The Outdoor Cat Conference: Wrap-Up

Putting on any conference is a tremendous undertaking. But the challenges involved in pulling together The Outdoor Cat: Science and Policy from a Global Perspective went far beyond the logistics of wrangling 20-some speakers and 150 or so attendees. For starters, there was deciding who should (and should not) be invited to present. (More on that shortly.) And then there’s the fact that, no matter what happens, you’re bound to be criticized.

There’s simply no way to get something like this completely right, no matter who’s in charge or how much planning goes into it.

And so, I give a lot of credit to the people involved—who knew all of this, and did it anyhow. Those I know of (and I’m sure to be leaving out many others, for which I apologize) include John Hadidian, Andrew Rowan, Nancy Peterson, Katie Lisnik, and Carol England from the Humane Society of the United States; and Aimee Gilbreath and Estelle Weber of FoundAnimals. Many of you told me, very modestly, that this conference was “a start.”

Fair enough, but it’s a very important one. Five or 10 years from now, we might look back and call it a milestone.

Here, then, are some snapshots of the various presentations (in the order in which the they were given). Read more

The Outdoor Cat: Science and Policy from a Global Perspective

Coming up December 3rd and 4th: The Outdoor Cat: Science and Policy from a Global Perspective, a conference with an ambitious—and admirable—goal:

“To bring together scientists, technical experts, and others with an interest in the constellation of issues tied to the presence of free-roaming, abandoned, and outdoor cat populations in our world, and to take the measure of contemporary scholarship with the goal of forging a stronger union between knowledge, evidence, insight and policy.”

Although I won’t be presenting, I’ll be in attendance—with plenty of questions and comments, of course. And I’m encouraging anybody with an interest in the science and policy issues surrounding free-roaming cats to attend as well. It’s an excellent—and all too rare—opportunity to hear a broad range of perspectives, with speakers from the fields of conservation biology, wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary medicine, municipal animal services, animal law, and more.

I’ll be posting more about the conference in the near future, but wanted to get this out there so that anybody interested can make plans. Registration is just $135.

Many thanks to the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, FoundAnimals, and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association for making the conference possible!