Animal catchers, dog catchers, dog control officer, rabies control officer, and many other similar job titles have all evolved into our modern Animal Control Officer. The job of an Animal Control Officer is an amazing one. Some of my best experiences have been those gained as an Animal Control Officer, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves animals.
The job varies drastically from day to day. You may be picking up a stray dog, or rounding up a herd of cattle the wandered onto the freeway. There is not much in the form of training available. So for the most part you are using previous experience to “wing it”.
The variety of animals is as extensive as the number of animals there are in captivity. Domestics like dogs and cats are a common type of animal you will deal with. Personally the most exotic thing I have impounded was an Emu!
Your location will vary as much as your duties. You may find yourself in the inner street s of a city one minute, and a few hours later you may be in a rural mountain town. Becoming familiar with these areas is key, and if you enjoy scenery this job will give you ample opportunity to go where most people cannot.
You may also be dealing with cruelty cases. I find a lot of satisfaction in conducting these investigations. Some cannot stomach cruelty cases; the grief over the animals’ condition is too much. I feel keeping people from abusing animals, and helping the animals I seize in finding a new home is the most amazing part of the job.
Of course the entire job is about the animals. Throughout the day you will be impounding stray animals. Unfortunately these animals wandered out of their homes, and into the streets. By picking up these animals you are protecting them from the many hazards of society, and society from the potential danger from the stray animal. The most rewarding part of impounding animals is finding their home.
On occasion you will find an animal who is properly licensed and vaccinated, or who has a microchip. Using the information you obtain from these forms of identification you can sometimes find where the dog lives. There is no better feeling in the world than to watch a dogs attitude change to that of utter joy when they are brought home, and see their owner.
Many people believe Animal Control Officers are just dog catchers. In modern America this is simply not true anymore. A majority of the job is capturing stray, injured, sick, or abused animals. Yet Animal Control Officers are usually law enforcement officers when they are on duty. This usually means that they have the same powers as your local Police or Sheriff.
Another myth is that Animal Control can always catch an animal. While Animal Control will do the best they can there will always be an extra elusive animal. Animal Control Officers are human too, and cannot always catch everything
All in all the job of an Animal Control Officer, animal catcher, dog catcher, dog control officer, rabies control officer, or whatever else you may want to call them is one of the most rewarding career choices out there. Your job duties will vary, and you will get to handle animals that people only dream of seeing!