138 Cordelia Camp Bldg
69 East University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7397 tel
800.928.4968 toll-free tel
828.227.7115 fax


Bone ID & Extending the Life of Your Dog

May 17 & 18, 9am-5pm

$250.00 / lunch included each day

Bone Identification - Saturday, May 17

The bone identification workshop focuses on providing opportunity for participants to handle and view numerous human and non-human skeletons. The goal is to help cadaver dog handlers gain enough experience with bones from mammals, including humans, to begin to be able to distinguish the human remains from all others. This will be accomplished via hands on exercises with guidance from the instructor and by allowing students to try their hand at numerous identifications. The names of bones will not be stressed, but identifying whether they are human or not will be. Participants will learn how to reason their way through an identification as well as how to recognize the limits of their knowledge. Lunch will be provided on both Saturday May 17th and Sunday May 18th.

A text book will not be provided, but it is recommended that students purchase and bring to the class the following book (available from Amazon):

Comparative Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Guide of Common North American Animals

By Bradley Adams and Pam Crabtree (

About the Instructor

Cheryl A. Johnston, Ph.D. is a board certified forensic anthropologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She grew up in Asheville, N.C. and earned her doctoral degree at the Ohio State University in 2002. Dr. Johnston served as the physical anthropologist for the Ohio Historical Society from 1993 until 2002 and was responsible for a collection of over 6000 sets of human remains. In 2005 Dr. Johnston joined the faculty at Western Carolina University. Dr. Johnston has worked as a consultant in forensic anthropology since 1991 for numerous agencies including the Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Macon, and Clay County (N.C.) Sheriff's Departments, the Ohio Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and numerous Ohio Coroner's and Sheriff's Offices. Her major interests in forensic anthropology are age and sex estimation and taphonomic processes, especially the effects of fire on bone. She designed and is carrying out the human decomposition research program at Western Carolina University's Forensic Osteology Research Station (FOREST), one of only a few outdoor decomposition facilities in the world.

Extending The Working Life of Your Cadaver Dog - Sunday, May 18

Dr. Tami Shearer has designed a course to address the health concerns of Cadaver dog trainers and teams.  She teaches using an integrative approach addressing current issues about emergencies, cancer, sports injuries, mobility challenges and vaccination recommendations. Dr. Shearer will share practical solutions to preserve quality of life based on her 28 years experiences as a veterinarian and her own personal experiences as a Search and Rescue dog owner plus her experiences as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.   One unique feature of this course will include a session on acupressure points to be used to support the dogs when there is a health problem.


Dr. Tamara Shearer is a 1986 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and received her certification as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner from the University of Tennessee in 2005.  She is one of only 59 veterinarians to receive the title of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

After practicing in Ohio for 22 years, Dr. Shearer has opened an integrative practice in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she combines multiple treatment principles ranging from conventional medicine and rehabilitation techniques to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.  She focuses on pain management, rehabilitation, acupuncture and palliative care.

Dr. Shearer was honored as 2003 Veterinarian of the Year by Hartz Mountain Corporation, she was a recipient of the Ohio Animal Foundation's Award for Community Service Award in 2004, and Boehringer Ingelheim's 2005 Award for Meritorious Service in Small Animal Practice.  Her work in hospice care for pets has been featured in the Washington Post and numerous other publications including the AVMA Journal.

Dr. Shearer has authored 4 books on health care for pet owner including 3 first aid books for pets. Her veterinary publications include, High-Tech Pain Management- Low Level Laser Therapy and was the first veterinary handbook on therapy lasers to be published in the USA in 2004.   She contributed a chapter to Dr. Gaynor's, Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management on hospice care.  She was the guest editor and contributed chapters of the 2011 edition, Veterinary Clinics of North America on hospice and palliative care.

She has lectured on rehabilitation, hospice care and laser therapy at various veterinary conferences including the Western States Conference, North American Veterinary Conference, Southeast Veterinary Conference, the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the Central Veterinary Conference, and the Southern Veterinary Conference.

Dr. Shearer is a long time member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.   She was the 2009-2010 President of American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians and is also a member of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics.  


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