SPAY/USA's first national conference was held in 1993 near Boston, Massachusetts, and was called Making It Happen. It introduced companion animal advocates from 37 states to each other, and helped people develop programs, clinics and networks that endure to this day.
The second was also held near Boston in 2000, and was called Tools for the Twenty-First Century. At this conference, scientists working on non-surgical sterilization came together for the first time ever; they subsequently held their own conferences and formed their own organization, the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs. Again, people came from 40 states, further deepening alliances and working relationships among agencies, organizations and individuals.
Over the following seven years, SPAY/USA has held annual regional conferences in the South to address those problems specific to that region. These conferences were held in New Orleans, Atlanta and Memphis. Several southern states subsequently developed their own statewide spay referral networks, and a number of high volume, high quality spay clinics have been built in the region.
This third national conference will be called The Road Map. It will be a distillation of all we have learned over the past seventeen years: best practices, model legislation, the Spay Before Five Months educational campaign, and a special veterinary track that will give Continuing Education credits to participants. It will be held in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Northwest October 16-19, 2008.