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Friday Session Descriptions

In a Violent Home, Everyone is a Victim*Sponsored by The Saskatchewan SPCA 

Animal safekeeping programs support the decision making of victims planning to escape interpersonal violence (IPV) and abuse. The Saskatchewan SPCA is working in partnership with the human service and the animal welfare sectors to build an expanded range of animal safekeeping supports and services to assist both the human and the animal victims of abuse.  

Animals play an important role in many Canadian households. Pets provide companionship and emotional support for adults and children in times of crisis. Horses, cattle, and other livestock are a source of income for farm and ranch families. The mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals is referred to as the human-animal bond.  

The dark side of the human-animal bond may be seen in situations involving interpersonal violence and abuse. Research shows there is a “link” between all forms of violence:  domestic, child, elder, and animal. When people are being abused, animals may be at risk; when animals are being abused, people may be at risk. Abusers may kill or threaten to harm animals as a way to control the actions of the victim.   

The presentation concludes with a review of pet safety planning strategies, and a discussion on ways for the human service and the animal welfare sectors to work together to support the needs of animal-owning victims of violence.   


Leanne Sillers, BSW, RSW  

Leanne Sillers is a Registered Social Worker who has worked in the field of Domestic Violence for 10 years.  Her current position is Animal Safekeeping Coordinator at the Saskatchewan SPCA. Leanne has always had a love for animals and this position allows her to advocate for both people and pets. Leanne enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also volunteers with her therapy dog, a 4-year-old golden retriever, Jack.      


Environmental Enrichment: An Essential Component of Animal Care 

Dr. Seddon discusses why environmental enrichment is an essential part of a good animal care program, including approaches to providing species specific environmental enrichment.  


Dr. Yolande Seddon, Assistant Professor, Swine Behaviour and Welfare 

Yolande Seddon is Assistant Professor of Swine Behaviour and Welfare at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada and the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare. Yolande conducts applied swine behaviour and welfare research covering all aspects of swine production. Her previous research includes management of the gestating sow, economic evaluation of higher welfare sow housing systems and pain behaviour in swine. Her research mandate is to contribute to the development of lasting solutions to welfare challenges encountered in modern swine production. Prior to joining the WCVM, Yolande spent four years as a research associate with the Prairie Swine Centre. She trained in the UK, studying animal behaviour and welfare during her BSc and MSc, and specialising in pigs, she received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Newcastle, UK, researching management strategies to promote health in finisher pigs. In her role at the WCVM, she works closely with the Prairie Swine Centre and is expanding a research team to contribute scientific findings on swine welfare. She sits on the editorial board for the AASV Journal for Swine Health and Production 



90 years and growing:  The changing role of the Saskatchewan SPCA*Sponsored by The Saskatchewan SPCA 

In 2018, the Saskatchewan SPCA is celebrating a major milestone: 90 years as an animal welfare organization. While the day-to-day work of our organization has changed over time, our commitment to building a more humane and caring world remains the same. This presentation offers an overview of the innovative new programs and services being offered by the Saskatchewan SPCA. You will learn about our expanding role in the area of animal safekeeping and our Stryker Fund for retired police dogs. We will also provide an update on the development of the new voluntary provincial registration program for animal rescues. This program is being developed by the Saskatchewan SPCA in conjunction with a number of animal welfare stakeholders, including SAVT.  


Sandra Anderson 

After more than 20 years working as a Communications Consultant in an advertising agency, Sandra Anderson realized that she was ready for a career change. She wanted a job where she could feel she was truly making a difference. Happily, she found that when she applied for a position with the Saskatchewan SPCA. Since 2009, she has been part of their team of dedicated people working to build a more humane and caring society. As Program Director, Sandra Anderson has been involved in the areas of communications, grant writing, and program development. Every day offers new opportunities to help improve the welfare of animals in Saskatchewan.   


There and Back Again: Keeping your horse healthy while hauling  

Veterinary aspects of safe long-distance trailering of horses from the perspective of a veterinarian who has hauled horses all over North America. 


Patricia Dowling, DVM, MSc, DACVIM & DACVCP 

Professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, founder and co-director of the Canadian gFARAD, a national food safety service providing withdrawal guidance for extra label drug use in food animals.