Advisory Board Member Bios
Kelly A. Bettinger
Kelly A. Bettinger is a research professional in the University of Georgia’s Department of Plant Biology. Bettinger received her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech in 1989, and her Master of Science in Wildlife Biology from Oregon State University in 1996. Her particular area of interest includes inventory, monitoring, and developing protocols. She has more than 14 years of experience in avian inventory and monitoring, and has taught an annual workshop for fellow wildlife biologists on avian monitoring techniques and birding by ear.
Over her career, Bettinger has been involved in inventory and monitoring projects on both coasts, focused on a wide range of species. She was also involved in publishing Breeding Bird Atlases in both Oregon and Georgia, and was a member of the team that researched and published the book, Wildlife Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington.
Bettinger is a founding member and the coordinator of the non-profit Cat Zip Alliance/Campus Cats in Athens, GA, whose broad mission is to promote humane and effective community cat management through a trap-neuter-return-monitor approach, coupled with barn cat, sanctuary, and adoption programs, in order to keep cats out of animal control facilities. At a local scale, the non-profit provides daily care for the cats that live on University of Georgia (UGA) property; at a regional scale, they provide resources to help people manage cats in their own backyards throughout northeast Georgia.
Rachael Kreisler, V.M.D, M.S.C.E., D.A.C.V.P.M.
Dr. Kreisler’s interest in feline health and lifesaving work in shelters sparked her return to university after a decade-long career in information technology. Prior experience included a stint at IBM as well as founding her own small software business. She was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. After graduation, she worked as a Lecturer in Shelter Medicine and Surgery and completed the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (M.S.C.E.) program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
In 2015, Dr. Kreisler joined Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for the extraordinary opportunity to create a shelter medicine didactic curriculum, extracurricular program and clinical rotation from the ground up. She is passionate about the shelter medicine program’s mission to provide education, service and discovery that promotes and supports humane communities.
Dr. Kreisler’s research has focused on topics that inform clinical decision-making, affect shelter and at-risk animal populations, and improve veterinary student education. Her intensive training in statistics through the M.S.C.E. program, previous career experience working with data, and substantive veterinary expertise has empowered her work as a clinical epidemiologist.
Joan E. Schaffner, J.D.
Professor Schaffner is an Associate Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. Schaffner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Professor Schaffner’s most recent work has focused on the compassionate management of free-roaming cats. Publications on this topic include the 2019 article “The Road to TNR: Examining Trap-Neuter-Return Through the Lens of Our Evolving Ethics,” co-authored with Peter J. Wolf, and published 2019 in Frontiers of Veterinary Science; the review article “Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Dangerous Book,” published September 2018 in Journal of Animal Ethics; and the article “Community Cats: Changing the Legal Paradigm for So-Called ‘Pests’,” published March 2017 in Syracuse Law Review.
Professor Schaffner is also the author of Introduction to Animals and the Law; co-author and editor of A Lawyer’s Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues and Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers; and author of several book chapters including “Evolving Perspectives on Captive Wild Animals” in Wildlife Law and Ethics: A U.S. Perspective, and “Valuing Nature in Environmental Law: Lessons for Animal Law and the Valuation of Animals” in What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law?
Appointments: Past Chair and Newsletter Vice-Chair, for the American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Animal Law Committee; Co-Chair of the ABA International Section, International Law Committee; Founding Chair of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Animal Law; and Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
Awards: Excellence in Animal Law Award: Scholarship-Teaching-Service, from the AALS Animal Law Section (2018). ABA TIPS Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award (2013).
Robert Schmidt, Ph.D.
Dr. Schmidt’s academic credentials include degrees in natural resources and ecology from Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of California-Davis. He moved to Logan, Utah, in 1991, after leaving a position with the University of California-Berkeley working on oak woodland management programs. Dr. Schmidt has been teaching at Utah State University ever since.
Among the courses Dr. Schmidt teaches are Living with Wildlife, Environmental Non-Profit and Volunteer Management, Natural Resources Professional Orientation, Why Bad Things Happen to Good Animals, and Environmental Advocacy and Action.
Dr. Schmidt's interests revolve around how we interact with wildlife, and how our actions influence wildlife (and vice-versa). This involves a mix of ecology, wildlife management, and human dimensions. Much of his career has focused on gray wolves, coyotes, green sea turtles, feral cats, ethics, trapping, professionalism, and human dimensions.
Bob Weedon, D.V.M, M.P.H.
Dr. Weedon received his Bachelor of Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Purdue University and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Weedon is currently a feral cat surgeon working and volunteering with TLC PetSnip in Lakeland, FL, having retired in 2018 as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Service Head of Shelter Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where he trained veterinary students in High-Quality, High-Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSN) techniques.
Prior to that role, Dr. Weedon was the senior partner of a seven-doctor, two-location small animal practice in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he also volunteered his services to spay and neuter shelter animals and feral cats. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs, an international organization whose goal is to develop and implement non-surgical sterilants to help solve the problem of pet overpopulation worldwide.
Dr. Weedon served as the veterinarian on the New Hanover County (North Carolina) Board of Health for six years, and was a member of the Animal Control Services Advisory Committee. He's also served on the Board of Directors of the Public Health Foundation of New Hanover County, and University of North Carolina Public Health Foundation Board.
Dr. Weedon is co-author of the chapter on rabies in the textbook Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters, 2nd edition.
Peter J. Wolf
Peter J. Wolf is a research and policy analyst for Best Friends Animal Society. His role involves the analysis of science and public policy related to free-roaming cats and their management.
Wolf’s writing is published regularly on the Best Friends blog, in letters to the editor, and in peer-reviewed research articles. Wolf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (University of Detroit) and Master of Science degree in industrial design (Arizona State University). His professional/industry experience has focused on the acquisition, analysis, and synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data.