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AAAIP Conference:
Theory & Practice in Animal-Assisted Interventions Conference

September 25-28, 2023 | Virtual Conference

Join us for four days of programming designed to support AAI professionals. All sessions will be recorded and immediately available, along with the job tools that accompany every presentation. 


Featured Speakers

Monday, September 25, 2-4pm Pacific/5-7pm Eastern


Marty Becker, DVM, Veterinarian and founder of Fear Free
The Importance of a Fear-Free Approach in Human-Animal Interactions



Cyndie Kieffer, Social Worker
Thinking Outside of the Doghouse: Creating AAI Interventions



Dr. Brigitte Belanger
The Power of Partnering with Volunteer Therapy Teams to Offer AAI - The Diamond Model Approach to Therapy


Joey Lusvardi, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and Psychiatric Physician Assistant
Cat Training 101



 Networking Session: Connecting by Vocation and Species




Tuesday, September 26, 2-4pm Pacific/5-7pm Eastern



Sterling Davis, Founder of TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions
Diversity and Inclusion in Animal Welfare



Aviva Vincent, PhD, LMSW

Paws on the Ground: Program/Service Design, Implementation, and Evaluation



Dr. Michelle Andriacchi, Dr. Anne Stein, Dr. Casey Hopper, Dr. Rachel Nye, and Dr. Katie Taylor
Animal-Assisted Interventions on a College Campus to Improve Wellness


Patti Anderson, M.Ed., C.P.D.T.
Counseling Kids with Critters, Bunnies, and Beyond


Networking Session: Identifying AAI Needs within your Profession 



Wednesday, September 27, 2-4pm Pacific/5-7pm Eastern



Nicole Cantoni, PhD, Assistant Professor at Stockton University
Reduction of Mental Health Treatment Stigma by Offering an Animal-Assisted Intervention



Chrissy Richardson, Program Coordinator and Kelly Lewis, Therapy Dog Handler and  
Humane Educator (Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice)

Special Considerations when Working with Incarcerated Youths



Diane Pekarek, CAIS, C-AAIS
Implementing Standards for Your Hospital's AAI Program



Nina Ekholm Fry, Director of Equine Programs at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at University of Denver

Five Practitioner Responsibilities During Direct Interactions Between Participants and Horses


Networking Sessions:

  • Educational Opportunities in AAI  
  • Understanding and Preparing for the AAI Specialist Certification 



Thursday, September 28, 2-4pm Pacific/5-7pm Eastern


Aubrey Fine, PhD, Psychologist and editor of the Handbook on Animal-Assisted
Therapy with Dawn Staley, Teacher Consultant for the Visually Impaired, C-AAIS

The Next Generation of AAI Field Leadership



Exploring the Benefits of Virtual Animal-Assisted Interventions


Meredith Stensland, PhD
Developing a Protocol for an Animal-Assisted Intervention Study with Novel Patient  



Sherrie Rohde, Counselor, Dog Trainer, C-AAIS
Exploring the Role of Handler Mental Health in AAI



Networking Session: Meet the Speakers and the AAAIP Staff and Board  





Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in incorporating the power of the human-animal bond into practice. There is something to benefit everyone in animal-assisted interventions! From seasoned practitioners to those just getting started in the field, you will find value in this conference.

About the Conference

Virtual conference sessions take place September 25-28, 2023. Sessions are approximately 2 hours long and begin at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT. If you are not able to watch the sessions at the scheduled time, recordings will be available to registered participants immediately after the sessions.

C-AAIS Credit Hours
The conference will provide 8 hours of C-AAIS continuing education credit hours.

Conference Registration Fees

You’ll gain access to the entire conference – four-days of sessions plus access to the recordings immediately after the event.

Registration Fee:

AAAIP members: $129 | Pet Partners volunteers: $129 | Non-members: $229


Interested in receiving the AAAIP member discount? Learn more about AAAIP membership and join today:

Thank you for your interest.

The conference has ended. Select sessions will be available through the Learning Management System in October.


Event Questions
For questions about the event, please contact AAAIP.