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Therapy Dog Conference

Start Date: Saturday, July 11, 2020
End Date: Sunday, July 12, 2020
Last Day to Book: July 10, 2020
Hotel(s) Offering Special Group Rate: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles $139 Per Night
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Bios and Takeaway

MORNING Keynote Speaker Bio: Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt, is an Emergency Management Professional who has spent her career with people around the world. She works with schools, governments, hospitals, businesses, tribal leaders and communities. She responded to high profile communities such as Littleton Colorado, New Orleans, Haiti, and Newtown Connecticut.  She traveled to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to work with the school and community and stayed to study the impact of a community crisis on Emergency Management and the region.  She has held various positions of authority in health emergencies, natural disasters, terrorist events, transportation disasters, accidents and crises of all kinds.

When crises and disasters came to her own community, she took leadership roles to help alleviate the long term impacts of psychological trauma. In the Oso mudslide in Washington State, she coordinated emotional and mental health resources.  Following a mass murder-suicide at a local high school, she “retired” from the city government to take the role of Director of Recovery.  She highly values partnerships and can seek, secure and support expertise from other agencies to make a difference.

She values all stakeholders:  young, old, educated, uneducated, professional, a layperson.  She was recognized by the International Association of Emergency Managers for an emergency preparedness campaign, Who Depends On You?  She developed a model of volunteer/professional integration for a city festival that resulted in a collaborative Incident Command System that acted as a recruiting event for CERT programs and added a sophisticated element of training to all… professional and non-professional participants. She travels internationally and has actively responded to the Haitian earthquake, 9-11, hurricanes, wildfires in California, flooding in the Midwest, and others.

She has won awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers, she was inducted into the HALL OF FAME of the International Network of Women in Emergency Management, was honored by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, presented with a Community Difference Maker award, a recipient of the Red Cross Real Heroes award and is Board President of Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. Mary volunteers with humanitarian organizations and is active in her Rotary club where she earned the Service Above Self award for local and international projects.

She is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy and is a member of the faculty at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, Subject Matter Expert for US Department of Education, faculty for the Natural Disaster Preparedness Training Center and is Adjunct Faculty at Pierce College in the Emergency Management Homeland Security program. She consults with government, schools, and businesses when they need her.

TAKE AWAY: Do you give your dog a break when they need one? Do you do it for yourself?  Do you make sure your dog has the best-balanced diet?  Do you do the same for yourself?  Do you read cues and know when your dog is overwhelmed?  Do you know what yours are?  And then know what to do about it? Compassion Fatigue is a risk of caring… the bigger your heart, and the more empathy you have for others, the more vulnerable you are to compassion fatigue.

AFTERNOON Keynote Speaker Bio: Dr. Jill Goldman is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) and court qualified animal behavior expert. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. After studying rodents and humans for her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), she moved to Halifax Nova Scotia to study wolves for her Masters of Science at Dalhousie University. She moved to Toronto, Ontario to study monkeys and birds at York University and Toronto Zoo for her Doctorate (Ph.D.). Her Post Doctoral Fellowship was fulfilled in New York City at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Central Park Zoo (CPZ) where she worked with dogs, cats, and exotics. After completing the 2-year behavior residency, she moved to Southern California to work with animal shelters and private clients from her behavior clinical practice, DJG Animal Behavior Services.  Over the course of her academic and professional experiences, and the many animals she has had the pleasure to meet, Dr. Goldman has learned that if there is one thing for sure…it is that every single animal is unique and deserves to be treated as such. To treat an individual with a cookie-cutter approach is to deny those individual qualities that make them special.

TAKE AWAY: How well can you read your dog? Can you tell if your dog is uncomfortable or stressed? Are you able to read their subtle signs that communicate their discomfort and fear? If you do notice these signs, do you know how to respond? Does that response add stress or does it help relax the situation? Being proficient in dog body language gives you the skill and confidence to understand your dog, as well as avoid situations that may trigger unwanted behavior. The presentation will focus on trigger stimuli and tell-tale signs of dog stress in order to maximize the therapeutic benefits of engagement and its safety.