• What is the difference between and Animal Control Officer and an Animal Cruelty Investigator?

  • An Animal Control Officer is a person who is New Jersey state certified and responsible for animal control within the jurisdiction of a municipality. An Animal Cruelty Investigator is a New Jersey state certified Animal Control Officer that is trained, certified, and appointed by a municipality as an Animal Cruelty Investigator and therefore can investigate animal cruelty or abuse situations.

  • How does one become appointed as an Animal Cruelty Investigator?

  • In order to be appointed as an Animal Cruelty Investigator (ACI), an individual must first be a New Jersey state certified Animal Control officer (ACO). Next the person must take additional training which will lead to that individual being New Jersey state certified as an Animal Cruelty Investigator. Finally, the individual must be appointed as an Animal Cruelty Investigator through a resolution by the governing body (of the municipality or jurisdiction). In the case of a contractor the names of those being appointed as Animal Cruelty Investigators must be specifically stated in the contract identifying that these individuals will have status as an Animal Cruelty Investigator.

  • Is there financial assistance available for the course tuition?

  • Career Development Institute (CDI) does not offer financial assistance. Please contact the college to see if they do.

  • Are payment plans available for the course tuition?

  • All tuition is to be paid in full prior to the start of the course.

  • Are tuition refunds available?

  • No tuition refunds are available; however, if you miss a Career Development Institute (CDI) class, you have the opportunity to attend and make-up that class at any college or police academy where the class is being instructed by CDI.

  • What happens if I miss a class?

  • You may make up that class at any college or police academy where the class is offered.

  • What is the ACO and ACI certification process?

  • 7th Saturday of Class — Graduation:  If all requirements are met, which includes both the classroom component and the 20 hour ride along, you will receive your Certificate of Course Completion from the College. College Certificates of Course Completion will be mailed to those students who complete the 20 Ride along after graduation day. Certificates for Red Cross Pet First Aid and ICS 100 and 700 will be mailed after Graduation Day. You may complete your 20 hour ride along before during or after the classroom component. You must mail the completed Certification of Field Training to CDI if you have not submitted it prior to graduation day.

    Week following last class:  If the Student has completed the 20 Hour ride along and submitted the signed form to CDI. CDI notifies NJ Department of Health (NJDH) of graduates course completion.

    NJDHSS : Sends out form for graduate to complete (Application for Animal Control Officer Certification).   Web link is:

    Graduate     Fills out NJDH form (indicate PASS for course grade), fill in the college name (not CDI),  and mail to:

    NJ Department of Health, P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

    Timing    Approximately 2-4 weeks after NJDH receives your form you will receive an official certificate as well as a wallet card. These documents will have your Animal Control Officer number on it.

    Upon completion of these steps you will be certified to apply for an Animal Control Officer position.

  •  How long is my ACO and/or ACI certification good for?

  • The ACO and/or ACI certification is a lifetime certification as long as an individuals certificate has not been revoked, or they have been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of a provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, and who, therefore, are ineligible to serve as municipal animal control officers pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16b.

  • How long does it take for me to receive my certification from the NJDH?

  • Typically it takes a total of 4-6 weeks once you have graduated and completed all the requirements of the course (for ACO that would include the 20 hours of field training)

  • How am I able to work for a privately run animal control service if as an ACO I am not individually appointed by the municipalities that the business covers?

  • The privately run business is contracted & appointed by the municipality and as a result those employees work for the business on behalf of the municipality.

  • Can a ACO operate as a sub contractor for more than one privately owned & operated animal control business? 

  • Yes, since many of the positions are of a part time nature…..and ACO could work for multiple municipalities.

  • Can municipality hire & appoint more than one ACO as sub contractors that are separate entities?

  • Yes, absolutely and they often do in order to provide 24/7 coverage….as an example a municipality may have one full time ACO and more than one part time ACO who may only work once every three weeks on call for a week at a time. As a part time employee they may be hired as sub-contractors with no benefits.

  • Does CDI offer job placement assistance?

  • Most positions are posted individually by the hiring authorities; however, when CDI is notified of job openings we email our graduates the opportunities.

Career Development Institute
Post Office Box 5024
Kendall Park, NJ 08824