Alaska Animal Control Association



Alaska Animal Control Association


Welcome to the Alaska Animal Control Association's official web site. Our wish is not only to provide information to Animal Control Officers, Animal Cruelty Investigators, and Animal Care Professionals, but to also help others understand the diverse duties and responsibilities of those professions.



Established in 1986, the Alaska Animal Control Association is not a governing body , but an association dedicated to the advancement of Animal Control and Animal Welfare Personnel.

The Alaska Animal Control Association is a non-profit tax-exempt organization that receives no federal, state or municipal funding. Money used to conduct business of the Association comes from membership dues, fees for services, etc. AACA may receive grants or funds from workshops it sponsors.

The officers, Board of Directors and regional advisors are volunteers and receive no salary for their services.

The AACA was founded for the betterment of the animal control in local communities and isolated bush villages. Services the AACA offer are:

  • Educate and train animal control and human agency personnel.
  • Education of the public in the responsibilities of animal control.
  • Provide expertise and guidance on animal control programs to officials at city, county, state and to general public.
  • Support and assist the Alaska Department of health in the development of standards and certification procedures for animal control personnel as covered under the Rabies Control Act.
  • Provide liaison with other professional organizations and groups having related interests.
  • Establish and support humane euthanasia in public shelters
  • Establish effective humane investigation programs



Rabies may have existed in the United States before European colonization and the introduction of domestic animals incubating the disease. Various pathogens could have migrated during the exchanges of fauna and human population over the Bering Strait some 50,000 years ago.

At the turn of the 20th century and into the fourth decade, the virus rabies was rampant in canines in the United States. As a matter of public health and safety municipalities had to appoint a "dog collector" to round up dogs that were suspected of having rabies. A vaccination requirement was also instituted at that time, and remains in affect today. So others could verify that an animal was inoculated with a rabies vaccine, brass tags were required to be attached to the animals collar. Today we call them dog licenses.

As the years progressed these "dog collectors" came to be called "dogcatchers." Keepers of local impoundment facilities (dog pounds), many times the "dogcatcher", came to be known as the "dog warden." Public health departments were and still are required to provide certain core services or "Minimum Standards of Performances" in their local jurisdictions. One of those core services is an organized rabies control program intended to control and prevent the spread of rabies.

Soon "dogcatchers" were being asked by municipalities to address other local issues pertaining to animals. The title "animal warden" soon took hold and even today some agencies still refer to their animal control services in this antiquated manner. In 1968 the title "Animal Control Officer" evolved, and is still the appropriately referenced name.