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Old 08-22-2005
jimbo jimbo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Texas
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Default Wanna Be an Animal Care Professional?

BigB, good luck in your endeavor first of all. Secondly, I think that most places that hire you require first at least a High School Diploma. I know that sounds low, but there are as many levels of expertise in this field as there are Officers.

Obviously the more education you have when you start, the better. You wil be trained extensively when you go to work for an organization. There are fairly specific needs as far as training. Each jurisdiction has it's own ordinances and laws that need to be enforced. Organizations also differ in their philosophical position, as far as how much and what type of enforcement action they prefer to use.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that one's intentions are "golden" when trying to do anything to help animals find a better situation. I think that everyone who excells in this industry has a very large amount of that sentiment.

Realize though, that we deal with people more so than animals. Our jobs would be so much easier if animals were the focus of our daily tasks. We deal in large part with the lower echelon of pet ownership. Not always, but very often.

It is a social problem that we are dealing with. The "Big Picture" is that we are dealing with human's problems interacting with animals; from a dog bite, to a cruelty seizure, or even a stray animal, we are either here to protect humans from animals, or to protect animals from humans. That is grossly oversimplifying things, but it sort of sums it up for me. This is a very stressful line of work, but also has a very high reward emotionally.

My advice to you would be this, get as much education on any animal related issue that you can; beg borrow and steal all the patience you can find. Realize that you are going to deal with more people on a daily basis than the Police and Fire Depts. combined in the City in which you work. You will never have seen it all.

You will meet a disproportionally large amount of "colorful characters", as well as very strong peer group who will not hesitate to "educate" you, (sometimes there just isn't much room for error). Oh, and did I mention you will need as much patience as you can find?

You will discover, in return, a profession that is second to none with as much upward mobility as you can imagine. This industry is morphing at a high growth rate. The pet industry as a whole is exploding with potential for absolutely anything you want to achieve. Come on, it's a heck of a ride!
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Old 08-26-2005
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Default Becoming a ACO

Hi Big B

I am new to the site here myself, however I am originally from So. California myself. There are a lot of methods to getting into the field, Defintally as everyone has said Volunteer at your Shelter, and let them get to know you, and be willing to clean whatever. You can perhaps get hired on at a Shelter there as a Animal Tech, working in the Shelter first, that way you can get your feet wet and meet the ACOs, perhaps they have a Ride A Long Policy? I used to work for a Large Humane Society in San Deigo as a ANimal Tech, years ago. Great job and great way to learn
I am now a ACO for a small dept in Kentucky. Some jobs are private, city, police depts, health depts, depending on what state and authroity.
Sometimes you may have to take a job out of state to start out?
I am a former Zookeeper myself for a number of years and also private security.

I have also taken FEMA courses for animals, and all the American Red Cross courses ( pet first Aid, disasters etc ) check into that too. More classes the more educatioin under your belt.

Take care

ACO Davis
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