Free Educational Webinars on Feb. 20: Make a difference to the dogs and people in your community

The University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences is holding their 9th Humane Education Seminar on Saturday, February 20, and we are very fortunate to be able to bring these live sessions to you via webinar.

Please keep in mind that because this is a presentation in front of a live audience, it will not be as interactive as our regular webinars, and the opportunity for q & a will be very limited. You will, however, have this opportunity to listen in during the live presentations.

There are four sessions being held on February 20 and details regarding each session are listed below. You must register separately for each session you are interested in attending. You can register at

The Pit Bull Placebo

Presented by: Don Cleary, National Canine Research Council

Saturday, February 20: 5:10-6:20 a.m. Hawaii; 7:10-8:20 a.m. pacific; 8:10-9:20 a.m. mountain; 9:10-10:20 a.m. central; 10:10-11:20 a.m. eastern

In her groundbreaking book The Pitbull Placebo: The Media Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression, Karen Delise, Founder of the National Canine Research Council, showed how bloodhounds, German Shepherds, and Dobermans, were vilified in our history. The dynamics Delise identified now operate against the vaguely defined group of dogs called pit bulls. The Pit Bull Placebo presentation shows how we have fearfully stripped these dogs of all the traits that we value in dogs, leaving only monster myths and urban legend in their place. The presentation also shows how changing our attitudes toward animal abuse, including toward criminals who fight dogs, and recognition of the difference between a resident dog and a family dog, can preserve and deepen the human-canine bond.

Building a Safe and Humane Community

Presented by: Cynthia Bathurst, Ph.D., Safe Humane Chicago

Saturday February 20: 6:50-8:00 a.m. Hawaii; 8:50-10:00 a.m. pacific; 9:50-11:00 a.m. mountain; 10:50-12:00 p.m. central; 11:50-1:00 p.m. eastern

This presentation will discuss how Safe Humane Chicago programs work in concert to save lives and create safer, more humane communities, particularly in those challenged by a poor economy and lack of resources. The dogs in these communities are most often identified as pit-bull type dogs and face special challenges. This presentation will introduce you to Safe Humane programming, the Chicago participants, the outcomes and the measures of success. The focus will be on the most successful and proven programs, which help mentor and support neighborhood ambassadors of the human and animal kind:

  • “Lifetime Bonds” Pittie Classes and Ambassador Training
  • Youth Leaders for Safe Humane Communities and their work with ambassador dogs
  • Animal Court Advocacy and Enrichment Programs for the Animal Victims

We will discuss steps to take toward empowering communities beyond traditional animal welfare alliances and leveraging our mutual goals of treating each dog as an individual and facilitating good “forever homes” against the needs and perception of communities where animals are most at risk.

Facilitating Successful Adoptions

Presented by: Bernice Clifford, CPDT, Behavior and Training Coordinator for Animal Farm Foundation, Inc

Saturday, February 20: 9:15-10:25 a.m. Hawaii; 11:15-12:25 p.m. pacific; 12:15-1:25 p.m. mountain; 1:15-2:25 p.m. central; 2:15-3:15 p.m. eastern

Bernice Clifford, CPDT will be discussing and providing information on how to facilitate better adoptions. Adoption is much more then sending a dog to a home. It is important to never assume breed or character based on how a dog looks, but instead get to know each dog as an individual. Clifford will also discuss kennel enrichment and the role it plays in promoting adoptions and preparing dogs to go home. She will talk about how socialization and training will better prepare dogs to leave shelters and set them up for successful adoptions. Finally, Clifford will explain that partnering with other organizations within your community is a valuable tool in promoting adoptions and creating networks that will benefit the dogs in your care.

We’ve Got Game—From Confrontation to Collaboration—Dealing with Decisionmakers on Animal Welfare Issues

Presented by: Ledy VanKavage, Esq., Senior Legislative Analyst for Best Friends Animal Society

Saturday February 20: 10:55-12:05 p.m. Hawaii; 12:55-2:05 p.m. pacific; 1:55-3:05 p.m. mountain; 2:55-4:05 p.m. central; 3:55-5:05 p.m. eastern

This presentation will stress effective tools to use when lobbying for animals on a local or state level for animal issues. Successful case studies of local and state campaigns will be discussed in addition to advocacy tips.

If you aren’t familiar with webinars and would like to make sure your computer is set up and ready to go, please feel free to contact Suzy Hayton at

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