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ACO Resources

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

2024 Core Competencies Course

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 2024 Core Competencies Trainings will open on June 1st, 2024.  Stay tuned for information and links.

Not sure if you need to take the Core Training? Read through our frequently asked questions.

2023 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 

    2023 Core Training Video Library

2023 Core Resources 

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 for CE credit through the ACO Request for CE Online Submission portal.  Certificates of completion and/or a Request for CE Form or the Request for Multiple CEU Form can be uploaded into the portal.    

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

2024 ACO Designation Portal 

ACO Essential Forms

Educational Material

ACO Training Reporting Forms

Mass Animal Fund Voucher Forms and Information

Mass Animal Fund ACO Newsletters

Additional Resources

Sample position description

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