Animal Cruelty Investigator
Animal Cruelty Investigation Career Overview
More than 15,000 professionals currently work at animal control and animal cruelty investigation departments with state, regional, and local government organizations. They receive field calls about potential animal mistreatment from the public, conduct on-site investigations, and refer findings to police or other law enforcement agencies for arrests or legal remedies. They may also control dangerous or unattended animals.
Animal Cruelty Investigator Training & Education
Many animal cruelty investigators rise through the ranks of local or state law enforcement agencies. To pursue a career as an animal cruelty investigator, consider coursework in law enforcement or veterinary science, or enroll in a related criminal justice degree program. If you can join your local police department, it's a good idea to let your supervisors know you would like additional training or assignment to the canine police squad or animal investigation arm of the detective branch of the organization. Often you can volunteer to work in a section of the department that works with animal cases until you're officially appointed there. You can also volunteer at a local pound or animal rescue center for direct experience.
Some trade schools offer courses in animal law, courtroom testimony practice, breeders and the law, animal fighting and the law, photographic documentation, livestock investigation, and other criminal justice courses related to animal investigation.
Job Outlook for Animal Cruelty Investigators
Job openings for animal care and service workers are expected to grow 19 percent over the 2006 to 2016 decade, faster than the average for all occupations. You can apply for these jobs at local, regional, or state police agencies. *The average annual wage for animal cruelty investigators is $31,000. However, earnings vary by location, agency, or experience.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics