The theme for the 2019 Summit was Beyond The Shelter

It focused on the latest programs, practices and strategies that engage the community to effectively influence intake and achieve positive outcomes for our shelter and pound facilities.


This conference and Workshops were eligible for Veterinary CPD points and IAABC CEU's.

Delegate attendance certificates are available here

Attendance at this event is essential for everyone involved in companion animal policy and practice -including those working in all levels of government, the not for profit welfare, shelter and rescue sector, the research, academic and veterinary professions and the pet industry.

A summit is a strategic conversation, convening the leaders of the sector, which brings different perspectives within a system together to talk about the big picture and big questions. What are the barriers to lost pets returning to their original home? How can we keep people and their pets together? What capacity is needed to be built in the community to reduce intake at pounds and shelters of lost and surrendered pets? These, and many more questions relating to community welfare, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership will be discussed at this event. Industry and sector leaders from Australia and overseas will lead sessions to explore innovative solutions to guide Australia’s approach to the management of companion animals now and into the future while providing insights on how the challenges are being met elsewhere.

The daylong Workshops were held 10 and 14 September with the Summit itself running 11 - 13 September.

Venue: Mantra on View Hotel 

International Speakers

Holly Putnam - Chief Veterinary Officer, Emancipet


Ann Enright - Senior Veterinarian, Cat Protection Society of Victoria

Data is your friend - Abstract

Capacity for Care - Abstract

Anne Fawcett - Veterinarian and Lecturer, University of Sydney

Gabrielle Carter - Veterinarian and Specialist in Animal Behaviour

Jennifer Sutey - Spay It Forward Program Coordinator, WA Pet Project

Sterilisation stories from the West: Starting up a science-based sterilisation program to identify and address physical and non-physical barriers to sterilisation in Perth, Western Australia - Abstract

Jessica Moore-Jones - Principal, Unleashed Coaching and Consulting 

Why humans are the key to Animal Welfare - Abstract 

Making volunteering a privilege rather than a favour - Abstract

Behavioural economics for Animal Shelters - Abstract

Jessica Pocket - Veterinary student, University of Sydney

Investigating the impact of indemnity waivers on the length of stay of cats at an Australian shelter - Abstract

Joy Verrinder - Strategic Director, Animal Welfare League of Queensland

Expanding NDN Cooperative Desexing Programs with Councils - Abstract

Lucy Bowen - Veterinary Medicine student, University of Sydney

An investigation of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemiavirus (FeLV) management practices in Australian shelters - Abstract

Mark Kelman - Veterinary Scientist and Co-Founder of Paws For A Purpose

A collaborative multi-faceted approach to stopping Canine Parvovirus nationwide - Abstract

Michael O'Donoghue - Veterinarian and Director of People and Pets

Helping people to rent with pets - Abstract

Michelle Gallo - Companion Animal Ranger, Camden Council

Camden Council  – Engaging the community - Abstract

Richard Mussell - President, Animal Welfare League of Australia

Encouraging pet friendly solutions for the elderly - Abstract

Rose Bray - Community and Education Manager, Ten Lives Cat Centre

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In order to make the most of our international speakers expertise while they are with us in Australia we delivered daylong Workshops.

Workshop registration is seperate to the Summit itself.

Tuesday 10 September 

Workshop 1 - Shelter Animal Behaviour with Trish McMillan

Aggression and Defensive handling

This workshop will cover what you need to know to safely handle dogs with aggression issues in your shelter. We will go into detail on reading canine body language as well as ways to use your body language to defuse aggression. We will also go over some leash ninja skills that will keep you safe, and maneuvers you can make if a dog tries to bite you, both on an off leash. We will finish up by reviewing ways to introduce dogs in the shelter as well as the skills you’ll need to break up a dog fight while minimizing injuries.

Time - 1pm to 5pm includes afternoon tea

Workshop 2 - Shelter Medicine with Dr Holly Putnam

Desexing clinic models

A desexing clinic startup workshop: Have you even wondered how to start your own desexing clinic? There are so many factors to consider! This workshop will help you sort through them by discussing the various clinic models and their unique start-up considerations, funding methods, staffing needs, operational capacities and more. This workshop will include lecture and interactive activities, and is bound to be informative and fun! 

Time - 10am to 4pm includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch

Workshop 3 - Shelter Operations with Kristen Hassen Auerbach and Rory Adams

Fostering is the Future

Human foster care has transformed the way we care for homeless children, and today the idea that pets benefit in similar ways is taking animal welfare by storm. Foster care can provide solutions for almost any shelter pet, including those who are fearful, undersocialized, overly energetic, and those who just need a break from the shelter to get noticed by adopters. Foster care is helping communities save record numbers of lives while increasing public engagement and creating safer, more humane organizations. Participants in this daylong session will learn how to create and implement high-volume foster programs to serve most every pet. From field trips to overnights, emergency fostering to “fospice,” this session will teach you how to transform your foster program and help you troubleshoot common challenges. You’ll work directly with industry leaders who have done it and learn why fostering is the future for shelter pets. 

Time - 10am to 4pm includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch

Saturday 14 September

Workshop 4 - Shelter Animal Behaviour with Trish McMillan and Diana Rayment

Behaviour Assessments and Adoptability Criteria

There are exciting changes happening around the assessment of behavior in shelters. Bring your shelter up to speed on the latest developments, and make sure you’re assessing behavior as well as you can, and placing appropriate animals up for adoption. We will explore the history of behavior assessments, take a good look at some of the tools in common use, and go over alternatives to old-style “battery” type behavior assessments.

Time - 10am to 4pm includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch




·       What can we do to prevent intake?

·       How can we reduce the numbers of homeless cats and dogs and the concerns the community has about them? 

·       How can we keep people and their pets together? 

·       How can companion animal management and sheltering be looked at from a broader perspective?

·       How can we empower owners, carers and those without pets to be a part of the solutions?


Surfers Paradise - The Gold Coast’s original epicentre of fun has been rejuvenated, and is now overflowing with a renewed energy you’ll fall in love with.

Stay in beachside accommodation and ease into your trip with an emerging café and restaurant scene, explore the revitalised foreshore precinct, then later on, be swept away by the spectacular range of after-dark entertainment. For that unique Surfers Paradise gift, head down to the Surfers Paradise Beachfront markets every Wednesday and Friday night between 5:30pm and 10:00pm. Explore more than 120 market stalls which stretch across half a kilometre of beachfront promenade, offering a selection of locally made gift ideas ranging from accessories, crafts, artworks, beauty products, homewares, jewellery and music.

When you add these with the world-famous beaches, 7-day late night shopping, family favourite attractions, and the new light-rail network connecting neighbouring precincts, now’s the perfect time to rediscover an icon - Surfers Paradise.

Just 30 minutes from Gold Coast Airport, you'll discover that Surfers Paradise is a must see, must stay destination experience.

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

There are a wide range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities and we would be happy to discuss these with you. If you would like to be a part of this important event contact us for a prospectus.At Purina, we are passionate pet lovers. And for decades, we have been dedicated to improving the lives of pets through quality nutrition and care. Because we truly believe people and pets are better together.




At Purina, we are passionate pet lovers. And for decades, we have been dedicated to improving the lives of pets through quality nutrition and care. Because we truly believe people and pets are better together.

bronze sponsors


lanyard sponsor

welcome event sponsor


delegate bag sponsor





special sponsors