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Time to Celebrate: ACO Appreciation Week 2023

April 9, 2023, Jerrica Owen

The National Animal Care and Control Association’s Executive Director explains why April 9 through 15 is so important to our animal welfare colleagues who risk their lives on a daily basis.

National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is celebrated every year on the second full week of April. This year, it takes place from April 9 to 15, 2023. It’s a week when communities are encouraged to learn about what the job of animal control really entails, and to be grateful for those who do these jobs.

The National Animal Care & Control Association is proud to celebrate and promote professionalism within the Animal Care and Control field across the country, and use our voice to help amplify others.

NACA plans to spend the week sharing shout-outs and heroic stories, as well as giving away equipment and tools. As with other events designed to promote specific groups, professions, and other important causes, NACA is pleased to provide all the necessary encouragement for all localities who would like to show their appreciation to their Animal Care and Control personnel.

We encourage all Animal Care and Control agencies to have a special week of their own to show off their pride and receive recognition for the important services they provide to their communities.

Here are some ideas for celebrating National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week:

  • Kick off the week with a public proclamation by a ranking official at a public meeting or press conference. Key points include how Animal Care and Control personnel risk life and limb by going out into the public to protect the welfare of helpless animals and pets who are rescued from injury, disease, abuse, and starvation. The proclamation should also recognize that Animal Care and Control personnel provide the essential community functions of enforcing Animal Control laws, protecting the public from diseases, such as rabies, and educating the public on the proper care of the community’s pets.
  • Encourage other local departments to become involved in this event by sponsoring a meal, or by sending flowers, balloons, or a nice signed card to the Animal Care and Control Department.
  • Consider an Employee of the Year award presented by a ranking government or community official during the celebratory week. The presentation can include a plaque or certificate for an Animal Care and Control employee who has gone above and beyond in their duties for the community.
  • Connect with the community through local media outlets. Use this time of heightened awareness to inform the community of the services provided by Animal Care and Control, and to educate as many people as possible about the immense effort expended daily by their local Animal Control Officers.
  • And wrap it up with our favorite treats… a “cake and punch” appreciation party held at a large reception area for all Animal Care and Control agency personnel, with special emphasis placed on all the officers and their individual special talents performed throughout the previous year.

This week of appreciation is designed to give recognition to the hardworking men and women of Animal Care and Control who risk their lives and devote huge amounts of personal time and resources as they serve the public—just like other public safety and law enforcement agencies empowered with the same duties.

This is the week that these hard-working and dedicated Animal Care and Control employees should be honored by having the whole community say “Thank You” for helping when no one else could—or would even know how to.

Learn More

National Animal Care & Control Association website
National Animal Care & Control Association on LinkedIn

About Jerrica Owen
Jerrica Owen joined the National Animal Care & Control Association in April 2021 as the Director of Partnerships and Programs, and was named Executive Director in December 2021. She brings with her more than 20 years of experience in emergent animal welfare, engaging and developing a diversity of staff, shelter operations, and leading successful initiatives in a cross-cultural environment. Previously the Director of Strategic Initiatives for San Diego Humane Society, she was also the Senior Animal Response Team Leader for SDHS’ Emergency Response Team.