Animal control serves different purposes. It ensures the protection of animals from the dangers they may face at home or in the wild and, at the same time, keeps people safe from dangerous ones. Therefore, animal control agencies enforce laws, mostly county laws, related to the disposition, impoundment, and control of animals, normally done through officers.
We will look at some of the interview questions you should expect when eyeing an animal control job to give you a headstart and prepare well. Take a look at the following questions and ensure that you only offer the best answers:
1. Why Are You Interested In This Job?
I am passionate about animal care and health. I love seeing domesticated and wild animals thriving in their natural or domestic habitats. I have grown up surrounded by animals and, at the moment, have over seven pets, including a German Shepherd and a bulldog, that I care for at home. Therefore, this job will allow me to express my passion for animals, giving me a chance to do what I love.
2. What Are The Roles Of An Animal Control Officer?
An animal control officer has both supervisory and normal responsibilities. They mostly investigate cases of animal abuse, ordinance violation or dangerous stray animals and interview the individuals having contact with the animals. They also take possession of any animal that seems neglected or sick. Other roles include receiving dispatch calls and driving vehicles to location, transporting the repossessed animal to the agency, using departmental weapons to neutralize dangerous animals, teaching the community how to properly take care of animals, and collecting service, license, redemption, and adoption fees.
3. Mention Some Of The Skills Required In Animal Control
To thrive in this field, they need to enjoy working with animals, which explains why people with records of animal abuse cannot stand a chance. They must also be able to compose themselves, understand different animal control procedures, respond to different distress calls, euthanize dangerous, unwanted or sick animals and be proficient in several software, including Microsoft Office Suite. Other qualities include teamwork, learning and recognizing common illnesses, communicating with other team members, and learning and identifying animals’ behavioral and physical characteristics.
4. Mention The Challenges That You Faced During Your Last Role. How Did You Overcome Them?
While working in my previous facility, we realized that there was widespread rabies infection among dogs. We would receive over 100 calls daily from people who had been bit by stray dogs with rabies and collected carcasses of over 30 dogs daily, some of who had been visibly beaten to death after biting the nearby residents. Therefore, there was always work to do, and we also had to be careful not to be part of the statistics. We worked tirelessly, neutralizing such animals as fast as possible before they met the wrath of villagers and asking everyone to stay safe till we had the issue under control. We also facilitated the vaccination of all dogs in the region and brought orders in less than two weeks.
5. Mention Your Daily Routine
This job can get very demanding. All in all, my day normally revolves around investigating cases of animal abuse and ordinance violation, taking possession of neglected or sick animals, receiving dispatch calls and driving the assigned vehicle to the location, patrolling designated areas, teaching community groups on proper care of animals, testifying as an expert witness, using department weapons to euthanize or capture animals and transporting them to the agency.
6. Briefly Mention Your Experience
This is my first try at an animal control job, and therefore, I can’t say that I have much experience in this field. However, I have cared for pets ever since I was young and currently stay with 12 cats and four dogs. I am also part of the local animal orphanage and have been at the forefront of several animal rights campaigns. I believe that my passion and experience in taking care of animals will come in handy in this job.
7. Mention A Strategy And Mindset Needed When Working In Animal Control
The best strategy for anyone in this field is heavily investing in teamwork since animal control cannot be done independently. Some animals may be hard to capture and call for multi-organizational effort, including the state’s wildlife service. Being open to working with different people and knowing how to go about it will definitely come in handy. You will also need a passion mindset, which allows you to build a good career upon your passion and take care of animals.
8. What Is The Main Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
I believe that my passion for working with animals overpowers most of the challenges this field brings forth. However, I have to point out that I have a phobia for snakes and other reptiles, and therefore, I normally find it hard to actively play a role in teams sent to capture or euthanize them. I hope that I will finally manage to work on my fear.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In This Job?
Rescuing an animal from abusive contact or a situation of distress and seeing them grow and get healthy in a different environment gives me the urge to continue doing what I do daily. I have managed to take possession of various domesticated animals and assign them new homes through the agency, and the results have been amazing. I am happy that I get to make a difference every day.
10. Mention A Time That You Failed And The Lesson You Learned
At one point, I didn’t take the necessary precautions when neutralizing a stray dog and survived a biting. It looked harmless, weak, and hungry from the start, so I did not expect it to lash out. I was caught off-guard when it did. However, I had good reflexes and moved my hand away in time, only getting a small bite. I have since learned to be careful with animals, regardless of how they look, and take extra precautions.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suitable Candidate For This Role?
I have worked in the animal control field for seven years now with different agencies and government institutions. I have witnessed and taken part in neutralizing some of the most lethal animals in the country and used all the departmental weapons needed during such experiences. Therefore, I am better placed for an animal control job since I understand the rigors and precautions required whenever I am out on a mission. Having worked in different agencies and institutions also means that I know how to work in team settings, which is essential for such a job.
12. What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
I have been on several animal rescue and repossession operations, but nothing warms my heart more than seeing a frail animal grow into a big, healthy pet. Therefore, my greatest achievement was joining this field since I have managed to impact the lives of different animals and families. We have managed to put other domesticated animals in foster care homes, bringing joy and love to the families while ensuring that the former are cared for.
13. Do You Know Some Of The Physical Requirements In This Field?
I understand that animal control is hectic, and therefore, one needs to be in the best physical condition. I know that I should be able to lift to 50 pounds at a time, walk and navigate through uneven terrains regardless of the weather conditions, and perform a range of movements, including walking, squatting, crawling, and stooping. Lastly, I should also be in good shape to manage all the physical duties required when investigating locations and animals.
14. What Are Some Of The Safety Precautions You Undertake When On An Animal Capture Mission?
Before going on such a mission, we normally weigh the level of danger involved. An agitated animal will obviously be more dangerous and, therefore, calls for extra care as opposed to a relaxed animal. We often advise whoever made the distress call not to agitate or upset the animal further. During the mission, we always keep a safe distance from the animal in the event that it lashes out or comes charging at us. Lastly, we use the right number of tranquilizers and the most viable neutralizing weapon depending on the animal.
15. Can You Tell Us More About Your Education And Certifications?
I decided to join animal control immediately after high school since I knew where my passion lay.I have a high school diploma which I obtained upon finishing my final year. I took some time to complete the on-the-job training when I joined this career. I also learned more about animal care and the different surrounding legislation, which has made my work easier. Lastly, I have a valid driver’s license and a National Animal Control Association certificate. I am definitely qualified for this position.
16. What Makes You A Good Team Worker?
I believe that I am a people person. I love meeting and working with different people on projects and assignments. I also know how to respect boundaries while keeping everyone on their toes and motivating them to give their best and achieve their potential. Fortunately, I had worked with different teams before and therefore learned how to build rapport, manage expectations and go all out for my teammates. I am confident in my ability to blend in well with different teams and do my best not to let my team members down.
17. What Is Your Favorite Animal?
I have been accustomed to dogs since I grew up on a farm. Therefore, I believe that my best animal is the dog. I have six at the moment, and I am in the process of adopting another. I generally enjoy evening strolls with them after work and always look forward to seeing them at the end of the day. I also love horses, for the same reason why I love dogs growing up on a farm. I believe that I will get to own a few when I finally relocate back home.
18. Are There Animals You Are Afraid Of?
My time in animal control has taught me that one does not have to be afraid of an animal, whether wild, domesticated or stray, as long as they take necessary precautions. Even with this in mind, I am still not fond of reptiles, such as snakes, which I grew up fearing. I have been working on my phobia of such animals, given that I interact with them almost all the time, but one thing still stands out: I do have a long way to go. All in all, I am still working on it and hope that I will finally get there.
19. Do You Have Any Abilities That Will Benefit Us?
I have lots of abilities that this institution will definitely find useful. I am a good listener and problem solver, which is greatly required in this field. I am also a good observer and can easily recognize signs of abuse, sicknesses, and neglect in different domesticated animals. I believe that all these factors, combined with my ability to work under pressure, will come in handy and allow me to succeed at this job. I am looking forward to a quality experience.
20. What Are Some Of The Knowledge Elements Required In This Field?
An animal control specialist or officer must have a vast knowledge of court procedures, policies, strategies, government regulations, applicable laws, legal codes, agency rules, executive orders, and the democratic political process. Other lesser fields include national security operations on protecting data, property, people, and institutions; rules of composition and grammar, and principles and techniques of adequate personal and customer service. All these come in handy in their daily operations and set different animal control workers apart.
21. Can You Describe Your Work Style?
I take great pride in my work style as it normally gives me great joy and results. I am generally honest, trustworthy, dependable, ethical, and responsible. I also fulfill my obligations all the time and accept criticism, which allows me to get better at this job. I know and can help others deal with stressful situations, keep their emotions in check, avoid aggressiveness and work well with others regardless of their condition. Lastly, my work style involves going all out for my team members while keeping them on their toes and ensuring that their eyes are on the target. I am happy with the results it has brought me this far.
22. Have You Ever Testified In A Court Of Law?
I have been called an expert witness several times in my career. However, there is one iconic case I would love to talk about. I noticed a dog tied to a pole outside the house during one of my routine checks, which caught my attention. It was emaciated to the point that I could see its ribs and was visibly in pain. I got a warrant, but the house owner became aggressive and accused me of trespassing when I approached. I knew I had to do something about the dog, and after introducing myself, I took possession of the dog and gave the house owner a court summons a day later. I testified as to the condition we found the dog and the results of further examination. The dog owner was fined and barred from ever adopting a pet again.
23. When Do You Normally Ask For A Pet Owners Signature?
There are different reasons why we would need a pet owner to sign a document. These include admission or denial of responsibility when obtaining consent or permission to take action and for relinquishment of all rights to any animals on one’s property. However, it is also worth noting that a property owner is allowed to consult an attorney before appending a signature.
24. How Would You Serve A Search Warrant?
I have issued hundreds of search warrants in my career. However, I normally ensure that it is done professionally and with the utmost respect since even though it guarantees me the power to infringe on someone’s privacy, they still deserve to have their dignity respected. I usually knock and announce my presence unless it is a limited, emergency situation. Once the property owner steps outside, I give them the search warrant and only search where it permits.
25. Do You Know Some Of The Rights Guaranteed To Property Owners During Searches Of Routine Checks?
Yes. I understand that pet or property owners have a number of rights that must be respected during searches or when conducting routine checks. They are required by law not to say anything beyond their identity, owing to their right to remain silent. They can also choose not to sign anything unless it is a court summon and resist searches without any proper search warrants.
We have exhausted some of the questions you should expect in your upcoming animal control interview. Ensure that you are well prepared before stepping into the interview room.