45th Annual Training Conference November 10-13, 2019 - South Padre Island, TX
The Texas Animal Control Association (TACA) will hold its 45th Annual Conference in South Padre Island, TX, on November 10th thru the 13th at the Isla Grand Beach Resort. TACA is the oldest state association in the United States and this is the most attended conference by city and county governments that have animal control/welfare departments and operate animal shelters in Texas. These government entities have annual budgets to operate these departments and are looking for vendors that have products and services that meet their needs. We try to keep our sponsorship/exhibitor rates as reasonable as possible because we understand that come companies that have goods or services that can greatly benefit our attendees simply can’t afford $1,000 or more to join us. Our conference provides the chance to spend more time with each registrant on a more personal level so that the advertising value to our sponsors and exhibitors is maximized.
TACA looks forward to your participation as a sponsor/exhibitor at this year’s conference. This registration form details all of the sponsor/exhibitor opportunities. The faster the registration is completed and paid for, the sooner we can post your company as a sponsor/exhibitor for this year’s conference on our web site, mailer, and other promotional materials. Space and sponsorships are limited but as a returning sponsor/exhibitor, you will have an exclusive registration opportunity until March 3rd. After that, we will open the registration to all interested parties so please complete your registration as soon as possible to reserve your space at the conference and ensure you are able to sponsor at the level you would like.
You can get lost in the crowd of other conferences or you can come join us and really have the opportunity to interact with all of our attendees! If you need any additional information or have any questions, please feel free to email me or call (682) 241-0905.
Texas Animal Control Association
All current members of the Texas Animal Control Association are entitled to vote for the Board of Directors that leads the Association. Ballots must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Friday, November 8th to be counted. Validity of any questionable ballot will be determined by the Nomination Committee of the Texas Animal Control Association Board of Directors and their decision is final.
If you are unable to register to vote, your membership is likely listed as lapsed in the system. Only current certified members have voting rights. Please click here to obtain or renew your membership. If you feel there is a mistake in the system, please email Jay Sabatucci so that corrections can be made.
Vice President Candidate
Secretary Candidate Lauren HartisHello I’m Lauren Hartis I’ve been on the board for TACA for a year now and would like to keep my position on the board I will continue to work for you if you keep me on the board. I’ve been working in the animal field for over 14years I am the Warden of the City of Humble animal control and adoption center. I come with many years of experience and enjoy meeting new ACOs from all around. I have education in animal science and behavior; I am an administrator level ACO also a registered vet tech I also teach the basic class with the state of Texas. I love to teach classes to other officers and believe education is the key to our jobs. I am very dedicated and if elected plan on staying for many years.
Board of Director Candidates (Four Positions Available)
Danni AlcantaraDanni Alcantara is currently the Field Supervisor for the City of Mesquite Animal Services. Danni has always had a love for animals and with her military background and moving all around the world has gotten to experience how other cultures view and respect animals. While in Okinawa, Japan she volunteered at the military veterinary clinic. She joined the Animal Services realm in 2008 as an Animal Care Attendant with the City of San Antonio Animal Services. During her 4 years with San Antonio, she assisted with Hurricane Ike and Gustav evacuees and was an Animal Care Representative, Volunteer Coordinator, and an Animal Care Officer. In 2012, she moved to the City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services (CCACS) as a Control Officer. The weekend she moved to Corpus Christi she assisted in the medical assessments of the animals from Spindletop Pit Bull Refuge in Willis, TX. In 2013 she became Kennel Master and helped CCACS take 2nd place in the Rachel Ray completion. During her 6 years with CCACS, she served on the Animal Issues Advisory Board, assisted in training new officers at Animal Control Officer Basic, and sat in a FEMA Dome waiting for Hurricane Harvey to pass then assisted with recovery.
Michelle DossonMichelle Dosson is a national field services trainer for Best Friends Animal Society, providing leadership and training for strategic shelter partners across the country. Through Best Friends shelter outreach program, Michelle conducts professional shelter operations and field assessments, and leads progressive, humane trainings for animal control agencies and officers. Prior to joining Best Friends and serving as a regional specialist for Best Friends Network partners in the Great Plains region, Michelle spent a decade implementing progressive community outreach programs and developing expertise in local and state legislation through Austin Animal Services. While working as a public health educator through the field services department, she created and led programs for the Austin community that included spay neuter services for companion animals and trap neuter return for community cats. Michelle has worked in public service for more than 15 years. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, she nurtured a deep passion for helping animals both human and nonhuman at a very early age through volunteer work with the Cape Town SPCA and local wildlife services. After moving to the U.S. in 1997 for an athletic scholarship, Michelle found her way to the City of Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia, where she worked as an animal caregiver, veterinary services technician and adoptions counselor. In 2008, she began a field services career as an animal protection officer for the city of Austin, Texas, just two years prior to the city passing it’s no kill implementation plan. Michelle’s experience as a field officer before, during and after Austin’s journey to no kill gives her unique insight into programming that prioritizes lifesaving. Michelle still resides in Austin with her canine companions, Drexil and Maggie, and cares for a small community cat colony. When not out championing lifesaving work for our four-legged friends, Michelle can usually be found lifting at the gym or rolling with the Texas Rollergirls.
Melissa Draper, DVMMy name is Melissa Draper, DVM. I am a 1993 graduate of Louisiana State University-School of Veterinary Medicine. I began my work in Louisiana in a traditional private practice. I moved to Arkansas where I practiced for an additional few years and I eventually moved to San Antonio, Texas. Once I was in Texas, I began practicing at the Animal Defense League. After nearly eight years of working at this private shelter, I took the position of Chief Veterinarian for the City of San Antonio. This position was extremely rewarding as I was able to see the transition of the live release rate, of 63,000 animals intaken per year, grow from 3 % to 45 % in just a few short years (and ultimately into the 90% range). Best of all I have seen Texas shelters move towards these same live release goals. After a brief period as Medical Director for the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans, I returned to serve as Medical Director for the City of Corpus Christi. Once again I've been privileged to watch the live release rate grow from 16% to what is now 88%. Over the years I have been involved in many different aspects of shelter medicine including being awarded the 2013 Eslinger Shelter Medicine Fellowship. I have served on several boards including the SpaySA board along with performing as secretary for the International Veterinarian Forensic Sciences Association. I am studying for my master's degree in Veterinary Forensic Sciences from the University of Florida.I have been teaching intermittently at the Texas Animal Control Association annual conference and a member of TACA for the past 10 years. I am the 2014 recipient of both the Presidential Citation Award and the Jim Dunlop Humane Educator award through TACA.I currently live in Corpus Christi, TX on the beach with my cats, Fluffaluffagus and Dracula along with my dog, Pinky Pig. I am married to James, who has been an Animal Control Officer for more than 20 years. We recently opened The ACT which is an education training academy. We currently teach a euthanasia course that does not involve the euthanasia of any animal but instead utilizes hands-on training with silicone molds to focus on the skills required to euthanize. My goal is to assist animal control officers in humane education and standards of care. If elected to the TACA board, I could assist animal control officers in achieving their goals by providing them with education and outreach. I am looking forward to this opportunity.
David J. Losoya My name is David J. Losoya and I have been multiple things in my life. A police dispatcher, Iraq War Veteran, fire fighter, educator, public servant, health official and for the past 7 years have dedicated myself to humane work and wildlife preservation. It would be an honor to be selected to serve you on the board. I've learned a great deal about humane perseverance working with local naturalist and rehabilitation groups. I learned professionalism and accountability as a former employee at the Houston SPCA. I learned that life is beyond black and white and how to build my community while progressing humane work and enforcement with the City of Pasadena where I currently serve as a humane officer and health official for the past 4 and a half years now. I believe the days of the old malicious "Disney Dog Catcher" swinging a giant net are over. Our job encompasses multiple fields and skills to include biology, zoology, law enforcement, professional writing, educating and above all the big heart it takes to work this field day in and out. I would like to continue this push to further the professional and capable look of our occupation for the better and end the "Dog catcher" stereotype. Yall are professionals and there are none that can match your individuality and the spirit you bring to our field of work. Thank you kindly.
Rhonda McLendonRhonda McLendon has been serving as Director of Pflugerville Animal Welfare Services and Pflugerville Animal Shelter since 2013. She has worked in municipal government for over 30 years, and in the Animal Services field for 16 years. She retired from the City of Lufkin after serving 25 years in different capacities, including Communications Operator, Police Officer, City Marshal, Municipal Court Administrator, and ten years as Director of Animal Control and Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter.
McLendon worked with K-9 Officers early in her law enforcement career, and began learning canine body language at that time. She was more than 65,000 animals come through the shelter in her tenure as Director with City of Lufkin, and learned much more about feline and canine body language. She was daily exposed to feral dogs and cats, fearful and fractious animals, and animals with behavior issues and began fine tuning her knowledge with thousands of hands on experiences and observing interactions between animals. She has her Master Peace Officer’s License and Advanced and Administrative ACO Certificates. Pflugerville Police Department carries her peace officer’s license, and McLendon teaches police officers and police cadets Canine Encounters-Defensive Tactics as well as teaching Canine and Feline Body Language and Communication locally and at conferences and training seminars across the state. In 2009 & 2010, she served as a Regional Director for TACA.
After a career in Human Resources, Danielle Tate moved into Animal Services in 2012 as the Animal Services Manager at the city of Grand Prairie. This was supposed to be a temporary assignment but I stayed for over 6 years because I found a passion for animal welfare. I enjoy the challenge each day brings because no 2 days are the same. During my tenure, a few highlights were the live release rate increased to over 80%, the Home for Hounds program was created in partnership with Dallas County Jail and the TNR program was initiated. January, 2019 I moved to the City of Waco which services Waco and 13 surrounding cities along with McLennan County.
My name is Amanda Weddle. I have been in the animal care industry both, in the Veterinarian sector and the Animal Services sector for the past 18 years. I've been an Animal Services Officer for 10 of those years with College Station, Lewisville and am currently with the City of Frisco. I strive to blend my Veterinarian Medicine knowledge with my Animal Services knowledge to better assist the animals in need and when training new officers. I have built field training programs to ensure incoming officers have a great start to building a safe and fulfilling career in Animal Services and Control.
If the registrant has or had a TACA membership, sign in using the email address that is specific to their TACA account. Current members can then register for the reduced rate and returning members can update their membership. New members will need to put in an email address they have access to and register as a member during registration. Do not register an attendee under a supervisor's email or using a group email (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). The credit card used to pay for the registration does not have to be in the registrant's name so supervisors can pay for the conference using their purchasing cards. Please email Jay Sabatucci or call him at (682) 241-0905 if you have any questions or problems with registration.
Please click here for more details about the conference, including course descriptions and speaker bios.
If you are interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor at the conference, please click here for more information.
The Conference will be held at the Isla Grand Beach Resort in South Padre Island. Reservations can be made online by clicking here or by calling (800) 292-7704 and use the code 1911Animal to get TACA's special rates. Hotel reservations must be made by October 18, 2019, to ensure you receive TACA's special rate.
This is the only conference in the state where every class, event, and award is specifically chosen due to the benefit it provides to our members. If you want the best training that will provide you with tools to better perform your daily duties, this is the conference you need to attend! We look forward to seeing everyone in South Padre Island on November 10-13!
One of the advantages of TACA membership is a free Euthanasia Course Renewal on Sunday, November 10. Members may use the Conference registration form.
Also, anyone who needs the TCCI 301 Class or TCCI Renewal may register here.
If a participant wants to provide feedback on this course and/or its sponsor, the participant can mail comments to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Training Course Coordinator, Zoonosis Control, MC 1956, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas, 78714-9347 or email them to The.Vet@dshs.state.tx.us.
Topics covered include Texas animal laws, on-scene evidence collection, processing evidence in the shelter, puppy mills, and animal hoarding.
Hosted in conjunction with TACA's 45th Annual Training Conference at the Isla Grande in South Padre. However, you do not have to attend the conference to attend Course 301.
Course 301 is approved for 6.5 CE hours by TDSHS.
All courses are accepted by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association for continuing education hours for Certified Veterinary Technicians.
Courses 101 and 301 are accepted by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) for continuing education hours for law enforcement personnel.
Animal Control Officers must satisfactorily complete all three courses. Certified Peace Officers must satisfactorily complete Courses 101 and 301.
Courses do not have to be taken in any particular order; however certification is not transferred until all courses are successfully completed as required.
Officers who have successfully completed a cruelty investigations course given by the National Animal Control Association, the Law Enforcement Training Institute, or the Association of Certified Cruelty Investigators may be certified as a TCCI if they email proof of training for consideration and approval. Officers who have successfully completed prior training may get credit for CI 101 and/or CI 201 and only be required to complete CI 301 for certification.
All Officers certified as TCCI must obtain and maintain an annual membership with TACA.
All Officers certified as TCCI must successfully complete a renewal course at least once every three years. Renewal courses will be provided each year at TACA's Annual Training Conference.