National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is celebrated every second full week of April and is endorsed by the NACA (National Animal Care & Control Association). This year the NACA Appreciation Week is celebrated 7-13th of April.
The organization was formed back in 1978 for the sole purpose of helping its members to conduct their daily duties in a professional manner. The mission of the organization is to endorse the bond between animals and humans by advocating for responsible animal ownership by setting standards of professionalism in public safety and animal welfare. NACA strongly encourages local agencies to celebrate NACO Appreciation Week by giving away awards to hard-working officers.
The brave men and women of Animal Control put a lot of devotion and time into serving the public while risking their health and lives in order to provide comfort and well-being both for people and animals. The appreciation week is a chance to show your gratitude for the amazing work they are doing and recognize their efforts and commitment to the profession.
What do animal control officers actually do?
Animal control officers pick up stray animals and sometimes even DOA’s (Dead on Arrival) to begin with. But the profession has much more to it. The officers seek justice in cases of abused, neglected and abandoned animals; they conduct humane investigations and bring in helpless animals. They protect animals from abusers and people from dangerous animals. Animal officers encounter sick, lost, aggressive and injured animals on daily basis. They work on public safety issues and perform bite quarantines and rabies prevention activities. In the end, they educate and teach the public how to provide better care for their pets.
They are individuals that constantly struggle with emotionally and physically challenging situations in a profession that demands concentration, stamina, endurance and a clear mind.
What to be thankful for?
Be thankful that a control officer comes rushing into situations when everyone else is running away. Thank them for taking the bite they knew it was coming while managing to keep their respect, compassion, and care for all animals regardless. Give them credit for being the voice of justice for the voiceless victims which they often defend in a court of law. Finally, thank them for protecting your own health by controlling and preventing Rabies outbreaks and injuries inflicted by loose animals.
How to thank them?
We think most ACOs (Animal Control Officers) will be happy and satisfied just by knowing you are a good pet owner that doesn’t abuse or abandon his/her pet, follows regular vaccination protocols and has provided some sort of identification for the animal (microchip and collar ID tag).
Also, make sure you let them know their work really matters and makes a difference. If you know an officer that helped you in one way or another, this is the time to officially thank him/her and maybe hand-over a token of appreciation.
We use this opportunity to thank the Animal Control Officers ourselves for being the everyday heroes they are and for making every life matter.
*Note: This article was originally published April 9, 2018.