Animal Cruelty Investigator
When probable abuse or neglect has been reported, animal cruelty investigators look into the living conditions of pets and other animals. Veterinarians, animal control agencies, neighbors, or other observers are just a few of the people who might report cases of abuse or neglect.
What does an investigator of animal cruelty do?
People who work as animal cruelty investigators frequently have the following employment responsibilities:
- Look into allegations of animal abuse or neglect.
- Examine the surroundings and the animals for indications of abuse or neglect.
- interviewing those who look after animals
- Compile complete records of your findings, gather testimony, and take pictures of any injuries or living conditions.
- Make arrests of animal abusers and/or seize abused animals
What a Day Is Like
When there are concerns about animal abuse or neglect, animal cruelty investigators look into the matter. A number of people may have suspicions of animal abuse or neglect: a veterinarian or other animal care provider may raise concerns; an animal control agency representative may do so after receiving a call about a stray or dangerous pet; or family members, neighbors, or uninformed bystanders may contact police departments to report seeing animal abuse or neglect.
Animal control detectives go to the scene of the abuse or neglect when there are concerns raised. Animal control detectives look into minor cases of poor pet care, moderate cases of pet maltreatment by owners, and serious cases including things like possible dog fighting rings. The animal cruelty investigator may actually be able to make arrests in connection with animal abuse or seize abused or neglected animals if they work for law enforcement.
The task of creating thorough documentation of the evidence acquired during investigations falls to the animal cruelty investigator. He or she compiles witness accounts, speaks with the people in charge of looking after the animal, inspects the animals for signs of abuse, inspects the living arrangements for symptoms of neglect, and takes pictures of any injuries or unsuitable living conditions. This evidence is utilized by the judge to decide whether to permanently remove an animal from its home or to issue verdicts in circumstances of extreme and/or intentional animal cruelty.
Regular Work Hours
Although they often work full-time hours, animal cruelty investigators’ work schedules might be unpredictable. They could be expected to work after hours, on the weekends, and on holidays in addition to their regular workdays to gather paperwork and look into urgent reports of animal cruelty.
Investigators of animal cruelty may work for a variety of organizations involved in criminal justice or animal rights. They might work for law enforcement organizations and perform duties akin to those of police officers. They might work for nonprofit organizations like PETA, humane societies, or animal shelters. They might also work for local, state, or federal governments’ animal control programs.
How to Become an Investigator of Animal Cruelty
Some people who want to work as animal cruelty detectives can get the job with just a high school diploma. You typically need to start in entry-level employment in animal welfare organizations if you want to excel in the area without a college credential or degree. For instance, you can decide to work as a phone operator for an animal control organization or volunteer at animal shelters. You might be able to advance into positions as an animal cruelty investigator with time and professional expertise working with animals.
On the other hand, some investigators who specialize in animal abuse avoid the need for voluntary work and entry-level experience by seeking tertiary education in the area. Investigators of animal cruelty may need to have the same licenses as law enforcement officials in some areas. If your state has laws similar to these, you must enroll in and finish police academy training. Aspiring animal cruelty investigators can use the period between graduating from high school and enrolling in the academy to study more about animal care, but many states only accept applicants who are 21 or older.
Some people decide to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in veterinary, zoological, or animal sciences. These degrees give students a foundation for comprehending the needs of animals and how to care for them. Because you will have experience in both animal care and law enforcement, this education will be helpful to you in your future profession. Others might decide to major in criminal justice or law so that they can build stronger cases against alleged animal abusers once they graduate.
Pay Information for Animal Cruelty Investigators
The information below will help you learn more about this profession. The editorial material and recommendations on this page are based on our research, while the income and growth information is based on newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Low Range of National Annual Salary: $26,350; Average Range: $35,330; High Range: $53,190
- nationwide minimum wage
- Low Range: $13, Average: $17, High Range: $26
How do pay for Animal Cruelty Investigators compare to those for similar positions nationwide? According to the most recent statistics on employment across the country, animal cruelty investigators can earn an average yearly pay of $35,330, or $17 per hour. It is therefore a Salary Above Average. Depending on the state you live in and even when just starting out, they can make as little as $26,350, or $13 per hour.
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