Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO: Lessons Learned from the Field

Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO: Lessons Learned from the Field
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-05-13
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO
Unit 2 Transcript: Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO
Unit 3 Workbook: Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO
Unit 4 Recording: Tools, Tips and Tricks for the ACO

Animals are unpredictable, thus the job of an Animal Control Officer (ACOs) takes on the same nature. When expecting the unexpected, it always makes sense to come prepared, and for ACOs having trusty tools handy wherever they go is the surest way to keep the animals, themselves, and the communities they serve safe.

Volusia County’s Madisen Taylor and Alicia Dease are this webinar’s instructors. Madisen is the Field Training Officer for Volusia County Animal Services. She’s responded to hundreds of animal-related calls for service and trained to investigate animal law-related cases. Meanwhile, Alicia Dease is the Field Supervisor of Volusia County Animal Services where she investigates and responds to natural disasters and cruelty cases involving animals.

This session’s discussion includes:

  • An overview of Volusia County’s Animal Services division, the expanse of their jurisdiction, their manpower, and the work they’ve done alongside their Spay and Neuter Clinic.
  • A rundown of the essential tools in any ACO’s arsenal.
  • The importance of handheld radios and cellphones and using plain language when communicating.
  • The various useful ways leashes and slip leads can be utilized in the field.
  • How valuable control poles are when you’re going solo on a call, and important guidelines when using control poles to ensure both the ACO and the animal’s safety.
  • The different ways towels can be used when handling different types of animals – even injured ones.
  • Leveraging toys and other creative ways to catch or get animals to respond.
  • Communicating with dogs, using the language of calmness, and figuring out the command language the dogs are trained in.
  • Practicing safety first by always wearing gloves and why it is helpful to put this into policy.
  • Dos and don’ts of using dog traps with specific instructions and tips on how to safely trap and what to use as bait.
  • The recommended microchip scanner models, and why it is crucial for ACOs to always carry a scanner and have access to microchip lookup.
  • Utilizing cheat sheets for important information and other details that are critical for ACOs to remember but tend to forget.
  • Different methods and pointers when safely transferring feral cats from a carrier or trap.
  • Guidelines when taking photos on the scene – using photo boards and the different angles to take the photos in; and the value of photos in report-writing and storytelling for the court.
  • Stories that highlight the unpredictability of an ACO’s job and the animals they handle.

Questions and comments from the audience are about:

  • Using ACO safety equipment against humans.
  • Using liquid smoke as bait/attractant.
  • How long can the scent of a female in heat last in a towel.
  • The use of body-worn cameras for ACOs.
  • Recommendations for the type of safety gloves to use.
  • Monitoring traps promptly.


Other Webinars with This Speaker



Audience Comments

  • “This is a GREAT webinar for new ACO’s just starting out. Experienced ACO’s can use this as a refresher.” — Melissa
  • “Some great tricks of the trade from people who actually use them.” — Beverly
  • “The Presenters were great! I would like to recommend a topic- animal safety for probation/ parole officers while in the field.” — Heather
  • “Such compassion – a pre-requisite for this position! Thanks for sharing all the great tips! — Roseann



View our Animal Welfare Webinar  Schedule and Recordings



This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit 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 Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





** This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care and Control Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Current NACA Members who attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo.
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