FACA believes that there are numerous reasons for an initial mandatory certification program, special certification training, and ongoing certification training for animal control and protection officers. An initial mandatory certification program for county animal control officers became effective on January 1, 1990, and requires animal control officers to complete a minimum 40 hour training curriculum approved by FACA before they can issue citations, as outlined by FL Statutes, Chapter 828.27. This certification program should impart both the knowledge and the skills needed to perform the job in a professional manner.
Because of the importance of imparting Florida law and Florida-relevant information as part of its statutory mandate, FACA does not recognize animal control officer certifications from other state or national organizations. Only those who complete the FACA-approved curriculum will be included in the database maintained by FACA.
Course participants who fail the final examination are allowed one opportunity to retake a different examination within 6 months for a fee of $100. Those who fail the second examination are required to retake the entire course.
In any case, the CEU requirement as stated in Florida Statutes begins from the completion date of the course.
In addition to animal control officer certification, Chapter 828.27 requires 16 hours of training in order to be certified in Chemical Immobilization. This curriculum must meet the guidelines prescribed in the Chemical Immobilization Operational Guide of the American Humane Association. FL Statutes, Chapter 828.058 requires 16 hours of training in order to be certified in Euthanasia. The curriculum must be approved by the State of Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine.
FACA provides the curriculum and books for these three special certification training programs, certifies instructors, and coordinates training sites.
It is FACA’s policy that only Animal Control Agency employees and Law Enforcement Officers will be trained for Chemical Immobilization by FACA and FACA instructors. This training will not be made available to private individuals or companies without prior approval by FACA. Students attending the Chemical Immobilization Certification training will be dismissed from the class if they blatantly violate any of the safety or range rules. They will not be allowed to retake the course for a period of 6 to 18 months, depending on the nature of the violation.
Course participants who fail the final examination for Euthanasia or Chemical Immobilization are allowed one opportunity to retake a different examination for a fee of $50.
FACA supports legislation to require mandatory certification training for all animal protection officers appointed under FL Statutes, Chapter 828.03.
Those who do not maintain their standards for certification and continuing education or commit acts that are contrary to FACA’s Code of Ethics should be dealt with by their local appointing authority.