How To Become An Animal Control Officer
A career in animal control is perfect for somebody who wants to blend their love of animals with their dream of working in law enforcement. In this position, you will be expected to uphold the law to the fullest. You will be keeping animals safe, as well as the local neighborhoods. This is a position that requires certification and experience.
Why Become An Animal Control Officer
It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where all people took great care of their animals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some people do not treat their animals with all of the love and attention that they deserve. There are cases of animals being mistreated and neglected.
An animal control officer is a person who uses their knowledge of the law to protect animals. There are many laws that protect animals, and animal control officers uphold and enforce these laws. Animal control officers receive calls about suspected animal cruelty or stray animals in the local neighborhood. They are responsible for issuing citations and warnings to people who may be mistreating animals. Sometimes they may even have to capture animals that are stray or are being abused and bring them to an appropriate facility.
Sometimes wild animals such as bears or coyotes manage to wander into our local communities. Animals like these not only pose a threat to humans, but also to themselves. Animal control officers are responsible for handling wildlife and transporting them to somewhere else safely.
Animal control officers are important members of our communities, who make sure that both people and animals remain safe. This is a great choice for somebody who enjoys upholding the law and doing what is fair and just. This is a career for people who have a calling to help animals and make sure they are properly taken care of. There will be many situations that will be challenging, such as taking a person’s pets away from them. An animal control officer is a person who is able to keep calm and obey the law, even when it is difficult to do so.
Animal Control Officers should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Likes Animals
- Critical Thinking
- Good Judgement
- Calm During Crisis and Conflict
- Obeys Law and Authority
Animal Control Officer Work Environment
Animal control officers are usually hired by the city and county governments. In this position, they are responsible for enforcing the laws in their local towns and neighborhoods. Officers spend a lot of time in their patrol vehicles. They will be dispatched to a local house, where there is a report of a stray animal or of animal abuse.
Officers travel throughout the day, going where they are needed. Animals also work at places such as animal shelters, kennels, animal rescue units, and other places. Officers transport animals to these facilities and communicate with the staff that work there.
Animal Control Officer Salary
In 2011, animal control officers reported average wages of $16.50 per hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many animal control officers earn a wage, rather than salary.
More than 90 percent of animal control officers are employed by local city governments. Those who employed by state governments may earn more: in 2011, the animal control officers in state positions earned an average of $35,000 per year.
Animal Control Officer Career Outlook
Animal control officer positions are expected to increase six percent between 2014 and 2024, which is an average rate of growth compared to other careers in the United States. Law enforcement is a necessary part of a community’s wellbeing, and there will always be the need to have officers in the community who will help animals. This is a government-held position, and because of that there may be a lack of jobs in the local area. Not every community will have openings for an animal control officer, and people may have to commute to their job.
Animal Control Officer Degree
Step 1: Graduate from high school. A high school diploma is essential for an animal control officer. A person in this position must have a basic understanding of reading, writing, and math.
Step 2: Receive your driver’s license. Animal control officers drive around during the day, and having a license to drive a vehicle is essential for performing the basic demands of this position.
Step 3: Become certified. Many states require animal control officers to pass exams and become certified in order to perform their jobs. The National Animal Control Association (NACA) is the professional organization responsible for certifying animal control officers in the United States. They administer a week-long training course, in which people who want to become officers are taught things such as animal welfare law, investigation, exotic animals, basics of capturing, animal diseases, and more.