NACA endorses New Federal Act for Animals in Disasters!

NACA endorses New Federal Act for Animals in Disasters!

As disaster season gets more extreme each year and affects millions of people and their pets, NACA wanted to share with all our members an important piece of legislation we are endorsing. We want to make sure all our members were aware of this important federal bipartisan legislation put forth by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Planning for Animal Wellness (PAW) Act.

The PAW Act directs the Administrator of FEMA to establish an advisory group with outside experts that will align FEMA guidance to match current best practices in animal care for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

This legislation has been carefully reviewed and by endorsed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the Humane Society of the U.S.(HSUS), the Animal Welfare Institute, the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the National Alliance of State Animal & Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP), and the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), of which NACA is a proud member of.

This will truly be a unique opportunity for animal welfare groups who have the knowledge and experience, and subject matter experts to help inform FEMA direction and hopefully support stronger responses to animals during disasters!

NACA has a unique role during disasters, our strength is in our membership and being able to help match the needs with the resources. To find out more about how to get involved during times of disaster, please visit our NACA Disaster Portal for links to training, resources, and other disaster related information.

We thank you for your continued support of the profession, the animals, your communities, and NACA – we couldn’t do it without your dedication to the mission!

Stay Safe,

Jerrica Owen
Executive Director
National Animal Care & Control Association

NACA Statement on the Potential for Expansion of Courtroom Animal Advocates Program (CAAP) Laws

NACA Statement on the Potential for Expansion of Courtroom Animal Advocates Program (CAAP) Laws

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Dear colleagues,

NACA wants to thank you for continuing to go above and beyond every day for the animals and people in your communities. At our very core, NACA envisions a world in which all animal care and control professionals are respected as essential public servants and receive consistent support, resources and training allowing them to effectively and compassionately achieve the highest quality of life for the animals and citizens in the community they serve. Please read below for our most current position statement in response to the potential for expansion of Courtroom Animal Advocates Program (CAAP) Laws. This statement is directly in line with that of NACA’s 44-year-old mission, vision, and values. We are honored to be doing our part to help protect those that protect the animals and people in their communities, the brave Animal Control Professionals. Thank you for all you do!

Background

Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) is described as “laws that allow legal practitioners – supervised law students or volunteer lawyers – to advocate for animal victims in criminal cruelty cases. Volunteers appear in court and assist the judge by drafting briefs, conducting research, gathering information from veterinarians, animal control officers, and law enforcement officials, and making recommendations on behalf of the animal victim’s interest.”

These laws are based on Desmond’s Law, passed in Connecticut in October 2016, which allows legal advocates to testify on behalf of animal victims in cruelty and neglect cases. The impacts of these laws have yet to be studied and there is no evidence to show the rates of animal crimes have dropped in Connecticut since the law was enacted in 2016.

There is a likelihood that several CAAP laws will be introduced in multiple states this coming year. These laws have the potential to negatively impact animal control agencies and officers.

Animal Control Officers have historically served as advocates for animals in cruelty and neglect cases and we are concerned these laws have a real potential to further marginalize and silence the voices and experiences of the animal control officers themselves. We believe that adding an external advocate to already-complex cases is likely to lead to a divergence of opinions on what is ‘best’ for the animal victim. It is not clear how the varying opinions of the investigating officer, the prosecutor, and the court-appointed advocate would be weighted.

NACA’s Recommendation 

Given the potential negative consequences of CAAP bills, as well as the fact that there is no data to show that CAAP laws achieve their stated purpose, we recommend these laws are carefully studied to determine the impact on animal victims of cruelty and neglect and on the overall welfare of animals. We do not recommend the introduction or adoption of new CAAP legislation at this time, due to this lack of information.

Further, we recommend animal control officers throughout the U.S. are afforded ongoing opportunities to provide meaningful feedback on any bills that will impact animal cruelty and neglect cases in their state.

Animal Control Officers’ Expertise and Experience Should Drive Policy Change

Animal control agencies consistently identify several key challenges related to the successful investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty and neglect cases. These include:

  1.  a critical lack of human and financial resources to adequately investigate and prosecute; and
  2.  a disconnect between animal control officers and the rest of the justice system; and
  3.  a lack of urgency that often results in months to years-long wait for animals in shelter kennels waiting for cases to be heard; and
  4.  a confusing and outdated state and local law when it comes to animal cruelty and neglect.

We ask policymakers to engage with animal control professionals to better understand the issues they face and to create laws and policies to address them.

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With gratitude,

Jerrica Owen, CAWA | Executive Director
National Animal Care & Control Association

ACO 1 or ACO 2 Course Scholarships

ACO 1 or ACO 2 Course Scholarships

NACA (National Animal Care and Control Association) has been awarded a grant from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to help fund a scholarship program through which NACA will award scholarships for ACO 1 or ACO 2 courses, which will include a one-year membership to NACA and access to additional professional development webinars and resource library. Visit www.nacanet.org/scholarship-fund for more information and to apply.

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June 9th 2022 – NACA Meeting

June 9th 2022 – NACA Meeting

Thursday, June 09, 2022 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PDT

Membership is invited to join the monthly NACA Board Meeting

Every 2nd Thursday public meeting

Log into your member portal for the zoom link on the calendar.

Fallen Animal Control Officer Memorial

Fallen Animal Control Officer Memorial

National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) and Code 3 Associates are proud to announce the re-unveiling of the Fallen Animal Control Officer Memorial. NACA built the memorial to honor Animal Control Officers that were killed in the line of duty. Since moving from its physical headquarters, NACA and Code 3 Associates have partnered to re-erect the monument and we are excited to announce that the memorial will be back on display in late 2022. The NACA memorial, complete with the fallen officers’ names, will be on display at the Code3 Associates Head Quarters in Longmont Colorado for the animal control community to pay respects to the fallen.

#ACOAppreciationweek2022 #nacaaco

 

NACA CEU Process Update!

NACA is so excited to share with you that we have updated and streamlined the process for NACA certification holders to upload and track required CEUs.

MEMBERS

We have enabled a CEU tracking feature available in the member portal dashboard – simply log in, upload, and submit! An easy way for you to track, print transcripts, and ensure you are meeting the requirements for recertification!

NON-MEMBERS

 The process will remain very similar, the biggest change is that NACA has created a CEU tracking form for you to download and use to track your CEUs. Simply download, fill out the CEU form, and submit via email prior to expiration.

Questions?

Q: I have never seen the CEU requirements, is this new?

A: No, NACA previously required CEU submission every 3 years to maintain certification in good standing. This change only affects the submission process.

Q: What if I have already submitted my CEUs through the existing website?

A: Any submitted CEUs prior to (3/28/2022) will be automatically added for you, you will not need to re-submit. Non-Members will need to submit the full report upon expiration of the 3-year certification cycle.

Q: What if I have taken but not submitted my CEUS in a few years? Do I have to recertify?

A: No. If you have a record of all your CEUs and submit them via the new process, NACA will offer a 1-year grace period for you to submit your backdated CEUs.

Q: Why a new process, what was wrong with the old process?

A: The new process is streamlined and supports easier tracking for the certificate holder. In addition, this process ensures that Nationally Certified ACOs have the ability to self-report all CEUs and be able to easily access their own personal records.

Q: I need a place to track other CEUs as well (for other NON-NACA certifications), can I use this same tracking feature?

A: YES! This tracking feature is an added benefit for NACA Members and can be used to track all CEU certifications. From this feature, you can export your transcripts and use them however you need.

Q: I am not a member of NACA, can I use the tracking feature as well?

A: No, the tracking feature is only available for members with an active account. The process for non-NACA members will remain very similar to how it is now, with the submission being emailed. Non-NACA members can access the excel template from our website in which to track CEUs and will be required to submit via email.

Q: What if I have never completed any CEUs, is my certification still valid?

A: No, NACA previously required CEU submission every 3 years to maintain certification in good standing. If you have no record of any CEUs you will need to recertify. Email us if you have questions or want to talk about your specific situation, we are happy to connect!

Q: My department doesn’t have the budget for travel currently so I may not be able to meet the requirements, how will I get my CEUs?

A: The limits posted in the policy are the maximum limits allowed in any one area and there is no requirement that the training be in person. There is not a minimum and the CEUs can be a mixture of items to equal 30 total, 10 per year. In addition, the core competency areas were added to expand the types of training that an officer can do that would count as an approved CEU. An example is below.

Year 1: 10 CEUs webinar
Year2: 5 other, 5 online
Year 3: 5 webinars, 5 other, or any combination thereof

Have additional questions? Feel free to reach out to us! We thank you for your commitment to continuing to set the standard and lead the way in animal care and control!