Animal Control Worker Careers
If your job is in the capacity of an Animal Control Worker, you likely handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals. Working in this career subsector, you could also carry the job title of Animal Attendant, Animal Control Officer, Animal Enforcement Officer, Animal Ordinance Enforcement Officer, Animal Park Code Enforcement Officer, Animal Safety Officer, Community Safety Officer, Community Service Officer, Dog Control Officer.
- Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
- Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
- Provide care for animals.
- Use weapons or physical force to maintain security.
- Maintain operational records.
- Write operational reports.
- Check physical condition of people or animals.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Issue warnings or citations.
- Inform the public about policies, services or procedures.
The greatest opportunities range in upper-level trained positions (management and investigator levels can earn potentially $50,000 – $85,000 in metropolitan areas; $30,000 – $45,000 in mid-sized communities; $12,000 – $24,000 in small communities).
Job opportunities are extremely likely in the future as animal control is one of the fastest growing career subsectors in the country.
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Historic images have given the village dogcatcher a bad rap, but in reality, Animal Control Workers are more like social workers than dastardly villains. While love for animals is a good place to start – you’ll need skills and discipline to become an animal control worker. These workers take care of animals who are abandoned, unlicensed, mistreated— or who pose a danger to the community. In addition to transporting and caring for animals, the job often includes euthanizing severely injured and unclaimed animals. But it can also involve arranging for medical care and adoption of animals. To be an animal control worker takes dedication to the well-being of animals and the public, as well as large doses of patience and assertiveness. Animal control workers may be a part of a local police department, an independent agency, or a private organization. These workers investigate reports of cruelty to animals, and complaints of animal attacks on people and other animals. They must interview the people involved, gather evidence, and write up reports. They are often on call at night, on weekends and holidays Employers typically prefer candidates with a high school diploma. Training usually takes place on the job, though some career schools and police academies offer related courses. The greatest reward for animal control workers is knowing they help protect the vulnerable creatures living alongside us.
For more information
- United States Animal Health Association – Animal Health Officials listed by state (.pdf)
- National Animal Care and Control Association
- The Humane League
- National Sheriff’s Association – National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse
- The Humane Society of the United States
- American Humane Association
- Global Animal Law
- Humane Society State Directors (contact form)
- Best Friends
- Animal Care and Control Today Magazine
- NACA Animal Control Manual (.pdf)
- USAHA Publications
- Best Friends Magazine
- American Humane Publications
- GAL News
To find an institution of higher education that offers a program relative to your career aspirations in the career subsector of Animal Control, the easiest place to start for most people is to perform a simple search by area of interest. Interestingly enough, education and training branches out across multiple disciplines. Overall, there are certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree programs in public and private postsecondary colleges and universities across the country in the following areas:
- Animal Biology
Use the link provided below and the ‘Browse for Program’ button to search by program area: