Becoming an animal control officer is one of the career paths that has been witnessing a steady increase in the United States.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the overall employment growth not just in animal control but all animal care and service will reach an unprecedented rate of about 22% by 2026.
This employment statistic is very much more positive when compared to some other career paths in the country.
When considering becoming an animal control officer it is very important to carefully analyze how capable you are in handling the duties and responsibilities that come with this position.
The general duty and responsibility of an animal control officer in the community are to ensure public safety concerning all types of animals.
An animal control officer is trained to perfectly conduct his duties while following the animal licensing laws and humane care regulations of the state for animals.
Being an animal control officer doesn’t mean you just deal with family pets as many animal control officers handle animals from pets to wildlife.
The life outlook of an animal control officer shows us how challenging yet rewarding the role played in the community by animal control officers is.
Are you interested in finding out about the duties and responsibilities of an animal control officer, salary, and required skills? This article reviews everything you need to know about Animal control officers.
Who Is An Animal Control Officer?
The career title “Animal control officer” can be found as animal services officer, humane officer, and humane investigator in some other communities.
It doesn’t matter which name is given to this career path, what matters is the same duties and responsibilities which they have in common.
An animal control officer is someone who is tasked with the protection and helping of all abused, injured, unwanted, and stray animals.
Training in anti-cruelty procedures, animal diseases, and health care is afforded to animal control officers in order to help them in dispensing their duties properly.
Being charged with protecting the public from animals extends to educating the public properly on animal laws and safety health issues.
If you don’t want to be an animal control officer, check out; Police Officer Job Description and Skills
Duties and Responsibilities of Animal Control Officers.
The range of duties and responsibilities that an animal officer is expected to perform in the community include:
- Properly investigating reports of animal cruelty and neglect.
- Rescuing of abused or trapped animals.
- Capturing of stray or dangerous animals.
- Providing testimony on related cases in court.
- Proper enforcing of laws and rules of animal control programs.
- Humane handling of animals during and after capturing.
- Educating the public on responsible pet ownership, overpopulation, animal welfare, and all related animal laws.
- Approving euthanasia for gravely injured or sick animals.
- Investigation of animal bites and making proper arrangements for quarantine and appropriate identification.
- Performing of all needs in the shelter like reporting the need for maintenance or supplies.
- Removing dead animals from public or private residences.
- Rescuing of animals in cases of loss of habitat.
- Provision of food and shelter to displaced animals.
- Relocation of wild animals to new wildlife in cases of habitat loss.
- Using humane traps and all related animal control tools and equipment for capturing specific animals.
- Issuing citations for violations of animal control regulations.
- Proper identification of symptoms of animal diseases and carrying out proper transfer for veterinary medical care.
If the police are the career you choose, read How To Write A Police Officer Resume | Full Guide + Template
Qualifications and Requirements of Animal Control Officers
Animal control officers are usually employed by a county, city, or federal government. Some certain qualifications and requirements are usually needed in an animal officer.
Generally, the basic qualifications and requirements needed in an animal control officer include:
- High school diploma or General education diploma.
- At least 18 years.
- Relevant experience in dealing with animals.
- College degree in any related animal field. (OPTIONAL)
- Valid driver’s license.
Another field you can choose is that of a correctional officer. See how to write a Correctional Officer Job Description Template
The Salary Outlook for Animal Control Officers
The salary outlook of an animal officer varies and usually depends on the level of experience and location.
According to the United States Bureau of labor statistics, the estimated salary rate of animal control officers are:
- Estimated median annual salary: $36,330.
- Top 10% annual salary: $58,220.
- Bottom 10% annual salary: $23,160
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Skills and Requirements Needed in an Animal Officer
As an animal officer, there are certain skills you are needed to possess in order to be able to properly dispense your duties.
The main skills needed as an animal officer include:
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Interpersonal Communication Skills
Being an animal officer requires you to have great interpersonal communication skills. The interpersonal skills required in animal control officers are because the duties and responsibilities of animal officers include communicating and educating the public on proper animal control ethics.
To be able to properly educate and pass relevant information to the public you must have good interpersonal skills.
Having good interpersonal skills will help in facilitating interaction and good communication in order to ensure that the necessary information is being passed through. Interpersonal communication skill in an animal control officer is a basic skill that must be cultivated.
This article will help you gain more insight into What Are Interpersonal Communication Skills? Overview And What You Need To Know
Physical Agility and Stamina
Being an animal control officer is a very unpredictable work path as different days offer different scenarios from the past.
An animal control officer might be required to work for a long period and surmount various physical obstacles just to get to a trapped animal. Being physically agile will help you to perform your duties smoothly.
Most animal control officers can find themselves in dangerous situations which can involve injured and scared animals, at this point as an animal officer you might need to fall back on physical agility and stamina to get your work done.
Being emotionally stable is one of the core skills required in every animal officer. Animal control officers on their course of duty usually encounter cases of animals that have been properly neglected, abused, or even killed.
To be able to perform your duties and responsibilities properly in such scenarios, emotional stability is required.
The absence of emotional stability in such cases can bring about the poor performance of duties which acts in detriment to helping the poor animal.
Being an animal officer requires you to be able to dispense your duties with feelings of compassion.
Some of the animals you might help could have suffered long periods of maltreatment, abuse, or displacement. It’s up to you to carefully and humanely handle the animal even in the most stressful situations.
Exhibiting compassion behaviors when dealing with animals goes a long way in the speedy recovery of the animal.
Knowledge and Proper Training
In order to be able to succeed as an animal control officer, you should have proper knowledge and training on dealing with various animals.
Having proper training in dealing with animals includes the ability to carefully read the animal’s language and understand which route to take in achieving your duties.
Not having adequate knowledge and training on dealing with animals can be disastrous as you could misinterpret the animal’s temperament and get hurt when trying to help the animal.
The easiest way to get more knowledge on dealing with animals is through experience, volunteering in animal shelter programs goes a long way in helping.
Patience and Sensitivity
The ability to be patient and sensitive in appropriate situations are skills to succeeding as an animal control officer.
Animals that are handled gently eventually feel comfortable when you’re patient enough to give them time to adapt to their new environment.
The animals being dealt with might have suffered extended periods of abuse and trauma, you need to be able to have patience for the animal to get acquainted with the new environment and recognize you as friendly.
Being sensitive to the needs of the animal as an animal control officer will help speed up the process of performing your duties.
A key requirement in every animal control officer is the ability to handle all the tools and equipment that are needed for effective dispensing of duties.
Various tools and equipment used by animal control officers include lassos and tongs, nets, animal transport cages, tranquilizer guns, and so many more.
Being knowledgeable in using these tools is not all that matters as you must ensure that you handle these tools humanely on the animals.
Not having adequate knowledge of using this various equipment will make performing your duties harder.
Basic Medical Knowledge
Having basic medical knowledge helps you in succeeding in the field of animal control. Being an animal control officer can be a very dangerous job as you can sometimes deal with neglected animals that have no choice but to become extremely violent or aggressive.
Every route in the animal control book you use might resort to violence, in these scenarios you can hear of officers getting injured on the scene of performing their duties.
Having basic knowledge about on-site first aid helps in ensuring that the injury doesn’t advance. Animal control officers are mostly affected by bites and scratches by rabid dogs in the process of trying to secure stray animals.
Appropriate Record Keeping Skill
In animal cases involving animal owners, an animal control officer can be asked to testify in court pertaining to animal neglect or abuse cases.
An animal control officer that has proper record-keeping skills will find it easy to fall back on the records from the beginning to the present timeline of the case.
A good animal control officer is required to keep an accurate and legible record of all animal cases in order to be able to provide backup on the timeline of events whenever needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, college degrees are not compulsory for becoming an animal control officer, but a degree in an animal-related field helps when searching for employment opportunities.
Yes, it’s possible to get hurt as an animal control officer, especially when dealing with aggressive animals.
Volunteering at your community animal shelter helps in gaining overall experience on animals.
An animal control officer should be knowledgeable on dealing with various animals and must have good interpersonal skills.
Yes, in worst cases usually involving animal cruelty, they can ask an animal control officer to testify.
Being an animal control officer requires a combination of various skills in order to effectively carry out your duties.
This article has clearly reviewed everything you need to know about animal control officers and the required skills should you decide to take up the career path.