In 2020, new legislation created the Animal Control Officer Standards Act which develops and maintains standards for a voluntary program to certify animal control officers. To obtain the designation of Certified Animal Control Officer (CACO) you must be currently employed as an animal control officer or have been employed in this classification within the previous three years in the state of California.
The designation of Certified Animal Control Officer (CACO) can be obtained by successfully completing the approved 60 hours of training in Animal Care and State Laws. All applicants are required to provide proof of attendance to an approved training course such as the academies offered by CalAnimals Officer Academy, Marin Humane, San Diego Humane, or Animal Rescue Shelter and Patrol.
The $30 Application Fee applies to all applications.
Step 1. Complete Required Training to Become a Certified Animal Control Officer
Required training can be obtained by attending coursework provided through the above Animal Law Enforcement and Training Academies. Documentation of successful completion is required to be considered for certification.
View a CACO Application here to learn what information will be required.
Step 2. Pay Application Fee
Upon successful completion of the required training to become a CACO, applicants may apply and shall pay the application fee of $30 to CalAnimals.
Step 3. Complete the Official Application
Complete the application, the Consent for Release of Information page, and provide the accompanying documentation to CalAnimals, amd the information will then be reviewed and verified by CalAnimals.
Completed application and documentation should be sent to info@CalAnimals.org for CACO consideration. Please include:
1. Fully completed (typed) Official CACO application with detailed information on training, including the number of hours for each course, and the signed Consent for Release of Information
2. Training certificates for all training
3. Certificate for PC 832 Arrest, Search and Seizure Training
Step 4. Approval, then payment of Three-year Certification Fee
Once approved by CalAnimals, the applicant will be billed for the three-year certification fee of $150.00. Upon receipt of the certification fee, the applicant becomes "official" and CalAnimals will issue the Certified Animal Control Officer Certificate and lapel pin to the newly designated CACO. the CACO's information will also be added to the Registry on the CalAnimals website.
Renewal of your designation as a Certified Animal Control Officer is required every three years. During each three-year term, the CACO must complete a minimum of 40 hours of approved CEUs. Renewal will be issued, valid for another three (3) years, upon proof of continuing education taken within the three-year renewal window, along with the payment of the current renewal fee. Stay organized and prepared for renewal time with our CACO CE Certificate Tracking Form.
1. CalAnimals will send you a renewal notice that includes an invoice for the recertification fees about 2 months before it is due. You can also create the invoice yourself by accessing it on the member portal in the STORE Purchases section.
2. Once CalAnimals has received the renewal payment and CEU documentation, your status as a CACO will renew as of that date and will cover the subsequent 3-year certification period.
3. Please email the Certification Program Manager, Jan Glick, at Jan@CalAnimals.org with any questions or concerns.