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'Reaching out to the Community' to help save unwanted pets

Posted in Our Community @ Sep 2nd 2015 - By Nell Thompson, Coordinator, Getting 2 Zero
6thsummitsignew 2

Those of us who work in the spaces occupied by unwanted pets are eagerly awaiting the upcoming 6th National G2Z Summit & Workshops. The event is delivered by leading national companion animal welfare and management program Getting 2 Zero and is taking place 14 – 19 September on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

The theme for this year’s Summit is Reaching Out to the Community and is focussed on working to meet community expectations and needs and thereby achieving safe communities for both people and their pets.

Typically the delegate audience is made up of anyone and everyone involved in companion animal policy and practice...


  • those working in all levels of government,
  • the not for profit welfare, shelter and rescue sector, and
  • veterinary and pet industries.

There are 3 days of conference and 3 days of separate, full day Workshops with the international speakers.

Topics welfare, animal welfare & responsible pet ownership

More and more people are turning to the resources available in the community, such as local government, the veterinary sector and not for profits, for guidance on how to solve their companion animal management and welfare problems. This year we ask the question – “what issues could be prevented or minimised by these resources working proactively within the community?” This and many more topics relating to community welfare, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership are covered at this event which only comes around every two years. Industry and sector leaders from Australia and overseas will lead sessions to explore innovative solutions to guide Australia’s approach to the management of companion animals now and into the future while providing insights on how the challenges are being met elsewhere.

6th National industry leading, unique and significant forum for the exchange of ideas and solutions to save the lives of companion animals in the future

This sixth Summit will attract more than 200 delegates from the Australasian region. Each Summit has built on the success of the previous meeting and is now an industry leading, unique and significant forum for the exchange of ideas and solutions to lead Australia’s approach to saving the lives of companion animals into the future. There is nothing else like it in Australia and it has been an important driving force in the progress of these issues locally.

The Summit provides a rare opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience these international experts are bringing to Australia. We will also hear from a great line up of local speakers presenting on a diverse array of issues.

You can learn more about the event here and register to attend here.

International expert speakers include:

  • Dr Cynthia Karsten – Shelter medicine expert and Outreach Veterinarian for the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, USA
  • Trish McMillan Loehr – Animal behaviour and training expert, Loehr Animal Behavior, USA
  • Jan McHugh-Smith – Animal sheltering expert and CEO Humane Society Pikes Peak Region, USA
  • Todd Stosuy – Animal management expert, President of  National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA) and Field Services Manager, Santa Cruz County, USA
  • Jon Cicirelli – Animal management expert and Director Animal Care and Services, City of San Jose, USA
  • Betsy McFarland – Companion animal welfare expert and Vice President Companion Animals, Humane Society of the United States, USA
  • Dr Arnja Dale – Animal welfare expert and Chief Scientific Officer & Head of Animal Welfare Science and Education, New Zealand SPCA, NZ

What is 'Getting 2 Zero' all about?

Getting 2 Zero (G2Z) is a national program delivered by Animal Welfare League of Queensland and is focussed on assisting every community and municipality achieve zero euthanasia of all healthy and treatable cats and dogs (more than 90% of all incoming stray and surrendered cats and dogs) in whole communities.  The Getting to Zero Model details the principles, structures and strategies for achieving this and provides support and resources to those involved in companion animal management and welfare.

G2Z is relevant to state governments, local government animal management departments, pounds, shelters, rescue groups, breed organisations, breeders, pet shops, animal trainers, groomers, wildlife organisations, veterinarians, and all community members who are concerned about better management and welfare of cats and dogs.

You can learn more at and contact the Coordinator, Nell Thompson at

About Nell

Nell was appointed as Coordinator of the national Getting 2 Zero program in July 2012.  She has worked in the animal welfare, care and veterinary sectors for over 20 years and has a background in shelter, boarding and pound operations and management.  

Nell is passionate about improving outcomes for pets who enter the shelter and pound systems and strongly believes that the best results occur when animal welfare and animal management are working together towards the same goals.

You can connect with Nell and G2Z via email, Facebook and Twitter.



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