Courtney Burns has over 23 years of professional experience in animal-related fields and has been employed by the SPCA of Texas since 2010. Currently, she is Chief Investigator of the SPCA of Texas’ ACI Unit where she leads a team of animal cruelty investigators who have the authority to conduct criminal investigations in the State of Texas. She is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)-certified Peace Officer and a sworn Deputy in both Hopkins and Hunt Counties. Moreover, she is assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division of Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, serving as a Criminal Investigator that specializes in Animal Cruelty. During her career in animal welfare, she has worked in a variety of areas including animal sheltering and field operations, disaster response, and animal cruelty investigations. She has led multiple response teams on deployments to areas affected by natural disasters to provide necessary relief to pets and humans in need and currently serves as the Chair of the Dallas County Animal Response Team, a committee that was formed by the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to address the needs of pets and animals during disasters. She also represents the SPCA of Texas with the Dallas County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and served as their President for 2 terms from 2020-2024. She is also a TCOLE certified instructor, providing law enforcement officers training on conducting effective animal cruelty investigations that lead to successful prosecution. Courtney is a native of Dallas, and currently resides just east of the Metroplex with her husband, Jason, and their children, both two-legged and four-legged.