MN Animal Welfare Conference

MNAWC LogoMeeting the Needs of Pets & Their People in the Animal Welfare Field

Thursday, May 25, 2017 * 8:30AM - 4:30PM

Best Western Kelly Inn, 100 4th Ave S. St. Cloud, MN 56301

Hosted by Tri-County Humane Society


*Registration Fee includes conference materials, breakfast, breaks, and lunch.

  • $50 Early Bird Registration Special: Postmarked on or before May 4, 2017
  • $60 Registration Fee After May 4, 2017
  • Fee waived for veterinarians attending the Veterinary Track - thanks to a special grant obtained through the ASPCA.

General Track Registration Form

Veterinary Track Registration Form

Deadline to Register: May 18, 2017  (Fee is non-refundable after deadline.)

The Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference is an annual educational and networking opportunity for animal welfare professionals. The Tri-County Humane Society volunteers to organize this conference because we believe that providing affordable opportunities for continued education and networking among the various animal groups is key to making Minnesota a more humane community.

This year, attendees will once again have two tracks of learning to choose from with an impressive line up of speakers.  The general track will focus on fundraising, leadership at any level, social media and clicker training for cats, featuring highly accredited speakers , B.J. Rogers, CAWA, Karen Medicus, Emily Garman and Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP.  The veterinary track will focus on medical issues specific to shelter medicine featuring Sr. Directors with ASPCA Shelter Outreach veterinarians Dr. Chumkee Aziz, Dr. Brian DiGangi, and Dr. Stephanie Janeszko. Speaker bios may be found below.

Application has been made for R.A.C.E. approval of a full day of C. E. credits for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, although shelter directors of operations, executive directors and kennel managers are also welcome to attend these presentations.

General Track Schedule

Veterinary Track Schedule 

General Track Speakers:

B.J. Rogers, CAWA

Vice President, ProLearning, ASPCA©

B.J. Rogers headshot webWith nearly twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector – and more than a decade of leadership in animal welfare – B.J. currently oversees the team responsible for the ASPCA’s field-facing communication, including, field-facing social media, online learning, and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of companion animals. B.J.’s professional path has included stints as a campaign press secretary, college instructor, and nonprofit executive. He’s a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher (CDET) and has training in both mediation and Appreciative Inquiry. He’s a regular speaker on the animal welfare conference circuit and a strong believer that people are the solution, and not the problem.

Karen Medicus

Senior Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

KarenPatchesDulce webKaren Medicus co-leads the ASPCA Relocation: Mentoring project and facilitates fundraising, strategic planning, and Board development for ASPCA Shelter Outreach. Karen started cleaning kennels for a small humane society in 1976 and has since served in nearly every capacity of an animal shelter or animal control agency. As a CEO, Karen led two major shelter turnarounds – including successful capital campaigns – for the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in Florida and the Humane Society of Austin and Travis County in Texas. While in Austin, she landed a $3.8 million Maddie’s Fund grant – the third such grant ever awarded to a shelter. Karen was also a CFRE and major gifts officer in the southwest region for HSUS and vice president of partner relations for She has taught workshops at national and at state conferences around the country, and in 2003 co-authored the HSUS’s Fundraising for Animal Care Organizations. Karen is a mediator, MBTI® and Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and a certified Dialogue Education fellow.

Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP

Behavior and Training Manager Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens

Cheryl Kolus webCheryl Kolus received her DVM degree from Colorado State University in 2012. She was a small animal practitioner until she left general practice to start her own veterinary behavior consulting business. She completed one year of a “non-conforming” behavior residency before becoming involved with a new non-profit, the Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens (CLICK), where she is now the Behavior and Training Manager. Before, during and after veterinary school, Cheryl volunteered at multiple animal shelters doing everything from office work and outreach to dog training and feline behavior assessments to surgeries. She has been seriously studying animal behavior since 2004, attending myriad seminars and conferences, and completing university courses in the field. In early 2015, she completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Course and is a Certified Training Partner. From 2012-2014, Dr. Kolus was on the Executive Board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and she remains an active member. Currently, she is the vice-president of the Larimer County Veterinary Medical Association. She lives with one very talkative cat and a patient husband. Her amazing dog lives on in her heart.

Emily Garman

Emily Garman headshot webEmily has been a foster mom and animal welfare volunteer for 15 years, and founded in 2008 to teach animal advocates how to use social media to raise money, recruit volunteers and save more lives. She presents on next-generation fundraising, social media and mega-adoption events all over the world. In 2011 she traveled to Riga, Latvia to present at the Dogs Trust European Summit, and to the US Virgin Islands to consult with individual shelters. She has worked with the ASPCA, HSUS,, NARSC, PetSmart Charities and She is available for fundraising consulting as well as website development.


Veterinary Track Speakers:

Dr. Chumkee Aziz, DVM

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

chumkee Aziz bio photo webOriginally from Houston, Dr. Chumkee studied veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts. After an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital, she completed a shelter medicine residency with the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis. Chumkee worked as a shelter consultant for the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and served as the medical director of Austin Humane Society.

Dr. Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

Brian DiGangi bio photo webDr. Brian DiGangi received his DVM from University of Florida and completed a residency in shelter medicine. Brian is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians since 2010 - serving two terms as President, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society. Dr. DiGangi received an MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences and has published research on feline adoption, canine heartworm disease, and immunology.  Prior to joining the ASPCA, Dr. DiGangi was a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida. 

Dr. Stephanie Janeszko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

stephanie Janeszko bio photo webDr. Stephanie Janeszko received her DVM from Cornell returning to complete a shelter medicine residency. She earned a Master’s degree in epidemiology and holds a graduate certificate in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida. Stephanie is board certified in both Shelter Medicine and Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and is also a certified animal welfare administrator (CAWA). She is a former board member and past president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.


Sponsors & Exhibitors Wanted!

 2017 Sponsor / Exhibitor Form

Conference Sponsors:


Tomahawk web


Wine, Kibbles & Bids

2017 WKB Poster web


We would love to see you on Friday, May 5th, at the 16th Annual Wine, Kibbles & Bids benefit for Tri-County Humane Society! Tickets are $75 per person, or you can sponsor the event as a "Friend of Animals" for $500 and receive 2 event tickets plus your name in our event program. Want an entire table? For $900, sponsor a reserved round table for 10 and we will give you preferred seating and signage on your table acknowledging your sponsorship!  The deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, May 1, 2017.
Held at the beautiful Gorecki Center at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Wine, Kibbles & Bids is one of the Society’s biggest and most important fundraisers of the year.  As the name suggests, you will enjoy wine and beer tasting (non-alcoholic options are available), a gourmet dinner, and one of the areas largest and greatest silent auctions.  You will also hear live music by the beautiful and incredibly talented Kelly Cordes, and -- best of all -- you will get to interact with some special furry guests!  If you love animals, you won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event!
2017 Sponsor Opportunities  range from $500 to $5,000 and include complimentary tickets to the event and varying forms of recognition.  Sponsorships must be approved and confirmed by March 31, 2017 to receive pre-event recognition.

Silent Auction Item Donations are greatly appreciated!  This event is popular for having one of the largest silent auctions in Central Minnesota, with over 200 unique things to bid on. Things that we look for include unique pet items, sporting event tickets, vacation packages, catered dinners, quilts, pottery, jewelry, antiques, wine baskets, beer baskets, golf packages, photography packages, tickets to concerts, plays and other fine arts, gift cards, live plants/floral arrangements, garden art, etc...  Also, if you are a local business in the St. Cloud area and would like to donate a silent auction item, we would be happy to have a volunteer pick it up!  The deadline to donate a silent auction item is April 23, 2017.

Donate Wine or Craft Beer for our barrel of wine and craft beer pail raffle items!  The more variety the better, so get creative and be as generous as you are willing and able!  We will be accepting donations for these raffle items right up until the event.



Marit Ortega, Director of Philanthropy (320) 252-0896 Ext. 28, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kayla Koscielniak, Events & Marketing Coordinator, (320) 252-0896 Ext. 14, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



2016 Event Photos, courtesy of Amy Wolfe and Pete Pederson.

2015 Event Photos, courtesy of Kirk Lamb

2014 Event Photos, courtesy of Lisa Crayford with Country Gallery Photography and Kirk Lamb

2016 Event Recap:

Read more: Wine, Kibbles & Bids

Flower Delivery Fundraiser

Flower Fundraiser web

Annual Tri-County Humane Society Flower Fundraiser!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 (Administrative Professionals Day)

Show your appreciation by sending flowers to an employee or co-worker on Administrative Professionals Day — or surprise a friend or loved one! Any day is a good day to receive flowers!

For only $15, our volunteers will deliver a glass vase with two roses and greens to your employees, co-workers, friends or loved ones at their work place between 9-12pm on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  Call us at (320) 252-0896 to place your order by phone, or mail the order form with payment to P.O. Box 701 St. Cloud, MN 56302.

Order form and payment must be received by Friday, April 21, 2017.

***Delivery restricted to St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, Sartell and St. Joseph businesses - no home residences.  All other orders must be picked up at the Tri-County Humane Society. 

Spay-ghetti & No (meat) Balls Dinner

Spayghetti poster 2017 web

Board member and longtime spay/neuter advocate Bill Nelson is coordinating a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for our spay/neuter fund.  Please join us on Earth Day - April 22, 2017 - at the Sauk Rapids VFW from 5-8pm!  There will even be a 50/50 raffle and meat raffle!  Tickets are $10 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the animals at Tri-County Humane Society.  Purchase your tickets at Tri-County Humane Society or online and avoid the line when you get there! 

buy tickets button web





Santa Paws Holiday Portrait Fundraiser

Generic for WebsiteSAVE THE DATE!  This fundraiser is always held the weekend before Thanksgiving.  32nd Annual Santa Paws: November 17, 18, 19, 2017.

Receive professional portraits with this benefit for animals that are perfect for holiday cards!  Pets are welcome, of course, and you may choose to have Santa in a few pictures if you like!  Special thanks to Lisa Crayford and Brian Leither of Country Gallery Photography for donating their time and talent for this fundraiser each year.  100% of the proceeds benefit the animals at Tri-County Humane Society!

What's Included for only $39:

  • 5 Minute Portrait Session
  • 5 Portraits on a Disc
  • Full Reproducing/Sharing Rights
  • Pet Stocking Stuffers for Purchase
  • Cookies with Santa!

2016 Santa Paws Photo Album

2015 Santa Paws Photo Album

2014 Santa Paws Photo Album

2013 Santa Paws Photo Album

2012 Santa Paws Photo Album

2016 Recap:

Our 31st Annual Santa Paws Holiday Portrait Fundraiser in 2016 was a success, raising $7769 for the animals!

For the first time in Santa Paws history, a blizzard forced us to cancel/reschedule all of our Friday sessions in 2016.  A huge thank you to Lisa Crayford and Brian Leither with Country Gallery Photography for expanding their volunteer hours on both Saturday and Sunday to accommodate rescheduling our Friday sessions.  All but 6 sessions from Friday rescheduled, making our weekend incredibly busy with a total of 208 portrait sessions between the two days!  Thanks to The Camera Shop for donating CDs for the portraits, and to Lisa, Brian and all of our wonderful vounteers, 100% of the proceeds from this event went towards helping animals in need. 

Samples of previous year sets:


 Kris Karen

IMG 8771




IMG 9374Santa kids and yellow labpug santa