Keynote Speaker

Bradford Cole
Executive Director, All-Hazards Psychological Trauma Responder, K9 First Responders, Inc. (K9FR)

Mr. Cole is K9FR’s subject matter expert and thought leader. He has 35 years experience in the security, crisis management and investigative professions. A first responder to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Mr. Cole’s deployments include Boston Marathon bombings, Las Vegas concert massacre, Amtrak train derailment, and various school and workplace homicides as well as peer support for public safety. He was deployed to Smyrna, DE to assist in the aftermath of the 19 hour prison siege, hostage taking and homicide.

K9 First Responders, Inc. (K9FR) is a Critical Incident Mental Health Support (CIMHS) organization. K9FR Teams bridge the gap between a traumatic event and the connection to mental health services. A compassionate trauma informed presence leveraging the human-canine bond helping restore a person’s emotional and cognitive equilibrium. They currently serve over 60 agencies across 5 states.

 

Conference Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Workshop #1

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL – Pet Emergency First Aid
Don’t panic. You can do something.

This workshop will provide practical advice and tips on emergency pet first aid including what to do when injuries, metabolic abnormalities, heat stroke, toxicities, or vomiting occur.

Dr. Louis Snijders, Windcrest Animal Hospital
Dr. Louis Snijders graduated from Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria in South Africa. His mother, Dr. Lorraine deJager, is also a veterinarian. Dr. Snijders is a veterinarian at Windcrest Animal Hospital and is part of the Critical Care & Emergency Care team. His veterinary interests include critical care, surgery and oncology. He holds memberships in VECCS and AVMA. He and his wife, Rachel, have two sons who live in South Africa. Dr. Snijders’ hobbies include classic cars, sport photography and farming with cashmere goats. He is also an internationally qualified fencing referee and has competed as a fencer in various countries.

Pet Food Made in America
The good, the bad and the (sometimes) ugly

This workshop will discuss the impact the “country of origin” has on pet foods and supplies, and why sometimes “Made In America” actually isn’t.

Donna Cheetham, Concord Pet
Donna Cheetham has been a manager with Concord Pet Foods and Supplies for 14 years. She has a long time career working with animals including veterinary technician and veterinary hospital manager and has traveled to many of the pet food manufacturing plants in the United States.
Elaine “EJ” Johnson, Concord Pet
Elaine (EJ) Johnson has been affiliated with Concord Pet for over 20 years and has been a Manager for over 15 years. One of her primary goals has always been to educate consumers on proper nutrition and activities for their pets. Prior to working for Concord Pet, she worked in Human Resources for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School at New Bolton Center. She is currently the guardian to six dogs, two cats, rabbits, a parrot let and chickens.

Yes, You Can and Your Pet Can, too!
Becoming a PAWS for People pet therapy team

So you’ve got a great dog – sweet and friendly and LOVES people…and you think sharing all that love would be fun and a good way to give back to people in the community. But can your dog pass the test?  Do you have the time?  Can you fit it into your schedule? Will she be a good visitor?  You’ve got lots of questions – and PAWS has one terrific answer:  yes you can and your dog can too (in most cases!)

Attend this workshop and learn what’s required of you and your pet to be good pet therapy visitors.  There are some hoops to jump through, but with our help we hope you and your pup, cat, or bunny will be a proud PAWS therapy team before you know it.

Lynne Robinson, PAWS for People
Lynne Robinson, MEd, DCVA, CGC evaluator, is the founder and executive director of PAWS for People.  Eleven years ago Lynne and her golden retriever, Boo Radley, were in your shoes, wanting to do some pet therapy and wondering if they would be “right” for it.  With a little faith and a dog made for therapy work, Lynne and Boo passed their certification testing and started visiting. They loved it, as will you, and are the proud creators of PAWS for People which began with 21 therapy teams and 10 sites to visit and now numbers over 400 therapy teams and 130 places to visit in 4 states.

PAWS for Reading Training – Part 1 of 2
(Current PAWS Members Only, Must Attend Both Sessions)

Learn the philosophy of PAWS for Reading – and understand why it is so successful. Identify typical behaviors of a struggling reader and how to respond appropriately. Understand the setup of this type of visit and the challenges you may encounter. Learn how to integrate your therapy companion into a reading session and how to create a bridge to reach a reluctant reader. Receive incentives and hands-on materials to use during reading sessions.

Sue Good, PAWS U Instructor, PAWS for People
Sue Good joined PAWS for People in 2007 as a therapy team with her golden girls, Mercy & Gracie. She and husband, Tom, are currently PAWS teams with their golden boys, Archie & Alfie. Together they visit at Nemours and participate in the PAWS for Reading and PAWS in the Workplace programs. Sue is a certified PAWS U Instructor for the PAWS for the Reading program and serves on committees for PAWS’ Wag-n-Walk and Spring Fling events.
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM - Keynote Speaker and Workshop #2

The Changing Environment of the Pet Food Industry
Online vs. Brick and Mortar Stores: The benefits of each

Over the last several years, the pet food industry has become very attractive to big business and some are even having shares traded on the stock market, but what impact does that have on the finished product. We will address the pros and cons of the online industry and the effect it has on brick and mortar businesses as well as the loss of personal interaction that seems to be occurring more and more.

Donna Cheetham, Concord Pet
Donna Cheetham has been a manager with Concord Pet Foods and Supplies for 14 years. She has a long time career working with animals including veterinary technician and veterinary hospital manager and has traveled to many of the pet food manufacturing plants in the United States.
Elaine “EJ” Johnson, Concord Pet
Elaine (EJ) Johnson has been affiliated with Concord Pet for over 20 years and has been a Manager for over 15 years. One of her primary goals has always been to educate consumers on proper nutrition and activities for their pets. Prior to working for Concord Pet, she worked in Human Resources for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School at New Bolton Center. She is currently the guardian to six dogs, two cats, rabbits, a parrot let and chickens.

The Benefits of Pet Therapy in Hospice
Why the benefits are worth overcoming your fears

Does the thought of visiting in a hospice setting frighten you? Are you afraid of making connections with people only to lose them? This course will share the special work of pet therapy with hospice patients and demonstrate how stepping outside your comfort zone may just yield great rewards for you and your pet and bring comfort and compassion to patients and their families.

Anne Cecil Kempski, Compassionate Care Hospice
Coordinator of Volunteer Services for 17 years with Compassionate Care Hospice. Penny – Certified Pet therapy dog for over 5 years with PAWS. Works at Compassionate Care Hospice Inpatient Unit at St. Francis 4 days a week and volunteers at the Elsmere Library.
Dan DePietropaolo, MD, Compassionate Care Hospice
National Medical Director for Compassionate Care Hospice. His 2 dogs, Harriet and Louie are both pet therapy dogs with PAWS. They both visit patients and families at Compassionate Care Hospice Inpatient unit.

What Stress?
Making De-Stress Visits More Impactful

De-Stress visits have taken storm regionally and even nationally: animals in airports, military deployment, college campuses, clinical testing, and more. PAWS for People provides these services, and our members love them! Let’s explore how we can make these visits more impactful for those we visit.

Keri Collins-Mooney, Nemours
Keri Collins-Mooney has been a therapy team with her dogs, Dudlee and Kenzee, for five years. In her years of volunteering, she helped expand PAWS for People’s college de-stress footprint and researched the benefits of de-stressing for school-aged students during standardized testing. Professionally, her background is in education. She is currently a fellow in continuous improvement at Nemours Children’s Health System.

Promoting PAWS with your pet on Facebook & Social Media

Are you on social media? Hear some fun tips on how to share your experiences in a way that promote recruiting, donors, and to spread the positive reach of PAWS – without giving up your privacy. Learn some easy ways to frame your personal posts or set up a dedicated ‘pet’ profile as your pseudonym.

Amy Celona, Webs By Amy
Momtrepreneur, wife and mother of 4 girls, 2 dogs and a cat. Amy does web design and development as well as reseller hosting, online marketing, social media management and Facebook advertising for select small businesses.

The FUN Zone:  Pet-themed activities and crafts

Join us for pet-themed activities and crafts.

12:30 - 1:15 PM - Lunch

A buffet lunch will be provided for participants during this time.

1:15 - 2:15 PM - Workshop #3

K9 First Responders Team Training
What is involved in the process

After hearing all about this great organization during Bradford’s keynote presentation, you may have lots of questions. What are the qualifications to become a K9 First Responder team? What training is required? What is the field work like? How are teams deployed? This workshop will provide these details and lots more information about this amazing organization.

Bradford Cole, K9 First Responders
Mr. Cole is K9FR’s subject matter expert and thought leader. He has 35 years experience in the security, crisis management and investigative professions. A first responder to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Mr. Cole’s deployments include Boston Marathon bombings, Las Vegas concert massacre, Amtrak train derailment, and various school and workplace homicides as well as peer support for public safety. He was deployed to Smyrna, DE to assist in the aftermath of the 19 hour prison siege, hostage taking and homicide.K9 First Responders, Inc. (K9FR) is a Critical Incident Mental Health Support (CIMHS) organization. K9FR Teams bridge the gap between a traumatic event and the connection to mental health services. A compassionate trauma informed presence leveraging the human-canine bond helping restore a person’s emotional and cognitive equilibrium. They currently serve over 60 agencies across 5 states.

Pet Training: Attention & Focus

This workshop will discuss Marker Words and why we use them. The following exercises will be demonstrated by both new and current certified PAWS teams (Name Game, Hand Touch, 2 Cookies Game, Leave It, Off, Get Close, and Loose Lead Walking) all designed to help your pet focus on you and strengthen your connection.

Karen Powell, PAWS for People
Karen Powell has been actively involved in training dogs for over 11 years. She attends weekly and monthly private lessons at Top Dog Obedience School under the expert instruction of Betsy Scapicchio. She owns German Shepherds and enjoys many dog sports including competitive AKC obedience and rally, tracking, nosework and sheep herding. Karen believes that training can build a strong relationship and bond between dog and owner. Young puppies and dogs of any age can benefit and become good companions and citizens that are a joy to be around.

PAWS for Reading Training – Part 2 of 2
(Current PAWS Members Only, Must Attend Both Sessions)

Learn the philosophy of PAWS for Reading – and understand why it is so successful. Identify typical behaviors of a struggling reader and how to respond appropriately. Understand the setup of this type of visit and the challenges you may encounter. Learn how to integrate your therapy companion into a reading session and how to create a bridge to reach a reluctant reader. Receive incentives and hands-on materials to use during reading sessions.

Sue Good, PAWS U Instructor, PAWS for People
Sue Good joined PAWS for People in 2007 as a therapy team with her golden girls, Mercy & Gracie. She and husband, Tom, are currently PAWS teams with their golden boys, Archie & Alfie. Together they visit at Nemours and participate in the PAWS for Reading and PAWS in the Workplace programs. Sue is a certified PAWS U Instructor for the PAWS for the Reading program and serves on committees for PAWS’ Wag-n-Walk and Spring Fling events.

The FUN Zone:  Pet-themed activities and crafts

Join us for pet-themed activities and crafts.

2:30 - 3:30 PM - Workshop #4

Reading Dog Body Language
Tips for being more in tune with your pet

Wouldn’t you like to know what your dog is thinking? He’s telling you A LOT – but it’s all through body language. Learn about the ways your dog is communicating his feelings and thoughts to you and what you can do when you begin to get the message.

Lynne Robinson, PAWS for People
Lynne Robinson, MEd, DCVA, CGC evaluator, is the founder and executive director of PAWS for People.  Eleven years ago Lynne and her golden retriever, Boo Radley, were in your shoes, wanting to do some pet therapy and wondering if they would be “right” for it.  With a little faith and a dog made for therapy work, Lynne and Boo passed their certification testing and started visiting. They loved it, as will you, and are the proud creators of PAWS for People which began with 21 therapy teams and 10 sites to visit and now numbers over 400 therapy teams and 130 places to visit in 4 states.

Pet Training: Therapy Prep for STEX

We will discuss the behaviors needed to pass the PAWS Standards of Excellence (STEX) Test. We will be demonstrating the use of our Marker Words and why they work on the following exercises (Puppy Push Ups, Distraction Training with “Watch,” Meeting a Friendly Stranger, Controlled Leash Walking, Stay/Come, Settle, Leave It Obstacle Course). Even current PAWS teams will learn some tips for helping their pets strengthen these skills.

Karen Powell, PAWS for People
Karen Powell has been actively involved in training dogs for over 11 years. She attends weekly and monthly private lessons at Top Dog Obedience School under the expert instruction of Betsy Scapicchio. She owns German Shepherds and enjoys many dog sports including competitive AKC obedience and rally, tracking, nosework and sheep herding. Karen believes that training can build a strong relationship and bond between dog and owner. Young puppies and dogs of any age can benefit and become good companions and citizens that are a joy to be around.

Selecting A Perfect Partner
Helpful Guidance for Choosing a Therapy Companion

No, it’s not online dating…
Are you planning to add a puppy to your family? Thinking about visiting a shelter to meet a potential PAWS partner? This workshop will provide tips for selecting a dog with a personality well suited for your family and for performing therapy visits. We will look at indicators to forecast a dog’s traits, particularly those that make them ideal for various types of therapy work. We will focus both on puppies and adult rescues.

Tracey Kroll, Private Dog Trainer & PAWS for People Member
Tracey Kroll has been training and competing with dogs for almost 20 years. Her dogs have earned placements at numerous national agility events and have also earned titles in obedience, herding, rally, and freestyle. Several of her dogs have also been models, appearing on product packaging and in commercials and movies. Her PAWS dogs, Crosby and Brooks, visit Christiana hospital, in addition to volunteering at community events. Tracey loves teaching dogs how to learn and finding positive tools that work with each individual dog.

Thinking Outside the Box
The Impact of Pet Therapy on Dementia

Many PAWS teams visit with elders, several of whom are in various stages of dementia. Our Thinking Outside the Box program trains therapy companions to better understand dementia and Alzheimer’s, recognize displaying behaviors, while also guiding teams on how to provide the best visit possible to someone following this path. In better understanding why folks are behaving in a particular manner, teams can provide a more personalized visit that supports the elder. Teams are also able to assist site staff in accomplishing some of the tasks/goals that may become difficult with a person suffering with dementia.

Laurie Napolin, PAWS U Instructor, PAWS for People
Laurie Napolin was one of the very first PAWS members joining in 2005 with her golden retriever, Biscuit. She is currently a PAWS pet therapy team with her dog, Scout, with whom she visits weekly at the New Castle County Detention Center. Laurie is a certified PAWS University trainer for the Thinking Outside the Box course.