Behaviorists provide speakers plus $250 grants

Published on October 18, 2010
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The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior is offering speakers for educational sessions along with $250 grants to offset the cost of presentations. 

The AVSAB formed its Speakers' Bureau in 2008 to serve as a source of knowledgeable speakers on the prevention and treatment of behavior problems, said Dr. Elise N. Gingrich, an organizer of the bureau.

The bureau's speakers can address topics ranging from dog training and socialization to environmental enrichment for cats, Dr. Gingrich said. Most speakers focus on canine and feline behavior, but some speakers have expertise in equine behavior or the behavior of zoo and exotic animals.

The AVSAB student chapters, which receive $350 grants toward presentations, have availed themselves the most of the speakers' bureau.

Dr. Valarie V. Tynes, a speaker for the bureau, said one of the bureau's goals is to counter misinformation about how to handle behavior issues in companion animals. Any behavior topic is a potential presentation, however. Dr. Tynes spoke to the AVSAB student chapter at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences about stereotypic behaviors in zoo and exotic animals, for example.

The North San Joaquin VMA in California is among the veterinary organizations that has arranged for a speaker through the AVSAB bureau. Dr. Cathy Wallace, past president of the VMA, said the AVSAB provided a speaker and a $250 grant for a stand-alone session on feline aggression. Dr. Wallace said her association appreciated the opportunity to offer quality continuing education at a low cost.

Information about the AVSAB Speakers' Bureau is available at