DOAG: CONNECTICUT ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER RECOGNIZED FOR COMMITMENT TO PROFESSION


CONNECTICUT ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER RECOGNIZED FOR COMMITMENT TO PROFESSION

Nathan M. Wilson, Office of the Commissioner

 

On Thursday, September 20, 2018 the Connecticut Municipal Animal Control Officers Association (CMACOA) held their 33rd Annual Conference at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

At the conference, the CMACOA members honored the Department of Agriculture (DoAg)’s State Animal Control Officer, Richard Gregan, as the Animal Control Officer (ACO) of the Year. The award is given annually to an Animal Control Officer who has shown a deep commitment to the ACO profession. Richard has worked for DoAg as a State Animal Control Officer for 34 years.

“This award is well deserved and recognizes Rich’s devotion to the growing complexity of the profession, the health and well-being of pets and livestock, and the people he serves,” said DoAg Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky.

Before serving as a State ACO, Richard was a veterinarian technician in Bloomfield, CT. He currently resides in Thomaston, Connecticut with his spouse, Susan.

The CMACOA Annual Conference is a training and learning opportunity for municipal ACOs around Connecticut which hosts over 200 participants. ACOs receive hours of mandated continuing education units for attending the conference.

In 2012 the legislature passed the animal control officers' training act which required current ACO's receive at least six hours of in-service education each year. All new ACOs must complete at least 80 hours of initial ACO training to be certified. Before this law, many ACOs already went to trainings on their own to further their education. More information about the training requirements of ACOs can be found in a report prepared by the Office of Legislative Research report available at https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/rpt/2016-R-0111.htm.

The 2018 CMACOA conference brought together speakers to discuss issues concerning ACOs and their daily encounters. This year’s speakers included DoAg’s Regulatory Services Bureau Director, Dr. Bruce Sherman, who provided updates regarding DoAg’s Animal Control Unit.

Liz Bennet from Bandit’s Place provided tips and advice on fawns and other orphaned wildlife. ACOs do encounter some situations concerning wildlife pickups within their municipalities.

Randall Lockwood, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty Specialty Projects for ASPCA provided insights on how ACOs can approach dangerous dogs. Dr. Lockwood is known as an expert in animal aggression. Next year’s annual conference will be held on September 19, 2019.

CMACOA holds together a community of State and local ACOs, keeping its members up-to-date on education opportunities, ACO news and current legislation.

CMACOA’s mission is to improve, promote and professionalize animal control; advance the education and training of ACOs; promote legislation pertaining to animal control; educate the public about animal control work; establish uniform guidelines for animal control; and help ACOs deal with the stress of their job and work more effectively with the public. To learn more about the CMACOA visit www.ctaco.org.