Come and learn with the Shelter Playgroup Alliance!  We offer workshops and host an annual conference.  Read more below to learn which option might be best for you and your team.

Shelter Playgroup Alliance workshops are hosted by shelters across the country, and are focused on developing or enhancing enrichment programs, and diving deep into canine behavior as it relates to inter-dog interactions, the Shelter Playgroup Alliance guidelines, and observe interactions and playgroups in action.  Workshops are typically three days in length, but depend on the host shelter. Workshops are conducted by Shelter Playgroup Alliance staff and consultants.  Click here to review sample two-day and three-day workshop agendas.

We host an annual shelter enrichment and behavior conference during which we explore current science and the theoretical foundations upon which the Shelter Playgroup Alliance Guidelines are based.  At our annual conference, you can expect to learn about shelter welfare, enrichment, and inter-dog interactions. We invite speakers who are well-respected in the field, including researchers and behavior consultants.

What are people saying about our workshops?

“My shelter just had the absolute pleasure of spending the past four days with Mara Velez of the Shelter Playgroup Alliance. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so! Mara was so much fun and all of my friends, colleagues, staff and volunteers just keep asking when can we have them back.”


Dot Baisley, Behavior Manager, Northeast Animal Services, Salem, MA




Everyone really enjoyed and has been raving about how long we've been wanting to get a training like this.  You guys were amazing and really gave us some valuable tools. Thanks again! 


Jamie Romeo, Volunteer, Humboldt County Animal Shelter, McKinleyville, CA

“We hosted Shelter Playgroup Alliance's Mara Velez who started us out talking about kennel and out of kennel enrichment as a foundation for a good shelter enrichment program, then we looked at dog body language in dog interactions, we did some live introductions, and we spent a day facilitating dog-interactions using their recommended process.  


This is really good stuff. All you shelter peeps should contact SPA for the opportunity to have them conduct a seminar for your shelter. SPA is a nonprofit org.


Mara is very experienced and fluent in shelter behavior. Very worthwhile!”


Kellie Snider, Director of Behavior Services, Humane Animal Rescue, Pittsburgh, PA



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