Southeastern Animal Control Association

 Animal Control Training and Conference 

Sign in from 7:30am to 8:00am daily   Conference from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily (unless otherwise posted)  1 hour lunch given and 10 minute breaks every hour.

***Course Descriptions will be listed below****    

Aug 6 Pre-conference  Included in Conference Cost or purchased as one-day event 

Instructor:    Rebecca Gimenez, PhD   TLAER President

TLAER ½ day Large Animal Cruelty Investigations

TLAER ½ day Large Animal rescue

Aug 7   Conference Begins

Instructors:  Kelly Thyssen  and Tabitha Blewett from Humane Education Academy  

(2hrs)Dealing with Difficult Personalities:  A Field Survival Guide- Kelly

(2hrs) FTO for the ACO: Train the Trainer - Tabitha

(2hrs) Urban Wildlife – how to co-exist.  Tabitha

(2hrs) Making the Case: The Shelter's Role in an Animal Cruelty Investigation - Tabitha

Aug 8 (awards day)

Instructors:  Kelly Thyssen and Tabitha Blewett from Humane Education Academy 

(2 hrs) CPR Demo with Q&A -Kelly

(2 hrs) Public Education: Successfully Reaching Out to your Community- Tabitha

(2 hrs) Public Relations for the ACO- Kelly

Awards Ceremony will be at the luncheon provided by SACA!

Aug 9 (half-day)

John Thompson – 8-10am      ACO-LEO connection

Jessica Rock,  – 10-12am     Animal Ownership Issues

Noon - Conference ends - Certificates handed out

Class Descriptions

LARGE ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATIONS - animal control/welfare officers sometimes don't get the training to deal with larger animals versus the dogs and cats they see each day.  In this course we will discuss strategies for getting to prosecution of large animal cruelty cases - a variety of subjects from documentation of the large animal scene and involved animals, to methods of manipulating downed animals to get them to the veterinarian, to finding the truth in statements from witnesses and owners on scene.  Expect to get involved in demonstrations and bring your questions for this active session.

Dealing With Difficult Personalities: A Field Survival Guide.

  • Difficult exchanges with the public can often cause great amounts of stress to ACO's/Humane Investigators, affect job satisfaction and even impact salaries through poor evaluations. This workshop will provide an overview of difficult personality types and how to navigate conflict with them. Understanding that most people are not deliberately toxic by nature, but rather have different motivations can help solve problems in field communications. Identifying the role of emotions (both the speaker and the listener) can impact the outcome of an interaction. Successful communications will improve community relationships and can even have a positive impact on animal welfare through improved field compliance.

  • FTO for the ACO: Train the Trainer

    • Training new Animal Control Officers can be a daunting task as our field continues to develop and evolve, yet there remains a lack of consistency with training protocol. This class will focus on developing a uniform, yet customizable training guideline which can fit within most all departments and agencies. The training guideline follows a basic four week FTO program which will cover all the needed basic information for anyone beginning with an agency. The objective in this class will be techniques on how to teach to different learning types, how to focus on what is important when working within a strict timeline, and the customizable timeline itself. At the completion of the class, a usb drive will be provided to each attendee, which will be pre-loaded with forms to take back to individual agencies to create ACO FTO programs.​

Urban Wildlife:  How to co-exist

With the continuing urban expansion of most cities encroaching natural habitats, human encounters with native wildlife are becoming more frequent.  Many animals can adapt and even thrive in the presence of humans, which will eventually lead to nuisance complaints and possible zoonotic issues.  Identifying some of the diets, behaviors and habitats of some common mammals  will help explain their part in the ecosystem and how to discourage their presence in residential neighborhoods. This class will cover how the reproductive cycle and migratory patterns which will impact nuisance calls and will also cover the safe capture and handling of indigenous species.As our primary goal is education, ACO’s will learn how to guide the public toward a peaceful coexistence with wildlife and how to make a residential area less conducive to wildlife invasion rather than just a “catch and kill” mentality. Rare, threatened and endangered species will also be discussed along with resources available for rehabilitation of wild animals. 


Making the Case: The Shelter's Role in an Animal Cruelty Investigation

  • This class will focus on the important role the shelter plays in the cruelty investigation. We will review record keeping, evidentiary procedures, laws, medical decisions and housing. Better understanding of when to contact an ACO and when to call in a veterinarian. Understanding the laws regarding privacy, specifically what can go on social media, when rescues can be called in, and when to allow information to be released to the media. With this knowledge, both ACO and shelter staff will be able to successfully work together during the cruelty investigation process. With better handling of the evidence as well as improved case continuity, cases will be able to be prosecuted, improving the lives of animals in the community.

Pet CPR Demo with Q &A 

  • This is a demonstration of Pet CPR only. 3 types of CPR will be demonstrated for the attendees and a question and answer portion will follow to cover any CPR or First Aid related questions attendees may have. 

  • Public Education: Successfully Reaching Out to Your Community

    • In the community of animal welfare professionals, we all share a desire for the public to know more about what we do and what resources are available to them.  Our goal with this workshop is to focus on improving communication with the public as wells procedures through teaching classes and workshops in the community.This workshop includes tips on developing classes on urban wildlife, new pet ownership, offender programs, children's programs and Parks and Recreation services.  We will also address how to deal with the fear of public speaking.  As the populations of humans and animals increase, being able to reach out and educate as many people as possible is crucial to making our jobs easier and can also improve the quality of life for animals in our area. ​

  • Public Relations for the ACO

    • The goal of this class is to prepare officers for interaction with the media and to nourish a positive relationship with their community. Animal Welfare is typically an emotional and occasionally sensational issue which frequently appears in news media.  Properly navigating social media and maintaining professionalism during interviews are skills needed by today's ACO's.​

Animal Ownership Issues

Who owns the animal at any given time in the regulatory process and shelter custody scenario is extremely important.   This session will walk the audience through various ownership issues from common law claims (lost vs. abandoned) and statutory claims (lost property and dog-theft statutes) through various shelter ownership disputes, including shelter error in the disposition of sheltered animals and pet "laundering" to clean title.   Problem scenarios will be utilized to illustrate specific issues and also to help generate discussion with the audience.