Look for the Open Gate: Providing ‘In the Moment’ Animal Education for Your Community

Look for the Open Gate: Providing ‘In the Moment' Animal Education for Your Community
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-08-16
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Look for the Open Gate
Unit 2 Transcript: Look for the Open Gate
Unit 3 Workbook: Workbook-Look for the Open Gate
Unit 4 Recording: Look for the Open Gate

The majority of American households have pets, and pets are seen as an integral part of the human family experience. Upholding public safety means taking pets into account in our strategies and ensuring that solutions are humane. But what is humane? And how do we educate the community about the importance of humane approaches?

Leading this discussion is Shawna Weaver, a K-16 educator with experience in community wellness, community counseling, and humane education. She has a graduate certificate in humane education and helps build healthy communities through compassion and communication as a humane educator.

Specifics of the webinar include:

  • The role of animals to families in our society and the importance of designing solutions around them.
  • The roles and relationship between animals, children and adults, and animal welfare and humane agencies in society and establishing humane education within.
  • Valuable insights that can be gleaned from pets as it relates to the dynamics within a family or household.
  • What humane education is, how it teaches compassion, and the wide scope of areas that it encompasses.
  • Humans’ lack of familiarity and expertise when it comes to approaching, training, caring for, or working with animals.
  • Framing interactions with the public with a lens that recognizes the limitations they may have in terms of knowledge and resources making them unable to provide appropriate care and enrichment to their pets.
  • The continuum of humane education from the most basic to the most community-integrated ones.
  • A glimpse into the humane education approach implemented in Duluth, Minnesota where law enforcement, shelters, schools, and the community are working together to make lasting changes and impact on the community and its citizens’ behavior.
  • The different types of events that may be leveraged to facilitate and perpetuate humane education within communities.
  • Action items – from the easiest to more complex ones – that animal welfare and humane organizations can employ to create a canine-friendly community.
  • Some of the most common issues and conflicts encountered in communities and specific ways to overcome this through education and better accommodations for pets.
  • How to support and empower children trying to help strays and injured animals.
  • Opportunities to provide humane education to different segments within the community and serve the community by looking out for potential victims.
  • The challenges that animal welfare and humane agencies tend to face in their work and solutions to mitigate these.
  • In-the-moment resources – physical, social-emotional, and online – that may be provided to community members struggling with their pets to create better outcomes for both humans and animals.

Questions from the audience are about:

  • Creating a community culture that fosters responsible care and ownership of animals and citizen participation in humane education initiatives.
  • The target audience of humane education.
  • In-the-moment education approaches in everyday interactions with the community.
  • Funding sources that support humane education efforts.
  • Effective approaches to humane education without coming off preachy or nosy.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Animal Welfare webinars on the JCH Platform


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Very good speaker.” — John
  • “The importance of education, partnerships, and community support.” — Tamica
  • “How important Humane Education is, how children have a pet as a best friend, how they are traumatized by anti-animal actions. The need for foster programs in abuse cases, Domestic Violence cases ( and Jail cases–my idea).” — Debbie
  • “Shawna is a great speaker, very pleasant and knowledgeable. I will be starting Humane education in the community when I’ve learned more and put together resources. I was always focused on adults, but adding kids to the equation makes so much sense, thank you!” — Michelle
  • “The importance of taking every opportunity to inspire and empower through positivity!” — Lorna
  • “I learned that it is important to be the face of compassion & understanding for people and families whenever possible, especially where children are involved.” — Marlene
  • “All of it was important – I have never been to this type of training. So grateful to see it. I wish it could be included in schools, churches, and as many other areas as possible.” — Patricia




This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.





This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.




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