Animal cops, also known as humane officers and animal control workers, perform multiple duties. These professionals protect abused and neglected animals. They attend to emergency situations and impose regional and local laws. Animal cops promote the well-being of animals and play an important part in their protection. This article will tell you how to become an animal cop in California.

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Should I Become an Animal Cop in California?

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary – US (2020)
  • Job Outlook – US (2020-2030)
  • Annual Mean Salary- California (2020)
  • High school diploma or GED; some students get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree
  • Law enforcement or animal science related field
  • Not Mandatory
  • Required
  • Communication Skills, Decision-making Skills, Writing Skills, Ability to Work with Animals.
  • $40,680 (Animal Control Workers)
  • 33% (Animal Care and Service Workers)
  • $54,910 (Animal Control Workers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Some people decide to work as animal cops because they have already been part of an animal shelter, while others are passionate to choose it as a career line. This profession involves fieldwork as well working in an office. The fieldwork of this profession is dangerous and involves multiple physical and health hazards.

Career Outlook

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal care and service workers are projected to witness a growth of 33% from 2020-2030 in the US. As per O*Net Online, animal control workers in California will enjoy a 7% growth in jobs from 2018 to 2028. The growth rate expected for this profession is higher than most other occupations. Since people love to have pets in their families, they are usually willing to pay a good sum of money to their care providers. In the coming years these professionals will experience growth as more households will continue to have companion pets.

Steps to Become an Animal Cop in California

Follow this process to become an Animal Cop in California.

Completing Education

To become an animal cop, candidates are generally required to have a high school diploma or GED. However, some students choose to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to advance their career. They usually get their degree in animal science or any other related field. Some programs are general, while others allow students to choose a specific area, like wild life and aquatic life, etc.
A few candidates choose to get a degree in law enforcement as it helps them understand law and its procedure. It also allows them to recognize a crime scene and gather evidence.

Get Training

Candidates have to go through the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy. In some cases, humane societies or Societies to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) hire a prospective candidate and pay for his training, while in other cases they receive the training before getting employed. This training program includes 20 hours of animal care organized by an institute which is approved by the California Veterinary Medical Association, 40 hours of state humane law training given by Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and 40 hours of peace officer training.
Some organizations require a law enforcement certificate. Even though it is not mandatory, having a basic police academy certificate is also beneficial.

Get Work Experience

Professionals have to gain work experience in their related field to find employment as an animal cop. They can work in zoos, pet stores, horse stables, animal shelters and farms, etc.

Obtain Continuing Education

Animal cops are hired for a period of 3 years and are required to gain 40 hours of continuing education. These hours could be earned by a law enforcement agency, postsecondary institution or SHAC.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Animal Cop in California?

Aspiring animal cops working in California have to get the required education to initiate the process. Candidates have to gain the required training and professional experience.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming an Animal Cop in California?

Following are the requirements to become an animal cop in California:

  • Pass California Department of Justice’s background check.
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have sound mental and physical health
  • The candidate must not have engaged in any felony
  • He/she must be approved by a Superior Court Judge

How Much Can I Make After Becoming an Animal Cop in California?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Control Workers working in California were earning an annual mean salary of $54,910 in 2020.