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 approved to fulfill CORE requirements and are marked at the bottom of the detailed page once you click on the individual course of interest.

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

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March 12, 2024 Mental Health First Aid Workshop +

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults. Each class will be capped at 30 people. PLUS There are 2 hours of required pre-work before 3/12/24)

  • Date:  March 12, 2024
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Organization: Maine Municipal Association
  • Location: Maine Municipal Association Conference Center, 60 Community Dr., Augusta, Maine 04330
  • Instructor: Abigail DiPasquale, Health Promotion Coordinator, Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust
  • Credit: Course is approved for 8 Hours of training credit (includes the 2 hours of required online prework plus 6 hour in person class).


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March 29, 2024 Lunch and Learn - Animal Hoarding with Rachel Welch +

Registration is required.

  • Date:  March 29, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Organization: Animal Welfare Program
  • Location: Microsoft Teams - Online Meeting
  • Instructor: Rachel Welch
  • Credit: 1 CEU


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

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

  • Date:  April 26, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Organization: Animal Welfare Program
  • Location: Microsoft Teams - Online Meeting
  • Credit: 1 CEU


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May 17, 2024 ACO Body Language & Equipment Training +

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 havent recently had basic body language or equipment training.

Registration is required.

Each class will be capped at 25.

  • Date:  May 17, 2024
  • Organization: Animal Welfare Program
  • Location: MidCoast Humane Society, 5 Industrial Parkway, Brunswick, Maine
  • Instructor: Sydni Biette, MidCoast Humane Training and Behavior Coordinator
  • Credit: 8 CEUs


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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.

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

Manuals, Guides and Booklets

Animal Control Officer Forms

Dog Tags Assigned to Towns