Presentations for Veterinarians and Pet Parents
Melissa Shapiro is a veterinarian and a lifelong animal welfare advocate. She is also mom to Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy. Since bringing Piglet home in 2017, she has used his social media platform to educate, advocate, and inspire others to adopt pets with special needs.
Her nonprofit organization, Piglet International Inc., supports the Piglet Mindset educational outreach, a free downloadable educational program that teaches growth mindset, acceptance, inclusion, empathy, and kindness to children (and adults) all around the world.
Her new book, PIGLET, The Unexpected Story of a Deaf Blind Pink Puppy and His Family is available wherever books are sold.
Dr. Shapiro is a passionate speaker, presenting informative, entertaining talks about pets with disabilities and special needs to veterinarians and pet parents. She also makes in-person and virtual visits to schools for Piglet Mindset presentations. And her Vet School for Kids educational program offers in-person and virtual classes to children who are interested in veterinary medicine and other animal- related careers.
All presentations and programs are versatile and flexible, and can be customized for many different platforms, organizations, and settling.
Presentations for Pet Parents
Presentations for Children
Vet School for Kids
Presentations for Veterinarians
A Veterinarian's Guide to Pets with Disabilities and Special Needs
This is an overview of commonly seen disabilities in pets. Through a discussion of specific pets with disabilities that includes photos and videos, the audience will leave feeling inspired, with a better understanding of the veterinarian’s role in supporting and guiding clients who choose to care for profoundly disabled pets.
A Veterinarian's Guide to Deaf, Blind, and Deaf Blind Dogs
Deaf, blind, and deaf-blind dogs are commonly presented to veterinary hospitals. But not all veterinarians are prepared to advise and guide pet parents in all aspects of the care their deaf and blind dogs require. This talk includes an in-depth discussion of dogs born deaf and blind, or that become deaf and/or blind later in life. We will focus on specifics of care, interacting and communicating, safety, and how veterinarian’s can be supportive of the people who care for these extra special dogs.
A Veterinarian's Guide to Managing the Severe Consequences of Double Merle Breeding
Unfortunately, double merle breeding is alive and well in the US and across the world. Breeding two merle, dapple, or harlequin colored dogs results in a 25% chance each puppy will be born predominantly white with congenital ear and eye defects of varying severity. Why would anyone intentionally create profoundly disabled dogs? What happens to these beautiful exotic looking dogs, some of whom can’t hear and see? Why are so many dumped or euthanized? Is a deaf blind dog able to lead a happy, good quality of life? Join us to find answers to these and other questions, and leave empowered to make a difference for double merle dogs that walk into your animal hospital.
A Veterinarian's Guide to Wheelchair Dogs
Wheelchairs aren’t only for Dachshunds with IVDD. This presentation focuses on the many different reasons dogs might find themselves using wheels. We will cover options for wheels and how to help dogs adapt to using wheels. And we will review aspects of caring for paralyzed and other mobility challenged dogs.
Disabled Pets, Social Media, and Community Outreach
Turn on any social media platform and you can find viral videos featuring the most adorable, inspiring animal stories. But what happens next? Join us for a look into the mission driven lives of some of the most influential disabled pets on social media.
Piglet Mindset for Kids and Adults
This is a motivational and educational presentation that focuses on the happy inspirational life of Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy. Children and adults will enjoy learning about how Piglet faces his challenges with a positive attitude despite his limitations. We specifically address growth mindset, Piglet Mindset, as well as Acceptance, Inclusion, Empathy, and Kindness with “Piglet’s Inclusion Pack”, a group of 6 rescued dogs who serve as Piglet’s supporting cast. For more info visit PigletMindset.org.