Do you believe that animals are entitled to respectful, compassionate, and kind treatment? If yes, then you might want to consider starting a career as an Animal Cop (also referred as an Animal Control Worker). These professionals are responsible for controlling unattended, dangerous, and abandoned animals. They ensure that the animals are protected from pain and cruelty, and are valued by the society.

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If you think that you have what it takes to excel in this field, then you might want to read this guide. This comprehensive article will discuss the job duties of these professionals, the process of entering this field, and the salary prospects of these workers.

What Does an Animal Cop Do?

Before discussing the process of becoming an animal cop, let’s discuss what the job entails. The job duties of Animal Cops are listed below.

Animal Cops are responsible for:

  • Impounding and capturing stray or dangerous animals
  • Removing trapped animals from undesirable conditions using tranquilizer darts, nooses and nets as necessary
  • Providing care to abused animals
  • Monitoring pet shops
  • Enforcing regional and local laws concerning the treatment and care of animals
  • Investigating cases related to animal cruelty, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and prosecuting abusers
  • Running local and national animal awareness programs to educate individuals about animal control safety

Steps to Become an Animal Cop

The path to becoming an animal cop consists of several steps, which are outlined in the section below:

Step 1: Complete a High School Diploma/GED

Before you can receive college level training related to Animal Science, you will have to complete a high school diploma.

Step 2: Consider an Associate/Bachelor degree

After completing high school education, you should consider pursuing a 2-year long Associate degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Law Enforcement, Animal Sciences, or Veterinary Technology. These degrees will cover modules related to Animal Behavior, Animal Control, and Shelter Medicine.

Step 3: Get Certified!

You will have to check with your respective state if it has any certification or training requirements. Even if it does not have any formal certification requirements, you can still go ahead and get certified by organizations like the National Animal Control Association (NACA). Such certifications provide evidence to employers that the prospective employee is committed and dedicated to growing his/her knowledge and professional skills. These training courses will educate you about topics like animal welfare and safety, animal disaster response and recovery, methods of animal restraint, animal transport practices, and fundamentals of emergency sheltering.

Step 4: Apply for the Position of an Animal Control Worker

Once you have completed your education requirements and certifications, you can start applying for jobs. As an animal control worker, you can expect to work for the local government, state government, and social advocacy organizations.

How Much Does an Animal Cop Earn?

As per the data shared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Control Workers made an annual mean wage of $40,680 in 2020. That year, the top paying state for Animal Control Workers was Alaska, with an annual mean salary of $55,970.

How Much Does an Animal Cop Earn

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Care and Service Workers will enjoy an exceptional job growth of 33% from 2020 and 2030.

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