How to Become a Animal Control Officer

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Animal control officers are those who protect people from dangerous animals and protect animals from unhealthy situations--all while following the laws and codes of the government. Animal control officers are expected to inspect animal facilities such as pet shops and kennels and any place that is reported to have suspicious animal activity.

Work or volunteer at an animal shelter or veterinarian office to get hands-on experience dealing with animals. You will be in contact with multiple animals on a daily basis and see the different situations they can get into. Try to be in a position to learn basic animal needs and health care.

Study college-level animal science or criminal justice. Most jobs don’t require it, but it can help you learn the business and will put you ahead of others in the field with no education in these areas. The minimum hire age for animal control officers is 21 years, so you can get a degree in one of these areas after high school and before becoming an officer.

Become a certified officer by attending training with a recognized association such as the National Animal Control Association (NACA). Depending on what state you live in, certification may be required.

Take courses through a university or the NACA to become certified in animal CPR and first aid, euthanasia, large animal capture and other areas. FEMA offers training for disaster sheltering and care.

Apply for a job at your local animal control agency. These agencies are government funded and will require government tests and background checks for any potential hires.