National ACO Workshop Descriptions:

National ACO Workshop Options:

The following courses may be submitted for approval for Animal Control continuing education credit hours. Course fees cover handouts, participant guide, and classroom instruction. Each 4-hour session is $99 per participant. Agencies may choose a minimum of one four-hour or two two-hour classes. Please note we cannot travel out of state for a single 2-hour class.

Bat Basics for Animal Care and Control Agencies (4 hours)

Introduction: This program introduces animal care and animal services professionals to the most unique and misunderstood animals on the planet – bats. As humans expand their footprint on the landscape, bats come into contact with the public with increasing frequency. Animal Services agencies, shelters, and veterinary clinics need to be properly educated and equipped to handle these animals safely, and to provide accurate information to the public about them.

Topics include basic information about bats and their role in the environment, public health and safety issues, rabies, White Nose Syndrome, safe capture and handling, and a species identification exercise. Participants receive a safe handling graphic and information cards.

That’s Not A Puppy! (2 hours)

Introduction: This 2-hour program addresses an ever-growing issue for animal services agencies and animal shelters – the unexpected arrival of wild animals. Frequently, these animals are orphaned or injured, and may have been cared for improperly for an extended period prior to being surrendered. Understanding the unique needs of these animals and being aware of local resources that can provide appropriate care are essential to successfully managing non-domestic animals in a shelter facility.

Topics include State laws governing wildlife rehabilitation, basic intake procedures, quarantine, safe capture and handling, and resources available to animal shelters and animal services agencies. During the program, attendees will work in small groups to identify various wild animals, based on descriptions provided during actual intake calls. Participants will receive a quick reference intake guide and basic species information that can be used in public education efforts.

Wildlife Management: Developing Effective SOPs for Animal Shelters (4 hours)

Introduction: Both private and municipal animal shelters are becoming increasingly involved in urban wildlife management issues, as human encroachment on wild animal habitats continues to drive these animals into close contact with the public. Developing and maintaining a standard operating plan (SOP) for managing wildlife in domestic animal shelters is crucial in ensuring the health and safety of the public and shelter employees and volunteers, while protecting these animals and remaining in compliance with local, State, and Federal regulations and guidelines. In this course, participants will learn about the key components of a successful Wildlife Management SOP, and will have an opportunity, through small group activity, to begin drafting an outline for an effective SOP for their agency, based on relevant regulations and existing best practices.

Cross-Species Transmission of Infectious Diseases (2 hours)
Introduction: Disease transmission is always a concern at any animal care facility. Bringing wildlife into the domestic animal population presents new challenges and risks, and increased attention to sanitation protocols is essential. Understanding infectious viral diseases including parvo, distemper, rabies, leptospirosis, and pesticide poisoning, allows animal care staff to take appropriate, timely action when wildlife enter the facility to prevent the spread of infectious zoonotic diseases.

Infectious and zoonotic diseases are a leading cause of death in wild animals, second only to human action (hunting, hit by car, etc). As we continue to expand our footprint on the landscape with new construction, the number of wild animals brought to shelters is increasing. In most cases, these animals are displaced or orphaned; however, exposure to infectious viral and bacterial diseases also contributes to this influx.

To the Bat Phone! Responding to Wildlife Calls (2 hours)

Introduction: Everyone who answers calls from the public about animal issues, and particularly wildlife issues, has had THAT phone call – which may range from the absurd to the tragic in nature. Through lecture, discussion, and role-playing real-life scenarios, participants will explore ways to respond to a variety of calls calmly and with patience, while presenting solutions in a caring and professional manner.

Topics covered in this workshop include:

• Answering calls from the public – what you need to know
• Questions to ask – and questions to not ask
• Putting the bunny back
• Discussing concerns about diseases
• Resources to share

White Nose Syndrome: An International Wildlife Health Crisis (2 hours)

Introduction: Rarely has a wildlife disease had the impact that White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has had on North American bat populations. From nonexistent in the Americas in 2006 to losses exceeding 7 million bats in the past 13 years, the speed with which this invasive fungal pathogen has moved throughout the U.S. and Canada is unprecedented. While researchers and field biologists work to identify potential ways to manage the disease and halt its relentless spread, individuals in the community are challenged to engage the public in understanding why bats and other wildlife species are important resources which must be protected and preserved. This workshop focuses on the current state of WNS spread, population impact, and creating a sense of urgency while dispelling unfounded fears when discussing wildlife disease outbreaks with the public.


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