Animal Control Officer Training
Please find below the portions of Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012 that deal with ACO training.
SECTION 21. Section 151C. The commissioner shall, from time to time and subject to the availability of funds from the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund in section 35WW of chapter 10, provide for a training course for animal control officers. For a training course established under this section, there shall be a preference for persons who have been in the employ of a city or town as an animal control officer for 12 months or less. A training course that is offered by a private entity including, but not limited to, the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, shall not be eligible for reimbursement from the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund unless such course has been approved by the commissioner.
SECTION 51. An animal control officer if serving as such on the effective date of this act shall, within 24 months after the effective date of this act, and an animal control officer hired on or after the effective date of this act shall, within 12 months after the date of hire, complete a training course under section 151C of chapter 140 of the General Laws; provided, however, that such training requirement shall be subject to the availability of funds in the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund, established in section 35WW of chapter 10 of the General Laws, as determined by the commissioner of agricultural resources. Priority for training animal control officers serving in that capacity before the effective date of this act shall be given to those officers having served for 12 months or less.
Section 35WW. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund, to be known as the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund. The fund shall be used by the department of agricultural resources to offset costs associated with the vaccination, spaying and neutering of homeless dogs and cats, to offset costs associated with the vaccination, spaying and neutering of dogs and cats owned by low-income residents and to assist with the training of animal control officers consistent with section 151C of chapter 140. The department may use the fund for necessary and reasonable administrative and personnel costs related to the specific purposes of the fund. The commissioner of agricultural resources shall establish rules and regulations relating to the fund.
The fund shall consist of all revenues received by the commonwealth pursuant to the voluntary check-off donation indicated on the department of revenue’s annual income tax return authorized by section 6L of chapter 62 and from public and private sources as gifts, grants and donations to further reduce the population of homeless animals.
The state treasurer shall deposit amounts in the fund in accordance with section 34 of chapter 29 in a manner that will secure the highest interest rate available consistent with the safety of the fund and with the requirement that all amounts on deposit shall be available for immediate withdrawal at any time. The fund may be expended by the commissioner of agricultural resources without further appropriation for the purposes stated in this section and any funds remaining at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for use in subsequent fiscal years.
SECTION 2. Chapter 62 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 6L the following section:-
Section 6M. (a) A person filing an individual or a joint return may voluntarily contribute all or part of any refund to which they are entitled, or may voluntarily add an amount on to any amount due, to be credited to the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund established in section 35WW of chapter 10.
A contribution under this section may be made with respect to any taxable year at the time of filing a return of the tax established by this chapter for such taxable year. The commissioner shall prescribe the manner in which the contribution shall be made on the face of the return required by section 5 of chapter 62C; provided, however, that the commissioner shall assure that taxpayers filing any such forms are made clearly aware of their ability to make the contributions provided for by this section.
The commissioner shall annually report the total amount designated under this section to the state treasurer, who shall credit such amount to the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund.
SECTION 53. There shall be an advisory committee to assist the commissioner of agricultural resources in establishing procedures for the disbursement of funds from the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund. Members of the advisory committee shall receive no compensation or reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The advisory committee shall consist of: 1 member from a humane society, animal rescue or sheltering organization; 1 animal control officer or representative of an association organized in the commonwealth for animal control officers; 1 veterinarian or member of a veterinary medical association organized in the commonwealth; 1 member of the general public with an interest in the well being of domestic animals and 1 representative of a national pet industry trade association, all of whom shall be appointed by the governor. All members shall have an active interest in educating residents relative to the benefits of pet population control.