What is an Animal Control Worker?

Also known as: Animal Control Attendant, Animal Control Officer.

For those with a connection to or love for animals, a job within the animal control field can be a perfect opportunity for employment. There are plenty of different jobs within this field that encompass many different areas of animal control. Some of the jobs within this field include animal control officers and attendants, investigators for animal cruelty, dog wardens and catchers, canine service trainers and humane officers.

While not necessarily high-paying positions, there can still be great joy found within these jobs. Saving an abused animal from further harm can be a very rewarding experience.

Animal control workers complete a variety of different tasks depending upon the area of employment. In the most basic description, they help control abandoned and unattended animals, investigate the mistreatment or abuse of pets, determine if an animal is dangerous or help to remove a dangerous animal. However, there are a multitude of tasks required for this career, depending on experience and the employer.

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good animal control worker? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

Take the free career test

What does an Animal Control Worker do?

People often call animal control because a stray or injured animal has wandered onto their property. The ability to use nets, nooses and possibly tranquilizer darts to subdue unruly animals is a necessary job requirement. If the animal is injured, an animal control worker will have to be able to determine the extent of the injury by examining the animal, as well as determine medical treatment. If there is suspected animal abuse, interviewing witnesses, investigating the crime scene, collecting evidence and writing follow-up reports may be required.

Learning how to safely remove captured animals from the service vehicles used to transport the animals to the shelter is an important aspect of the job. The animal is scared and confused and has now been transported to a different location. Some of these animals may be injured or dangerous. It is a job requirement to be able to handle these animals in this type of situation and be able to place them in the cages at the shelter or animal hospital.

One of the most difficult and heart-breaking aspects of the job is euthanizing unclaimed or gravely injured animals. Administering the final shots that will take the animal’s life can be heart-wrenching and upsetting to say the least; however, it comes with the job. Most animal control agencies do not have the funds or capacity to house animals that no one comes to claim or are so injured that they require costly medicines or operations in order to survive.

A perk of this job is being able to supply personal care to the animals. This includes feeding, watering and giving the animals some one-on-one attention.

What is the workplace of an Animal Control Worker like?

The workplace of an animal control employee will vary. Sometimes the workplace will basically be a service truck used to transport animals to shelters and hospitals. Other times the workplace may be within an office, in which the worker will write reports or field calls to and from law enforcement officers or the public about the possibility of injured, abused or dangerous animals. Depending on the area of the country, the workplace may actually be within wide open national parks where the worker will travel the perimeter as well as areas inside the park to insure that there are no unsafe situations involving animals.

Depending on what a worker is trained and certified for and where they are assigned, they may be alone for quite a large part of the day, or surrounded by different animals, or in an area where they are working closely with other people. This can vary from day to day as well as differ throughout the same day.

Sometimes the workplace will not be connected to the agency in any way. For example, in cases of abuse and neglect, a worker may be required to appear in court as well as help prepare evidence for the prosecution of those who mistreat animals. In this example, the courtroom would be the workplace for the animal control employee.


Title Company Location Info

Similar Careers