Last week, the Georgia Animal Care and Control Association (GACCA) presented the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Adel Animal Control Officer Regenia Willis Wells.
The award honored Regenia for over 20 years of service to the Animal Care and Control profession. GACCA presented the award during the 36th Annual Conference, “United for Progress,” held March 1-3, 2023, at the Chief Williams Fire and Emergency Complex in Kathleen, Ga.
During the 2019/2020 annual GACCA Conference, Regenia was named Animal Control Officer of the Year for the State of Georgia.
Officer Wells came to the City of Adel in May 2019 after retiring from Tift County as their Animal Control Director. Regenia served a long and distinguished career in Tift County and received many awards and other accolades while there.
The Southeastern Animal Control Association (SACA) has also presented the Animal Control Officer of the Year award to Officer Wells.
Regenia has served as president and secretary/treasurer of GACCA, as well as a board member of SACA.
The mission of GACCA, a nonprofit organization, is to educate Georgia Animal Control Officers through training and to assist them with laws provided within this state. GACCA works with other animal control agencies to provide training, and assists law enforcement and the Georgia Department of Agriculture with disaster relief.
The purpose of SACA is to improve the skills, knowledge, abilities, and image of animal care and control work, to cooperate with other agencies in animal care and control work, and to promote better laws and law enforcement methods relating to animals.
GACCA would like to also congratulate Jessica Stone for being selected as the Animal Control Officer of the Year for Georgia for 2023. Jessica has worked for Berrien County Animal Shelter since 2011 and has been the sole Director/Officer since 2013.
During last week’s conference, GACCA offered hands-on training over the course of three days to cover a variety of topics. The conference included animal law, basic animal investigations, and a hands-on mock scenario designed to refresh seasoned officers. On March 2 and 3, Chris Schindler, Vice President of Field Services for the Humane Rescue Alliance and former Director of Animal Crimes at the Humane Society of the United States, covered Animal Cruelty and Neglect Investigations, Dog and Cock Fighting, Bestiality Investigations, and much more. The instructor on March 4 was Kimberly Schwartz, Senior Assistant District Attorney, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.