Category: Speakers

Brittany Watson, VMD, PhD

Dr. Brittany Watson is the Director of Shelter Medicine and Community Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  She currently manages medical, surgical, and educational training through electives and primary care, shelter medicine rotations and courses, and community outreach initiatives.  Course techniques involve integrating community needs, best teaching practices, and organizational leadership strategies.  Penn Vet’s shelter medicine program completes over 4000 surgeries per year and partners with all major sheltering organizations in the city of Philadelphia. She also involves veterinary students in authentic learning experiences including continuing education to shelters, outreach to middle school classrooms, and after-school pipeline programs in conjunction with the medical school.

Dr. Watson was previously the Veterinary Director of Continuing Education Initiatives at Charleston Animal Society (CAS).  During her time at CAS, she worked with the education department to develop the veterinary camp curriculum, Shadowing at the Shelter program, and VSI:  Veterinary Science Initiative.  She received her PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of South Carolina.  Her dissertation focused on evidence-based humane education programs and proving changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior from the VSI Program.

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Caryn Ginsberg, Moderator

Moderator Caryn Ginsberg of Priority Ventures Group has more than 15 years experience working with animal protection groups. She helps see the best ways to save more lives. Her clients have included the Animal Rescue League of Boston, ASPCA, Dakin Humane Society, The Humane Society of the United States, Marian’s Dream, Mississippi Spay & Neuter, PetSmart Charities and others. Caryn is the author of Animal Impact: Secrets Proven to Achieve Results and Move the World. This book shows how to get the public, businesses and government to take pro-animal action. She is also co-wrote of ‪Making Plans to Make a Difference: Business Planning for Shelters to Inspire, Mobilize and Sustain Change with Bert Troughton of the ASPCA. More recently, Caryn has added visual recording and facilitation to improve understanding and communication in meetings, conferences and other events.

Elaine Adair

Elaine Adair, a founder and President of Mississippi Spay and Neuter (MS SPAN) and Vice President of Operations for MS SPAN’s delivery systems: Big Fix Clinic, the transport and targeted voucher programs as well as the statewide referral programs to other clinics and voucher programs.

She has in depth knowledge about the intricacies of running high-volume spay/neuter clinics as well as first-hand experience in coalition-building with Mississippi SPAN.  She has been a consultant for establishing non-profit animal organizations and for administrative processes and services.   In 2016, she with two other animal welfare advocates founded a 501(C)(6) non-profit group called AAIM.  The Board of Directors will be involved in promoting animal-related initiatives that engage in educational activities, advancing laws, ordinances, and policies in support of political subdivisions and non-profit organizations involved in animal welfare and protection emphasizing the welfare of dogs and cats in Mississippi as well as the following.

Ms. Adair also has a background in the administrative support necessary for needs assessment, organizational development, and strategic planning that has extended over a 20 year profession starting with the United States Air Force and ending with an early retirement from Lockheed Martin Corporation and the Air National Guard.

She graduated with Distinction from University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Distributive Studies: Communication, Theatre, English and Psychology and from Southern College of Technology in Georgia with a Master’s Degree in Technical and Professional Communication.  In 2012, she and her husband and their precious pets including 4 feral cats who all survived the wrath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 are now living back in Gulfport after living in Vicksburg for 4 years.

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Holly Sizemore

Holly Sizemore, Director-Community Programs & Services for Best Friends, entered the animal welfare world in 1991 when she discovered a colony of community cats eating from a restaurant dumpster. The experience inspired her to help found the first trap/neuter/return organization in Utah. In 2000, Holly joined No More Homeless Pets in Utah and served the organization in a variety of roles, ending with executive director from 2007 to 2010.

In 2010, Holly joined Best Friends Animal Society and currently oversees Best Friend’s Animal Care and National Programs Divisions.

Holly has volunteered and worked in many different animal welfare arenas, ranging from small grassroots groups to large-scale public-private partnership efforts. Holly holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Utah and a master of public administration degree from the University of Washington. She and her husband proudly share their home with a few former community cats and one adopted dog.

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Joyce Briggs

President, Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs.

Joyce has been privileged to work full time in animal welfare full time since 1995, much of that focused on how to better manage and innovate in population control in dogs and in cats. Her passion for this area started in the early 1990’s with volunteer work with the Pennsylvania based The Spayed Club, inspired by founder Gail Parmer. Esther Mechler, founder of SPAY USA was an early inspiration and mentor, and helped Joyce transition to full time work in this area.

As director of marketing and PR for the American Humane Association (1995-1999) Joyce created, wrote and produced the first marketing video and workbook to promote pediatric neutering in 1995.   The Case for Early Neutering video/publication which was distributed at no charge to 1200 animal welfare agencies and all veterinary schools.

As Exec. Director of PetSmart Charities (1999-2005), she developed and oversaw the grants program, which raised and distributed $23 million to the animal welfare cause, about half of which supported spay/neuter programs with early grants to Humane Alliance and other industry innovators.

As President of ACC&D since 2006 Joyce has helped advance interest in, work toward, and support for creating non-surgical sterilants for progressive population control of cats and dogs.

She plays a key cultivation role in developing strategic partnerships advancing this field, including being the impetus for the $75 million Michelson Prize & Grants program. ACC&D is currently sponsoring an ongoing study of a contraceptive vaccine for female cats, developing a 21st century ear tag to better identify free roaming cats and dogs, and has a team doing computer simulation modeling to help TNR programs be more strategic in setting goals and measuring results.

Joyce is a co-founder of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland, OR (ASAP) and has volunteered with their leadership team for over ten years. During this time the live release rate in the greater Portland metro area has risen from 61.5% to 94% in part due to over 60K targeted cat sterilization surgeries completed since 2010.

Joyce is married with a 10th grade daughter, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 goats & 4 chickens and a frog.

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Rebekah DeHaven

Rebekah serves as the Senior Attorney and Associate Director of Humane Law & Policy for Alley Cat Allies. In this roles she oversees the organization’s law and policy work, the National Cat Help Desk, and supervises the campaign teams and staff in their engagement with cat advocates, policy makers, and shelters. She also supervises Alley Cat Allies’ boardwalk project in Atlantic City, NJ.

Rebekah holds a JD from Berkeley Law, where she was co-president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. She is a member of the Maryland Bar, Animal Law Section, and currently sits on the board of Paw Fund.

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Sharon Secovich

Sharon Secovich’s first exposure to animal rescue was back when she was a little girl in the 1960s.  Sharon’s mom, a waitress, would collect her customer’s food scraps and then she and Sharon would drive to a nearby house and sneak out back to feed the feral cats.  Afterwards, her mom would take the plastic buckets that she had collected the food in and angrily fling them into the neighbor’s front lawn as they sped away.   As she got older she was tasked with carrying these “sneak attacks” alone, including the blatant tossing of the buckets while speeding away on her bicycle.

Fast forward 30 years and, while working as an environmental geologist, Sharon co-founded Friends of Feral Felines, a TNR group initially focused on the ferals on Portland’s working waterfront.  Sharon did a stint as a board member and treasurer of Maine Friends of Animals and worked for Animal Rescue New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina.

In 2003, as a co-founder of Spay Maine, she and Susan Hall led a state-wide effort to unite a consortium of Maine’s animal welfare stakeholders to create and find funding for, a state run and state funded spay/neuter program. The program, called Help Fix ME, is fully funded and became operational in July 2004.   In  2006 Maine’s Governor Baldacci appointed her Sharon to the state’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee where she served for five years, three of them as committee chair.   In 2011 Sharon found grant funding for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic at the Animal Welfare Society (AWS) and has since expanded the shelter’s spay/neuter program into a into a statewide spay/neuter program.

Sharon holds a BA degree in English, a BS degree in Geology, and an MS in Public Policy and Non-Profit Management.    She and her husband live in Alfred, Maine with five cats and three dogs.

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Susan Hall

Co-founded Spay Maine, the group that worked through the Maine legislature and the Animal Welfare Advisory Council to establish and fund Help Fix ME, Maine’s state funded, state-wide low-income spay/neuter program. Spay Maine continues to work with Help Fix ME by monitoring the program and protecting funding.  Help Fix ME is based upon the very successful and similarly set up New Hampshire program.

Currently maintains the Spay Maine website which serves as a referral resource for spay/neuter programs throughout the State of Maine:

Currently serves on the Board/Committee for The Cleo Fund, Maine’s largest private spay/neuter program.

Currently, administers feline spay/neuter voucher programs for two of Maine’s poorest counties.

Currently helps fund spay/neuter clinics in Aroostook  County, Maine

Gave presentations on spay/neuter at three national conferences:  Spay USA 2004 Southern Regional Leadership Conference in New Orleans,  Petsmart Charities 2005 Phoenix Focus in Arizona and Spay USA 2008 The Road Map in Chicago.

Served on the Board of Directors and was a past President of the Animal Refuge League, the second largest animal shelter in the state of Maine.  1995- 2000; 2011-2013

Worked as a licensed veterinary technician from 1986-1996 at Standish Veterinary Hospital in Standish Maine.

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