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Animal control officers must complete the required Mass Animal Fund training program.

Table of Contents

Training Requirements

Massachusetts Animal Fund Animal Control Officer Training Institute Program


All ACOs are required to complete 30 education credits (ECs) in their first training year.  The Massachusetts Animal Fund Animal Control Institute's Core Competencies Training is mandatory for all ACOs and worth 16 ECs. Registration for the 2021 Core Competencies Training is open!

2021 Mass Animal Fund Core Competencies | Chelmsford

9AM- 5PM 9/27/21 & 9/28/21 at Chelmsford Police Station

FREE 16 Completed grading in progress
2021 Mass Animal Fund Core Competencies | Northampton

9AM-5PM 10/4/21 &10/5/21 at Northampton Police Station

FREE 16 Completed grading in progress
2021 Mass Animal Fund Core Competencies | Wareham  9AM-5PM 10/18/21 &10/19/21 at Onset Bay Center  FREE 16  Completed grading in progress

2021 Core attendees:

2021 Registration Form 

2021 Core Competencies Presentation Handouts 

1. Law Handout

2. Wildlife Handout

3. Emergency Prep Handout 

4. Animal Behavior Handout

5. Public Relations Handout

6. Records and Report Writing Handout 

7. Mass Animal Fund Overview Handout 

2021 Core Resources 

Animal Laws and Regulations in Massachusetts 2021

ACO Forms

ACO 2021 Study guide

2021 Core Quiz/ Exam Materials

Core Training Law Exam Bubble Form

Core Training Law Exam 

Core Training Final Exam Form.

All animal control officers are eligible for exemption from the remaining fourteen (14) credit hours of continuing education in the first year if they completed a comprehensive course with the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts (ACOAM), the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA), or the New England Animal Control/Humane Academy (NEACHA).

After completing the year one training cycle, Core Training plus an additional 14 ECs,  ACOs are required to take eight credit hours of approved continuing education through any combination of in-person or online trainings offered by or approved by the Massachusetts Animal Fund during each calendar year.

Upon completion of any continuing education course, ACOs must submit a certificate of completion and/or a Request for CE Form or the Request for Multiple CEU Form.

If no certificate is available, fill out the Request for CE Form. It requires the signature of the course organizer and your supervisor. Be sure to bring this form with you to the training. In the case of online courses, only your supervisor’s signature is required.    

All completed CE forms should be mailed to Mass Animal Fund, 251 Causeway Street Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114 or to

Forms and Reference Guides

Under Massachusetts general laws ACOs need to make, keep, and maintain a system of records or forms which fully and correctly disclose detailed information of all animals taken into ACO custody. In addition, it is important to keep activity, incident, lost/found, and voucher request information. Mass Animal Fund has compiled forms, and resources for ACOs to use for their records.

Download a copy of the Massachusetts Animal Fund ACO Training "Animal Laws and Regulations." This publication includes:

  • M.G.L. Chapter 140
  • M.G.L. Chapter 272
  • M.G.L. Chapter 129
  • Additional M.G.L. quick reference
  • Acts of 2012
  • PAWS II Updates
  • Code of Massachusetts Regulations

Click below to find sample forms and documents you may use as an ACO.

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for Nov/Dec 2021 

Feline Reporting Form (NEW 2021)

Voucher Request Form

2021 Tax promotion Poster (vertical)

2022 ACO Designation Form

Animal control incident report 

Animal control intake form

Dog bite form

Found a Cat Flowchart

Kennel Inspection Form updated (2021)

Massachusetts Animal Fund Request for CE Credit

Request for Multiple CEUs Form

Monthly activity report

Owned Animal Assistance Request for Owners

Sample position description

Spay/Neuter Provider Join Brochure

Emergency Pet Care Form for Owned Animals