What degree(s) do I need to become an Animal Control Officer?

I have read multiple things. You need Medical, you need criminal justice, you need this and blah blah blah. I am about to graduate High School and I am really in need of the answer because I need to start applying for colleges. So please help me (:

&& If you can, what are some things I should bring to the first day of college?

I have heard that some professors might want you to have your books, some no.


If you dont know, Animal Control officer are those people who go and pick up stray animals who wander around the streets, or an injured stray animals, beaten or neglected animals.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    An Animal Control Officer/ Animal Services Officer/ Animal Enforcement Officer is an individual employed with the city who deals with enforcing animal law.

    These Officers may be run out of the County Sheriff Department, the City Police Department, the City Code Department, or the City Environmental Services Department- this just depends on the particular structure in the city at which you are applying.

    Animal Control Officers respond to all animal law violations. These range from picking up stray animals to investigating animal cruelty. Animal Control Officers also respond alongside police officers to dangerous situations where animals are present- these may be aggressive loose animals, livestock on highways, or even drug raids where there are dogs present. These animal control officers respond to wildlife calls, and issue citations and warrants according to the need of the situation. They appear in court and present their evidence and cases to the judge. The duties of an Animal Control Officer vary heavily- you must be willing and able to do more than chase dogs.

    Qualifications are probably hard for you to find online because they vary. Most places prefer to hire individuals with hands on experience working with animals. You will need to have good communication skills- written and verbal. You do not need to work this job if you are afraid of aggressive animals, or if you are afraid of wildlife. You also need to understand that euthanasia is an unfortunate but necessary part of the job. You will learn that the shelter does everything possible to get animals to rescues/new homes, but there may be situations in which you will be euthanizing healthy dogs because there is simply no room to keep them and no rescues/people to take them. You have to be able to do this.

    When I started in Animal Control, I had 3 years of experience as a veterinary technician, with increasing responsibility, and 2 years of volunteer experience within shelters. I also had wildlife rehabilitation experience, and a lifetime of personal experience with animals. I had my Associates of Science Degree in General Studies, and was in the process of getting my Bachelor of Science in Biology.

    They will required that you become licensed as an Animal Control Officer, and as a Euthanasia Technician. These are licenses that you can also get on your own by paying for the appropriate courses. If you do not have any other specific animal experience, it will probably be in your best interest to pursue at least those two certifications before turning in applications.

    If you are planning to go to college to get a degree relevant to Animal Control- any of your environmental, animal, biology degrees will be relevant. You do not necessarily have to have one specific degree. Most cities hire based on a mix of education and experience. You do not actually HAVE to have a college degree for many cities, however having a degree gives you a competitive leg up for more desirable cities and better pay. Trust me- you don't want to work for the city that is 20 years behind the times in animal control.

    Source(s): Previous Animal Enforcement Officer
  • DS
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Animal control officer? Like the police who pick up stray animals and deal with problems related to animals?

    EDIT to your additional details: Ya they're just a division of the police department.

    You absolutely do not need a medical or criminal justice degree. You would only need the same qualifications you need to become a police officer (which doesn't require any college, though you make more if you did go to college.) Animal control are just a division of the police force. You don't need any education beyond high school to become a police officer. You do get paid more if you have a college degree thou.

    Most professors don't expect you to have your books on the 1st day for a freshman level class. Once you get to 300-400 level classes they start to expect it. Some just go over the syllabus and thats it, others will just breeze over the syllabus then go straight into the first lecture. Bring whatever you plan on taking notes in. I always use a 5 subject spiral notebook with pages I can tear out. Pens, pencils, high lighter if you're that organized.

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