Animal Control Officer (#423130)
$26.48-$32.18 Hourly / $4,589.01-$5,577.97 Monthly / $55,068.15-$66,935.68 Yearly
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Ensures compliance with State and local codes and regulations that govern the control of livestock and domestic animals; participates in the county-wide rabies control program.

This is the entry/journey level class requiring limited time on the job before an incumbent is capable of functioning at the full journey level.  Incumbent initially works under immediate supervision, progressing to independent supervision as the incumbent becomes able to independently perform the full range of duties associated with this class.


This class is distinguished from the:

Animal Care Specialist class which performs specialized work in providing care for animal in the shelter.

Animal Care Manager class which plans, organizes, coordinates and supervises the shelter and animal control activities.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives general supervision from the Animal Control Supervisor – Sergeant.

No supervision is exercised over others.

Examples of Duties


  • This class specification represents the core area of responsibilities; specific position assignments will vary depending on the needs of the department.
  • Patrols assigned area of the County to pickup stray, sick, injured or dead animals on public roads, and/or to discover straying livestock; transports animals to holding cages, the animal shelter or a veterinarian as appropriate; herds or assists in herding livestock back to the owner's property.
  • Responds to and investigates all reports of animals biting people; reviews all bite reports for accuracy and to determine the circumstances under which the bite occurred; assures that all bite reports are entered properly on the computer; determines whether animal quarantine will be at the animal's home, the Animal Shelter or with a Veterinarian; observes animal for clinical symptoms of rabies; follows up on results and releases animals after the appropriate quarantine period; ensures collection of quarantine fees.  
  • Responds to radio dispatched calls to provide service in assigned area; removes animals from public property; explains/enforces state and County laws governing animal control and licensing to citizens.
  • Patrols for and responds to calls of rabid or potentially rabid animals; gathers specimens for laboratory analysis for rabies; observes strict procedures to protect against rabies for laboratory analysis for rabies contamination.
  • Extracts data on bites and dogs from computer to complete quarterly reports and/or to prepare court documents; checks for prior bite history on an animal when a bite is reported; retains copies of the bite reports for use in court; determines whether court action is necessary; requests the District Attorney's Office to prosecute cases for the removal of an animal from the home and for its disposal because of viciousness or its probable contracting of rabies; testifies in court and renders opinions on the nature of the animal.  
  • Carries out court orders for the removal and disposal of animals; may request law enforcement assistance; may be required to forcibly enter a residence to obtain the animal; may be required to make arrests.
  • Investigates citizen complaints concerning animal nuisances; attempts to resolve problems and disputes at the scene; issues abatement notices for animal nuisances; issues citations for code violations; logs and reports complaints and their disposition.
  • Inspects commercial kennels for code compliance; may assist in investigating complaints of animal abuse.
  • Prepares and maintains activity logs and records of all animals transported to holding cages or to the shelter.
  • Assists in shelter and equipment maintenance, care and disposal of animals, and/or animal claims and adoptions.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:


  • Clinical symptoms of rabies in animals and humans.
  • Dangers of rabies exposure and effective protective/preventive measures.
  • Proper dissection for rabies.
  • State and local laws, rules and regulations governing rabies and animal control.
  • Characteristics of various breeds of animals.
  • Effective public relations techniques.  
  • Court procedures and documents.
  • Computerized data collection; retrieval and analysis.  


Skills to:


  • Protect oneself and others from rabid or vicious animals by the proper use of tools, firearms (shotguns, rifles and handguns), tranquilizer guns, and other equipment.
  • Euthanize and dissect animals.
  • Drive a motor vehicle. Ability to:
  • Instruct staff and the public in rabies control measures, rules, regulations and laws.
  • Deal with violent, hostile and irate people in a constructive manner.
  • Protect against exposure to rabies while catching or dissecting an animal.
  • Follow precisely procedures designed to ensure safety.
  • Interpret, explain/enforce and apply laws, rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Use computer assistance to gather and analyze data.
  • Develop, recommend and implement operational program procedures.
  • Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations.
  • Prepare narrative and statistical reports.
  • Comply with laws, regulations and professional practices governing rabies control program services and operations.
  • Maintain accurate records and document actions taken.
  • Interview people to determine circumstances surrounding bite incidents or suspected exposure to rabies and to get information for possible legal action.
  • Organize and prioritize work assignments.
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials.
  • Prepare court cases and documents; testify in court.


Education and Experience

High school diploma, GED, or equivalent.  AND  

Six months work experience in the care and/or control of animals in an animal control/care agency, a Humane Society, a veterinary clinic, a shelter and/or equivalent animal care facility.


Possession of a valid Class C California Driver's License is required.

Successful completion of the training course specified in Section 832 of the Penal Code pertaining to arrests, search and seizure laws and the use of firearms, is required within the first six months of appointment.


Possession of a valid Class C California Driver's License is required.


Successful completion of the training course specified in Section 832 of the Penal Code pertaining to arrests, search and seizure laws and the use of firearms, AND successful completion of the Animal Control Officer Academy is required within the first six months of appointment.



Candidates for positions within this class are required to take and successfully pass a psychological examination prior to appointment.

 Employees must receive pre-exposure rabies vaccination within three months of appointment. 

  • Independent travel will be required.
  • Rotational standby duty is required.
  • Incumbents are expected to be able to work weekends and/or holidays.
  • Some positions in this class may require bilingual skills.
  • Employees may be required to demonstrate skill and ability to follow precise procedures in animal dissection.


CLASS: 423130; EST: 7/1/2001;