Education is one of the core areas in which HABA works to amplify the voice of all creatures.  One area in which HABA consistently has provided education is through supporting tracks at large annual veterinary conferences in North America.  These have included VMX, WVC, and the annual AVMA conferences.  In partnering with subject matter experts, these tracks are designed to provide knowledge related to the many facets of the HAB.  The tracks have touched on a number of hot topics, as well as open awareness to new areas. We hope to have you join us at a future event.

“When mapping out my lectures to attend the conference I came across a talk on “Building a Balanced Bond”. I went in with no idea what to except and little did I know that it would speak to me so directly. I found such value in the learnings and ideas shared related to the emotions of the Human Animal Bond on the veterinary professional. I'm so glad we have this type of education being shared at conferences. Thank you!”

NAVC 2017Anonymous Attendee

Upcoming Conferences


January 15-19, 2022



March 6-9, 2022
Las Vegas



July 9 – Aug 2, 2022


CE Topics for 2022

Future Topics for 2022 Conferences (working track -subject to changes)
  • Honoring Our Oath Through Access to Veterinary Care – Dr. Michael Blackwell
  • All Paws Are Created Equal: Understanding Animal Health Disparities in Veterinary Medicine – Dr. Molly McAllister with Dr. Courtney Campbell
  • Veterinary Care and the Human Animal Bond – How Can We Reach ALL Pet Owners? – Panel with Dr. Blackwell, Dr. McAllister and Dr. Campbell
  • Making Veterinary Medicine More Inclusive and Diverse – Why This Movement Matters to the Human Animal Bond – Part 1 and Part 2 – Dr. Emily McCobb with Dr. Jyothi Robertson

Do you have a suggestion for future topics? Email us your ideas!

Past Conference Tracks

CE Topics for 2021

What Emerging Diseases Teach Us About Our Unhealthy Relationship With Wildlife - Kristine Smith, DVM, DACZM

Description: From emerging infectious diseases such as Lyme and COVID-19, to noninfectious threats to our mental health and natural resources, our interaction with wildlife plays an integral role in human health and well-being. Veterinarians serve a key role in highlighting the link between human and animal health – how can we step up our game?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Historical perspective on the relationship between humans and wildlife
  2. Proven benefits of wildlife to the health and wellbeing of humans
  3. How humans and wildlife threaten the health and wellbeing of one another
  4. Understand the role that wildlife-related zoonotic diseases play in human infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics
  5. Explore the role of veterinarians play in understanding, educating, and mitigating threats to the human-wildlife connection

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Keywords: Wildlife, Zoonotic disease, well-being, One Health

Bats Are Amazing! - Patrick Flynn, DVM, MS, CCFP

Description: What do bats have to do with the human animal bond? As we begin to look at our interactions with other animals in a broader sense, our understanding and appreciation of them broadens as well. Our relationship with bats and our understanding of how they do what they do is only now beginning to be elucidated. We will review new MRI techniques that allow us to evaluation echolocation in bats and other species and maybe you will think differently about the night and how we light it at the end of the talk.

Learning objectives:

  1. Why are bats important to humans?
  2. How do bats and other echolocators do that?
  3. What are the effects of human expansion and nightlife on the many species of bats?
  4. Learn about new data on other species’ (dogs and bees) abilities to see things we will never see

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Key words : Human Animal Interaction, pollinators, Scotobiology, Tractography, echolocation, bats

Cats Really Are Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friends - Steve Dale, CABC

Description: Cats may be the most popular pets in America, but are their relationships with us as beneficial as dogs? We’re only beginning to understand the answers, but it turns out that at least some cats might rescue Timmy from a well if they could. Research on the human animal bond SPECIFIC to cats is not often enough funded or presented, but will be discussed here. What’s more the bond with cats (particularly among millennials) appears to be intensifying. Ideas to reach millennials and to support both educating and engaging real cat lovers of all ages.

Learning objectives:

  1. There is research (mostly new) that specifically addresses benefits of living with cats.
  2. How veterinary practices can utilize the intensifying bond clients (particularly millennials) have with cats, as Cat Friendly Practices and Fear Free (exploring cats’ emotional well-being) has come along at the right time.
  3. Offering kitten classes might attract clients and benefit the bond.
  4. Why cats are no longer likely to be ‘second class citizens’ moving forward.

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Keywords: human-animal bond; cats; cat health; purring; cats and millennials; Fear Free; Cat Friendly Practices; kitten classes

Exploring Our Bond With Non-Traditional Species - Dana Varble, DVM

Description: Pet ownership continues to increase and this trend has also extended to our non-traditional pets including small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. However, many false perceptions of these animals have led to a decrease in the perceived value of the bond with these species. History of human care of these non-traditional species and the value of these animals in our lives are more extensive than many are aware. Definitions and challenges to the traditional label of “domestic” animals will be discussed. Common concerns regarding welfare, captive care, zoonosis, and responsible sourcing of non-traditional species will be addressed and challenged.

Learning objectives:

  1. Expand your understanding of the human animal bond to recognize the validity of the bond with non-traditional pet species
  2. Reconsider the definition of domestication and challenge pre-conceived concepts of pet species/li>
  3. Learn about humane sources, acquisition, and welfare of non-traditional pet species

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Keywords: Human animal bond; exotic pets; pet birds; pet reptiles; pet amphibians; pocket pets; non-traditional species; zoonosis

One Health and the “Dark Side” of the Human-Animal Bond: Preparing a Protocol Response to Suspected Animal Cruelty, Abuse and Neglect - Phil Arkow

Description: Once clinical indicators suggest a differential diagnosis of potential animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, veterinarians face difficult practice management dilemmas balancing the welfare of patients, clients and staff against potential liability, financial and security concerns, and confrontational interactions with clients. This session will help veterinarians prepare the practice to develop an animal abuse reporting protocol that can facilitate quality responsiveness and minimize liability. Analogues from the experiences of human medicine will demonstrate that the veterinary response to suspected abuse need not be intimidating.

Learning objectives:

  1. To offer practice guidelines regarding assessment, data collection, record-keeping, and protocols in cases of suspected animal maltreatment.
  2. To present a flow chart and resources to help practitioners determine appropriate responses when animal abuse is suspected.
  3. To learn communication skills to defuse confrontational encounters with clients whose animals may be at risk of cruelty, abuse or neglect.

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Keywords: animal abuse, domestic violence; The Link; client communication; One Health, human animal bond; detecting animal abuse

Exploring the Role of the Veterinary Community in Helping Break Cycles of Abuse in Domestic Violence - Nicole Forsyth

Description: One in three women and one in four men experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and as many as 65 percent of domestic violence victims stay in abusive homes or delay leaving out of concern for the safety of their pets. Pets are often used for power and control in abusive relationships, and without a support network advocating for the safety of their pets, victims may be manipulated into staying or returning to their abuser. To what extent should veterinarians understand signs of abuse, advocate for the pets in their care and educate clients about their options? How can the veterinary community provide support for domestic violence shelters in their communities? Learn practical steps on how to work with your community to help establish a strong network of advocates to ensure pets escape abusive situations with their people, and how to use RedRover’s tools and resources to support your practice’s efforts.

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand why pets are a significant barrier to leaving in many abusive
    relationships and how veterinarians could play a crucial role in helping victims leave
  2. Learn how the human-animal bond can be used therapeutically to potentially break cycles of abuse
  3. Construct an initial plan for your practice or community that offers a strong support network for survivors and their pets

Program Category: Human Animal Bond

Keywords: Human Animal Bond; RedRover; domestic violence; animal abuse; client education; client communication; detecting animal abuse

Relaxing Hammock


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