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Old 01-03-2011
KBhomes KBhomes is offline
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Default Seeking to become an ACO.

Hello, I was referred to this forum by a close friend who things I would find the answer I'm looking for here!

My city recently posted an ad seeking applicants for an entry-level ACO. (See the ad below)

I feel this would be the perfect next step for me. I know this is becoming an increasingly competitive profession, and so my questions:

(1) do you think my qualifications are what they're looking for
(2) If so, what can I do to correctly advertise myself and my skills through my appearance and my application/resume.

I am a certified obedience trainer, and have been running my business for about 3 years now. www.barkforhelp.com. Before that I ran a licensed rescue/training program that was free to the community. I also took in many fosters at that time as well, and trained each one before their adoption. My 'career' in animals extends even further back. As a child I worked summers dog walking and pet sitting for the local community. I have volunteered at shelters all my life, and spend alot of time training the shelter dogs.

I have earned a degree in Dog Training, and human relations and communication. I have experience with basic medical needs, and the distribution of medications.

I am a 20 year old female. I do not have any paid experience as far as working for other pet stores, clinics, trainers etc, as I have created a living for myself through my own business, and there was never a need. I do with to continue my work with the community, but I feel that these years of experience were only leading up to something greater. And while my ability to work with animals founded a business for me, I want to take it to the next level.

Do I have the necessary qualifications for this entry level position?

http://www.cityofsedalia.com/filesto...ol_Officer.pdf






Animal Control Officer


The City of Sedalia, Missouri Police Department is seeking a responsible individual for the position of Animal Control Officer. This position is responsible for maintaining public safety and enforcing animal control ordinances.

Starting salary range: $24,747.17 - $27,840.57.

Benefits include: Paid holidays and leave time; life, health, dental and vision insurance; benefit cafeteria plan and retirement.


Applicants must: be 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen, minimum High School or GED, have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions and be an insurable driver under City insurance.

Full time employee, entry-level, government and military.

http://www.cityofsedalia.com/content/206/default.aspx
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011
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Way back when I got my start, I was in the street department at that city, and I was friends with one of the ACOs. When the opening came along, I had 0 experience, but a good work record and connections. When I took my second position years under my belt and a advanced ACO certification. At my current location I had known my direct supervisor for several years before the position came open, and he called me at home to let me know it was available. Iím not saying that is what got me the job, but it definitely didnít hurt.

You have as qualified, if not more qualified, than many new ACOs I have met, so I would say go for it and see what happens. If it doesnít work out this time, then I would suggest possibly volunteering at the shelter or otherwise making yourself known to them. That way, when another position comes along, you wonít be just another resume in the stack.
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Old 01-03-2011
acofred acofred is offline
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First, I would ask, is your expertise pretty much limited to dogs, or do you possess substantial knowledge about many species which you may be required to respond to? Being an "Animal Planet junkie", or whatever media you choose to learn about animals, is helpful. I also pick up any books I can find on the bargain rack. Many, MANY ACOs I know are deathly afraid of snakes, for example, and repeat the old cliche of "the only good snake is a dead snake." Basically it's because of ignorance. But the more you know, the more you can educate the public, whether it's snakes or skunks or salamanders. And you thereby promote the healthy coexistence of people and animals.

Second, I warn you that this job is for a certain kind of person. It's not always feelgood rescue type stuff. You will see things that anger and disgust you, and make you hate mankind. You will have your heart broken regularly, and chances are nobody in your circle understands what it's like. Many will tell you to "suck it up." Many will call you a dog-murderer, either truly maliciously or thinking that it's some kind of joke. You may or may not have the respect of the public OR those you work for. You may possibly find yourself the victim of politics, corruption, or worse (drnegrin can tell you all about that). You may be ambushed by the media and made to look like a buffoon, a cruel bastard, or worse. Once in a while, you will remember why you do the job; when you reunite a family with their lost pet, or you find a forever home for an animal that previously literally didn't have a friend in the world. But those may be few and far between.
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Old 01-03-2011
KBhomes KBhomes is offline
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I feel that I am one of the special persons who has not only the compassion and knowledge needed, but the resilience to be hit over and over again, time after time, and bounce back. Challenges and pain in my life and my work have made me a confident, and strong person, who is emotional and caring, but poised and stable enough to know what to do in a time of crises, and make snap decisions. I can make hard decisions and do my job even when my heart is breaking. I retain all information presented, and am able to utilize it no matter the situation.

I do have knowledge of other creatures aside from dogs. I was an 'animal planet junkie' growing up, but now I use that channel as an education tool. I have bookshelves filled with books and DVD's that I have compiled and read on all animals, basic veterinary care, and behavior modification. I am continuously studying from every faucet I can find. I do this for me and my business, and I do truly enjoy it. Since I was young this is who I was. I started on horses, raised animals, worked summers at local dairy farms, I've birthed calves, and euthanized barn yard kittens who had been run over by farm equipment. I grew up with a family who neutered their dogs on the kitchen table because we WERE the town vet.

I feel I am a stable, well rounded candidate, but I don't know exactly what information I need to present, and how. I don't want to be lost in a stack of resumes... I want to make an impression the day I hand it in. What kind of person are they looking for, and how can I dress to show them I'm the right choice for the job, before they even see my resume?

I feel that I would be a great asset to their team, and I'm ready to commit.
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Old 01-03-2011
KBhomes KBhomes is offline
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I have always wanted to work with the community, and even toyed with the idea of being a teacher. I toyed with being a professional speaker. I love sharing information and speaking in public, and I am a very passionate speaker.

That is another quality that I have been able to use in my business while conducting group classes and hosting free training seminars.

I am just so sure that this is a profession in which all of my natural skills and passions can be fine tuned and honed, and best utilized. This is the first opening for this position I've seen in the 2 years I've lived in MO, and I just don't want to let it slip away!
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Old 01-03-2011
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You will ned to communicate in some fashion that you are emotionally stable enough to catch the animal, care for it, clean up after it and if/when necessary, kill it. One of my ACOs is a good officer, really concerned about the animals, but she gets all emo on me when one of the animals she has been working with gets euthanized. I have had her call me several times crying, telling me how she canít do this any more and how she is not going to put forth any more effort because one of her special animals was euthanized or got sick or something.

You have to let them know you can handle viewing and working with the neglect without getting all emo. Supervisors donít want to waste time calming down emotional employees, and city managers dot not want to get calls from citizens because the ACO got all wicked on them.

If you can convey to them on the resume that you know, or are willing to learn and abide by, the legal system and established procedures, youíre not going to want to do things your way, that you can remain calm and professional in stressful situations, that you are looking for a career and not just a job, then that is the resume I would give a close look.
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Old 01-03-2011
1xOscar88 1xOscar88 is offline
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While working in the shelter at my introduction to this profession, I started at the bottom wrung and spent many long hours cleaning poop and holding for the euth tech. After hours, 3 nights a week, I went to college and received my required PC 832 certificates. Once I had that, I was offered several better positions.

"Getting Too Old" makes a ~very~ valid point re" emotional stability. Sometimes this job is very tough to do. In one community I worked as a resident officer, A "Dog Catcher" was the most hated person, even over a cop or park ranger. There were very few "thank you" and many a "You stole my dog and killed it". (The whole time you remember the look on the mangled dogs face with the broken back that you got out of traffic a week before).

I had to deal with many other officers who took this job only to "help" animals, and refused to euth. them when it was time. This placed a strain on the rest of us who HAD to do the dirty work to make room and stay legal in case the State Humane Society stopped by to inspect.

If you are curious to what to expect in the life of an ACO, see if you can do a ride along for a few days.
Good luck to you!
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Old 01-03-2011
1xOscar88 1xOscar88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
Many, MANY ACOs I know are deathly afraid of snakes, and repeat the old cliche of "the only good snake is a dead snake." Basically it's because of ignorance. But the more you know, the more you can educate the public, whether it's snakes or skunks or salamanders.
(hijacked for a moment!)

My 2nd position with the County was a roving position in the desert. I OFTEN would get calls for Mojave Greens, Rattlesnakes, Sidewinders. Etc. I do not believe that they should necessarily be re-released due to the danger, (Esp. Mojave Green's) HOWEVER, I knew of a Seargent at the Sheriffs department who had connections to someone who would milk them for hospital anti venom. Though it was often out of my way to get them to him, and I did have to float a couple extra lock boxes while awaiting pick up, I believe that this was a much greater good than just offing them.

I also knew a man that would use the skins for hat bands. If I got a road kill one, that had a good sized section of skin, I'd drop it off to him to use.

And lastly, I had a location to drop off all the red racers, rat snakes, and non poisonous I could get, to a mans wood pile.

Thinking "outside the box" in situations like this can be benificial to many.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Caninelaw Caninelaw is offline
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Am I out of touch or something? $11.89 an hour to max of $13.38 an hour seems a little low to me. Seems like most of the ACO jobs I'm seeing lately are around this range. Even that max pay wouldn't even cover my monthly mortgage payment.
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Old 01-03-2011
KBhomes KBhomes is offline
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I appreciate all of your advice! I will work on my resume. What should I wear to drop it off/interview? Is matching stationary too overboard?

Sedalia is a fairly small town, and they have very little toward animal care. In fact, they're one and only shelter is run by tween-agers who don't care about the animals and leaves them to lie in their own mess all day while they smoke in the office. They have no yard at all to run in, and the who system in set up behind the waste treatment plat (on the plant's property) on the south side of town. And to be honest, I've never seen an ACO in Sedalia, and the only ones I've ever been in contact with while running my rescue (prodding for connections!) were out of Kansas City, 2 hours away! Even at the shelter I've only seen ACOs from Kansas City. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to think there's not much left in the budget for a larger salary.
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