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Submissions are only allowed after Sept 16 at 12:00 PM ET if the session has been requested for submission by a 2023 Summit for Animals committee member.

Call for Abstracts

Humane Canada's Summit for Animals

May 2 - 4, 2023

Victoria, British Columbia

The deadline for abstract submissions is September 9, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time. EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 16, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time.

About Humane Canada

Humane Canada (previously known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies,) is Canada’s federation of SPCAs and humane societies. We bring together organizations that work with, and care for, animals to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Humane Canada visit: https://humanecanada.ca/

About Humane Canada's Summit for Animals

Humane Canada, the national voice for animal welfare and the federation of humane societies and SPCAs, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Canada’s largest and premiere animal welfare event, the Summit for Animals, in 2023.

The Summit is an annual event that brings together animal welfare professionals, advocates and volunteers to learn cutting-edge information from thought leaders in the sector, while building long-lasting professional connections that will help advance attendees’ advocacy efforts to benefit animals and their welfare.

On May 2 – 4, 2023 we are heading to The City of Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, to welcome attendees from across Canada and abroad who are involved in, or have an interest in, animal welfare; this includes, but is not limited to:

  • animal shelter and rescue staff,
  • animal enforcement personnel,
  • veterinary professionals,
  • animal advocates and volunteers,
  • students in any discipline,
  • academics and researchers,
  • policy-makers, and more.

The 2023 Summit consists of an optional deep-dive training day on May 2, which will be followed by a 2-day Summit on May 3 and 4, with 3 concurrent tracks, a trade show, a celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, and of course, lots of fun and opportunities for network-building and connection.

Application Process

To deliver education in a range of relevant topics, the program committee is seeking submissions under the following tracks:

May 2 - Busy Beaver Training Day Tracks

1. Animal Welfare - Back to Basics: What is animal welfare and how do we begin to define such a broad concept? Take a deep dive into this evocative and engaging training day to learn how animal welfare is evaluated through scientific understanding, as well as an exploration of current legal frameworks and an evaluation of welfare standards across the country. Attendees will be united in their better understanding of animal welfare management across Canada, and a better understanding of the work still needing to be done.

Abstracts submitted may include, but are not limited to, the following categories:

  • Assessing animal welfare through scientific research
  • Case studies on animal welfare
  • Legal frameworks in place to enhance animal welfare
  • Farm/companion/wild/captive animal welfare and management
  • Critical evaluations of current animal welfare standards
  • Animal welfare advocacy

2. Fund Development & Marketing: Currently not accepting abstracts.

3. Enforcement: Abstracts are requested for the following areas;

  • Animal Hoarding: The Challenges for law enforcement and allied professionals. Specifically looking for a session that will focus on animal hoarding investigations involving law enforcement and allied professionals within the Canadian context. Describe best practices and challenges, and share how inter-agency information sharing and collaboration has strengthened their ability to respond to animal hoarding within their communities. Content warning-presenters will be asked to share case studies to help facilitate learning.
  • Current Research in Animal Protection. Specifically looking for a session that will share current research in the field of animal protection. Researchers and practitioners will share how their work relates and applies to the work of front-line officers across the continuum of law enforcement. Presenters are encouraged to co-present with front-line staff to help make strong connections between research and practice.

May 3 & 4 - Summit Tracks

1. One Health / One Welfare: Human, Animal, and Environmental Health: Sessions in this track will feature a One Health / One Welfare lens with a focus on all animals: companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. Abstracts can focus on animals and climate change, animals and zoonoses, animals and disaster/emergency planning, and humane population management. We encourage presentations that highlight community partnerships, Indigenous worldviews, and the human-animal bond, as well as introductions to One Health/One Welfare conceptual frameworks.

2. Capacity Building: Abstracts are requested for the following areas;

  • Capacity building for cats – Return to field/TNRM/Community cats: We are looking for specialists who work directly with community cats, developing new programs and studies to prevent non-necessary intakes. Programs like TNRM, Return to Field and others are welcome.
  • Mental health in the rescue world: We are looking for specialists for a talk or a workshop regarding mental health issues in the rescue/high stress level world. For strategies, tips, sharing studies. This session could be regarding compassion fatigue, strategies to stay healthy in a stressful world, helping humans helping animals, or other related areas of focus.

3. Shelter Medicine and Animal Care: Caring for the Smallest and the Sickest: Abstracts are requested focusing on care and husbandry of our most vulnerable shelter animals. Abstracts should be of interest to veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other animal care staff. Preference will be given to abstracts that provide practical approaches to:

  • Husbandry and care of kittens, puppies, rabbits and/or other small domestic species
  • Medical and nursing care of kittens, puppies, rabbits and/or other small domestic species
  • Emergency triage and care in a shelter environment
  • Treating severe illnesses such as parvo and panleukopenia
  • Management of geriatric and/or other medically fragile animals
  • Managing anesthetic and/or surgical complications
  • Saving more animals through effective outbreak management
  • Other related areas of focus

Suggestions for workshops and panel discussions are welcomed.

Click here to view schedule format

Accepted Formats

1. Interactive session with Q&A

2. Panel discussion with moderator (max 4 panelists + moderator)

3. Workshop

4. Other

Note: All sessions will take place in-person in Victoria, British Columbia May 2 – 4, 2023. Sessions for May 3 & 4 will be in 45 or 60 minute slots. Sessions in the Busy Beaver Training Day, May 2,  may be longer.


Please complete the online application form by first creating an account. Once your account has been created, scroll down to complete the application. It is important that your abstract be comprehensive and detailed enough (within the limitations of the word count) for the program committee to be able to evaluate your proposed session, including the proposed content and why you feel it is compelling, relevant and timely.


Abstracts will be reviewed by the program committee, and you will be contacted with the committee's decisions in mid to late October.


Speakers who are selected to speak at the 2023 Summit for Animals will be provided with a complimentary registration for the Summit. Please note that Humane Canada does not cover any additional speaker expenses, such as travel or accommodation expenses.

Deadline to Apply

The deadline for abstract submissions is September 9, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time. EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 16, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time.


Please email: events@humanecanada.ca

Submissions are only allowed after Sept 16 at 12:00 PM ET if the session has been requested for submission by a 2023 Summit for Animals committee member.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.