UACOA History

   Special thanks to the following people for providing information:

Ben Reeves, past U.A.C.O.A Sec./Treasurer for the history on how the organization was started.

Sharon Dennison of Sandy City animal Control for identifying some of the unidentified ACO’s from Sandy City.

John Fox for the history of UACOA.

Utah Animal Control Officers Association and the National Animal Control Association

                1978 was a pivotal year for animal control not only in Utah, but the nation as well.  Many things happened that year that has affected the professions related to animal control work not only then, but down through the years and hopefully will continue for years to come.

                One of the people who were involved in these changes was Shelby Dow.  Shelby was the director of animal control for Salt Lake County.  He had begun his career in public service as a Salt Lake County Sheriff Deputy.  He then moved on to their animal control department.  His assignment there was to attempt to bring that department up to a higher level of competence, training, and efficiency.  The success of the people he hired and who have moved on and taken jobs all over the country is a record of his success.  Shelby had done several things and had held some training for not only his employees, but opened these up to others of us in animal control from other areas.  The training event that had greatest influence was the Salt Lake County Animal Control Academy held in the spring of 1978.  This session was sponsored by federal CEEDA funds.  Along with ten to fifteen CEEDA qualified applicants it was open to other animal control agencies who were willing to pay their share of the cost.

                In 1978 I felt that the animal control department in Roy was one of the top animal Control agencies, if not the best in the state of Utah.  We had two officers, Terry Farver and myself, that gave us as good of an officer to population ratio as any city around.  With our schedule of ten hour days, seven days a week, we had more hours of on the road coverage than many agencies that were much larger.  We had an active door to door licensing campaign that sold as almost as many licenses as cities three times our size.  Chief Green was enthused with the concept of the training academy.  He wanted both officers to go but could not send us both at the same time.  Where they were saying this was the first of several training academies it was decided I would go and Terry would attend a later session.  Unfortunately later sessions did not turn out to have an open enrollment, or as good of instruction, so Terry never got to go.  The later sessions were only for new hires under CEEDA and taught by employees of Salt Lake County rather than police academy instructors such as we had when I attended.

                  There were about thirty of us in the first session.  It ran eight hours a day for two weeks.  The classes covered a variety of subjects geared toward law enforcement from an animal control officer’s perspective.  It was patterned after the state police academy held at that time at Weber State College in Ogden.  The academy I attended was well planed and many of the instructors were impressed with how Shelby had put it together.  I look at the picture and I do not recall many of the names but a few were that came were Shelby Dow, Anna Bell, and a lot of others from Salt Lake County; Ed Clontz, and Colene (last name not known), from Bountiful; Joan Casey, Sandy City; Charlie, Lehi City; and many others from Brigham City on the north to Grand County in the south with many from in between.  I have a picture but do not remember but about half the names.  I do remember the girl for Spanish Fork had known my brother, Sam, in the mission field where she grew up; she had a uniform of her own design that was a little form fitting and possibly a little revealing, so she borrowed a coat from another class participant to ware in the picture.  I am sure that her custom design would not look very flattering on Spanish Fork’s current officer, Mark Byers.

                I think I will diverge for a minute and tell about Charlie from Lehi.  He was a last minute addition to the class.  I am sure that if Lehi City had not been in such a bind Shelby would not have let him in as late as he did.  They sent him as a concession to resolve a law suit.  It seemed that one day as he was out on patrol he picked up a dog and placed it in his truck.  Now at the time Charlie was in his sixties if not older.  So when the young, strapping, twenty year old owner came up and started to argue the fact of his dog being in the truck.  He was making threats of physical injury to the officer.  Charlie reached under the seat and pulled out a long barreled colt 45 pistol, this is one much like the ones seen in the movies.  Then Charlie struck the young man right between the eyes with the barrel.  This not only made an impression on the young man’s mind but left him with two black eyes.  The City found themselves in a law suit.  Charlie was not a certified peace officer; he was not authorized to carry a weapon, nor was he told he could pistol whip anyone.   The young man through his attorney agreed to an out of court settlement if Charlie would attend training.  So here he was.  Charlie was a real asset to the group.  He swore, told off colored stories, spit his chewing tobacco on the classroom floor and did all he could to contribute to the class.  I heard about three months after the class that Charlie had been fired.  From my sources he had picked up a $20,000 quarter horse under some less than ideal circumstances and contrary to state law sold it after three or four days to a friend of his for $25.  Lehi City could no longer afford to keep him.

                The main reason I am mentioning this academy was that it got officers from around the state to know each other.  They were able to share ideas, experiences and work together.  This eventually led to a training class in the fall of 1978 sponsored by Salt Lake City Animal Control that resulted in the establishing of the Utah Animal Control Officers Association.  By laws were written, incorporation took place and we had a viable association. 

                In January 1979 we held our first meeting and election.  I do not recall at this time if it was the first or second election held in 1980, but at that time Felix Arrilis of Salt Lake County was elected President and I was elected as Vice President.  After three months Felix left animal control and took a job elsewhere and I became the President for the first time.  I conducted training in Price and again in Park City.   Then I was elected to Secretary Treasure when Doug Sorenson of Salt Lake City was elected as President.  As I write this in 2003 the state association has existed for twenty-five years and I have been either Secretary Treasurer, on the Board of Directors, or President for eighteen of those years.

                Prior to 1978 there were two very active state associations in the United States that sponsored training for the rest of the nation.  Both were associated with a Veterinary medical school witch helped with these training conferences.  They were the Texas association, with Texas A&M University, and the Colorado association, with Colorado State University.  These both had open enrollment at their training and sent out brochures nationwide.  In 1978 a group of people who had attended several of these conferences and become acquainted got together one night in a hotel room in College Station, Texas and formed the concept of the National Animal Control Association.  Some of the people there were Phil Arkow, Colorado; Mike Bergwin, Washington; Shelby Dow, Utah; Eric Blow, Kentucky; and Casey Burglas, Louisiana.  From this small group it has grown the National Animal Control Association to its present size with a national membership, corporate office, and training center.

 UACOA Board members

  This is an old photo of one of the early (or first) UACOA Board Members.  They include an unidentified male ACO; Barbara Carr (Humane Society of Utah); Terri Sorenson Sandy City ACO; Ben Reeves, Roy ACO; Joan Casey, Sandy ACO; and Chris Trujillo Sandy ACO. 

     Due to a plethora of complaints concerning untrained and unprofessional animal control officers, our past Executive Director, Lonnie L. Johnson, worked in cooperation with Douglas L. Sorenson and Clyde Hollands (Salt Lake City Animal Control), Noel Evans (Davis County Animal Control) and Trisha Hansen (Park City Animal Control) to incorporate the Utah Animal Control Oficers Association on May 31st, 1977.
    Based on my records, the following individuals were involved with this organization over the years:

1982    Michael McFarland, President (Salt Lake County Animal Control)
        Barbara Carr, Vice President (Humane Society of Utah)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy City Animal Control)
        Joan Casey, NACA Representative (Sandy Animal Control)
        Jay Eakle (Ogden), John Moore (Salt Lake County), Martin Ludwig (Provo), Scott Cooper (Price), and
           Daniel Rowley (Fillmore), Board Members

1983    Michael S. McFarland, President (In Fall Conference Notice) (Salt Lake County)
        Jay L. Eakle, President  (In December, 1, 1983 Message from the President) (Ogden)
       
1985    Lou Lynes, President (Salt Lake County)

???????


1989-90
        Anna Bell, President (Salt Lake County)
        Ken Berkey, Vice President (Provo)
        Peggy Hinnen, Secretary (Salt Lake County)
        Jay Eakle, NACA Representative (Ogden)

1990-1991 & 1991-1992 & 1992-1993
        Rex Murdock, President (Utah County)
        Mark Byers, Vice President (Spanish Fork)
        Peggy Hinnen, Secretary (Salt Lake County)
        Jay Eakle (Ogden) / Rex Murdock (Utah County) , NACA Representatives
1992-1993
        Jay Eakle (Ogden), Ed Clontz (West Valley), David Vane (St. George), Area Representatives

1994-1995
        Ben Reeves, President and NACA Representative (Roy)
        Charles Martin, Vice President (Utah County)
        Robert Parslow, Secretary-Treasurer (West Valley)
        Rex Murdock, Chairman of the Board (Utah County)
        David Lee (Weber County), Mark Byers (Spanish Fork), Bob Taylor (Vernal), Area Representatives
        Paul Pratt, Newsletter Editor (Murray)

1995-1996
        Charles Martin, President and NACA Representative (Utah County)
        Mark Byers, Vice President (Spanish Fork)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Rex Murdock, Chairman of the Board (Utah County)
        Boyd Childs (Ogden), Paul Pratt (Murray), Nikki Gordon (LaVerkin), Area Representatives
        Paul Pratt, Newsletter Editor (Murray)

1996-1997
        Mark Byers, President and NACA Representative (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd Childs, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Charles Martin, Chairman of the Board (Utah County)
        Barbara Pledger (Ogden), Paul Pratt (Murray), Nikki Gordon (LaVerkin), Area Representatives
        Kerry Gunter, Newsletter Editor (Cedar City)

1998    Mark Byers, President and NACA Representative (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd Childs, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Kerry Gunter, Training Officer (Cedar City)
        David Felix (Weber County), Jim Stritikus (Orem), Nikki Gordon (LaVerkin), Area Representatives
        Kerry Gunter, Newsletter Editor (Cedar City)

1999    Mark Byers, President and NACA Representative (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd Childs, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        David Felix (Weber County), Jim Stritikus (Orem), Nikki Gordon (LaVerkin), Area Representatives
        Kerry Gunter, Training Officer (Cedar City)
        Pam Rasmussen, Newsletter Representative

2000    Mark Byers, President (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd H. Child, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Troy Wood (Salt Lake County), Jim Barker (Springville), Alisa Haller (Cedar City), Board Members
        Kerry Gunter, Training Officer (Cedar City)
        Pam Rasmussen, Newsletter Rep, (South Jordan)

2000+
        Mark Byers, President and NACA Representative (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd Childs, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Troy Woods (Salt Lake County), Jim Stritikus (Orem), Jim Barker (Springville), Alisa Haller (Cedar
           City), Area Representatives
        Pam Rasmussen, Newsletter Editor (South Jordan)

2001    Mark Byers, President (Spanish Fork)
        Boyd Child, Vice President (Ogden)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)

2004    Jim Barker, President (Springville)
        Pam Rasmussen, Vice President (South Jordan)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Rich Bergan, Training Officer (Sandy)
        Brian Beck, Website Editor (Salt Lake County)
        Dennis Wilson (Draper), Patti Pierce (Price), Vern Coombs (Vernal), Board Members

2005    Jim Barker, President (Springville)
        Pam Rasmussen, Vice President (South Jordan)
        Ben Reeves, Secretary-Treasurer (Roy)
        Dennis Wilson (Draper), Vern Coombs (Vernal), Blair Kerby (Salem), Board Members
        Stephanie Hyden-Leek, Newsletter Editor (Alpine)
        Brian Beck, Web Master (Salt Lake County)

2008    Jim Barker, President (Springville)
        Pam Rasmussen, Vice President (South Jordan)
        Justin Hatch, Secretary-Treasurer (Heber / Wasatch County)
        Blair Kerby (Salem), Tug Gettling (North Utah Valley), and Bryan Smith (Davis County), Board
           Members
        Rich Bergan, Training Officer (Sandy)
        Melanie Rasmussen, Rover Review (Midvale)
        Brian Beck, Webman (Salt Lake County)

2009    Jim Barker, President (Springville)
        Pam Rasmussen, Vice President (South Jordan)
        Justin Hatch, Secretary (Heber / Wasatch County)
        Tug Gettling (North Utah Valley),  Blair Kirby (Salem), Bryan Smith (Davis County), Board Members
        Rich Bergan, Training Officer (Sandy)
        Melanie Rasmussen, Rover Editor (Midvale)
        Brian Beck, Web Master (Salt Lake County)

2010    Jim Barker, President (Springville)
        Pam Rasmussen, Vice President (South Jordan)
        Justin Hatch, Secretary (Heber / Wasatch County)
        Tug Gettling (North Utah Valley), Tracy Gross (Davis County), Bryan Smith (Davis County), Board
           Members
        Wayne Olson, Training Officer (Sandy)
        Melanie Rasmussen, Rover Editor (Midvale)
        Brian Beck, Web Master (Salt Lake County)

        Sorry, but that’s the best I can do.