Animal control officers visit for annual conference
by Wes Mayer
Last week, the Southeastern Animal Control Association held its training conference in Newnan, and more than 70 attendees visited from six different states.
The conference was organized by Newnan Animal Control Officer Cyndi Hoffman and was held at the Newnan Centre on Aug. 6, 7 and 8. According to Hoffman, a total of 72 men and women from animal control departments in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee attended the conference.
During the first two days, attendees took two four-hour training classes taught by Jeff Clemens with Animal Control Training Services. Theses classes covered protective training on safe animal handling, capturing and restraining equipment; tactical and interpersonal communication training; safe handling of aggressive and dangerous dogs; and animal control laws and enforcement training on evidence law and collection.
On the second day, the conference had an awards luncheon sponsored by Contemporary Catering and three awards were presented, Hoffman said. The Presidents Award was given to Susan Jacobs-Meadows with the Fulton County Jail for her program, “Canine Cellmates.” The Animal Control Officer of the Year Award was given to Animal Control Officer Rene Segraves with the Lawrenceburg Police Department. Also, the Public Service Award went to Cindy Weimann, animal control officer with the city of Madison, GA.
On the third day, attendees got the opportunity to learn about snakes and birds of prey from two animal experts. Jason Clark with snakesrus.com brought a variety of snakes – including a copperhead, a timber rattlesnake, a ball python, a rat snake and a cottonmouth – and an alligator to the conference. According to Hoffman, Clark showed the attendees the proper way to safely identify, handle and capture the snakes, but attendees were only allowed to handle the two non-poisonous snakes – the ball python and rat snake.
Dale Arrowood with wingedambassadors.com also brought a number of birds to show to the conference, including two vultures, a barn owl and a falcon. Arrowood, of Sharpsburg, taught attendees how to identify and safely handle injured birds, Hoffman said.
The conference was sponsored by Toyota of Newnan, Binion Tire, Mid-Georgia Garage Doors, Inc., Parkers Wrecker Service, Angie's Cleaners, Buffalo Rock, Office Depot, Norma Haynes and Carolyn Arnall, and a number of local hotels gave attendees discounts, Hoffman said. Hoffman also said the conference may be coming back to Newnan next year because everyone who attended loved Newnan and its friendly atmosphere.