Historic images have given the village dogcatcher a bad rap, but in reality Animal Control Workers are more like social workers than dastardly villains. While love for animals is a good place to start – you’ll need skills and discipline to become an animal control worker. These workers take care of animals who are abandoned, unlicensed, mistreated— or who pose a danger to the community. In addition to transporting and caring for animals, the job often includes euthanizing severely injured and unclaimed animals. But it can also involve arranging for medical care and adoption of animals. To be an animal control worker takes dedication to the well-being of animals and the public, as well as large doses of patience and assertiveness. Animal control workers may be a part of a local police department, an independent agency, or a private organization. These workers investigate reports of cruelty to animals, and complaints of animal attacks on people and other animals. They must interview the people involved, gather evidence, and write up reports. They are often on call at night, on weekends and holidays Employers typically prefer candidates with a high school diploma. Training usually takes place on the job, though some career schools and police academies offer related courses. The greatest reward for animal control workers is knowing they help protect the vulnerable creatures living alongside us.
What they do:
Handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.
On the job, you would:
Investigate reports of animal attacks or animal cruelty, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and writing reports.
Capture and remove stray, uncontrolled, or abused animals from undesirable conditions, using nets, nooses, or tranquilizer darts as necessary.
Supply animals with food, water, and personal care.
Safety and Government
law and government
public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Animal Shelter Manager
Map creation software
Geographic information system GIS software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.