ACOFunStop.Com Forums

Go Back   ACOFunStop.Com Forums > Talking Shop > Ask the ACO

View Poll Results: Is the position of Animal Control Officer a "Profession"?
Yes 49 92.45%
No 4 7.55%
Dont Care 0 0%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #11  
Old 03-19-2009
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Roselle Park, NJ
Posts: 1,200
DRNEGRIN6 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to DRNEGRIN6
Default

The question of profession or not. New Jersey is striving to make ACOs professionals. We now have our own association. The president was one of my ride along trainers. I have learned a lot from him. He is truly a professional in the way he acts and carries himself. Most of the people that have trained under him are professionals as well. But there are too many out there that think they are still dog-catchers; others are badge-happy and file false charges against people just because they can.

There needs to be standards (and consequences for those that violate the standards/laws) to get rid of the unprofessional people. This is how we can become a professional organization (and be seen as one in the public eye). I don't expect ACOs to have to go to school as long as a nurse or a doctor, but there should be requirements to attend follow up course work (at least once or twice a year) in order to continue to work as an ACO. There were a lot of things that I did not learn in ACO class which were taught in the follow up courses (like search and seizure warrants, etc.). The public will respect us if we conduct ourselves as professionals instead of being feared as the person who is going to file false charges if the public "rocks the boat" and complains about unprofessional/unethical/illegal conduct by ACOs.

Definitely need a code of conduct, and some kind of oath, to be respected as ACOs.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-19-2009
KQDogman KQDogman is offline
Probationary Trainee
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7
KQDogman is on a distinguished road
Default

I for one, certainly consider animal control a profession. In fact, I believe it is a calling. Every person that I went to basic with, who was doing it as a stepping stone to some other profession in their county wound up quitting and did not achieve their goal anyway. You have to be doing this for the animals. In Virginia, we have our own association to join and we have to get continuing education credits. That is in line with other professions such as nurses and police officers. When my sheriffs' department goes on a raid and there is a dog that needs to be dealt with, they bring a professional with them: me.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-19-2009
stmelangell's Avatar
stmelangell stmelangell is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 4,150
stmelangell is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to stmelangell
Default

Quote:
... consequences for those that violate the standards/laws ...
I think DrNegring brings up the point that's holding a lot of people back ... fear that having a standard will mean that I, personally, won't be able to cut that standard, and "better the devil you know."

Well, despite our long history of co-dependent ACO b.s. when it comes to setting standards and sticking with them, I think we've got to stand up together and say, enough. IS it acceptable to drive drunk as an ACO? IS it acceptable to euthanize by methods that are cheap and easy, but torture for the animal to go through?

I agree with ksbirdhse ... I don't think so. And I think we need to be strong enough to say "I am a professional, and I don't do that."

Where is NACA on this issue, one wonders? We can't be the first ACOs in history to ever say "we need an oath and professional standards that have consequences."
__________________
Winnie

It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts. (J.M. Lawrence)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-19-2009
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Roselle Park, NJ
Posts: 1,200
DRNEGRIN6 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to DRNEGRIN6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stmelangell View Post
I think DrNegring brings up the point that's holding a lot of people back ... fear that having a standard will mean that I, personally, won't be able to cut that standard, and "better the devil you know."
There are some people who won't make the standard but we cannot be afraid to get rid of the few who really should not be working as ACOs. The ones that truly care about their jobs as professionals will find a way to meet the standards. The ones that don't, should not be ACOs in the first place. It will make room for the ones that truly want to be professionals.

I have been looking for work for the past 1.5 years as an ACO. Every time that I apply, the Township wants to hire me as the shelter vet. I took on the position with two groups; one is a Township, the other is an adoption group. I would only be able to work part-time since my first love is veterinary medicine but I really would love to work as a part-time ACO and get out of the office from time to time. I have assisted other ACOs when they have needed it; sometimes, there have been no ACOs available and I have assisted the police and/or fire departments. Getting rid of the ones that can't cut it or don't care about their jobs as a profession, will open up jobs for those of us who do care.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-19-2009
There'sgottabeabetterway There'sgottabeabetterway is offline
Kennel Commander
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northeast Florida
Posts: 304
There'sgottabeabetterway is on a distinguished road
Default

Wow, great thread!!

I definitely consider myself a professional. The State of Florida considers an Animal Control Officer a professional by requiring a 40 hour accreditation and a minimum of 4 hours of continued education every two years. The County that I am employed by, unfortunately does not. Heck we just got rid of the DP (Dog Pound) emblems on our trucks 3 years ago and this is only because we (the department) are now under Code Enforcement. When we were under Public Safety, yes I did say Public Safety, we (the department) were always labeled as the "Dog Pound".

We can compare ourselves to Nurses, LEO's and Fire Fighters. No the training is not as extensive, but I feel that is due to ignorance. All of these professions include psychology in addition to fundamental training. We A.C.O's learn psychology on the job. I have made soooo many mistakes, especially early in my career regarding psychology. With no formal training, I have learned how to deal with people and their personalities from my mistakes. It's been years since I have had to call out LEO for back-up to calm irate animal owners. I will say that I learned from the LEO's, especially the ones that had the "knack".

There are "bad apples" in every profession, that is never going to end. For example just recently in Jacksonville a RN was arrested and charged with elderly endangerment (and something else, I can't exactly recall) due to crushing xantic's (sp, pronounced zantex) pills, mixing with saline and administering the solution intravenously to an elderly patient that refused to take the pills orally.

I find that the two things that "new-be's" are lacking are animal behavior skills and people skills. It amazes me how many I have seen that are actually afraid of dog's, but yet they apply and get hired.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-19-2009
aco30l13's Avatar
aco30l13 aco30l13 is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Santa Clara County, CA.
Posts: 1,009
aco30l13 is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via MSN to aco30l13
Default

Is this job a calling, a job, a carreer or a profession?
For a select few it is a calling. I know that for me personally it is definatly a calling, almost an epiphany. I was searching in a total different direction and this job found me.(That's a story for a whole other post). There are a number out there like me that consider this job a calling. They were drawn here by some force that they can not quite explain, love what they are doing, have emotional ups and downs based on the day at work, much more so than any other job I know, including cops, firefighters, etc.

Is it a job? For a large number of people that unfortuantely is all it is. For others it is also a job. I consider myself fortunate to have a job in this economy. I consider myself very blessed to have a job that I love and am proud to talk to anyone about. I love to tell people what I do and explain what the job entails. I love to tech people that we are not just dogcatchers, or the people that pick up the dead animals, but that we are also counsellors (allowing people to cry on our shoulders), the cop (enforcing the state, county and local laws), The physchologist (trying to figure out what was in that R/P's mind and was it malicious or just stupidity), the physchiatrist (working our way into peoples minds to try and examine why they did something and to change their behaviour), the detective (trying to find out who, what, when, where, why and how), and least of all the dog catcher. There are probably many others that I have missed but these are the ones I tell people about and always walk away smiling when I leave them with their mouths hanging open.

Is this job a career? I guess that depends on your definition of career. If you are using Animakl Control as a training ground to become a cop, leave now and get a real job because it is not the place to be. I consider this a career as this is the first job I have ever had where I can see myself retiring from in many years, still being actively involved and always talking about my experiences. I feel that this career is not for everyone and you truly have to have a love of people and animals. The patience of a saint. The authoritarianism of a dictator. The skills of a politician and the thickest skin of anyone else.

Is animal Control Officer a Profession? I consider it my profession. I have more training than many professionals I know. I continue to upgrade my training and I ma always looking for more. We have a long way to go to be considered a profession by a lot of people but I feel through things that I hear on this board and a number of comments that have been made in this class so far this week that we are well on our way to be recognized as professionals. We need to all get off our collective asses and make sure that we have State organizations so that we can go to our capitols and make the peole recognize Animal Control for what we truly do (How is CALACA doing?). Then we need to get all the state organizations to make the heads of their organizations go to Washington and push for federal recognition. It is time that we all and truly together and make a statement.
Will we lose some people, undoubtedly. Will we weed out some that definately should not be in this profession? Let's hope so. Will we still have some bad people on the job. Of course, every proffession has bad people, cops, firefighters, lawyers, etc.
For me Animal Control is all 4. A calling, a job, a career and a profession. I feel blessd to have found my profession. I feel even more blessed to have found a place like ACOFUNSTOP where I can communicate with people like everyone here. I am glad and pleased to have met a few of the people here on the board and communicated with many. Let's be the grassroots movement of overhauling the reputation of Animal Control Officers. Lets start to organize locally, state level and federally and make sure that people know who and what we are. It starts at an individual level and goes up form there. I know that I am ready to give of my time and help to organize and raise awareness. We need more people, especially here in California to orgainize and get together.
Ok I am passionate and have said enough.
__________________
RLH
Santa Clara County Animal Control
The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs.
-American Indian Proverb

After dark all cats are leopards.
-American Indian Proverb,
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-20-2009
ksbirdhse's Avatar
ksbirdhse ksbirdhse is offline
Moderator
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,285
ksbirdhse is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to ksbirdhse
Default

Quote:
(How is CALACA doing?).
You and Winnie are Pres and VP....
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-20-2009
aco30l13's Avatar
aco30l13 aco30l13 is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Santa Clara County, CA.
Posts: 1,009
aco30l13 is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via MSN to aco30l13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksbirdhse View Post
You and Winnie are Pres and VP....
OK then. I guess I need to take my own advice and get off my collective ass and do some organizing. I will PM Winnie and ask a few questions. I thought I was still secretary. LOL OH well.
__________________
RLH
Santa Clara County Animal Control
The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs.
-American Indian Proverb

After dark all cats are leopards.
-American Indian Proverb,
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-20-2009
ksbirdhse's Avatar
ksbirdhse ksbirdhse is offline
Moderator
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,285
ksbirdhse is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to ksbirdhse
Default

Oh! That's right... Sorry, my apologies for hitting you with a chair.

You are the secretary. I think the VP fell off the planet.

And no, I dont live real close to Marin, but I STILL might be able to find the time to meet you for dinner! As long as you dont bring the Ice princess with you...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-20-2009
aco30l13's Avatar
aco30l13 aco30l13 is offline
Giga-posting ACO
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Santa Clara County, CA.
Posts: 1,009
aco30l13 is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via MSN to aco30l13
Default

I promise not to invite the Q of N. LOL I don't think I have much more than said hello. Reminds me too much of someone I know and just the attitude shows me that we would never agree on much, much less get along. Let me know if you can make it down, do you still have my number?
__________________
RLH
Santa Clara County Animal Control
The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs.
-American Indian Proverb

After dark all cats are leopards.
-American Indian Proverb,
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2005-2007 ACOFunStop.Com. All rights reserved.