Aimee St. Arnaud is a Spay/Neuter Program Manager at PetSmart Charities, overseeing equipment grants for startup of high volume clinics as well as grants for the Gulf Coast S/N Project. Her responsibilities include mentoring individuals and organizations starting s/n programs and helping existing programs increase their capacity and efficiency. Her prior positions include ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Toledo Area Humane Society. She is proud of starting Humane Ohio, which operates a high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter clinic that performs 8,000 low-cost surgeries annually in and around Toledo, Ohio. Aimee serves on the boards of Humane Alliance and Humane Ohio.
Karla Brestle received a Bachelor's degree in Emergency Medical Care from Western Carolina University in 1987 and graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Following graduation, she spent 3 years in a mixed animal practice in rural NC and developed an interest in shelter medicine, which led her to a position as a shelter veterinarian for 2 years in central NC. Dr. Brestle currently serves as the medical director of the NSNRT (National Spay/Neuter Response Team), a program of Humane Alliance in Asheville, NC. Their mission is to provide high quality, high volume, targeted, affordable spay/neuter services as the non-lethal solution for homeless, abandoned, and feral companion animals. Having worked with Humane Alliance since 1998, Dr. Brestle remains dedicated to accomplishing this mission through the clinic's National Spay/Neuter Response Team, a team developed to teach others to duplicate the Humane Alliance model.
Joyce Briggs is president of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D). Joyce has been a leader in national animal welfare for over a dozen years, through management, marketing, development, program and public relations positions at national nonprofits and through management consulting to bridge nonprofits, corporations and communities. During Joyce's five years as executive director of PETsMART Charities, the organization raised and distributed $23 million to the animal welfare cause, primarily to support local pet adoption and spay/neuter programs. Prior to her position at PETsMART Charities, she was senior director of marketing and PR for the American Humane Association. In her current position she is introducing non surgical sterilants to the sheltering community, as they potentially can play a major role in preventing unwanted litters.
Heather Cammisa is the Spay/Neuter Initiatives Manager for the Humane Society of the United States focusing on implementing new research on spay/neuter messaging in the Gulf Coast region. Prior to joining The HSUS, Heather was the Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Animal Center in Brick, New Jersey, for 5 years. She is a New Jersey Certified Animal Control Officer and Animal Cruelty Investigator. She currently serves on the board of the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Heather received her Masters degree in Economics from Rutgers University.
Richard DuCharme was appointed to Jacksonville, FL's Mayoral Task Force for Animal Care and Control in 2001, and served on a Feral Cat Task Force for their Animal Care and Control in 2002. That June he founded First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Inc. . After much consideration the group's efforts were totally focused on sterilization as the most effective means of solving the overpopulation crisis. FCNMHP has administered the SpayJax through an annual contract with the city of Jacksonville for 6 years providing more than 25,000 surgeries for the pets of low-income residents. The results of the SpayJax program and other FCNMHP programs are a 25% decrease in overall shelter intake in Duval County, with puppy admissions decreasing by 55% and kittens by 65%.
Amelia Funghi is the Operations Director of the East Bay SPCA in Oakland and Dublin California. She directs the daily operations of 2 Adoption Shelters, Humane Education, 2 Spay Neuter Surgery Centers and 1 full service Veterinary Clinic. Amelia worked for 7 years for Berkeley Animal Care and Control as a Community Specialist where she designed and implemented the volunteer program, redesigned the adoption program, established collaborations with other shelters and rescue groups in the Bay Area. Amelia has a MA in counseling Psychology and prior to her career in animal welfare, worked for 15 years providing social services and counseling to people living with HIV disease.
Karen Green is Director of Outreach for the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D). Karen joined ACC&D in early 2006, prior to that she served as the assistant director of the Best Friends national No More Homeless Pets campaign, where her work focused on resource development and support for animal welfare advocates and organizations. At ACC&D, Karen works to advance non-surgical methods of pet sterilization through ACC&D's electronic and print publications, participation in conferences and events, and Organizational Partners Program.
Dr. Griffin is a 1990 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent time working in general small animal practice, as well as in animal shelters before pursuing a residency in small animal internal medicine at Auburn University. She became board certified in this specialty in 2000. Her clinical interests include shelter medicine, feline welfare, behavior, spay/neuter programs and feline internal medicine. Her research has focused on pet contraception and non-lethal control of feral cat populations. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Programs fro the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University. Dr. Griffin was a founding member of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs in 2000 and the recipient of the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2003.
Susan Hall‘s degree was in biology and she worked in chemistry labs for many years until she became a veterinary technician. After being on the board, then president of the second largest animal shelter in the state, she saw first-hand that we cannot adopt our way out of pet overpopulation. She decided to work towards the goal of reducing shelter intakes. She is a cofounder of Spay Maine, the group that worked to pass Maine's state-wide, state-funded low-income spay/neuter program called Help Fix ME.
Sharon Harvey is the Executive Director of the Cleveland Animal Protective League in Ohio. Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director and Development Director of Geauga County Humane Society's Rescue Village. Sharon's experience in fundraising ranges from small initiatives to major initiatives across a variety of development focus areas, successfully supporting budgets ranging from $700,000 to $3 million and continuous growth in dollars raised. In addition to her work at the Cleveland APL, Sharon serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Federated Humane Societies and is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and the Hill's Shelter Advisory Board, Sharon's three thoroughly noncompliant dogs graciously tolerate her presence in their home in Bainbridge Township, Ohio.
Paul Jolly is Vice President of PETCO and Executive Director of the PETCO Foundation. Paul has a BS in Animal Science from California State Polytechnic University/Pomona with a minor in Organic Chemistry. He currently sits on three animal welfare boards: Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART), Actors and Others for Animals, and PAWS/LA. He shares his home with 7 dogs, 6 cats, 1 blue and gold macaw, and an aviary of rescue cockatiels.
Karla Kamstra is co-founder of Pets ALIVE, founded in 2002. In January 2004 Pets ALIVE began its capital campaign to open a low-cost, high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter clinic with a regional transport to serve surrounding counties. Karla piloted the capital campaign, recruited staff and secured funding and spearheaded the opening of the clinic in March 2005. Pets ALIVE is now approaching its 30,000th spay/neuter surgery. As President and founder of the region's first high-volume s/n clinic, Karla routinely speaks across the nation and assists other groups by sharing Pets ALIVE's accomplishments and business model, and her philosophy on collaborative efforts. Karla also serves on the Founding Board of the Indiana Association of Animal Control & Welfare, and is the founder of the Indiana Spay/Neuter Alliance.
Dr. Stephen Kinney holds degrees from the University of Maine and Tufts University. After 22 years in private practice in southern Maine, he started working with area shelters to reduce intakes and euthanasia's by doing large spay/neuter blitzes. In autumn of 2007, he began work as an independent contractor with the Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, organizing and outfitting an in-house spay clinic in one month. Using ingenuity and resourcefulness, he was able to acquire the needed equipment for about $11,000 and the clinic is up and running at capacity.
Bryan Kortis serves as Executive Director of Neighborhood Cats; a New York based nonprofit specializing in the management of feral cats using Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). In addition to administering a citywide TNR program in New York, Neighborhood Cats produces educational materials and workshops, assists in setting up community wide TNR programs, and is a leading voice for the humane care of feral cats.
Gregory Castle, one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, now works mostly with their Community Programs and Services division. When he can tear himself away from his two dogs, four cats and noisy conure, he travels the country and occasionally abroad consulting with organizations and individuals on animal welfare issues such as reducing euthanasia rates, resolving feral cat issues, developing coalitions and working with government to help the animals. Mr. Castle is the president and founder of No More Homeless Pets in Utah, a campaign involving animal welfare and rescue organizations, animal control officers, veterinarians, schools, and animal lovers from across the state in aggressive spay/neuter, adoption, and public awareness programs. Mr. Castle grew up in England and is a graduate of Cambridge University with a master's degree in philosophy and psychology. His background includes extensive administrative and accounting work for nonprofit human services and church organizations.
Peter Marsh is a director of Solutions to Overpopulation of Pets, a non-profit group that operates New Hampshire's largest private neutering assistance program. He has served as the Governor's appointee to the Pet Overpopulation Committee of the New Hampshire Legislature since it was established in 1998. Peter has helped operate and develop neutering assistance programs for 25 years and has helped secure public funding for neutering assistance programs in New Hampshire and several other parts of the country.
Quita Mazzina is Executive Director Humane Alliance, a high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter clinic in Asheville NC that covers 23 counties, partners with 39 organizations, and performs 22,000 surgeries a year. As a result of Humane Alliance's regional success. Quita started the National Spay/Neuter Response Team to provide a strategic training program and facilitators to mentor organizations to open and operate spay/neuter clinics across the country. The team has already mentored 34 organizations, whose clinics have neutered more than 225,000 companion animals since 2005. An additional 30 organizations have submitted applications to participate in the program. Quita and her team designed The Big Fix Rig, a 53-foot mobile trailer that can host up to 120 cat sterilizations in a day and has been located in the Gulf Coast region helping rebuild spay/neuter efforts. In just one year, more than 6,000 surgeries have been performed on the Rig.
Esther Mechler is the founder and national director of SPAY/USA. Her areas of expertise include grassroots organizing, leadership development, information networking and the implementation of projects and programs to end the cat and dog surplus. A regular speaker at seminars and conferences in the U.S. and abroad, Ms. Mechler assisted with the startup of hundreds of affordable spay programs and clinics, both fixed-site and mobile throughout the United States. SPAY/USA, a program of The North Shore Animal League America, operates a toll-free hotline with two full-time phone counselors to help callers find spay/neuter assistance in their areas.
Diane Sauve is Director for Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, which shelters approximately 30,000 animals annually, has enforcement jurisdiction over 2,300 square miles, and serves 1.3 million residents. Ms. Sauve has pushed laws to regulate breeding and to encourage or mandate sterilization. She has been a vocal advocate to raise awareness of escalating euthanasia numbers of cats/dogs and to offer incentives for responsible pet ownership and financial disincentives for pet owners who choose not to sterilize.
Ruth Steinberger has developed rural spay/neuter programs for over a decade, focusing on regions of high poverty and without existing programs. The Oklahoma Spay Network now provides over 22,000 low-income spays or neuters per year in Oklahoma. She also has worked with the OVMA to host a symposium on early spay and quick-spay methods attended by some 50 vets from around the state. She is State Outreach Coordinator of Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and is spay/neuter coordinator for Homeward Bound, which covers rural Southeast Oklahoma. Ruth Steinberger was the 2006 recipient of the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.
Speaker Biographies for Veterinary Track
Dr. Karla Brestle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Medical Care from Western Carolina University in 1987 and graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Following graduation, she spent 3 years in a mixed animal practice in rural NC and developed an interest in shelter medicine, which led her to a position as a shelter veterinarian for 2 years in central NC. Dr. Brestle currently serves as the medical director of the NSNRT (National Spay/Neuter Response Team), a program of Humane Alliance in Asheville, NC. The mission of Humane Alliance is to provide high quality, high volume, targeted, affordable spay/neuter services as the non-lethal solution for homeless, abandoned, and feral companion animals. Having worked with Humane Alliance since 1998, Dr. Brestle remains dedicated to accomplishing this mission through the clinic's National Spay/Neuter Response Team, a team developed to teach others to duplicate the Humane Alliance model.
Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, ACVS
Phil Bushby is a 1972 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon and holds the Marcia Lane Endowed Professorship of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare at Mississippi State University where he has been on the faculty for 30 years. His primary focus is spay neuter taking veterinary students shelters across north Mississippi for the past 15 years. His interest in shelter medicine and spay neuter dates back to his internship and surgical residency at the Henry Bergh Memorial Hospital of the ASPCA in New York City. Dr. Bushby's primary goal is to make sure that the next generation of veterinarians understands the problem of overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats and recognizes their role in assisting in addressing this problem.
Brian DiGangi, DVM
Dr. Brian A. DiGangi received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 2001 and graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. He completed a yearlong rotating internship in small animal medicine, surgery and critical care at Long Island Veterinary Specialists from 2006 to 2007. During his veterinary school career, Dr. DiGangi completed clinical externships in both shelter medicine and exotic animal medicine. As co-founder of the University of Florida Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, he volunteered at the county animal shelter on a regular basis, organized spay/neuter wet labs for students, regularly participated in a local feral cat management program, and fostered animals for local rescue organizations. After completion of his residency at Cornell University, Dr. DiGangi plans to remain in the northeast working with a variety of shelters, rescue groups and humane organizations to improve the health and welfare of homeless animals.
Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Dr. Griffin is a 1990 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent time working in general small animal practice, as well as in animal shelters before pursuing a residency in small animal internal medicine at Auburn University. She became board certified in this specialty in 2000. Her clinical interests include shelter medicine, feline welfare, behavior, spay/neuter programs and feline internal medicine. Her research has focused on pet contraception and non-lethal control of feral cat populations. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Programs for the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University. Dr. Griffin was a founding member of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs in 2000 and the recipient of the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2003.
Stephanie Janeczko, DVM
Dr. Stephanie Janeczko received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2000 and her DVM from Cornell University in 2004. Following graduation, Dr. Janeczko spent time in general small animal practice. Her experiences with the animals from shelters and rescue groups strengthened her interest in the field of shelter medicine, and in 2006 Dr. Janeczko became the first resident in shelter medicine at Cornell University. Her time is divided between seeing cases through the Cornell University Hospital for Animals and working directly with shelters, particularly those surrounding Ithaca, New York. As part of her residency training, she is also completing a Master's degree in Epidemiology. She possesses a strong interest in infectious diseases and feline medicine, but enjoys the varied nature of shelter medicine. Dr. Janeczko hopes to work in an academic setting following completion of her residency, with a focus on training future veterinarians and providing outreach, consultation, and support for shelters.