the Humane Society of the United States, the Smithsonian Institution, and other animal welfare organizations.

    Brad Shear, CAWA

    Executive Director, Potter League for Animals

    Brad Shear is the Executive Director of the Potter League for Animals.  Brad is one of two Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWA) in the state of Rhode Island.  In addition to his work at the Potter League, Brad serves on the board of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, chairing their Best Practices and Emerging Trends Committee for The Association and representing The Association on the board of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition.  Brad also serves on the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Shelter Advisory Council, and the board of the Ocean State Animal Coalition.  Brad was a founder of the New York State Animal Protection Federation where he served as Board President for 7 years and continues to serve as the President of the Federation’s education foundation.  He previously served on the board of Community Works of New York State and is a past chair of the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council. Prior to leading the Potter League, Brad served for ten years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Albany New York.  Brad was the Director of Operations for the Atlanta Humane Society, managed the Brooklyn Shelter for New York City Animal Care and Control, and began his animal protection career at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Colorado.