Welcome to the Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare!

MPAW provides individuals working for animals with an opportunity to learn, share their knowledge, and collaborate on statewide initiatives. Together we give animals in Michigan a stronger voice and a better chance.


Looking for the conference registration?


DON’T MISS: Dr. Karen Dashfield on Wildlife, Cats, Pet CPR!

Dr. Karen Dashfield  is a longtime shelter veterinarian and a sought-after national lecturer.

What do cats, wildlife, and pet first aid and CPR have in common? Dr. Karen Dashfield! She’s a busy shelter veterinarian at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in New Jersey who also finds time to travel around the country teaching on a variety of topics. We’re lucky she’s coming to Michigan this year! She’ll be presenting at the 2014 MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference on October 28th in Mt. Pleasant. In fact, she’s presenting ALL DAY! Read more

Encore: Tim Crum on Animal Welfare Fundraising!

Tim Crum, CEO of Animal Shelter Fundraising returns to Michigan with his new book this fall!

Now, more than at any point in history, fundraising is critical to the sustainability and long-term success of any non-profit animal welfare organization. Back in Michigan by popular demand, Tim Crum travels from Arizona to this year’s MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference to present a special two-part workshop on “Fundraising on a Budget.” Tim garnered some of the highest ratings ever received over the ten years of our conferences. The 2014 conference coincides with the publication of his hot-off-the-press book, which will be provided for registrants of his workshop at no extra cost! Read more

Seven MPAW-MAACO Conference Scholarships Available!

Seven deserving individuals will be able to attend the 2014 MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference this coming October for free! Thanks to generous underwriting from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, seven full-conference scholarships are now available! Valued at $150, each scholarship covers one registration for the 3-day conference October 28-30 at the lovely Soaring Eagle Resort Casino in Mt. Pleasant. Applications must be submitted on the form below no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, September 8, 2014. Winners will be notified by September 10. Don’t delay: apply HERE today!

Compassion Stress Workshops Offered at Conference

Doug Fakkema has travelled the world teaching on compassion stress in the animal care field. Now he comes to Michigan!

Do you have it? Compassion stress? If you’re in the animal care field, you probably do! Our field can be a revolving door when the going gets tough, with animal after animal in need. People come, and too quickly, people burn out and go. Others build up a hard exterior and combat the stress in unhealthy ways. Doug Fakkema is a top expert in the field of compassion stress. His 19 years in the animal sheltering arena gave him the credentials to address this often-avoided topic. He began teaching on it around the world in 1990. Now he comes to Michigan for the 2014 MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference in Mt. Pleasant. Read more

Registration Open for the MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference

The time has come! Registration is now open for the MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference.

Don’t miss this three day event that is jam packed with the latest information on animal welfare topics and issues and several field certification courses.

Discounted Early Bird Registration occurs now through September 15th.

Conference takes place at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Oct 28th, 29th & 30th.

Register online at:

Don’t Miss: Dr. Phil Bushby on Spay/Neuter!

Dr. Phil Bushby of Mississippi State University will speak on pediatric, efficient, and unusual spay/neuter in the Shelter Medicine track of the MPAW-MAACO fall conference.

Acclaimed veterinary surgeon Dr. Phil Bushby comes to the MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference this fall! Teacher, administrator, and overseer of the “Bushby Bus,” (a name his students fondly call the Mobile Veterinary Unit) are among his titles. If thousands of animals could give him a title, it would be “life saver.” Students and faculty now travel to 16 North Mississippi shelters, averaging 30 surgeries a day. Dr. Bushby states, “There are two huge reasons we do this. First, it’s a great experience for the students and helps them develop surgical skills; and second, we want our graduates to understand the level of the over-population problem, because approximately 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year.”

We are SO excited to be able to bring Dr. Bushby to Michigan where he will teach two separate sessions. “Pediatric Spay/Neuter” will include discussion and videos of spay/neuter of juvenile animals, the pros, cons, and techniques. “Efficient Spay/Neuter AND Unusual Spay/Neuter” will cover surgical techniques for dog and cat neutering used in high-volume clinics. He will also discuss unusual cases. Perfect for veterinarians, clinic staff, and students interested or active in shelter medicine.

Dr. Bushby’s sessions will be offered back-to-back on Tuesday, October 28th at the Mt. Pleasant conference. Registration opens tomorrow! Be the first to sign up for these and more of the 60 sessions at the biggest most exciting conference of the region!

The MPAW-MAACO Conference is Coming!

The Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mt. Pleasant is the exciting location of the 2014 MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference.

Watch your mailbox! The 10-page brochure for the 11th annual MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference should be arriving at your home or place of work any day now! On October 28-30, animal people from all over the state (and beyond!) will be arriving to learn from top speakers, meet each other, relax and enjoy a few days away from the hard work of saving animal lives. Online registration opens August 15th, but we are excited to let you know about some of the dynamic presenters coming from across the nation and right within Michigan to help you be and do the best possible for the animals who need us so much. Just watch this blog for regular features over the coming weeks on the presenters and topics you won’t want to miss! Read more

Register Today for Next MPAW Visit/Share/Learn!

March VSL Group photo: new friends from around the state!

DON’T MISS an upcoming MPAW Visit/Share/Learn Day at MHS! We are pleased to announce a limited number of openings in our FREE summer and fall workshops for animal sheltering professionals! Topics include intake by appointment; phone counseling of animal owners to help prevent relinquishment; and dog and cat evaluations. These small group sessions are generously sponsored by the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust. Registered Michigan animal shelters may send up to two attendees for the full day training  (9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.). Other animal organizations may attend on a space available basis. Lunch and all materials are included. Attendees are  encouraged to bring info on their successful events/programs to share with others. All workshops held in Rochester Hills. MDARD-approved six hours of animal control officer training. For more information or to register, email  MPAW today at!

These sessions are great for networking and learning in a small group environment. Both municipal and private animal shelters are welcome. This program is being featured in an upcoming issue of Animal Sheltering magazine! NEXT SESSION is Thursday, Aug. 21. Followed by Thursday, Oct. 16 session. Final session of 2014 will be Thursday, Dec. 18. HURRY! These fill up fast! Email or call today! 888-735-5806

Michigan BRIGHT IDEAS Sought for MPAW Conference!

The Osceola County Animal Shelter won a Bright Ideas award at the 2013 MPAW Animal Welfare conference for their innovative approach turning around a small rural shelter on a shoestring. What’s your Bright Idea? Send it to us today–and you could be the next winner!

One of the most popular sessions at the MPAW Animal Welfare Conference last year was the Michigan Bright Ideas session. Five innovative organizations spotlighted their best new ideas to help others learn and grow. And they received MPAW awards in the process! NOW is your chance to submit your animal organization’s best Bright Idea from the past year. Any Michigan animal shelter (public or private), animal rescue group, or other animal welfare entity (sanctuary, TNR , sterilization, wildlife rehab, etc.) is invited to apply. Send in a brief description of one successful new program, facility update, process, event, or animal ordinance for consideration for this year’s Bright Ideas session at the upcoming MPAW/MAACO Animal Welfare Conference Oct. 28-30 in Mt. Pleasant. The top five will be invited to send a representative to present their winning idea at the conference. They will also receive one free basic conference registration and one night’s lodging at the lovely Soaring Eagle Resort. This award package is valued at $250! Describe your idea in 200 words or less and email it to by 5 p.m. on August 6th. Winners will be notified the week of August 17. Please include your title, agency/organization name and address, and your contact information. Note: Bright Ideas awards are limited to Michigan organizations.



New Research on Black Dog Syndrome & Much More

Straight from the ASPCA:

New Research on Black Dog Syndrome & Much More

Black Is The New White
Heard the one about black animals being less likely to get adopted? Dr. Emily Weiss digs into a data set of nearly 300,000 dogs and cats and proposes that it may be time to put this puppy to bed. Read the blog and share your thoughts.

Start a GIS Program in Your Community
Do you know exactly where your community’s most at-risk animals are? The ASPCA’s suite of geographic information systems tools has been expanded to help you most effectively target your spay/neuter or other outreach efforts. From how-to videos to a sophisticated new Google Maps app, everything you need can be found here.

Yes, You’re Allowed: Steal These Clever Marketing Ideas for Cats!
Five Dollar Felines… Cinco de Gato… Certified Pre-Owned Cats… Grab some inspiration for your next adoptions promo, courtesy of your colleagues in the field. Check out some of the most clever cat adoption promotions we’ve seen here.

3 Things You Must Know to Calculate Humane Capacity
Your shelter’s capacity is not just the number of cages you have! Dr. Sandra Newbury, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, shows you how to do the math as you look at your general and group housing, staff hours and procedures. Calculate your agency’s humane capacity here.

Fur Follows Function: Make A Cozy Kitteh Sweater
Got little feline patients who can use some extra warmth in shelters or foster homes? When it comes to comforting kittens, you can find the secret to success—or should we say sock-cess?—in 3 easy steps.

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