Southeastern Animal Control Association

 Animal Control Training and Conference 

Dr. Rebecca (Gimenez) Husted

2146793629 cell email 


Educator, Facilitator, Consultant

Rebecca (Gimenez) Husted holds a BS in Biology from Wofford College, a PhD in Animal Physiology from Clemson University. A past Biology adjunct professor, her current scientific research interests include a national survey of trailer accident causality, barn fire causality and improving fire prevention standards for animal facilities, study of animal physiological responses to Technical Rescue procedures and equipment, and investigation into poor nutrition in horse neglect cases. Her first book on Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue was published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2008.

Currently the Public Information Officer and a Support Fire Fighter for the City of Gray Volunteer Fire Department, Georgia, she is a past Logistics Officer for National Veterinary Response Team (formerly Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT -2)), and served as a Major in the US Army Reserves with a 2006/2007 combat tour in Kuwait and Iraq as a Communications Officer. She retired as J6 Communications staff lead for multi-agency coordination in military and disaster exercises at US SOUTHERN COMMAND, Miami, FL in 2016.

She gives training in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAERTM ) techniques across the US and Internationally. She leads the USA in innovative ideas, methodologies, her understanding of complex human factors involved in large animal rescue aspects, and manages an online Facebook study group of 11k+ global members featuring 12 administrators to discuss and share techniques in applied large animal rescue and disasters related to animals. She serves as an advisor for numerous graduate and veterinary school students, serves on various committees (including Equine Welfare with PATH, International) and hosts TLAER working students at her farm in Georgia.

She is a Principal member of the Technical Committee of the NFPA Standard 150 – Animal Housing and contributes to numerous other NFPA committees and others defining technical competencies for large animal rescue around the world. Her expertise in research & development of numerous technical procedures and techniques has been honed by teaching her privately owned animals to participate (lay down on command, lifted in slings) without sedation. They have taught her so much about behavior in TLAER situations – both good (useful behaviors) and bad (destructive and dangerous ones.)

She has published numerous critiques, protocols and refereed journal articles on a variety of technical subjects in large animal disaster and emergency rescue, authored chapters in two leading veterinary textbooks related to TLAER, and spends enormous amounts of time educating people from all walks of life about better methods to assist animals from blogs to social media.

She trains and trail rides her 6 horses using Natural Horsemanship methods, is active in various organizations - especially disaster preparedness, cruelty investigations of animal abuse and trailriding / greenspace issues. She lives on 20 acres in Macon, GA with her animals and her enchanting husband and partner, Mark Husted.

Kelly Thyssen and Tabitha Blewett

Humane Educators of Texas

105-A Tradesman Dr

Hutto, TX 78634


Tabitha Blewett has over 18 years of experience in the field of animal care and animal services.  While residing in California she worked as the education director for a non-profit wildlife rescue organization with special focus on large cats. She also worked for private animal boarding and training facilities in the San Diego area, as well as for the North County Humane Society.


After relocating to Texas, she worked for the Williamson County Humane Society as the kennel manager, and also served as a member of the advisory board for the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

In September 2018, she retired from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office after 10 years of service with the department. She was the Local Rabies Control Authority for Williamson County as well as the Animal Control Field Supervisor for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, where she oversaw a team of 5 Animal Control Officers.


During her time at the Sheriff's Office, she has excelled in promoting educational outreach for the community, including giving frequent public education presentations for children. She developed the fractious animal training program for employees of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department, as well as educational seminars on urban wildlife which she has presented at various events around Williamson County.


Tabitha holds certifications in; Basic and Advanced ACO, Collapsible Baton, OC Spray, X26 Taser, Rifle Qualification, Zoonotic Diseases, Verbal Judo, Herpetology Handling, Blood Sports Investigations, and Rabies Investigations. Tabitha is also Nationally Certified as an Animal Cruelty Investigator.


She lives in Hutto, TX with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and two cats.

Kelly has over 13 years experience in the animal welfare field. Kelly has worked as an Animal Control Officer for City of Cedar Park, City of Pflugerville and City of Georgetown, as a Veterinary Technician for Pflugerville Animal Hospital, as a Kennel Manager for Humane Society of Williamson County, and as a Public Health and Prevention Specialist for Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Program.


Kelly founded Humane Educators of Texas, LLC in 2014 with the mission to provide quality continuing education courses for ACOs and Law Enforcement. This company has slowly grown while she continued to work in the field as a full time Animal Control Officer. In January 2017, Tabitha Blewett officially joined Kelly as an instructor. In September 2018 Kelly left the field (along with her new business partner, Tabitha) to open a brick and mortar location to house a full-time training academy in Hutto, TX, The Humane Education Academy. ​This facility hosts CE courses for Animal Control Officers daily as well as Pet CPR/First Aid classes for the public. It also hosts a 160 hour Animal Control Officer Academy designed to provide a comprehensive training experience for persons who are wishing to join the Animal Care & Control profession.

She is a member of Pflugerville Police Association, Pflugerville Community

Emergency Response Team, and Citizens on Patrol.  While working for

DSHS, she was a member of the Region 7 Central Texas Wildfire Response Team

in response to the Bastrop County Complex wildfire of 2011. Kelly was the Chairperson for the Georgetown Animal Shelter Advisory Board from 2014-2018.

Kelly holds certifications in:

TX DSHS Basic ACO; FEMA Animals in Disaster: Awareness, Preparedness, and Planning; Euthanasia Technician and Instructor, Shelter Operations, Aggressive and Dangerous Dog Handling, OC Spray, Bite Stick, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, Pet CPR Instructor, Officer Safety & Survival, LRCA Certification, Rabies Investigation, Self Aid/Buddy Aid Tactical First Aid

Currently Kelly lives in Pflugerville, TX with her husband (local police officer), daughter Elena, their 2 dogs and 1 crazy cat.  

Jessica Rock

Animal Law Attorney

404-272-7956 cell

Frequent speaker on the link between animal abuse, interpersonal violence (domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse) and other collateral crimes (organized crime, gangs, drugs, illegal weapons, dangerous dogs, dog fighting, child pornography, bestiality, human trafficking and more), animal law, animal cruelty and animal fighting for law enforcement, animal control officers, prosecutors and veterinarians.

Jessica is the Director of Legal Advocacy & Law Enforcement Support with the Atlanta Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Unit. She provides expertise to law enforcement, animal control officers and prosecutors from the crime scene to the courtroom for animal abuse cases, including animal cruelty and dog fighting anywhere in Georgia. She also provides free POST, CLE and LEAP credited training on animal abuse investigations and prosecutions and the link between animal abuse and other crimes for law enforcement, animal control officers, prosecutors, judges and veterinarians.

Former Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit for DeKalb County, Jessica graduated with Honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Jessica received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Emory University School of Law in 2003. After clerking for a superior court judge and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, in 2004, she became Georgia’s first dedicated animal cruelty prosecutor, creating Georgia's first animal cruelty task force with law enforcement.

For over a decade, Jessica successfully prosecuted thousands of special victims cases involving homicide, RICO, gangs, domestic violence, elder abuse, child victim cases, animal cruelty and dog fighting. In 2014, she co-founded an organization that served as a resource and conducted trainings for animal law professionals. Training judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, animal control officers and veterinarians for over 15 years, she continues teaching nationally and throughout Georgia on the link between animal abuse and other crimes, animal law, animal cruelty, neglect, animal fighting, abandonment, animal hoarding, puppy mills, large impound cases, equine cruelty and case preparation and courtroom presentation in animal abuse cases.

In addition to her speaking engagements, she also works diligently drafting laws related to animals in Georgia on both the state and local levels. She is the immediate past Chair of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and on the executive board of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals.