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The Humane Educators of Texas

Humane Educators of Texas strives to change the public opinion of Animal Control Officers from simple dogcatchers to dignified and respectable professionals who serve as resources to their communities for animal related issues. We are excited to provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through innovative and interactive classes that engage students in learning, and facilitate the sharing of information between agencies.

We are also committed to shortening the gap between law enforcement and animal control by providing police officers with the basics of animal handling skills and an understanding of animal behavior. Encounters with animals by law enforcement have the potential to be officer safety issues, as well as damage community relationships. Our goal is to provide officers with knowledge that will help keep them and the animals they interact with safe.
Our instructors have over 35 years combined experience in the animal welfare field and are ready to share their knowledge with you!

For more information on the HEOT please contact them at

Meet the Instructors

Kelly Thyssen

Kelly founded Humane Educators of Texas in 2014 and now co-owns the company with Tabitha. Kelly is also the cofounder of Humane H.E.L.P., a nonprofit organization for peer support and mental health resources for Animal Welfare Professionals. She is a trained Peer through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Kelly has experience in giving lectures for multiple organizations including Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Zoonosis program, Williamson County Probation Office, the Georgetown Police Department, National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA), Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Texas Animal Control Association (TACA), Southeastern Animal Control Association, Animal Control Association of New Hampshire, Texas Unites for Animals, Texas Environmental Health Association (TEHA) and the Intertel Region VIII Southwest Conference. Kelly has worked as an Animal Control Officer for multiple Central Texas agencies, Veterinary Technician for a small animal hospital, Kennel Manager for a large no-kill animal shelter, and as a Public Health and Prevention Specialist for Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Program. She is a former member of Pflugerville Police Association and Georgetown Police Association, Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA), and Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT), and Pflugerville Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). She is a current member of NACA, TACA, and an active board member for TACA. Currently Kelly lives in Round Rock, TX with her husband (a local police officer), daughter and several pets.

Tabitha Blewett

Tabitha Blewett has over 20 years of experience in the field of animal care and animal services. While residing in California she worked as the education director for a non-profit wildlife rescue organization with special focus on large cats. She also worked for private animal boarding and training facilities in the San Diego area, as well as for the North County Humane Society. After relocating to Texas, she worked for the Williamson County Humane Society as the kennel manager, and also served as a member of the advisory board for the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. In September 2018, she retired from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office after 10 years of service. She was the Local Rabies Control Authority for Williamson County as well as the Animal Control Field Supervisor for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, where she oversaw a team of five Animal Control Officers. During her time at the Sheriff's Office, she excelled in promoting educational outreach for the community, including giving frequent public education presentations for children. She developed the fractious animal training program for employees of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department, as well as educational seminars on urban wildlife which she has presented at various events around Williamson County. In addition to full time training at the academy and around the state, Tabitha is a frequent speaker at conferences for both State and National organizations. She has presented at: HSUS Animal Care Expo, National Animal Care & Control Association Conference, Texas Animal Control Association Conference, Texas Unites for Animals Conference, Southeastern Animal Control Conference, New England Animal Control Academy Conference, & Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control Division Continuing Education Seminars and Basic ACO Training. Tabitha holds trainings & certifications in Basic, Advanced ACO, & Administrative ACO, Collapsible Baton, OC Spray, X26 Taser, Rifle Qualification, Zoonotic Diseases, Verbal Judo, Herpetology Handling, Blood Sports Investigations, TLAER Awareness Level, Officer Safety & Survival, Compassion Fatigue, Pet First Aid & CPR, Animal Services Disaster Response, and Rabies Investigations. Tabitha is also Nationally Certified as an Animal Cruelty Investigator (Code 3 Associates & Colorado State University), Internationally Certified as a Rabies Educator (Global Alliance for Rabies Control), ICISF Certified Peer, a TCOLE SME on Rabies & Dangerous Dog Investigations, and a RACE approved Instructor (AAVSB).

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