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2017 43rd Annual Conference November 12-15

TACA's 43rd Annual Conference, November 12-15, 2017 at the MCM Grand Elegante' Suites in Abilene.  Call (325) 698-1234 or toll free at (888) 897-9644 and tell them you are attending the TACA Conference.  Hotel reservations must be made by October 20th to ensure you receive TACA's special rate.  

Please click here to register and see below for course information.  

Conference costs will be:

   Member  Non-Member 
(includes membership)
 Early Registration (by 10/20/17) $175 $225
 Standard Registration $200 $250

 Day/Time  Instructor Name  Course Description
November 12    
8:00-5:00  TCCI Course 301 (not included in conference registration fees)
8:00-11:00  TCCI Renewal (free for all TCCI with current TACA membership)
9:00-1:00 Ethel Strother Certified Euthanasia Technician Renewal (free for all registered conference attendees)
3:00-5:00    Registration
November 13    
7:00-8:30   Registration
8:30-9:00   Welcome
9:00-5:00  Jay Sabatucci Basic Animal Control Officer Certification - Please click here to email Jay Sabatucci or call him at (817) 319-5697 to obtain the necessary forms and manual for the class.
9:00-10:30 Amy Castro

Dealing with Difficult People
Difficult people come in all shapes and sizes and figuring out how to handle each type can be a big challenge.  Participants in this humorous and realistic program will learn to identify the most common difficult personality types, verbal and nonverbal techniques to interact effectively with difficult people, active listening skills that can help them “survive” a face-to-face or telephone conversation with a difficult person, and conflict resolution techniques to diffuse confrontational situations.  Participants will practice conversations with difficult people.

 11:00-12:30 Lisa Norwood Media Meat & Potatoes
With the everyday stress that comes with running an animal control agency, dealing with the media usually doesn’t rise to the top of the “to do” list….if it makes it on the list at all! This workshop will help you learn easy (relatively painless) ways to strengthen your media relationships, find out why you should call that reporter back and and figure out how to ensure your agency gets a fair shake when things go bad. Come ready to learn the who, what, when, where and why of why of working with the media!
 or Dr. Catherine McManus Decontamination of Pets in Disasters
Pets are affected by all types of disasters so Animal Control Officers will always be expected to assist in these times of crisis.  Many disasters, whether they are natural ones like tornados or man-made like meth labs, will result in pets being exposed to materials, chemicals, and other substances that could potentially affect their short and long-term health.  It is vital that ACOs know how to identify these hazards and respond to them appropriately so that their own health and the well-being of the affected pets are not jeopardized. 
Lunch   On your own
 2:00-3:30 Amy Castro

Customer Service for Animal Welfare
Animal Control Officers and shelter personnel may get into this profession because of their love of animals but the ability to handle human interactions will often determine how successful they are in their career.  Having good customer service skills will reduce complaints and increase compliance in both field and shelter settings.  This course will focus on being assertive while also creating a great experience for all customers.  First impressions, dress/appearance, word choice, body language, and responding to citizen complaints in a positive, professional, and timely manner will all be discussed as they all play a part in having a positive image of animal control in the eyes of the public.

 or Lyssa MacMillan Bridging the Gap
For over 5 years, the city of San Antonio’s Animal Care Service has provided a community program known as the Comprehensive Neighborhood Sweeps Initiative.  This targeted delivery of free and low-cost pet resources has helped thousands of low-income families obtain affordable care for their pets.  This program is organized and implemented by the shelter’s innovative Education & Outreach Team.  This course will help attendees develop a more thorough understanding of the relationships between community outreach, education, law enforcement, and animal welfare, gain insight into the features, methods, and successes of a large animal shelter's growing Education & Outreach program, and obtain valuable perspective on humane education and animal shelter partnerships through question and answer sharing with the audience so that similar education programs can be implemented in their communities.
 4:00-5:30 Dr. Catherine McManus Pet CPR and First Aid in the Field
Animal Control Officers often must wear a lot of hats.  They may be a mediator between feuding neighbors, a humane educator for a resident who needs help, and then a law enforcement officer for an irresponsible owner.  One duty they all have to perform is being a first responder for hurt or sick pets.  Whether the injury is due to being hit by a car or from exposure to extreme elements, ACOs need to know how to properly provide immediate emergency care to stabilize the animal before it can be transported for more intensive care at a veterinary hospital.  
 or Kate Rugroden Developing an Effective Wildlife Management SOP
Both private and municipal animal shelters are becoming increasingly involved in urban wildlife management issues, as human encroachment on wild animal habitats continues to drive these animals into close contact with the public. Developing and maintaining a standard operating plan (SOP) for managing wildlife in domestic animal shelters is crucial in ensuring the health and safety of the public and shelter employees and volunteers, while protecting these animals and remaining in compliance with local, State, and Federal regulations and guidelines. In this course, participants will learn about the key components of a successful Wildlife Management SOP, and will have an opportunity, through small group activity, to begin drafting an outline for an effective SOP for their agency, based on relevant regulations and existing best practices.
 5:30-7:00  Reception
 7:00-???  ACO Olympics sponsored by Jones Trailer Company
 November 14    
 9:00-5:00 Jay Sabatucci  Basic Animal Control Officer Certification (continued)

Kate Rugroden Bat Basics for Animal Care and Control
This program introduces animal care and animal services professionals to the most unique and misunderstood animals on the planet – bats.  As humans expand their footprint on the landscape, bats come into contact with the public with increasing frequency. Animal Services agencies, shelters, veterinary clinics, and nuisance wildlife control operators need to be properly educated and equipped to handle these animals safely, and to provide accurate information to the public about them.  Topics include basic information about bats and their role in the environment, public health and safety issues, rabies, safe capture and handling, eviction and exclusion of bats in human-occupied structures, and White Nose Syndrome. 
 or Clint Thacker Disease in the Shelter Environment
Many Animal Control Officers and shelter staff can identify a sickness based on clinical signs but may not know how to properly kill the disease. This interactive presentation utilizes fun stories based on personal experience as an ACO and shelter supervisor, attendees are given the knowledge to kill the diseases and how to keep them away. This course will focus on cleaning versus disinfecting, getting to know the enemy, not all disinfectants are created equal, killing the disease, precautions to take to keep diseases away, and zoonotic diseases.
 11:00-12:30 Kathy Davis and Yolanda Eisenstein
2017 Legislative Session Update
Do you know what animal-related bills were filed in the 2017 legislative session?  Even more importantly, do you know which ones passed?  This course will detail the new laws and bills that didn't pass but could be back in future sessions.  It will also teach attendees how to get involved so that those professionals affected most by these bills can ensure their voices are heard in future session.
 or Karen Deeds In Whose Best Interests? (part 1)
The variables discussed in this seminar will help Animal Control Officers and shelter staff determine the best option for a behaviorally challenged dog in their care. Reviewing a structured analysis of 16 variables will help to establish group by-laws, increase the success of the adoption program by permanently placing more dogs, and to help determine the fate of a dog in the shelter. An overview of a behavior modification plan will also be discussed to help those dogs with reactivity or aggression issues. Sometimes there are dogs where no clear placement option exists. Fear, anxiety, reactivity, aggression, and compulsive disorders are some common behavior challenges that may present as challenges to placement. This seminar will help decision makers logically consider what option is best for the dog once they are in the shelter. The key variables that must be taken into consideration when making an informed decision about the future of the dog will be discussed. With any rescue group, shelter, or owner, there are limitations of what can reasonably be expected of them. The necessary management, training, and behavior modification practices required to safely and humanely change behavior take time, the right environment, adequate finances, commitment, compliance, and competency. Although there may be others that will make a guarantee to ‘fix’ a behavior problem, such guarantees should be analyzed for their effectiveness using humane practices as well as the laws of learning and behavioral science.
 12:30-2:00  TACA Awards Luncheon (free for all registered conference attendees) sponsored by Vortech Pharmaceuticals
 2:00-3:30 Karen Deeds In Whose Best Interests? (part 2)
 or Josh Henderson and Heather Prestridge Mass Casualty Events and How to Respond
After a recent tragedy and learning experience involving nearly 400 dead birds, outcry from both the media and public was a force for change in Galveston.  This course will discuss what can be done with not only injured birds and other wildlife in these situations, but also what to do with the remains of the deceased that would be most beneficial, including how to have them admitted into natural history collections.
 4:00-5:30 Paul O'Neill

Ordinances, Policies, Permits, and SOP’s and How They Can All Work Together to be Your Best Tool!
Updating your ordinances?  Rewriting policies?  Permitting process not working?  This class will be designed for those that are looking for what will work best for their particular situation.  This class will be taught as a discussion/round table so participation will be desired.  We will cover the applicable state laws as necessary, and the attendees local ordinances, as well as how we can use policies, permits, and SOP’s to help solve our problems.  Come to this class with a problem and leave with a solution.

 or Chick Gardner and Steve Thomason How do you save a life, and change the world?  Save a GAP dog’s life! 

Gifted Animal Placement (GAP) trains people who work in or visit shelters to identify, test, evaluate and place dogs for special assignments.  Drug detection, bomb detection, and search and rescue dogs are making our world safer and improving our communities.  Hearing assistance, peanut detection, seizure response, and service assistance dogs can mean someone will live a fuller, more productive life.  These are often the dogs you are having problems placing in pet homes.  Learn about GAP certification classes and how to conduct preliminary testing for service dogs.  The GAP program is all about helping you save the lives of special dogs whose high energy and drive often make them less than ideal adoption candidates into "normal" homes.

 5:30-7:00  Reception
 7:00-9:00  Free Casino Night
November 15    
9:00-10:30 Deputy Alexandra Johnston  Situational Safety for Animal Control Officers
ACOs are called upon to respond to potentially dangerous situations, often with little to no available back-up, and unfortunately Officers have lost their lives just for doing this job. Gaining an understanding of potential threats and how best to mitigate them are important tools that all ACOs must learn in order to protect their personal safety but is also an area that most training programs are lacking in.  This course will give basic instructions in police tactics that can help ACOs better understand potential threats and steps they can take to ensure their own personal safety.
11:00-12:30 Randy Turner

Service, Assistance, and Emotional Support Animals
Individuals with disabilities may use service, assistance, and emotional support animals for a variety of reasons, but how are these different and what rules and laws apply to each? Animal Control Officers are often called upon to handle situations involving these animals and it is very important that they know how major Federal civil rights laws and Texas state laws govern the rights of a person requiring these animals. This course will discuss service, assistance, and emotional support animals in a number of different settings as the rules and allowances related to access each type will vary according to the laws applied and the setting.

TCCI Courses for 2017

Hosted by Plano Animal Services
April 2     1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.     Correlation between animal cruelty & crimes against persons
April 3-4  8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.     Animal husbandry & cruelty

TCCI Course 201:  September 15-16, 2017
Hosted by Lewisville Animal Services
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day Legal, Fourth Amendment, & Reports

T.C.C.I. Course 301:  November 12, 2017
Offered at TACA's 43rd Annual Training Conference at the MCM  Grand Elegante' Suites
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Texas laws, evidence collection & handling, puppy mills, & animal hoarding

TCCI courses do not have to be taken in order. All three courses must be completed before Certification. Certified Peace Officers need not complete the 201 Course to be TCCI certified.

Please click here for the TCCI brochure and registration form.   


TACA is no longer the entity that approves classes for credit hours. If you have a class to submit for credit hour approval, it must be submitted through the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in Austin prior to the date of the class. DSHS approval may take up to eight (8) weeks. Any questions about whether or not a proposed class is state-approved should be directed to DSHS. To avoid confusion, TACA is only able to post state-approved classes on this website. Proof of state approval is required. TACA obtains state-approval for all of its conferences. Members may be assured that they will receive the appropriate credit hours for any TACA conferences or classes that they attend.

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