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



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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. The next Core Competencies will be announced in 2023!

The 2022 Core Training handouts/ tests are below:

2022 ACO Core Competencies Registration Form 

2022 Core Law Exam / Bubble Submission Form 

2022 Core Final Exam Form 

2022 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 

2022 Core Training Video Library


2022 Core Resources 

Animal Laws and Regulations in Massachusetts 2022

ACO Forms

ACO 2021 Study guide

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.https://www.mass.gov/doc/aco-request-for-multiple-ceus-form/download 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 sheri.gustafson@mass.gov

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.

Animal Laws and Regulations Law book is updated annually for ACOs. This book contains wording of:

  • 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

2022 ACO Designation Form must filled out and sent to MDAR annually for current ACOs and immediately upon new hire.

Animal Control Intake Form must be filled out for every animal that enters an ACO's possession and forms must be sent to town clerk every 30 days. Video showing how to batch Intake Forms monthly using Adobe DC

Feline Reporting Form (NEW 2021) designed for trappers, veterinary offices, and shelters to easily report found/trapped cats to ACOs

Animal Control Incident Report 

Dog Bite Form

Notice to Municipal Animal Inspector of Possible Exposure to Rabies 

Kennel Inspection Form updated (2023) Inspections and forms must be completed before initial licensing and before renewal. Completed forms need to go to the licensing authority.

Monthly activity report


ACO Training Reporting Forms

Massachusetts Animal Fund Request for CE Credit 

Request for Multiple CEUs Form

Mass Animal Fund Voucher Forms and Information

ACO Voucher Request Form 

Owned Animal Assistance Request for Owners must be completed in full

ACO Vaccine Only Request Form

Outdoor and At-Large Cat Request Form 

Spay/Neuter Provider Join Brochure.

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Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for Nov/Dec 2021 

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for Jan 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for Feb 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for April 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for May 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for June 2022

MAF and MDAR Updates for ACOs Meeting Notes 6.21.22

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for July 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for August 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for October 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for November 2022

Mass Animal Fund ACO Updates for Feb. 2023


Additional Resources

Emergency Pet Care Form for Owned Animals

Found a Cat Flowchart

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Please Don't Feed Wildlife poster


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