2021 Dec 1-Animal Law

Dec 01, 2021 01:00pm -
Dec 01, 2021 02:00pm

Event Description

Animal Law Webinar

December 1 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Herding Cats- Augmenting Animal Services in a Post-Covid World

95% of Americans now view pets as members of their family and animal services is evolving to reflect new community values and expectations, similar to the evolving role of policing. Best Friends staff with expertise in these issues will discuss empowering animal field services officers to be more responsive and efficient in the field, effective policies concerning dangerous dogs and reckless owners, community engagement of volunteers and legal frameworks to reduce the risk of liability.

Speaker: Ledy VanKavage, Scott Giacoppo, Tammy Jo Hallman & Rebecca Huss.

Speaker's Bio

Ledy VanKavage is the Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society located in Kanab, Utah and a member of the ISBA’s animal law section. Before coming to Best Friends Ledy was the Senior Director of Legislation and Legal Training for the ASPCA. She has helped spearhead the passage of over 50 humane state bills during her lobbying tenure and is also a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee.  Ledy is the recipient of the ABA’s Excellence in Animal Law award for 2014 and the 2018 Wallace Award from the Wallace the Pitbull Foundation. She is a co-author of the USDOJ publication, “The Problem of Dog Related Incidents and Encounters” and is an instructor for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. She has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine and the New York Times


Scott Giacoppo is director of national shelter support for Best Friends and oversees the development of lifesaving efficacy and sustainability for animal welfare partners across the U.S.

Through Best Friends’ municipal and shelter support program, Scott provides leadership and hands-on training for strategic shelter partners; conducts professional shelter operations and field assessments; and leads progressive, humane trainings for animal control agencies and officers. In his current role, Scott champions a collaborative approach to partnership and believes that each animal welfare organization, along with the community it serves, is unique and deserving of support that speaks to its individual needs.

Prior to joining Best Friends, Scott was chief of animal field services for the District of Columbia for 10 years, overseeing all animal control and cruelty investigations team members for Humane Rescue Alliance. In this role, he designed and implemented a number of successful community-based programs, helped draft and secure critical animal protection legislation, and represented the organization as a speaker at various regional and national events. He also established a trap-neuter-return program that garnered citywide support and helped reduce the percentage of stray cats killed from 85 percent to 12 percent.

Scott has been involved in animal protection since 1989, when he became an animal caregiver in Minneapolis. He soon returned to his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, where he began his career with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as special state police officer for cruelty investigations. During this time, he received the Boston Police Commissioners Citation for work with dangerous dogs and street gangs, certificates of excellence for promoting and providing community policing education from the New England Crime Prevention Partnership, and a certificate of appreciation from the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office in the state of New Hampshire for assistance in investigation and prosecution of precedent-setting animal fighting cases.


Tammy Jo Hallman is a municipal and shelter support specialist for Best Friends Animal Society. As part of Best Friends’ work to offer customized, strategic support and training for animal sheltering agencies around the country, Tammy Jo provides assessments of shelter operations and helps design and implement training programs proven to increase lifesaving for individual organizations and the communities they serve.

Before joining Best Friends in 2018, Tammy Jo worked at shelters across the Southeast, filling a variety of roles in shelter operations, medical support, program development and field services. She is also a member of the field investigations and response team for the ASPCA and a credentialed responder with the Disaster Animal Response Team in Nashville, Tennessee.

Throughout her career in animal welfare, Tammy Jo has worked to foster a culture of understanding for both animals and people, with the goal of creating healthier, happier communities for everyone. She’s also affectionately known by many former colleagues as the “Martha Stewart of animal shelter ideas” because she can transform garbage bags and a roll of duct tape into just about anything you might need on the job.

Tammy Jo double-majored in English and computer science at the University of Alabama and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two special-needs cats, Eddiepuss Rex and Ninja Tickles, and a senior dog named Spenciepants who is allergic to just about everything. When not out assisting emergency response teams or helping shelters save more animals, Tammy Jo can be found binge-watching Star Trek episodes and celebrating Halloween year-round.


Rebecca J. Huss began serving as General Counsel at Best Friends Animal Society on July 1, 2019.  She is a Professor Emerita from Valparaiso University Law School.   Rebecca began teaching at Valparaiso University Law School in 1999 and at the end of her academic career was serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a Professor of Law and the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Law.  In addition to Animal Law, Rebecca taught Business Associations, Mergers & Acquisitions, Professional Responsibility, Nonprofit Organizations, and other business law courses during her academic career.  Her academic publications can be downloaded for free at SSRN.com.  Prior to beginning her academic career, Rebecca practiced in law firms focusing on corporate issues as well as in-house in the animal health division of a pharmaceutical company.

She is a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee and was the 2011 recipient of that committee’s Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award.  In 2007 Rebecca was appointed by the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia as the guardian/special master of the dogs seized during the Bad Newz Kennels case.

Rebecca has a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from the University of Iowa College of Law (1995) and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond School of Law (1992).


Event Type:Distance Learning Event
Category:Distance Learning
Early registration ends on Nov 04, 2021.
Regular registration starts on Nov 05, 2021 and ends on Nov 30, 2021.
Late registration starts on Dec 01, 2021.
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 2021 DLE-Dec 1
Member Fee: $49.00$49.00$49.00
Non-Member Fee: $99.00$99.00$99.00