National Animal Welfare Conference

About the National Animal Welfare Conference:

The National Animal Welfare Conference, NAWC, is the biggest and best-attended animal welfare conference in Canada, held in a different Canadian city every spring since 2014. In 2021 we are expecting to gather over 1,200 attendees online from across Canada and abroad.

The conference is an annual professional development and community-building event organized by Humane Canada, the federation of humane societies and SPCAs.

An online conference format helps attendees, sponsors and exhibitors save on travel and accommodation costs, helping expand reach and networking opportunities between participants. Moreover, all sessions will be available in the online conference platform for 3 months post conference. Re-watch your favourite sessions at your own pace and on your own time.

We are excited to present the 8th annual National Animal Welfare Conference on April 6 – 8, 2021. Learn about the following topics:

  • Canine Welfare and Behaviour
    Emerging canine welfare science, best practices and new initiatives for dogs in the community or a shelter environment, international dog importation,  breeding for exaggerated conformation, supporting the public with education on canine behaviour and humane training.
  • Challenges to Effective Legal Protection for Animals
    Recent developments in legislation, case decisions, legal strategies and initiatives to advance animal protection. Topics may also include new approaches in investigative work and managing cruelty cases through the courts. 
  • Community-Supported Animal Sheltering
    What is the role of animal welfare organizations, beyond sheltering, how to keep pets with their families, approaches to remove barriers and engage the community including how to advance the community-as-shelter model, best practices and protocols for operating a shelter during the pandemic. Topics may also include integrating animal services, social services and community planning.
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation
    Initiatives to recognize and promote diversity and create inclusion within the animal welfare sector as well as in relationship with the communities we serve, how to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and what diverse perspectives can teach us about animals and our relationship with them.
  • Farmed Animal Welfare and Behaviour
    Programs and initiatives dedicated to improving the lives of farmed animals, applicable welfare and behaviour research, innovative practices that reduce environmental impacts and improve welfare, public attitudes and perceptions about animal farming, how advocates can work with industry to effect change, other new developments in this area.
  • Feline Welfare and Behaviour
    Emerging science shifts and trends in the management of cats in the community and shelter, shelter design, feline behavioural assessment tools and modification programs, supporting the public with education on feline behaviour and humane training.
Join us for NAWC 2021 from the comfort of your home

The online National Animal Welfare Conference welcomes:

  • SPCA, humane societies and shelter/rescue employees
  • Students in any discipline,
  • Veterinarians and veterinary staff,
  • Academics,
  • Researchers and scientists,
  • Animal enforcement personnel,
  • Animal care professionals who work with companion animals, farm animals or wildlife, and,
  • People who advocate for animals or those who have an interest in animal welfare.

Stay tuned for more information about the NAWC2021 conference!


Our 2020 Online National Animal Welfare Conference
was held online on May 20 & 21.

In order to comply with national and provincial health regulations, Humane Canada cancelled the in-person seventh annual National Animal Welfare Conference, which was set to take place in Victoria, BC March 28 – 31.

We are happy to share the following facts from the 2020 online conference:

  • 886 people registered, 
  • 36 sessions, 
  • 23 sponsors, and 
  • 56 amazing speakers!

This two-day online conference offered attendees the chance to:

  • Network with attendees, speakers & sponsors from around the world including, but not limited to Australia, Venezuela, and the USA.
  • Interact and share common thoughts in conversation circles to learn from one another
  • Share photos of their pets during the conference breaks 
  • Learn more about our sponsors in the sponsor hall and gain new business connections

Thank you to our presenting sponsor PetSmart Charities® of Canada and to all of our sponsors and speakers who helped make this event a success.

Curious about what the National Animal Welfare has to offer?

Thank You 2020 Online National Animal Welfare Conference Sponsors!

——————————— PRESENTING SPONSOR———————————

————————————— APP SPONSOR—————————————–