NEW YORK, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA(R) (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(R)) has appointed Tim Rickey as Senior Director of its newly created Field Investigations and Response team, effective January 4, 2010.
Rickey was formerly the Director of the Animal Cruelty Task Force and Disaster Response team for the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO), where he recently led the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history, covering eight states and seizing more than 500 dogs in one day.
"Tim Rickey's unrelenting commitment to fighting animal cruelty is longstanding and will assure that the ASPCA's resources are coordinated and focused on our mission to prevent cruelty to animals," said Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA's Anti-Cruelty department. "His courage and tenacity has meant a second chance for countless animals and serves as a giant step forward in the fight against animal cruelty."
In his new post, Rickey will lead the efforts of the ASPCA's Field Investigations and Response team, which covers natural disasters as well as large and small animal rescue operations. The team is part of the ASPCA's Anti-Cruelty group, which is also comprised of Humane Law Enforcement, Government Relations, and Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects.
Rickey's 20-year career has been devoted to animal welfare issues, first as an animal caretaker at the Joplin (Mo.) Humane Society and as an animal control officer for 11 years at Joplin Animal Control. He joined the HSMO in 2002 as a statewide animal cruelty investigator, and was named director of its Anti Cruelty Task Force and Disaster Response team in 2005.
Rickey led the HSMO's recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, major floods in Iowa and multiple Missouri incidents including ice storms, floods and tornados. He also directed field operations for large scale rescues in states throughout the Midwest and Southeast and was instrumental in ensuring that animals are included in statewide disaster planning throughout Missouri.
In 2008, Rickey and his team of investigators provided information that led to an 18-month, multi-state dog fighting investigation with the Missouri Highway Patrol and the FBI. On July 8, 2009, he coordinated animal rescue efforts and crime-scene evidence gathering in five states: Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma. Dogs also were rescued in Nebraska, Arkansas and Mississippi. The multi-location evidence and animal recovery operation was assisted by the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States. Rickey was one of four recipients of the ASPCA's "Law Enforcement Officer" of the Year award, presented at the ASPCA's Humane Awards Luncheon on October 29, 2009.
Rickey attended the University of Missouri-Columbia's National Cruelty Investigation School. He is a frequent instructor on such topics as animal welfare and the law. He is also certified in numerous animal rescue operations, including large animal, swift water and rope rescue, and has completed Department of Homeland Security/FEMA coursework. He earned diplomas in Veterinary Technology, as well as Wildlife, Forestry and Conservation, from Thompson Learning Institute.
Born in Joplin, Mo., Rickey and his wife, Teresa, and their two daughters live near St. Louis, where they tend to their own menagerie, which includes a cat, three dogs, three horses, four goats and 17 chickens -- all rescues.
About the ASPCA(R)
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA(R) (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(R)) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation's leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.