Certified Animal Control Officer Program

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. In order 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 two ways:

1) by successfully completing the approved 60 hours of training in Animal Care and State Laws, or

2) by demonstration that the applicant has satisfied the training requirements described above within the previous 10 years while employed as an animal control officer. The substituted training experience certification will only be available until December 31, 2021, after which all applicants will be required to attend the mandatory minimum 60 hours of training.

Required Training to Become a Certified Animal Control Officer

Required training can be obtained by attending coursework provided through the Animal Law Enforcement and Training Academies or other approved courses offered by other providers and described under the Education Tab of the CalAnimals Website. Documentation of successful completion is required to be considered for certification.

Upon successful completion of the required training to become a CACO, applicants shall complete and submit an application, any accompanying forms and documentation, and pay the application fee of $30.00. The application and accompanying documentation will then be reviewed by CalAnimals.


When the application is complete and requirements have been verified by CalAnimals, the applicant will be billed for the three-year certification fee of $150.00. Upon receipt of the certification fee, CalAnimals will issue the Certified Animal Control Officer Certificate and lapel pin to the newly designated CACO and add the information to the Registry on the CalAnimals website.

Certification through Experience

For calendar years 2020 and 2021, applicants are eligible to petition CalAnimals for certification as a CACO by providing evidence of successful completion of the required training within the previous 10 years of the applicant’s employment as an animal control officer. To apply, applicants shall complete the application and submit to CalAnimals, along with the accompanying documentation validating that that the requirements have been met. To encourage participation, the $30.00 application fee is waived for certification through experience.

Certification Renewal

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.

Downloadable Certification Forms

Completed forms should be sent to

Submit the application that applies to you PLUS the Consent for Release of Information.

Please submit the following for CACO consideration:

1. Fully completed application with detailed information on training, including the number of hours for each course

2. Training certificates for all training

3. Certificate for PC 832 Arrest, Search and Seizure Training

4. Signed Consent for Release of Information

Certified Animal Control Officer Program

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