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Animal Control Officer Job

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So my husband has been looking for a job and there is a Animal Control Officer opening, and I told my husband to go apply..

What all do you think would be involved with that??? I don't think he'd be able to put animals asleep though. I asked a friend who is part of the organization i help with, and she says the manager does that, she doesn't think the officers do that.. What do ya'll think?

post #2 of 11
I've had some friends who worked for animal control and it varies but it usualy involves some combination of cleaning cages, caring for animals and making pick ups.
post #3 of 11
Here are some job listings for ACOs... maybe they can give you a good idea?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I figured he'd get an idea from when he goes and applies, but they are closed today,, so he'll be doing it tommorrow.
post #5 of 11
I used to be an ACO for a local shelter, it was just me and a friend of mine. I don't know if your husband would be the sole ACO or not, but our job duties were:

Being on call pretty much 24/7 to pick up strays, deal with complaints, etc. It was a dangerous job at times, but more so dealing with people than with the animals.

Cleaning kennels, cages, etc.

Socializing with the animals.

Keeping up with the Petfinder website, handling adoptions, etc.

Taking animals to the vet if need be, vaccinating and worming and medicating new arrivals.

I suggest he ask what all the job requirements are first to see if he's ok with them all. It was a tough job, with little pay and no respect from the community who employed us. But I loved it with all of my heart and miss it terribly. We did not euthanize unless absolutely necessary but if someone else is running the shelter, your husband may not have a choice.
post #6 of 11
I recently inquired about this very thing since there is an opening where I volunteer.

They recommended I take 2 courses - one at Sheridan College for 1 year and the other course which was on animal first aid and was a shorter course.

I'm assuming that is what I would need to get the better job and move up.

I don't know what things would be in the US.
post #7 of 11
Well, here the AC officer is part time AC, part time cop. Which stinks. They are always on call, deal with animal control complaints, pick up strays. But, that's it. The HS(me) deals with petfinder, all the adoption side.
post #8 of 11
The Animal Control office in my town contracts with a local veterinarian to euthanize animals, so I doubt that would be part of his job duties. I don't think it's a job that I could bothers me far too much to see hurt and ill animals, especially ones that have been deliberately injured.
post #9 of 11
I work for Animal Control in our area

here's what the job entails. each officer must go to a class where they learn to euthanize, properly handle/catch animals, learn how to respond to different situations, etc.

where i work, all AC officers are trained to euthanize and all have to do it at times. It's not fun...but it's a part of life at a shelter.

Another thing for him to consider- would he be comfortable cremating an animal and collecting ashes/etc??? When aniamls are euthanized at most shelters they are stored in a freezer until there are enough bodies to take to the incenerator to cremate them. The officers are responsible for euthanizing, storing the bodies, transporting them when the time comes, and then cremating them. Also- on occassion, owners will want their animals ashes collected and put in a urn- the AC officers do that post burn. Would he be able to stomach that?

Another thing that is frequent is picking up DOA animals. Roadkill victims/etc. He will also have to deal with is fair share of complaints made by neighbors/disputes/etc. It can get daunting. Many times AC officers also have to go rescue animals cought up in domestic disputes where the police are involved. At our shelter- there is ALWAYS an AC officer on call, even after the shelter is closed for the day. This means getting calls at 4am to pick up dogs/cats that are aggressive/violent etc. In our area, the person applying for the job must live within city limits or really close because they have to be able to respond to all calls in a reasonable amount of time - so make suse ya'll live in the right district.

The AC officers here are provided with their own vehicles and card for gas use at city pumps- so that part of their transportation is covered. It is not uncommon now for people to see a parked AC vehicle and then leave an animal tied to the truck and dump them. That happens pretty often around here unfortunately He should also be strong enough to properly restrain a large/wiggly animal to do blood work/etc on them. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to working with animals.

Many AC officers/staff are required to get a thorough work up before they are hired to rule out drugs/etc and make sure they are in good condition to work with animals/etc. He will also likely need current tetnis and hepatitis shots as he will most likely be working with sharps when he has to euthanize,draw blood, give vaccines/etc.

At our shelter- EVERYONE cleans no matter what their title. So he should be prepared to scoop dog kennels, clean cat rooms, dip animals,etc when asked to do so. AC officers are also responsible for helping with spay/neuter days at the shelter as well as for vaccinating animals. He should have a good knowledge on proper medical procedures with aniamls. AC officers also help to feed, groom, distribute medication, train the animals, socialize them a bit, transport them to adoption days, host volunteer orientations, put community service kids to work/etc.

And the most important thing i can think of- how to get himself out of a bad situation should he be attacked. Proper training will teach him all the techniques/etc he should need if he were to ever find himself in a bad situation. He will also likely have to keep a look out for anything suspecious in the area such as wildlife deaths/etc. Bats are a huge issue for our area right now as they carry rabies- so everyone has to be very careful about those calls.

In our area- the AC officers have been asked not to put themselves in dangerous situations in which they could get hurt (liability) such as climbing trees, getting into drainage ditches/etc so everyone has to get creative as far as different rescue calls go.

He should also be prepared to deal with a lot of idiots Working for AC can really make you hate certain people when you see what some individuals do to animals. Animal cruelty is a huge problem. He will have to write up reports on the calls he makes (is he good with writing letters/etc?? that helps!), issue citations to people violating your local domestic animal laws, appear in court on assigned court days (usually once or twice a month just depending- sometimes the court days will fall on people's days off here...but they still are required to go by law)..

feel free to pm me if you have any questions! i'll try to help you out and let you know what he might expect from this kind of position. being an AC officer is a VERY hard job and many of them don't get paid nearly what they're worth....but i know all of the AC staff where i work are in it because they LOVE those animals sooo much and like being able to help them and see them find new homes It's one of the most rewarding jobs i can think of!
post #10 of 11
Check out - lots of good information from lots of ACOs on hiring. I'm a little biased. I moderate the site!
post #11 of 11
It really depends on where they are and how they work, some have vets do the euthanising others do it themselves. Some have a hierarchy in duties and others have everyone do it themselves.

After dealing with AC here, it is not a job I would be able to do. I understand that often there isn't anything they can do, but it would drive me crazy seeing the abuse, knowing that somewhere I have the power to do something about it, but being held back by statutes etc. As for the euthanising, that certainly isn't something I could do.
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