Sheriff's Animal Services Officer I (#RP0310)
$22.57-$27.43 Hourly / $3,911.32-$4,754.23 Monthly / $46,935.89-$57,050.87 Yearly


Under close supervision performs routine fieldwork in the enforcement of animal control laws and ordinances of the County of San Joaquin and State of California; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the first and trainee level in the Sheriff’s Animal Services Officer series. Incumbents learn applicable laws and ordinances, learn to perform field work and animal crime investigations under guidance of experienced staff, qualify with various equipment and firearms used in animal control work, and complete required training. Following completion of training, incumbents independently perform fieldwork under close supervision. Sheriff’s Animal Services Officers are civilian employees of the Sheriff’s Office. Incumbents are not peace officers but may exercise the powers of arrest of a peace officer as specified in California Penal Code Section 836 and the power to serve warrants as specified in Sections 1523 and 1530 during the course and within the scope of their employment, if those incumbents successfully complete a course in the exercise of those powers pursuant to Section 832.

Incumbents are expected to advance to Sheriff’s Animal Services Officer II after completing all training, demonstrating competence in all aspects of animal control work, and meeting the qualifications for that class. This class is distinguished from Sheriff’s Animal Services Officer II in that the latter class is the fully experienced journey level where incumbents function independently in the field and may train less experienced staff.


  • Drives a dispatched vehicle equipped with a Mobile Dispatched Computer (MDC) to patrol assigned areas and enforce animal services ordinances and laws; responds to calls and investigates and evaluates complaints concerning vicious, diseased, trapped, injured, abused, or stray animals.
  • Locates, apprehends and impounds stray, sick, abandoned, diseased and dangerous dogs, small animals, poultry, livestock and large animals; investigates cases of livestock depredation and captures or destroys marauding wildlife.
  • Learns to use specialized equipment and techniques to handle down, injured, or sick large animals.
  • Develops and maintains positive relations with the public to resolve issues, gain compliance, and build trust; explains and enforces state and local laws and ordinances relating to the care, treatment, quarantine or impounding of animals; issues warning notices and citations for violations of laws and ordinances regulating licensing and control of dogs.
  • Operates a shotgun, dart projector, syringe pole, trap, net, taser or other issued equipment to capture or destroy animals for humane reasons; performs animal euthanasia by injection or gunshot for humane reasons; locates and removes dead animals of all sizes when owner is not known.
  • Ensures that dogs have been properly licensed and vaccinated by checking license tags and owner’s verification; issues licenses and deposits funds; conducts residential canvasses for unlicensed dogs and does follow up work on delinquent licenses.
  • Investigates cases of animal bites or possible rabies exposure; quarantines animals; transports potentially infected dead animals to lab for examination; enforces rabies control measures.
  • Learns skills needed to investigate animal-related crimes, including interviewing victims, witnesses, and subjects; collecting and booking of evidence; writing and executing warrants; utilizing specialized investigative techniques; may make arrests related to violation of certain animal laws; preparing criminal cases for desired prosecution.
  • Works with other agencies, such as the Department of Fish and Game, Highway Patrol, and other local law enforcement agencies, enforcing state and local animal control laws and regulations.
  • May testify at hearings and in trials; may represent the Sheriff’s Department at educational venues and public/private events.
  • Prepares various forms as a record of daily activities; prepares detailed written reports of activities and investigations; cleans and inspects equipment; may perform support office functions as needed.
  • Attends and completes related trainings as required.


Education: Graduation from high school or satisfactory completion of a G.E.D. test.

License: Possession of a valid California Driver’s license. 

Special Requirement: Must be able to pass and maintain a Sheriff’s Department Background clearance. Must be immunized against rabies upon employment and maintain immunity for duration of employment. Must successfully complete a regular course in powers of arrest and use of firearms (PC 832) approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training prior to completion of probation. Must demonstrate proficiency in use of firearms, tranquilizing equipment, euthanasia equipment, and complete an internal training program prior to completion of probation.


Principles and practices of humane apprehension and care of animals; principles and practices of customer service and public relations; physical and behavioral characteristics of common breeds of domestic animals; safe work practices.


Interpret and apply laws and regulations; learn and apply applicable laws and ordinances; evaluate and establish priorities; learn specialized techniques and equipment used to capture and dispose of a variety of animals; learn crime scene preservation and evidence handling techniques; maintain records and prepare reports; learn investigative principles and techniques; follow oral and written procedures and directions; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, even in difficult situations; communicate effectively with others; write clearly and legibly.


Mobility - frequent walking on uneven terrain, regular standing, running, chasing, bending and squatting; sitting for long periods; occasional pushing, pulling, climbing; Dexterity - sufficient to operate firearms; handle individual papers; write and take notes; Lifting/Pushing/Pulling - frequently lifting of 25-75 pounds; occasional lifting of more than 75 pounds; Visual Requirements - ability to read files and documents and use computer screens; constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; frequent color perception and use of eye/hand coordination; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision; occasional aiming firearm; Hearing/Talking - frequent hearing of normal speech, hearing/talking on the telephone and radio, talking in person; Emotional/Psychological - frequent public contact and decision making; Special Requirements - Requires ability to drive county vehicles including specialized trucks; requires working on call, weekends, nights, and/or occasional overtime; Environmental - regular exposure to varied weather conditions.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RP0310; EST: 12/18/2002; REV: 6/20/2024;