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Career profile Animal Control Officer

Also known as Animal Attendant, Animal Control Officer, Animal Enforcement Officer, Animal Ordinance Enforcement Officer, Animal Park Code Enforcement Officer, Animal Safety Officer, Community Safety Officer, Community Service Officer, Dog Control Officer

Animal Control Officer

Also known as Animal Attendant, Animal Control Officer, Animal Enforcement Officer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$25,050 - $61,270 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Law and Government
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • 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.
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What does an Animal Control Officer do?

Animal Control Officers handle animals for the purpose of investigations of mistreatment, or control of abandoned, dangerous, or unattended animals.

What kind of tasks does an Animal Control Officer perform regularly?

Animal Control Officers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • Write reports of activities, and maintain files of impoundments and dispositions of animals.
  • Examine animals for injuries or malnutrition, and arrange for any necessary medical treatment.
  • Prepare for prosecutions related to animal treatment, and give evidence in court.
  • Contact animal owners to inform them that their pets are at animal holding facilities.
  • Educate the public about animal welfare, and animal control laws and regulations.
  • Clean facilities and equipment such as dog pens and animal control trucks.
  • Remove captured animals from animal-control service vehicles and place animals in shelter cages or other enclosures.
  • Issue warnings or citations in connection with animal-related offenses, or contact police to report violations and request arrests.
  • Examine animal licenses, and inspect establishments housing animals for compliance with laws.
  • Euthanize rabid, unclaimed, or severely injured animals.
  • Answer inquiries from the public concerning animal control operations.

The above responsibilities are specific to Animal Control Officers. More generally, Animal Control Officers are involved in several broader types of 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.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

What is an Animal Control Officer salary?

The median salary for an Animal Control Officer is $38,430, and the average salary is $40,680. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Animal Control Officer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Animal Control Officers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Animal Control Officers earn less than $25,050 per year, 25% earn less than $31,040, 75% earn less than $48,640, and 90% earn less than $61,270.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Animal Control Officers is expected to change by 10.2%, and there should be roughly 1,200 open positions for Animal Control Officers every year.

Median annual salary
$38,430
Typical salary range
$25,050 - $61,270
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.2%

What personality traits are common among Animal Control Officers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Animal Control Officer are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Social interests.

Animal Control Officers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Animal Control Officers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Animal Control Officers typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Animal Control Officer tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Support.

Most importantly, Animal Control Officers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Animal Control Officers strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Animal Control Officers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Animal Control Officers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Animal Control Officers, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

What education and training do Animal Control Officers need?

Working as an Animal Control Officer usually requires a high school diploma.

Animal Control Officers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Animal Control Officers

  • 2.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 30.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 33.3% completed some college coursework
  • 10.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 21.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Animal Control Officers

Animal Control Officers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, law and government, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Animal Control Officers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace 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.

Important Abilities needed by Animal Control Officers

Animal Control Officers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Animal Control Officers need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Animal Control Officers, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Animal Control Officers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Animal Control Officers frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Animal Control Officers, ranked by their relative importance.

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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.