Ontario animal control officer

How to Become an Animal Control Officer in Ontario

Last Updated on Oct 2, 2023

Animal control officers may not have an easy job, but they have the most rewarding job an animal lover can get.

Being able to help, protect, and save animals is an honour only a few people can enjoy. Fortunately for you, you can become an animal control officer if you’re interested in the job. For that, you’ll need to complete a training program and volunteer at animal shelters to get the necessary experience

Below we’ll tell you how to become an animal control officer in Ontario.

How to Become an Animal Control Officer in Ontario

Here’s how to become an animal control officer in Canada’s second-biggest province:

Get Your Course and Certification

To get a job as an animal control officer in Ontario, you must be certified by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or OSPCA for short.

The rules differ from province to province, and Ontario’s rules are relatively straight-forward.

To get certified, you must enroll in a training program for animal control officers. You’ll only be able to get the job after you’ve finished the minimum required hours of training.

Do a Generous Share of Volunteering

Before applying for a job as an animal control officer, you must deal with plenty of animals. Only then will you be ready for the job and the challenges that come with it.

To do so, look for animal shelters nearby, and try to log in some hours each week. When you have a good share of experience dealing with animals, you have a higher chance of landing a job. The course only won’t be enough, as all aspiring officers must go through it, anyway.

Hands-on experience is the only thing that’ll set you apart.

Join the Ontario SPCA

Whether by volunteering or looking for an employment chance, joining the Ontario SPCA will put you on the right track to becoming an animal control officer. For starters, you’ll get accustomed to the rules and guidelines of the association before you join as an officer.

On top of that, you’ll get familiar with your future employers, and being a familiar face may make it easier for you to land a job after you get certified.

What Skills Do You Need to Become an Animal Control Officer?

Becoming an animal control officer isn’t all about getting certified. What’s more important is to have the necessary skills for it. Here are some skills you need for the job:

Calm, Patient Temperament

As an animal control officer, you’ll come across many challenging situations. Remaining patient in all cases is essential for the job, along with being calm and empathetic. If you get easily driven by your feelings, it may slow you down when you’re saving an animal in distress.

Aside from patience, you need to be able to deal with all kinds of situations in a humane manner. That includes euthanizing animals that are dangerous or fatally sick.

Excellent Knowledge of Laws and Guidelines

Animal control officers are expected to have excellent knowledge of all laws and guidelines they deal with. 

For example, you must be familiar with all local laws and regulations that handle animal control. 

On top of that, you need to be well aware of all procedures of animal control and their limitations.

Decent Physical Skills

Although physical strength isn’t a condition to get a job as an animal control officer, it’s necessary. You’ll be expected to be able to lift an average of 50 pounds. 

Not only that, but you also may get into situations where it’s necessary to crawl, squat, or even climb to save animals. 

You may want to hit the gym while getting your certification to be ready for the demanding job.

Communication Skills

As an animal control officer, you’ll have to communicate with members of the public, with fellow officers, and with the animals themselves.

For that, you need to be able to communicate professionally and in a reassuring manner. You also need to be familiar with written communication and the guidelines for it.

What Duties to Expect as an Animal Control Officer

Most people only know the rough outlines of an animal control officer’s job. As an officer, you’ll be expected to cover plenty of duties. Here’s a summary of the most important ones.

  • Investigate cases and reports of animal abuse, injured animals, and stray animals.
  • Interview members of the public who’ve been in contact with said animals.
  • Capture and euthanize animals using the allowed weapons according to the department’s local laws.
  • Patrol and look around for stray, dead, or injured animals.
  • Provide minor medical treatment to animals whenever necessary.
  • Testify in legal proceedings when necessary.
  • Do the necessary adjustments and paperwork to move animals to shelters or agencies when there are no found owners.

Take Your Animal Control Officer Training Program Today

If you’re determined to become an animal control officer, now may be a good time to apply for your training program.

The Ontario Guard Training course is entirely online, making it easier to finish from the comfort of your own home. 

The course covers 13 modules, along with quizzes for studying. You’ll find the course’s content in both text and video options, and you only need a device connected to the internet to finish it.

The course doesn’t have a time limit, so you can finish the 13 modules at your own pace. 

Additionally, there’s support available to answer your concerns.

After you’re done with the course, you’ll get a printable certificate.

Final Thoughts

Now, you should know how to become an animal control officer in Ontario. Although the job is kind of demanding, getting certified for it is easier than you think if you already have what it takes to deal with animals in distress.

You only need to finish a training course to get your certification. 

So, if you’ve already decided you want to go down that path, it may be a good idea to book your place.

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