Schedule at a Glance: Speakers & Topics


  • 6:00 – 10:00 pm  Welcome Reception


  • 8:00 Christine A. Petersen, Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Director, Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Iowa: Unwanted stow-aways: Screening imported animals for disease introduction and spread within the US


  • 8:30 Dr. Pieracci of the Zoonotic Team for the CDC Quarantine Branch: The public health challenges and regulatory issues surrounding the importation of dogs into the United States.
    • 9:00 Discussion
  • 9:15 Andrew Harker, VP of The Russell Group, a leading Washington DC government relations firm: Overview of the Healthy Dog Importation Act, an Update and Call to Action


  • 9:45 Break
  • 10:00 Rob Urbach, Iditarod, CEO: The Fight to Preserve the Last Great Race on Earth
  • 10:40 Kay Backues, DVM, DACZM, Representing the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s (DPCA) Veterinary Advisory Task Force Crop and Dock Grant Program: Educating the next generation of veterinarians on the role of husbandry practices that preserve breeds and breed type; and introducing grants to teach veterinarians how to properly crop 
  • 11:20 Scott Dowd, Executive Director, Project Piaba: Can the aquarium trade save the
    Amazon? Buy a Fish, Save a Tree!


  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 Mark Dunn, MBA, Executive VP for AKC, and Claire Wiley, VMD, DAC:Harnessing next generation DNA technology to protect and serve our dogs


  • 2:00 Elizabeth Milam: Second generation Bulldog breeder, Bulldog Club of America Health Committee member since 1990, and AKC and International Bulldog judge since 1993: The Bulldog you didn’t know

  • 2:30 Kelli Retallick, President Angus Genetics, Inc: A Beef Breed’s Journey with Genomics


  • 3:00 Break
  • 3:15 Charles Garvin MD: Using expanded semen storage options to preserve breeds


  • 3:45 Carolyn Henry, DVM, MS, DACVIM (oncology), Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri: Creating academic partnerships to preserve research tools that enable sustainable advancement of knowledge
  • 4:15 Tom Leach, Leach Policy Management, Attorney and lobbyist for multiple animal and science-related organizations:Organizing to Win: Coalition Building, Strategic Planning, Taking Action


  • 6:30 Dinner with live music


  • 8:30 Gayle Watkins, PhD, Founder of Avidog International and Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers: A fresh look at puppy socialization: raising stable, healthy dogs.


  • 9:30 Denice O’Connell, DVM, DACLAM, Abbvie Director of Global Animal Welfare:The Evolution of AbbVie’s Dog Socialization Program: Finding New Paths to Successful Research Dog Adoptions


  • 10:15 Break
  • 10:30 Patti Strand, NAIA Co-founder and President: No spin needed: The truth will set you free
  • 11:15 Kelly Sloan, Owner and principal consultant, Sloan and Associates, a full-service public affairs firm offering lobbying, communications, and public and media relations: Adding a strong communications plan to your political strategy could make the difference between winning and losing.

    12:15 Lunch


  • 1:15 Pat Hastings, Long-time purebred dog enthusiast, author, AKC judge: A hands-on seminar demonstrating the structure to look for in 8-week-old puppies to find the puppy that will move your breeding program forward


  • 4:00 Conference Close


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