Animal Control Officer Resources

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ACO Training

2024 Training Requirements

NEW ACOs: Maine ACO Certification Course required within 6 months of appointment by a municipality. 

Maintenance of ACO Certification requires 8 hours of annual training, beginning the year following certification.  

There are five Core subject areas in which 1 training hour must be taken every 3 years.

Core 1- ACO Safety
Core 2- Ethics
Core 3- HIPAA for Law Enforcement
Core 4- Officer Wellness & Mental Health Awareness
Core 5- Implicit Human Bias

ACOs must submit their training certificates to AWP by 12/31 each year to maintain certification. Failure to complete the required 8 hours in any year results in a lapse of certification beginning January 1 of the following year.  Retaking the ACO Certification Course is the only way to regain certification following a lapse. 

Submit Proof of Training

Animal Control Officer Certification

To be certified as an Animal Control Officer in Maine, the completion of our Online ACO Certification Training is required. The training consists of the core competencies that all ACOs must be aware of to perform their duties efficiently and includes the basic and advanced training requirements laid out by M.S.R.A. Chapter 717 §3906-B(4).

  • All trainees will be required to register with an email address to receive the instruction for the online training.
  • Cost: $50
  • Registration Form (PDF)

ACO Continuing Education Training Schedule

Advance approval is recommended for any non-AWP-sponsored or pre-approved courses for CE credit. The request should be submitted to the AWP not less than 2 weeks before the date the course is to begin. Please email the request to

Pre-approved low-cost and no-cost courses are abundantly available. You can find Maine ACO Pre-approved courses below: Please note that some trainings will be hosted and/or organized by a third party.

Approved Courses on Justice Clearinghouse +

Maine ACO Preapproved Training Courses.

The courses are all approved to fulfill CE requirements. Some courses are also approved to fill CORE requirements and are marked at the bottom of the detailed page once you click on the individual course of interest.

For example: This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit in Core Area 4 (Officer Wellness & Mental Health) for the State of Maine's ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maines Animal Control Officer Resource Page.

Need an account? If you do not have an active Justice Clearinghouse account, please email to request an account.

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April 26, 2024 Lunch and Learn: HSUS Handling "Nuisance" Wildlife Calls +

Date:  April 26, 2024

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Organization: Animal Welfare Program

Location: Microsoft Teams - Online Meeting

Fee: Free

Credit: 1 CEU

Getting calls from the public about opossums stuck in garbage cans? Foxes denning under sheds or porches? Woodchucks nibbling in the garden?

This webinar provides natural history profiles on our most common Wild Neighbors, as well as species-specific advice for humanely solving conflicts with them. Learn how to give simple tips and instructions to the public over the phone (without having to dispatch an officer!) so that they can solve conflicts with wildlife in an effective, humane, and long-term manner


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May 6, 2024 - May 7, 2024 MMA Verbal Judo 2-Day Workshop +

Date:  May 6, 2024- May 7, 2024

Organization: Maine Municipal Association

Location: Maine Municipal Association, 60 Community Drive, Augusta ME 04330

Instructor: Curtis Smith, Vice President of Training, Verbal Judo Institute

Fee: Non-Member Price: $570; Member Price: $285

Credit: 8 CEUs; CORE 1 (ACO Safety ) and CORE 4 (Officer Wellness)

VERBAL JUDO is the only tactical communication course in America. The principles and tactics taught enable graduates to use "Presence and Words" to calm difficult people who may be under severe emotional or other influences, redirect the behavior of hostile people, defuse potentially dangerous situations, perform professionally under all conditions and achieve the desired outcome of the encounter.

This two-day course builds upon the information delivered in the typical one-day course and provides the opportunity for students to practice learned skills in an open and safe setting. It allows the instructor to devote more time to practical scenarios and group excercies and to focus on the needs of individual students. The tools and techniques work for a wide range of resistance from simple disagreement or being questioned to the extreme.

NOTE: This course uses real and/or realistic examples of extreme customer situations and may contain profanity. Participant discretion is advised.


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June 7, 2024 ACO Body Language & Equipment Training (WAITLIST ONLY - Date Changed) +

Date:  June 7, 2024

Organization: Animal Welfare Program

Location: MidCoast Humane Society, 5 Industrial Parkway, Brunswick, Maine

Instructor: Sydni Biette, MidCoast Humane Training and Behavior Coordinator

Fee: FREE, bring a bagged lunch

Credit: 8 CEUs, CORE 1 (ACO Safety )

Class was originally scheduled to be on May 17 and is now taking place on June 7.

This is an in-person, daylong, 8-hour training opportunity in ACO basics. It's appropriate training for new or less-experienced ACOs but also a great refresher for those more experienced who haven't recently had basic body language or equipment training.

Registration is required.

Each class will be capped at 25.


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ACO Lunch & Learn Video Library

Animal Control Officers can earn a CEU by watching the video on YouTube and then taking (and passing) a quiz. Quiz links are available on the videos. Quizzes can be taken with unlimited attempts, but a passing score of 80% is required to receive credit.

July 28, 2023 : Animals and Hot Cars Don't Mix

August 25, 2023 : Kennel Inspections Requirements and Responsibilities

September 29, 2023 : Maine Rabies 2023 Data Update

October 24, 2023 : Case Investigation and Ex Parte Orders Part 1

December 8, 2023 : Case Investigation and Ex Parte Orders Part 2

January 26, 2024 : ACO Duties and Responsibilities

February 23, 2024 : Lunch and Learn: Community Cats: How to navigate cat complaints in your community

April 12, 2024 : Lunch and Learn - Animal Hoarding with Rachel Welch

Manuals, Guides and Booklets

Animal Control Officer Forms

Dog Tags Assigned to Towns