Animal Control Officers

Every county in Virginia is required by law to appoint one or more animal control officers (ACOs). Animal control officers are responsible for enforcement of laws for the protection of domestic animals. Each ACO is required to have knowledge of Virginia's animal control and protection laws. They are subject to mandatory state training requirements that include completion of a basic animal control course, within two years of appointment and a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of additional training, every three years thereafter. ACOs have the power to issue misdemeanor summonses when in uniform, while displaying a badge, or other credentials of office.