Sunday, February 12, 2017

FACA Conference

There was a Barn Hunt trial in Deland this weekend. I REALLY wanted to be there. Instead, I attended the annual Florida Animal Control Association (FACA) conference.

I have mixed emotions about these conferences. I enjoy the networking and the war stories are fun. It's nice to spend time with people who share your experiences (and warped sense of humor). However, the subject matter is draining and often depressing. This weekend I spent eight hours in workshops on hoarding and dog fighting -- with pictures and videos. Unlike the movies, there is no reassurance blurb from American Humane at the end. I know that animals were most certainly harmed during filming. Yet I watch anyway, knowing these images will haunt me.

Animal cruelty investigations and dangerous dog prosecution were equally heavy topics addressed this year. Other classes included dealing with urban wildlife, compassion fatigue, officer safety, conflict resolution and developing an effective ACO training program. Surprised? I average about 40 hours of continuing education every year -- and who's "just a stupid dog catcher"?

It was an intense three days. I'm happy to be home. Jedi is glad I'm back too. He hasn't let me out of his sight for the last three hours. Unfortunately, there's no rest for the weary in this house. I need to unpack and wash a couple loads of laundry then head to bed. I have to go back to work tomorrow. UGH.

When things slow down I'll go through my notes and see if there's anything worth sharing. But don't get your hopes up. Most of this year's conference topics fell under the ugly part of my job that I prefer to lock away. For now though, I need to get some rest. 5 AM comes quickly. TTFN, -- K

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