Animal Cop Degree and Training Program Information

Animal cop programs are comprehensive programs which focus on the proper treatment and safety of animals. Students in these programs will learn about topics such as facility assessment and more.

Essential Information

Animal cops, also known as humane investigators or animal control officers, investigate reports of animal abuse and educate the public regarding animal safety and health.

A high school degree or equivalent is generally required to begin a career as a humane investigator. While no college degree is required for this profession, certificate programs and formal training are beneficial due to the legal implications and safety requirements of this physically demanding and often emotionally draining career. Students can learn how to properly work with animals, some of which may seem dangerous, as well as how to respectfully communicate with the animals' owners.

  • Program Levels in Animal Control: Certificate programs; associate's degrees.
  • Prerequisites: High School Diploma or GED.
  • Online Availability: Some online courses are available.
  • Program Length: Up to one year.

Animal Cop Certificate Programs

The National Animal Control Association (NACA) notes that animal control officers interact with the public four times as often as others in the field of law enforcement ( Investigators may also need to act as experts in cases that go to court. Due to this high level of public interaction, the curriculum of these certification programs focuses on public speaking topics as well as law. Classes may include the following:

  • Animal law
  • Report writing
  • Interviewing
  • Courtroom preparation
  • Constitutional law

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that the job growth for animal care and service workers will grow at a faster than average rate of 15% from 2012 to 2022( Additionally, the BLS reported that an annual median salary for animal control workers was $32,560 in May 2014.

Continuing Education Information

Those looking to explore the enforcement of laws against animal cruelty, neglect and abuse further may consider going into law enforcement. Degree programs, such as the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Animal Management, are available and some police departments designate officers with the proper training as animal control officers.

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