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July 17 - July 21, 2023

Your Registration Includes:

Speaker notes, lunches at the University of New Hampshire Dining Hall (all you can eat!), continental breakfast for commuters, and breakfast and lodging for overnight attendees.


University of New Hampshire, Durham Campus,

75 Main Street, Holloway Commons, Durham, NH


9:00 am - 5:00 pm / Lunch 11:30 am - 12:30 pm


Early Bird / After July 4th

Overnight w/ Accommodations Monday - Friday $604 / $654

Commuter Monday - Friday $425.50 / $475.50

Single Day Commuter $150 / $200

Early Check In Dorm Sunday $75



In honor of the memory of Officer Dale Childs of Hampstead, NH who passed away in 2010, the ACOANH is sponsoring a commuter scholarship for attendance at the 2023 NEACHA. The application is available here for download.

Schedule of Events

Rabies Scientifc Perspective

The Modern Day ACO – Robert Leinberger

Cooperation is Not a Dirty Word - Working together should be the common theme for everyone in the animal care & control and welfare world. Animals depend on us; pet owners depend on us. Whether you are an animal control officer, a shelter employee, or a volunteer for a rescue organization, we’ll talk about how we can work together to increase adoptions, decrease intake, and keep pets at home. Are you polite? Are you professional? We’ll agree to disagree with a mixture of creativity legality. We’ll discuss the importance of understanding the law and ways to improve it. And that endless supply of patience…we’ll search for it in a room of learning opportunities.


Beyond the Dog Catcher - This presentation looks briefly at where we’ve been and then provides a detailed look at the world of the modern animal care & control officer. Involved discussion from the group is a key component of this presentation. In depth topics include:  We’ve come a long way – The first known use of the word dogcatcher was in 1835. Just simply “catching dogs” is a thing of the past. The modern animal care & control officer must be a diverse, open-minded working individual.  Professionalism & Ethics – Professionalism is a core attribute of all those in the world of modern animal care & control. Impartiality and integrity are critical. Service to the community is vital and your personal standards must be high. Treating people and pets with dignity and respect is a daily requirement. Keeping personal feelings out is tough but a must!  Embrace Technology – It’s here to stay. Such things as smart phones, computers and social media can be used efficiently and effectively. Let’s make the most use of it to help people and pets.  Education & Training – There’s always room for improvement. Continuing education and career development will help you gain the work skills you need to stay at the top of your game. Learn, learn, and learn!  Partnerships & Networking – Make the most of your partnerships with humane groups, SPCAs, local veterinarians, community, and businesses. Good communication leads to positive cooperation. An endless supply of patience gets you a long way.  Think Positive…And outside of the box – Innovative ways of doing things in the community that help people and pets. Let’s keep the pets where they belong….with their owners!  Modern Tactics – Evolution of a more compassionate and professional animal control. Embrace new and innovative ideas that produce good results. “This is the way we’ve always done it” just doesn’t make the cut anymore.  Sometimes…It IS all about you – Taking care of yourself is the way of the modern ACO. Self-care leads to a better animal care & control professional.


Professionalism in Animal Care and Control - Let’s take a look at what the word “Professionalism” means to the animal care and control world. This class takes each letter of the word “professionalism” and discusses how this topic is important to the modern animal care & control officer. Personality and respect are two examples of the traits of a professional ACO. We’ll dissect the whole word in this class!

Keeping it Legal – Robert Leinberger


Civil Liability - Discussion includes, but not limited to, the following topics: False Arrest, False Imprisonment, Discretionary arrest & enforcement, Doctrine of sovereign immunity, Torts Claims Act, Reducing liability exposure, etc.


Diversity and Cultural Awareness - Discussion about communicating with diverse populations, different cultural groups, handicapped individuals, etc.


Dangerous and Vicious Dog Investigations - Dangerous and vicious dog cases and investigations are a part of an animal control officer’s duties throughout the nation. A good investigation and outcome lead to a better, safer community. This class will look at investigative techniques and tools, such as interviewing witnesses, taking pictures, and collecting evidence. A brief review of local and state law will be included as it pertains to dangerous dogs. The National Animal Care & Control Association’s guideline on “Dangerous/Vicious Animals” will be utilized. Case examples will be a part of this class.

Effective Communication and De-escalation – Chris Hadis

Communication can be one of the most important and powerful tools that every officer possesses, if used correctly. This training will prepare Humane Officer’s and Animal Control Officer’s to recognize a potentially volatile situation in the early phases and provide techniques to effectively de-escalate a situation before it happens.

Mental Wellness for Animal Care Professionals – Chief Anne Perriello

Your critical assistance to animals in need can take a toll on you emotionally, psychologically, and physically. This can lead to compassion fatigue that impacts your personal life. During this block of discussion, Chief Perriello and members of the Southern New Hampshire Critical Incident Stress Management Team will discuss how to mitigate the stress caused by your profession. You will leave this session with a better understanding of how stress can affect you and how you can remain healthy throughout your entire career. 


A few direct topics that the team will discuss include:

  • The connection between animal abuse cases and violence against humans and how that affects your stress response

  • Being the voice for vulnerable animals

  • Recognizing emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical, and spiritual signs of stress.

  • Risk of depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicide

  • How to stay healthy in an era of social media

  • Your wellness is our priority!

  • Resources

Rabies and Wildlife – Jesse Fraser and Maria Colby

A hands-on presentation from a licensed wildlife/critter control operator and wildlife rehabilitator pertaining to what they see in the field on an everyday basis and how it relates to rabies.

Rabies from the Veterinary/Scientific Perspective – David Needle, DVM DACVP


David Needle, DVM DACVP is the Pathology Section Chief at the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.  His clinic work consists of diagnostic and investigational pathology serving primary care veterinarians, livestock producers, zoological collections, researchers, wildlife agencies and rehabilitators.  Through his research and experience he will provide an educational look at the rabies virus.  We will also tour the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at University of New Hampshire.

Drugs and the ACO, How to Keep Yourself Safe 


Ways to keep yourself safe with known and unknown narcotics that you could come into contact with on a daily basis. To include the proper steps on how to identify and safely leave the area, notify local law enforcement and/or fire department.  Ways to decontaminate yourself and animals.  

The Modern Day ACO
Keeping It Legal
Effective Communication and De-escalation
Mental Wellness
Rabies and Wildlife
Drugs and the ACO
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