Zoospensefull Cooperative Care Conference 2021

“Together In Their Care”

13th – 17th of December, 2021



Imagine a world where our animals take part in their own care. Where the animals make decisions themselves to excel in their own welfare. A great thought isn’t it? But is it possible? YES IT IS! 

We want to present you the very first cooperative care conference! We will inspire you to reach the goal where your animals take part in their own care. With great speakers from around the world we will have a conference were specialist talk about their animals. Different species such as Horses, Cats, Dogs, Birds and Zoo Animals will all be talked about in this conference. 

Whenever you have registered you will be able to see the whole conference and of course the recorded presentations afterwards.

This conference will be hosted on the ZOOM platform. The times of the conference are in Central European Time.

Lisa Longo from the Animal Académie with Marley working together in Marley’s care.

Group Discussions

Wednesday 15th of December, 2021

This is a special evening with 4 different topics and 4 different groups with 4 different moderators. We will have fun discussions about different challenges regarding cooperative care. We have some very special guests for you who are willing to moderate these sessions. 

Topics are decided in an online format.

Eva Bertilsson

J.R. Henderson

Peter Giljam

Grey Stafford


Schedule might change over time.


Mark Simmons, US

Animal Welfare App by OERCA – Oerca.com

Mark Simmons grew up on a Northern Virginia horse farm where, at an early age, his father taught him that stewardship of wild and domestic animals requires lifelong responsibility and commitment, patience, and kindness. At the age of eighteen, Mark had his first encounter with whales and dolphins at SeaWorld in Orlando which led him to a ten-year career in animal behavior there, working mostly with killer whales.

By 1998, he founded a marine life protection group, Wildlife International Network, with former boss and close friend, Robin Friday. In April 1999, Simmons joined the Keiko Release Project as the Director of Animal Husbandry and led the Behavior Team onsite in Iceland. There he authored and applied the behavioral protocols for reintroduction that gained approval from the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries for Keiko’s formal release.

Friday and Simmons went on to create Ocean Embassy, whereby their team assists governments on protective marine legislation, conducts extensive field work with marine mammals and helps rescue stranded animals. He created and continues to provide visionary leadership of a research & conservation application, The Animal Welfare App, that serves global wildlife management needs. Simmons has taught marine mammal behavioral science at the University of Miami and conducted numerous seminars and lectures on the Keiko Release Project. He served as a board member for Embassy Blue Institute and the Marine Mammal Conservancy, both non-profit organizations with the mission to protect marine life. He has appeared in multiple documentary films including Blackfish, The Age of Loneliness and Escape from Extinction. 

When not traveling, Simmons spends his time with his wife, two daughters and two large dogs at their home in Montana exploring the mountainous outdoors at every opportunity including the favored backcountry expeditions into Yellowstone National Park. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He is an avid cyclist and dabbles in art and woodwork. Mark is also a generous patron of local coffee shops when engaged in the fine art of writing.

Kat Gregory, AU

Creative Animal Solutions – Creativeanimalsolutions.com

Dr Kat Gregory initially trained as a vet is now recognised as a highly qualified and experienced applied animal ethologist and animal trainer. Over the past 15+ years Dr Kat has worked extensively with people’s pets, and in the zoo and aquarium industry, locally and internationally, to facilitate the creation of positive resolutions to a diverse range of problems and challenges in animal behaviour and training.

Dr Kat has been privileged to work  with elephants, marine mammals, falcons, otters, gorillas, sharks, stingrays, seahorses, meerkats, cheetahs, lions, servals, jackals and myriad more including, of course, the humans who passionately care for them.

During her travels, Kat has worked alongside some brilliant trainers/ ethologists (animal & human educators) with whom she has shared a mutual passion. She has also worked professionally as a presenter and creator of engaging educational “shows” (free flight birds, small/ large mammals).

Anna Mirtl Oblasser, AT

Animal Training Center – Animaltrainingcenter.at

Animal training has been Anna’s passion since her early childhood. After graduating from Moorpark College in the USA, she founded the AnimalTrainingCenter in 2006 in Austria. Since then, Anna has created a team of experts that specialise in a wide range of applications of animal training. 

Anna is not only a very skilled trainer and instructor, but also a state-certified judicial expert for dogs and the author of the book and DVD “Medical Training for Dogs”.

Suzy Deurinck Msc., NL

Duerinck – Deurinck.com

Suzy isn’t a regular horse woman: she didn’t grew up riding horses and it was only at a later age that she was introduced to them. 

This is uncommon in the horse world, but gives her a different view at the way things are done. Her background as an animal scientist makes her curious and critical at the same time. For Suzy, all training should be welfare centred and enjoyable for both human and horse. 

Angelica Hesselius, SE

Reward Based Art of Riding – Rewardbasedartofriding.com

Angelica is an internationally renowned positive reinforcement trainer based in Sweden. She works with horses and has a background in classical dressage and academic art of riding. Angelicas passion is positive reinforcement training for balanced movement in groundwork and riding, developing proprioception, movement and communication through systematic reward-based strategies.

Angelica gives longer online courses, teaches worldwide and is a part of the swedish instructor collaboration OHR+ education. More info about Angelica can be find here:
www.rewardbasedartofriding.com och www.ohr.se

Peggy Hogan, US

Clicker Training Horses – Thebestwhisperisaclick.com

Peggy Hogan’s lifelong dream was to train animals and specifically horses. Her methods of training people AND horses are centered on choice, control and communication, learning the power of shaping behavior and working at liberty. 

Her major contributions include developing and expanding the use of consent and Start Buttons in training.
She offers online courses, clinics and has been a part of Clicker Expo since 2013.

Jim Mackie, UK

ZSL London Zoo – ZSL.org

Jim’s has worked at The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for 21 years becoming the first Animal Training and Behaviour Officer in 2013.

Jim has since overseen a shift in animal management whereby positive, science-based, training techniques have largely replaced traditional methods such as restraint during medical and husbandry procedures.

Jim chairs the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Animal Training and Behaviour Working Group, is Vice Chair of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Training Group, and is an EAZA Academy instructor specialising in the use of trained behaviour to maximise welfare potential in Zoos and aquaria.

Jim regularly lectures, presents and provides workshops about Zoo animal training and behaviour both at home and abroad.

Lisa Longo, FR

Animal Académie – Animal-academie.com

Founder of Animal Académie, Lisa Longo is an animal behavior consultant in France.

She is a CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine), and a CPBT-KA (Certified Professional Bird Trainer).

Lisa is also an “Elite Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer”. She currently shares her home with a Czechoslovakian wolfdog, a red-lored Amazon parrot, a Blue & Gold Macaw, and a Gottingen pig.

J.R. Henderson, US

ZenCatsRoc – Zencatsroc.com

J .R. Henderson is the owner and operator of, ZenCatsRoc, an R+/- LIMA based constructional technologies approach to creating behavioral patterns encouraging both species appropriate responses and increased human-feline relationality. He is a graduate of, The Companion Animal Sciences Institute, with a diploma in Feline Behavior Science & Technology (Dip. FBST) and has worked both within the U.S. shelter system and also with private clients.

He lives in Rochester, NY, with his incredible clowder of Condie, Durga & Poe and is fortunate enough to have a day job as a registered nurse where learning and teaching abound. His particular behavioral fascinations currently revolve around environmental enrichment, antecedent arrangement and conceptual learning/conditioning.

Karen Ryder, US

Tao of the Hound – taoofthehound.com

Karen has been working in the training world since 1983. Her focus is on dogs with behavioural concerns as well as promoting cooperative care. Karen has worked with cattle, horses, pigs and goats to give them a say in their routine care. She also works proactively to provide the animal skills for care they may need due to age or injury. 

Karen is a Certified Control Un leashed Instructor and Certified Family Dog Mediator

Matthew Shackleton, UK

Shackleton Physiotherapy – shackletonvetphysio.com

Matthew Shackleton is a Veterinary Physiotherapist who qualified from the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Sciences, UK. Having originally worked as a Zookeeper and Lecturer in Animal Sciences, Matthew now specialises in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions in exotic and zoo animals. 

He is a regular speaker at Veterinary and Zoological conferences, and advocates a hands-off, holistic full-team approach using environmental assessment and co-operative care to shape exercise prescription. 

Matthew has recently been conducting (Masters) research into Komodo Dragon biomechanics, gait and lameness, working with six major UK Zoo collections.

Laura Monaco Torelli, US

Animal Behaviour Training Concepts – Lauramonacotorelli.com

Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder of Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago, Illinois. She began her career in 1991 at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where she trained with beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins. After nearly a decade at the Shedd, she moved on to the San Diego Zoo and then Brookfield Zoo as a lead supervisory trainer. During her time in the zoo community, Laura worked with a wide variety of animals, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, horses, parrots, tree kangaroos, giraffes, red pandas, foxes, and dogs. She is currently part of an exotic animal rescue and rehabilitation training team for the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Laura is a faculty member and instructor of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), and serves as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Susan G. Friedman’s Living & Learning with Animals online course. Laura has presented at numerous professional conferences and taught seminars across the United States, Italy, Sweden, the UK, Singapore, Japan, and the Caribbean. She was an invited speaker for the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention, Midwest Veterinary Conference, Penn Vet Working Dog Conference, ClickerExpo, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Conference , and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Conference. Laura has appeared on various broadcast media, including FOX 32, WGN, NBC 5 news, WGN Radio, and WCIU’s You & Me This Morning. She also contributed her training videos for the Fear Free Professional Trainer Certification and Karen Pryor Academy Better Vet Visits online courses. 

Learn more about Laura on her website, on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn or on Instagram.

Michelle Skurski, US

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – animaltraining.org

Zoological Manager Behavioral Husbandry,

Animal, Science and Environment

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.

Michelle Skurski began her career in California in 1990, with a focus on the husbandry and training of large felids.  In 1998 she moved to Florida to work with a variety of species, Asian and African hoof stock and large felids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and in 2001, she became a Manager of Behavioral Husbandry.  Ms. Skurski’s focus is on integrating science-based practices into the behavioral husbandry program while supporting and training the staff in the skills of training and enrichment with all animals in the collection. Michelle has consulted and presented around the world on the topic of animal training, enrichment and how to create and sustain a Behavioral Husbandry program.  She has a special interest in training large felids and has authored the behavioral management chapters for the Cheetah and Tiger AZA animal care manuals.   Michelle has also has an interest in the training and enrichment of reptiles, has been a course instructor for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Crocodilian Biology course for 8 years and has presented and authored several chapters on behavioral management of reptiles.  Michelle was the course administrator and an instructor for the animal training course for the AZA, Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings from 2008 through 2017.  

Michelle is currently a course co-administrator/instructor for the AZA course, Animal Enrichment in Zoo and Aquarium Settings.  Michelle is also currently co-course administrator/instructor for AZA virtual course, Integrating  Behavioral Husbandry into Animal Welfare Programs.

Steve Martin, US

Natural Encounters Inc. – naturalencounters.com

Steve Martin is President/CEO of Natural Encounters, Inc. (NEI), a company of over 50 professional animal trainers who teach animal training strategies and produce educational animal programs at zoological facilities around the world. Though best known for his work with free-flight bird programs, most of his work involves teaching mammal trainers the art and science of behavior change principals. He teaches several animal-training workshops each year at the NEI Training and Education Center.

He is also an instructor at the AZA Animal Training School, an instructor at the Recon – Elephant training workshop and a member of the AZA Behavior Scientific Advisory Group and Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group.

He is also President of Natural Encounters Conservation Fund, Inc. a non-profit company that has raised and donated over $1.3 million to insitu conservation programs. Steve Martin has a strong commitment to animal welfare, in situ conservation, and helping people understand their relationship with the living earth. The Mission Statement of NEI is “Connecting Humans With The Natural World” and Earth Day is an official holiday for all NEI employees. 

Peter Giljam, NL

Zoospensefull – Zoospensefull.com

Peter started his career as a sea lion training in Ouwehands Zoo in The Netherlands where he quickly discovered that animal training is what he wanted to do. After 5 years he decided to leave the Netherlands behind and started his international journey. He has worked in 5 different countries and with a wide range of species. 

He has served as the Vice President of IMATA from 2016 – 2018. 

In 2015 he started Zoospensefull where he shares his 17 years of experience training multiple species. Peter is a successful inspring and motivated animal trainer who has helped over 20 different zoological facilities. He doesn’t only help zoological facilities to extend their welfare programs but also helps private owners with their house hold animals. 

This Conference Is Sponsored By

Blue Sponsors

Yellow Sponsors


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a gift bag?

We have various products in our conference course area where sponsors give you a special discount on their products. Login onto zoospensefull.com and find out more.

How can I access the course platform?

When you go to Zoospensefull.com you login by going to the far right button in the menu. When you logged in you click on profile and it should be right there. Whenever you click on a topic you have to mark it to go to the next topic.  

Where can I find the link to the conference?

The Zoom link that you need to get access to the conference will be in the course platform. You have access to this platform whenever you register for the event.

I won't be able to make it trough the whole conference. Will there be a recording?

All the presentations will be recorded. These recording you can find in the course platform 2 weeks after the conference. 

Is there a translation service?

For this conference there will not be any translation services. The whole conference will be conducted in the English language.

Do we get a certificate after the conference?

Yes, after the conference you are able to download a conference certificate from the course platform. This certificate will have your name, conference and other valuable information for you to have.

For how long can we re-watch the conference after the recordings are up?

You can re-watch all the presentations presented at the conference for up to 6 months.

Will there be a proceedings available with all the abstracts?

Before the conference starts there will be a proceedings ready for you to download in the course area. This proceedings will have all the abstracts of the presentations ready for you to look at. 

How do I know which time the conference will be in my country?

The conference will be in CET which means Central European Time also known as GMT +1. To find out which time the conference will be for you Click HEREAdd your city and add Amsterdam afterwards. Press enter and you see the time difference which allows you to find out which time the conference will be for you in your country.

Will There Be Closed Captioning?

Yes. We will enable close captioning for anybody that wants to read with what is being said.

Can I get CEU's for this conference?

Yes. CCPDT and IAABC are giving CEU’s for this conference.

Zoospensefull Cooperative Care Conference 2021

“Together In Their Care”

13th – 17th of December, 2021


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