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Animal Control Training and Degrees Requirements

Majors Overview March 23, 2013

In this article, students will be able to research animal control programs, obtain information about continuing education, requirements, and courses; so they will be able to make an informed decision about their education.

Criminal Justice Associate Degree Program

Law enforcement organizations work closely with animal control officers; therefore, they will have a better understanding of the law in regard to animal rights and animal abuse. The two-year Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science program in criminal justice broadly cover the criminal justice system, including topics such as national law, courts, and corrections. These individuals need to have critical thinking skills; students will learn how to analyze policies that focus on controlling aberrant and crime behavior, as well as comprehend the cause of crime.

Educational Requirements

Individuals who want to enroll in an associate degree program in criminal justice are required to hold a high school diploma and to submit standardized exam scores, such as the ACT or SAT.

Course Topics

Along with basic academic courses, students take courses with topics such as ethical implications of inaction and action in different situations. Several subjects may include:

•Corrections
•Forensic science
•Criminal investigation
•Evidence and laws
•Criminal law

Popular Careers

Those who complete an associate degree in criminal justice can seek entry level jobs relating to animal care. A law enforcement entity such as a county sheriff’s agency is often assigned the function of animal control. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of animal control workers receive a college education along with on-the-job training; several jurisdictions prefer to employ students who have graduated from an undergraduate or associate degree program, so individuals can be employed as police officers (www.bls.gov). Once an individual complete their associate degree program, they may seek positions such as:

•Animal park code enforcement officer
•Humane officer
•Dog catcher
•Animal warden

Information on Continuing Education

Criminal justice associate degree program will not offer training on how to handle animals that may have been neglected or abused. However, individuals who want to become an animal control officer can receive training from organizations such as the National Animal Control Association (NACA).

There are four levels of training offered by the National Animal Control Association. Classes in the first level focus on topics such as companion animal behavior, shelter operations, and zoology. Courses in the second level allow students to learn how to handle various animals, investigating animal cruelty, and search and seizure. In the third level, students will receive training in euthanasia as well as training in the use of collapsible baton. During the fourth and final level, individuals will learn how to handle puppy mill situations, impoundment of large numbers of animals, in addition to other topics.

Criminal Justice Bachelor Degree Program

While undergraduate degree programs do not concentrate on animal control; animal control offers are usually part of the county sheriff’s department. Topics that are covered in a four-year Bachelor of Science program include community corrections strategies, investigation techniques, and law enforcement’s role in society. There are options where students can concentrate their studies on certain areas, such as loss prevention, legal processes, law enforcement, and corrections; the majority of programs provide opportunities to obtain experience through internships.

Course Topics

In addition to core criminal justice courses and basic education courses, students may select from a variety of electives to learn more about topics that interest them. Several popular course topics include:

•Victimology
•Forensic investigation
•Judicial administration
•Juvenile justice
•Research methods

Popular Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an undergraduate degree in criminal justice is usually helpful for employment in law enforcement; individuals typically complete their on-the-job training after graduation. Students who have graduated from the program may qualify for entry-level positions such as:

•Sheriff’s deputy
•Corrections officer
•Police officer

Continuing Education

Students who have graduated from an undergraduate degree program in criminal justice should pursue the graduate degree program. These programs concentrate on administration of criminal justice and require students to defend and complete a thesis. Common courses include theory of criminology, administrative law, and police administration. Several of these programs are offered online and part-time; others are available full-time in a traditional classroom format. Students can complete full-time programs within eighteen to twenty-four months.

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