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  #11  
Old 07-01-2005
njrookie njrookie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madeleine
Thanks for the answers!

Well I have common sense, I think.. But having a degree would make me more qualified donít you think? The chance of getting the job you want always increases if you have a good education behind you, doensnít that apply when it comes to this profession too?

Iím from Sweden and Iím thinking about going to college in Pennsylvania and figuring out the american school-system is hard.. I have no idea on how to find a major/bachelors degree thatís similar to the ones you would take here. Maybe biology? or law? Argh I have no idea..
madeleine, I've always believed in education! Go ahead and get one! However, I'm finding out that what the ACO's on this forum are saying about experience, common sense, etc. being the most important characteristics of a successful ACO is absolutely true! Fortunately, I have a VERY experienced, successful and sensible ACO teaching me "the ropes" (the leashes, actually) and I've learned alot. As far as what kind of degree: criminal justice, biology, vet tech, or anything that may be applied. If you come to New Jersey, all that you really have to do is complete an ACO Certification course (approved by the state) and to do cruelty investigation, you have to complete an ACI Certification course (again, approved by the state) (Animal Cruelty Investigator). Most towns probably wouldn't hire a college grad because then they are "overqualified" (would want to much $). Not exactly a lucrative career! Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2005
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Hi Madeline,
Get an education in one of several fields, Political Science ,Biology (environmental or Animal behavior), Criminology, Communication. The degree will help you in writting your reports (being clear, concise, and to the point), and in interpretting the law ( wading through the b.s. and finding the true meaning, and the spirit of the law). I have an A.S. in Marine Science and a B.S. in Biology. If you are still in school, get a part time job as a Customer Service Rep (This will help you deal with the iodits, without getting yourself in trouble with the Supervisor). But book smarts is only half of it, you also must have common sense ( being able to read an animal and people). You also must have a strong work ethic to do the things that need doing ( PTS dogs and cats when the shelter is full, even though you have gotten attached to the animal). You also have to be dedicated to the job, because the pay sucks, and every shelter never has enough money in the budget to buy that tool that will help make your job just a little bit easier.
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2005
veganaco veganaco is offline
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hi madeleine, i've only been an aco for 3( the most challenging and rewarding in my life)months.i was lucky to get the job,but some of it had to do w/having a great interview,we just clicked.most people meet the application qualifications,even just having a h.s.diploma.if you want to go to college,take whatever would make you happiest,don't look at where it will take you.but while there,volunteer w/local shelters,etc,as much as possible,or if you are able to work,work w/animals in any capacity.do ride alongs.many aco's start as kennel techs,as i did.unfortunately there's not so much formal education in this field. now there are degrees on line through hsus,which i haven't taken but look interesting.good luck.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2005
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Hi Madeleine. Welcome to the boards

I truly believe that the AC field is a field that you have to be in love with, in order to succeed in this profession. I have a college degree. I took a Vet tech program. When I was in college, one of my school placements that I took was job shadowing a Animal Cruelty Investigator.

I feel in love with this aspect of the animal field, and knew that I wanted to have a career in Animal Control and or Animal Cruelty. Also, Animal protection has always been a passion to me.

I also took a first Aid For Pets course and am currently taking on-line legal course for animal control officers. Which is at the University Of Cariboo in Kamloops, BC.

Just make sure that this is the field that you want to truly make as career. You will have good days...then you will have great days. You will have bad days and when you think nothing can get worse..a even worse day is waiting around the corner. Just remember to keep looking forward and that you are helping to better the lives for animals, wheather, domesitc and or wildlife. You are the animals voice. This profession is emotionally draining, but is also very rewarding. Good luck to you and I hope you succeed in becoming an ACO

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  #15  
Old 07-04-2005
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Wow so many great replys! Thank you! So to sum it up a education in either criminology, veterinary technology, animal science, political science , biology (environmental or animal behavior or law enforcement would be great to have, right? And now comes the hard part of choosing I got to admit though, that I got a bit afraid when someone mentioned that you could be overqualified if you go to college and wonít get the job cause of that, so itís a huge dilemma.. To study or not to study. Im leaning alot towards studying though..

I saw that HSU provides online courses at www.hsuonline.org, has anyone attended Humane Society University and now works as an ACO?
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2005
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Default Future ACO

School is a great path b/c if the ACO comes a crumbling down on you some day, you can move laterally. Meanwhile, while taking classes, get a job as a veterinary assistant. That will teach you animal behavior, first aid, and familiarize yourself with the veterinary field.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2005
njrookie njrookie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madeleine
I got to admit though, that I got a bit afraid when someone mentioned that you could be overqualified if you go to college and wonít get the job cause of that, so itís a huge dilemma.. To study or not to study. Im leaning alot towards studying though..
Hey Madeleine!
Yeah, that was me and I was only specifically referring to NJ. When in doubt study! Really, you could always forget to mention your degree(s) if I turn out to be right. It happens once and awhile!
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  #18  
Old 07-05-2005
madeleine madeleine is offline
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Yeah having an education is safer.. And as you said njrookie, I guess I could just not mention the degree if needed..

Found something interesting.. Maybe I should attend this: http://www.nacanet.org/trainsched.html
Anyone fumiliar with it?
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2005
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NACA training is great for getting a basic understanding of many aspects of the job. Plus once you complete NACA 1 and 2, you will be nationally certified as an ACO. University of Missouri / Law Enforcement Training Institute puts on National Animal Cruelty Investigator Classes as well. Along with these, I also have taken many animal rescue classes and seminars, as well as being a vet assistant. I think if you are gearing towards a degree, you need to keep one thing in mind...you will be dealing with people as much as, if not more than, animals. Communications... Psychology... something along those lines may be very helpful. I dont have a degree, but some classes in both, and I find them useful indeed.
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  #20  
Old 07-12-2005
madeleine madeleine is offline
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Thanks! Great advice Iíll check out the university of Missouri also..

What states can you recommend if you want to work as an ACO? Wich states/cities are in most need of ACOís do you think? Wich states/cities offers the most variety when working as an ACO?

Iím glad I made this post, everythingís much clearer now! Thanks everyone!

Madeleine
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