RESCUECON is a convention like no other, where the human-animal bond and its ties to culture and creativity take center stage. Through visual and performing arts, talks, workshops, family-friendly activities, and pet services, attendees will learn, play, explore, and, above all, refresh their relationship with animals and each other.
- Rejuvenate with bunny yoga, coffee with kitties, and other relaxing activities.
- Meet a new furry family member with dog, cat, and rabbit adoptions from Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles County rescue organizations.
- View innovative and thought-provoking art exhibitions and live performances.
- Get your pet microchipped, spayed and/or neutered with on-site, low-cost services.
- Hear from some of the country’s most renowned leaders and thinkers in animal welfare and learn how you too can help animals of all kinds, including farmed animals and wildlife.
- Build community with other attendees and nonprofits.
- Bring the kids for storytelling, makerstations and more.
- Savor the best of SoCal’s plant-based food trucks and caterers.
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- Artists Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey have been dealing with performances by and for pets since 2014. In order to give back to the animals at least a little, Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey ended up devising their tailor-made Performances for Pets, individually adapted to the needs of dogs and cats based on preliminary briefings by their owners.
- Ellie Laks is the Founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, a national organization that rescues and rehabilitates unwanted animals, and heals people with the same stories of abuse and neglect.
- Margo DeMello received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from U.C. Davis in 1995, and currently teaches at Canisius College in the Anthrozoology Masters program. She is the Program Director for Human-Animal Studies at Animals & Society Institute, and the President of House Rabbit Society.
- Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of several books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought.”
- Emma Newton is a graduate of Vermont Law School’s Masters of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy program and holds an MS in Anthrozoology from Canisius College. Emma focuses on the intersection between human health, animal welfare, and environmental conservation in policy and community organizing in our industrial food system.
- Jane O’Hara is a curator and artist who has mounted solo exhibitions and participated in group shows nationally with her paintings of animals. Jane has curated the traveling and evolving Beasts of Burden exhibition which was first shown in Boston, then NYC, timed to coincide with the Compassion Arts and Culture & Animals Festival.
- Teresa J. Rhyne is the #1 New York Times and international Bestselling author of “The Dog Lived (and So Will I),” a memoir that shares the story of how her beagle’s fight with cancer prepared her for her own battle with breast cancer, told with raw honesty and laugh-out-loud humor.
- Maythee Rojas is a Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Rojas’ most recent book project is a cultural studies analysis of the interactions between canines and U.S. Latino communities.
- Ruben Alarcón, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biology at CSU Channel Islands where he teaches courses in Behavioral Ecology, Entomology and Apiculture & Bee Biology. His research focuses on pollination, bee biology and sustainable agriculture.
- Leigh Anne Busse is a certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist with a Master’s degree in Veterinarian Science.
- Cappi Patterson, an animal lover all her life, started the PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) program, taking care of the pets of AIDS patients.
- Juanita Valdez-Nishida is a native of Oxnard and a schoolteacher by profession. With her great love of cats and nine years of trapping experience, she passionately educates the benefits of helping homeless cats. She teaches free trapping classes and coordinates trapping at sites where stray and feral cats multiply.