Katie Kozikowski, New England Federation Board Member
The New England Federation of Humane Societies has been around for decades (actually, at this point, close to a century!) and as an ACO, when you read the name “….Federation of Humane Societies”, your first thought might be, ‘oh this must be a Shelter worker’s conference’….but boy would you be mistaken. Not only is it more than just a “Shelter worker’s” conference, it has Animal Control and Field Service geared sessions as well as networking possibilities for Officers to meet with others in the Animal Welfare field.
As an ACO myself, I know how important networking is. Without the friends and contacts I have that work or volunteer at local Animal Hospitals, Shelters, Rescues, and Rehabs there is no possible way I could be fully successful in my position. I am not a shelter – I cannot house and adopt out every animal I take in as a stray or surrender, I am not a Veterinarian that can provide medical care to injured or sick animals and I am not a licensed Rehabilitator that can provide the hospitality a baby or injured wild animal might need. I am a solo Animal Control Officer and by knowing my limits, I am able to sanely keep my position and continue to save animals in need as well as help the people in my community.
Before becoming a board member 3 years ago, I have been attended the New England Federation of Humane Societies conference for an additional 3 years and have been so grateful for the friends and contacts I have made during the learning sessions and networking events. We have thankfully seen a great influx in Field Workers and Animal Control Officers the past few years and even have been able to work directly with the New England states to provide Continuing Education Credits to those in the field who attend. So even if you think you have all the contacts you need, please still consider joining us for our annual conference, last year we had almost 500 attendees and you never know who you might meet!