Animal Control Workers

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Also known as:
Animal Control Officer, Animal Cruelty Investigator, Animal Treatment Investigator, Animal Warden, Dog Catcher, Dog Warden, Humane Officer

ABOUT ANIMAL CONTROL WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

You need a lot more than love for animals to be an animal control worker. But that's a good place to start. Animal control workers take care of animals who are abandoned, unattended, unlicensed, mistreated, or who pose a danger to the community. In addition to feeding the animals and cleaning their pens, the job will often include caring for creatures who will be put to sleep. But it might involve arranging for the adoption of animals in your care.

Animal control workers are often on call at night, on weekends, and holidays. They need to be part of a local police department, an independent agency, or a private organization. Training often takes place on the job, though some career schools and police academies offer courses in animal control work.

To be an animal control worker takes a dedication to the public good and to the animals as well as patience and assertiveness. Your reward is knowing you help protect creatures that cannot speak for themselves.

SNAPSHOT
Handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Prepare for prosecutions related to animal treatment, and give evidence in court.

Examine animal licenses, and inspect establishments housing animals for compliance with laws.

Educate the public about animal welfare, and animal control laws and regulations.

Capture and remove stray, uncontrolled, or abused animals from undesirable conditions, using nets, nooses, or tranquilizer darts as necessary.

Issue warnings or citations in connection with animal-related offenses, or contact police to report violations and request arrests.

Examine animals for injuries or malnutrition, and arrange for any necessary medical treatment.

Clean facilities and equipment such as dog pens and animal control trucks.

Write reports of activities, and maintain files of impoundments and dispositions of animals.

Remove captured animals from animal-control service vehicles and place animals in shelter cages or other enclosures.

Investigate reports of animal attacks or animal cruelty, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and writing reports.

Euthanize rabid, unclaimed, or severely injured animals.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.