How To Become A Dog Warden
A dog warden enforces the laws of the county or state about dogs. This entails doing a variety of activities related to handling canines in cases involving mistreatment and negligence, violations of dog laws and transporting the animals to the pound or shelter.
As a dog warden, you will conduct patrols around your jurisdictions to make sure that laws about dogs and other animals are being implemented. During your rounds you also check the streets for stray dogs and pick up those you find so that they can be impounded. This part of your job can be hazardous as vicious dogs may bite when cornered so you need to be extra careful when handling strays. It may be necessary for you to tranquilize dogs using a tranquilizer gun specifically made to calm animals. In the animal shelters, you may need to clean dog kennels and other duties. You may also have to perform euthanasia on vicious dogs that cannot anymore be reformed or those that have been severely injured upon the instruction of your supervisor.
Since this is a law enforcement position, it is also your responsibility to investigate complaints involving canines. This would include looking into cases of owners abusing or neglecting their animals or of livestock being killed by dogs. They may also issue warnings or citations to erring dog owners pursuant to the provisions of local and state laws. This task involves asking owners questions, evaluating their responses and making conclusions accordingly. You may also be asked to testify in court in cases involving allegations of animal abuse. Conducting regular checks of individuals to determine who has dog licenses and informing those with licenses that have already expired is also part of your job.
To succeed as a dog warden, you need to have a genuine concern for dogs and animals. You must also be knowledgeable about or are capable of understanding the regulations and policies that govern the animals in your jurisdiction. You must also be physically fit and strong since you will be lifting heavy canines in the course of performing your duties.
Why Become A Dog Warden
A career as a dog warden is the perfect fit for those who possess genuine concern for dogs. This is very fulfilling for those who want to ensure the safety of both animals and people. While the wage is not that high, it is a profession that pays living wages. Moreover, many dog wardens can also expect job security since they are mostly employed by local governments.
Dog Warden Work Environment
Dog wardens are employed mostly by local governments. Others work for social advocacy organizations, civic groups and state governments. Their work will take them to the streets of their jurisdiction for regular patrols, the dog shelter or pound and to the courthouse if they need to testify in cases related to dogs. One hazard of the job is the risk of getting bitten by vicious dogs. They may also be subjected to emotional trauma since they are the first ones to witness the poor state of animals that have been abused or neglected. The work is fulltime and often done during regular hours.
Dog Warden Salary
Dog wardens are also called animal control workers. The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of animal control workers is $33,870. The lowest paid received $20,060 a year while the highest were paid mean annual wages of $51,600.
Dog Warden Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the employment rate of animal control workers is expected to grow eight percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This rate is about as fast as the national average for all job types which translates to around 1,100 new jobs added in 2022 to the 14,600 animal control workers hired in 2012.
Dog Warden Degree
The entry point for a career as a dog warden is a high school diploma or its equivalent. There are also no work experience requirements for this occupation. However, those who know about animal behavior and have the ability to handle dogs well have an edge. Newly-hired workers are usually given training on the job.