Any conference attendee will benefit from the following, but in particular, Animal Control Officers will want to take part in tthese sessions:
ACO Certification – Is it time to up the requirements? –To become a certified Animal Control Officer in Michigan, a person must first complete the required 100 hours of training /field work, such as a day shadowing a current officer, a day with a veterinarian, a half day with the local authority, county commissioner, or city manager discussing local policies and procedures, and a day spent with the sheriff or police chief discussing laws, enforcement policies, how to issue a summons, serving of warrants, and public relations. Once training is complete a summary of activities is submitted to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for certification approval. Substantial change and complications have occurred in animal welfare since these standards were established. Hear three Animal Control experts give their perspective and launch the dialogue for change. Becky Neal, Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers; Matthew Pepper, Michigan Humane Society; Jeff Randazzo, Macomb County Animal Control
Changing Animal Control Practices from Punitive to Positive – Your animal control program can be more successful by implementing positive, rather than punitive, practices in your community. Community engagement leads to fewer cruelty complaints and impounds, and more positive experiences in the field. Learn which law enforcement organizations to partner with, the benefits of using deferments over citations, how to educate owners for long-term success and how to keep animals that are not shelter adoption candidates in homes where they were successful. Karen Sparapani, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission
Meet the presenters:
Becky Neal – Becky Neal is currently the President of the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers, sits on the Small Animal Companion Board, MI-SART Board, and active as a legislative representative for MAACO. Becky has been employed by Eaton County Animal Control as an ACO for the past 20 years. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she attended the Horse Management program. Becky was previously employed at a veterinary clinic as an exam room technician for 5 years prior to becoming an ACO. She lives on the family farm where she raises Hereford cattle with her husband and two boys.
Matthew Pepper – Matt Pepper joined the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) as its President and CEO in August 2014. He came to MHS with more than 15 years of animal welfare experience including leadership roles in animal care and control in New Mexico, Tennessee, and Louisiana. He began his career in Michigan working both with Kent County Animal Control and the Humane Society of West Michigan. He holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from Grand Valley State University and has taught law enforcement and animal care and control professionals in four states – primarily on complex animal cruelty investigations and related topics.
Jeff Randazzo – Jeff Randazzo currently serves as the Chief Animal Control officer for Macomb County. He is the recipient of the 2014 Michigan Pet Fund Alliance Award for Innovations & Best Practices – Creating Transformational Change. Jeff attended Michigan State University where he studied Equine Science & Livestock Management which prepared him for his employment with the City of Detroit as a horse trainer and instructor for the Detroit Mounted Police. For the last decade Jeff’s professional career has concentrated in various aspects of welfare for homeless cats and dogs from animal evaluator, adoption counselor, to veterinary and surgical assistant, to animal control for both municipal and not for profits shelters. Jeff takes a “problem solving” approach to animal control. Under his direction Macomb was the first in the state to institute higher professional standards for Animal Control Officers; a shelter, neuter, release program for community cats and dog play groups.
Karen Sparapani – Karen Sparapani is the Executive Director of Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC). MADACC is the sole animal control provider for the 19 municipalities of Milwaukee County taking in 11,000 animals per year. She is a member of the Milwaukee Animal Cruelty Task Force, the Milwaukee County Hoarding Task Force, and is part of a coalition of progressive Wisconsin shelter leaders who recently worked to successfully make important and lifesaving changes to Wisconsin State Statute 173. She recently appeared in a Discovery Channel special discussing the dangers of the private ownership of exotic animals and has presented extensively on evolving animal control practices.
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