Animal Control Officers
What is an Animal Control Officer?
Animal Control Officers (ACOs) are employed by governmental animal care and control agencies or private animal welfare organizations with contracts with cities or counties to provide animal control services.
Officers may be a part of the law enforcement branch of the government or housed in another department.
The duties of animal control officers are highly variable and include patrolling neighborhoods for stray, injured and abandoned animals, investigation of animal neglect and cruelty concerns, pick-up of deceased animals, community mediation around animal issues; such as feral cat populations, animal noise complaints or instances of animal hoarding. ACOs respond to emergency calls including injured animals, loose animals in traffic, stray livestock, investigations of bites to humans involving both domestic or wild animals, and vicious animals posing a public safety risk. ACOs generally provide 24/7 services by working shifts throughout the day or by being on call for after-hours emergencies involving animals. These emergencies include reports of injured or sick animals, assistance to law enforcement, such as responding to arrests or hospitalizations where an animal may also be involved and other urgent safety risks, including loose animals, including livestock, in traffic. Another important role of Animal Control Officers is in disaster response and coordination of evacuation of animals during an emergency.
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