What Does an Animal Control Officer Do? | How to Become One, Jobs, Salary & Required Skills

Animal Control Officer
Animal Control Officer

An Animal control officer investigate reports that animals have attacked other animals or people.  They also investigate cases of animal cruelty.  As part of their responsibilities, they can interrogate people; assess animals for signs of medical concern, such as injuries or malnutrition.  In such cases, they may also need to agree to provide medical care to the animal.

Animal Control Officer Job description

As an animal welfare officer, you investigate reports of animal cruelty, remove cruelty from homes, monitor dangerous animals, pick up the homeless, and help injured animals.  It is your responsibility to protect animals by prosecuting abuse and negligence.  In the process of bringing charges in such cases, you can investigate, question witnesses, gather evidence, and testify in court.

You can track free animals and control the wildlife population in your area.  By taking the animals, you guarantee that they will undergo the necessary medical procedures or return to their owners.

You can keep records, apply legislation and interact with the public.  Laws on keeping dogs on a leash in public places or obtaining pet permits are within your jurisdiction.  You can teach people about animal welfare through public service activities or the dissemination of training materials.

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 Animal Control Officer work environment

Animal control workers can also take care of the animals.  When animals are cared for, they provide food, water and a safe environment.  They can also seek veterinary care from animals that need medical attention.  Animal control services often educate the public about pet laws and require licensing to ensure compliance with community or city requirements.

They also capture animals by various methods to safely transport them to the animal shelter.  In the shelters, the animals will be given a medical assessment, treated, and if the animal is adopted, they will be put up for adoption in the hope of finding a better home.  Unfortunately, animals that pose a danger to others or are injured or sick may need to be euthanized.

  Responsibilities and duties of Animal Control Officer

  • Receives calls from the dispatcher and drives the assigned car to the place.
  • Investigates alleged animal cruelty, violations of animal care or behavior regulations, or reports of injured, stray, sick, or dangerous animals; interviews people who have contact with the animal, such as owners.
  • Takes possession of animals that show signs of neglect, inhuman treatment, illness or malnutrition.
  • Transport animals to an agency, shelter or veterinarian, if appropriate, while trying to find owners and / or when the animal needs to be removed or examined for diseases such as rabies.
  • Patrols designed to transport animals looking for stray, sick, wounded or dead animals; provides minor medical treatment when needed.
  • Fills in records and generates and prepares reports on daily activities, fees collected, citations, investigations and controlled drugs.
  • Collects fees for services, licenses, redemption and adoption.
  • Provides information and responds to requests for licensing, vaccination, euthanasia, adoption, spraying and castration, and other related issues.
  • Uses weapons issued by the department if necessary for catching and / or euthanasia of animals according to the established protocol.
  • Witness as an expert in the trial.
  • Talk to community groups about the proper care and feeding of pets and the importance of controlling the pet population.
  • Performs other relevant duties as assigned.

  Animal Control Officer required traits

  • Must enjoy working with animals.
  • Ability to be patient in difficult situations.
  • Understanding of animal control procedures.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to read, understand and explain state and local laws, regulations and regulations regarding animal control.
  • Opportunity to communicate with members of the public and get their cooperation and compliance.
  • Ability to safely and humanely treat animals experiencing various disasters.
  • Ability to learn and recognize the physical and behavioral characteristics of animals.
  • Ability to recognize and recognize signs of rabies and other common animal diseases.
  • Possibility of euthanasia of dangerous, sick or unwanted animals.
  • Experienced in using Microsoft Office Suite or similar software.
  • Must be able to bend over, squat, crawl, climb and perform other physical duties if necessary to explore places and animals and detain animals when necessary.
  • Should lift up to 50 pounds at a time.
  • Must be able to overcome uneven terrain in any weather.

  Do I need a degree to become an animal control officer?

Although formal education may not be required to become an animal control worker, some employers may prefer some training and a minimum high school diploma.  In most states, there are laws that specify what type of training or certification may be required.

Training is offered through various organizations, such as local institutions, community colleges or even national organizations.  One of them is the National Association for the Care and Control of Animals (NACA); they have an academic academy that offers three types of certificates that can be obtained.  You must be 18 years old and no experience is required.

  What is Animal Control Officer Salary?

The average annual salary of an animal control officer is $ 46,517 per year, which is $ 22.36 per hour.  Generally speaking, animal control officers earn anywhere from $ 26,000 to $ 82,000 a year, which means that the most profitable animal control workers earn $ 56,000 more than those at the lower end of the spectrum.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that animal control workers will increase jobs by 6%, which is faster than the average for the decade 2018-2028.  In May 2018, animal control workers received an average annual salary of $ 38,490, with the highest employment rates in local government agencies and social groups.

  Is animal control officer job risky?

Animal control officers see many tragedies in their work, and it is probably not easy for them to constantly select animals that are destined to die on the city’s dog pounds, mainly because the animals belong to irresponsible owners.  However, this position can be quite useful, especially when officers help wildlife avoid deadly confrontations with humans.  In addition, the work can also give a lot of smiles.

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  How to become an animal control officer

•        Get an education

The first step to becoming an animal cop is to get an education related to animal control.  Animal control workers can begin their careers by earning an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, animal management, or another animal-related field.  Coursework in these programs may include genetics, animal behavior, nutrition, physiology, and biology.

There are also programs that offer concentration on certain species of animals, such as companion animals, aquatic animals, horses or wild animals.  Another option is to obtain a degree in justice, in which research focuses on law enforcement and their procedures, such as securing a crime scene and gathering evidence, as well as the judiciary.

These degrees are not required for all animal control officer positions, but they form a knowledge base that is useful at work and can improve employment opportunities.

•        Take an internship

Take an internship in animal care or law enforcement.  As most animal control services require prior experience with animals, applicants may seek internships at a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or other animal care facilities, such as a kennel.  For experience working with law enforcement, opportunities may be in the local police, sheriff’s office, or animal control department.

•        Earn certification

The second step to becoming a cop for animals is to obtain the appropriate certification.  Many states and employers require certification by cops and animal control services, with specific requirements varying by state.  Although some states have their own training programs, the National Animal Control Association (NACA) is often the main source of certification.

It offers two different weekly training courses, and both are required for certification.  Course topics include animal diseases and injuries, animal welfare laws, investigation, animal cruelty, capture, ethics, and communication with exotic or wild animals.

•        Gain experience

The third step to becoming an animal cop is to gain experience in animal control.  Employers may require applicants to have experience working with animals in the workplace before applying for an animal control post.  Some options include animal shelters, zoos, animal rescue agencies, pet stores, aquariums, stables and farms.

Tasks can focus on animal care, feeding or training.  Potential animal control staff can also gain experience in handling animals through volunteer work.




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