The Virginia Animal Control Association has released its 2013 Conference Agenda and like years past, it is a litany of animal rights extremists offering their radical views as somehow something "normal." The rise of para-military forces taking over local peace officer positions has not passed your friendly neighborhood dog catcher by. Today, your local animal control officer is more likely to be a member of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a FBI certified domestic terrorism group, than a true animal lover. Do you want someone like that knocking at your door in an "official" capacity? But don't worry, the VACA promotes itself as offering 35 years of "Training Excellence" as you'll see below.
Day One starts off slow and easy.
In the morning you can listen to a pencil pushing bureaucrat explain their ever changing regulations for animals they don't understand, or you can listen to media darling Katy Nelson. Which would you pick? Katy Nelson, is an animal rights veterinarian who recently endorsed the ASPCA and its use of the USDA release of private information on 10,000 dog breeders nationwide. A release, that just like the recent EPA release of tens of thousands of pieces of private information on America’s farmers to environmentalist extremist groups, will only lead to more vigilante actions in this nation against our farmers, ranchers, and pet breeders. Doesn't that sound like fun? Let's not forget that Vegan Jello is not what's for dinner. It is homemade napalm.
After lunch with their vendors, which I'm sure will include their sponsors from last year, the animal rights groups HSUS and ASPCA, if their lawyers can get away from filing motions to delay and stall the various RICO Act and civil rights lawsuits against them, such as here and here. Oh wait, I forgot, the ASPCA bought their way out of the RICO lawsuit so they could focus on the New York City Mayor's race. You know, because its all about the animals.
After lunch, its all animal sex, all the time. Virginia animal control officers get to have a four hour lecture on animal sex from Jenny Edwards of the "Chandler Edwards Animal Justice Training" school. Hoo-ha! A search of this magnificent educational opportunity reveals its some sort of private training "school" that is “the only organization of its kind" with a focus on animal bestiality and animal pornography. Ewww! It should come as no surprise that a check of their instructors credentials reveals no one with any true animal agricultural experience at all. One of their instructors has a Masters in Social Work. Yippee! And Miss Jenny? She claims to have a BS in Business and Accounting. Oh, and she’s certified to give "expert witness testimony." Isn't that nice? But what experience and qualifications does this give her to be able to lecture Virginia’s animal control officers on ANIMAL SEX? None! Unless there's something going on in the accounting field that I don't know about. Quite frankly, I'd rather not know. Sitting through a lecture on animal sex just isn't high on my priorities. But don't worry, they are having a social and casino night visit afterwards. You know, like listening to a four hour lecture on animal sex gets you in the mood to gamble.
Day Two gets the ball rolling.
The morning starts out with two concurrent speeches. You can listen to a potentially respectable speech on wildlife rehab given by Dr. Kirchgessner. You know, like that's an ACO's job in Virginia. (Hint: wildlife laws are enforced by the VDGIF, not ACO's). Which makes this a strange choice for an ACO training conference. Which makes your real choice of speakers more obvious. Todd Stosuy.
Stosuy is giving a speech on the iniquitous sounding "Proactive Community Animal Control." Sounds sweet, right? All warm and fuzzy, right? The problem is its coming from a man who conducts raids on animal owners for a living. He took part in a splashy raid of a "hoarder" earlier this year in Watsonville, California. What the media glossed over in reporting the story is that Stosuy scored a whole bunch of purebred Chihuahua's including a bunch of easily resell-able and highly valuable puppies. Now the lurid claim was made that these people were hoarders and that's why it was justified to take all their animals away... but funny how no one in the media questioned why the search warrants were conducted at several different residences. The media ran with "36 Chihuahua's Hoarded" while ignoring that the 36 dogs were not all from the same location and were not all owned by the same person. Big difference! Are we supposed to believe that "hoarding" is some sort of group thing now? By the way, the title of his speech is a nice play on words. I take it to mean that he's proactive in controlling animals and taking them away from the community? I mean, what else can you expect from a former PETA worker? It's not like other PETA workers haven't been caught rounding up and killing animals. Right? Oh, wait. Then there's his former employment with Farm Sanctuary, you know, the people that want to end all animal agriculture. The fact that this man is the current President of the National Animal Control Association should scare the socks off of any animal lover.
After lunch its again a strange choice of speakers. You can listen to a potentially respectable lecture on Rabies in Virginia which is guaranteed to be one dull subject or you can pick a lecture again on RAID TIME! Which do you think the majority of attendees are going to select? I'm going with Michelle Welch myself. Michelle Welch is a lawyer from Ken Cuccinelli’s AG’s office, known for her hard core animal rights beliefs and her connections to ALF members. Last year she spoke about how she re-directs Virginia legislators to the truth and light when they contact her office based upon constituent reports of illegal animal raids and frivolous prosecutions statewide. This year she asks: "101 Dalmatians: What’s the charge under Virginia Law?" I should think that one is obvious. Since 2008, it has been illegal for anyone to own more than 50 dogs, the first kennel limit law in the Nation. Virginia is Not for Dog Lovers. Except for the rich fox hunters... somehow they seem to be exempt from this law, as the Orange County Hunt which is located in Fauquier County has a permit to own 140 dogs. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone!
In the afternoon the choices get difficult. You have to choose between two conflicting speeches both guaranteed to be show stoppers, they just don't know it. Rachel Touroo or Scott Barras. I'm thinking most are going to be selecting Touroo's speech not knowing about Giggles. More on that later.
The infamous Rachel Touroo is a former Virginia state veterinarian who has almost no-hands on experience with animals. Her entire career has been spent as a paper pushing bureaucrat and moving and shaking with ALF members. But Touroo works for Virginia no longer. After she racked up several "confirmed kills" in Virginia including the successful prosecution of Jean Payne on animal cruelty charges for failure to brush her dogs teeth, destroying Jean’s 30 year kennel business, Touroo was promoted up the animal rights chain of command to take the place of disgraced and discredited Melinda Merck at the fake "Animal CSI" school in Florida. Merck is famous for having created the field of forensic veterinarian services but she was so incompetent and inept, it was revealed in court that she couldn't tell the difference between an animal bite and a knife wound. These revelations came after Merck pushed for the prosecution of a "serial cat killer" who was actually an innocent teenager who has never killed a cat in his life, and a SWAT team raid of an elderly man in his condo after Merck accused him of having sex with his dog. Another totally fraudulent prosecution of an innocent citizen.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be more interested in sitting in on the lecture titled, “Resolving Conflicts with Wildlife” by Scott Barras of the USDA. Since the USDA has been completely infiltrated by animal rights activists from top to bottom, I wonder if his lecture will touch on the recent 13 person Raid Team that assaulted the Wisconsin Society of St. Francis in order to go in with full tactical weapons and aerial recon photos to slaughter Bambi’s daughter, Giggles? You know, to resolve that "conflict" we all have with wildlife and their criminal offspring. Maybe he should be sitting in on the speech on wildlife rehab. Just a suggestion.
But the day isn't over yet. Wrapping up the day is an Awards Ceremony and three hour Banquet afterwards in which the Guest Speaker is Lindsay Reames of the Virginia Farm Bureau. Isn't that nice? In the “if you can’t beat them, join them” category, the Virginia Farm Bureau has thrown their hat into a conference of people with mostly zero credible qualifications and known animal rights connections. I wonder just what Ms. Reames is going to be speaking on when everyone in Virginia knows the Farm Bureau will not support pet owners when they are getting slaughtered by ACO's and activists.
Day Three All Hoarders All The Time.
What would a conference be without animal rights HSUS/ASPCA shill Randall Lockwood lecturing everyone on "Rescue Hoarders," from a man who has made his career off of 'discovering' this issue when the field of mental health has not yet accepted that there is such a thing as an Animal Hoarder. Can we expect that there will be an increase in illegal raids of animal rescues in Virginia in the coming years? Or what is the point of this speech?
Is it any wonder that Virginia’s animal control officers, let alone the 7 “humane investigator” vigilante’s state wide, are so out of control? They get no credible training from anyone in a true animal care position. This year's conference focus seems to be on wildlife, animal sex, limiting the number of dogs in the Commonwealth, and targeting animal rescuers. Notice, not one single speaker in the conference is there to provide any education actually ON ANIMALS (no, having sex with animals does not count) that ACO's would be handling, yet attendees get 15 educational credits for this drivel? Animal control officers state wide receive only 84 hours of training on both animals AND the law sometime within their first two years on the job. Very little of that training is on the actual animals themselves, proper care for an animal, etc. Is it any wonder that the average animal control officer cannot even judge the difference between different dog breeds, let alone other species of animals? Let alone what is and isn't proper care of them? The vast majority of speakers at this conference are there to show animal control officers how to prosecute and destroy Virginia’s animal owners with false science and/or propaganda from extremists. Is it any wonder that the Animal Cops in Virginia have a known history of demonstrating almost no actual knowledge of animals and routinely violating the civil rights of their owners?
If it was up to me and I"m just spit-balling here, I would suggest a radically different selection of speakers if your goal was actual training about animals. How about a speaker from the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders to give a speech on dog breed identification, proper dog behavior, correct dog care based upon breed type, or something along those lines. If they want to hear about livestock and the farming industry, how about inviting in the Animal Agriculture Alliance to speak? After all, they are located in sunny Arlington, Virginia. Or how about a speaker from the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association on what is and isn't true animal cruelty from a veterinarian who has actual hands-on experience with animals? Being careful there not to get a speaker with known animal rights leanings since infiltration has occurred there as well. If they want speakers in animal law, why not have the lawyers for Ringling Bros. Circus speak on what not to do as an ACO. After all, Feld Entertainment is a Virginia company who is inspected by ACO's at every single city that the circus visits. There isn't a day that goes by that Ringling isn't dealing with ignorant ACO's trained by PETA.
I'm not an ACO but if I was, I would rather get training on animals than listen to a long speech on animal sex from a quasi-expert when I'm not likely to ever see such a thing in a 30 year career on the job. But that's just my opinion.