Animal Control Officer Resources

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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July 26, 2024 Lunch and Learn: Body Condition Scoring Basics +

Date:  July 26, 2024

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Organization: Animal Welfare Program

Location: Microsoft Teams

Fee: Free

Credit: 1 CEU

Veterinarians from Equine and Small Animal Practices talk about the basics of body scoring.


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September 19, 2024 Equine Safety and Awareness Part 2: Horse Handling +

Date:  September 19, 2024

Time: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Organization: Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals

Location: 279 River Road, Windham, ME

Credit: 8 CEUs

Registration will open in early August.

Equine Safety and Awareness Horse Handling Flyer (PDF)

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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

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

May 31, 2024 : Dangerous Dogs from Complaint to Courtroom

Manuals, Guides and Booklets

Animal Control Officer Forms

Dog Tags Assigned to Towns