Becoming a Dog Control Officer in New Zealand is a unique and challenging role that requires a combination of skills, education and personal attributes. If you have a love for animals, enjoy helping people and have the ability to handle stressful situations, then a career as a Animal Control Officer may be right for you.
In this role, you will interact with dog owners from all walks of life, and be responsible for investigating complaints, enforcing dog control laws and educating the public on safe dog practices. You will also be responsible for managing animal shelters and caring for the dogs in your care, including administering medication and carrying out euthanasia when necessary.
To become a Dog Control Officer, there are no formal qualifications required, however, having a New Zealand Certificate in Regulatory Compliance (Core Knowledge)(Level 3) can be beneficial. Nevertheless, most local councils offer on-the-job training to help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary for the role.
Key skills required for a Dog Control Officer include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to handle stress, good judgment and investigative skills, and a good understanding of dog behavior. You should also have a friendly, patient and non-judgmental approach when dealing with dog owners and members of the public.
Your day-to-day duties will involve:
Investigating complaints: As a Dog Control Officer, you will be responsible for investigating complaints related to dangerous dogs, barking, wandering, and stock control. You will need to be able to approach each complaint objectively and determine the best course of action.
Seizing dogs: In some cases, you may be required to seize a dangerous dog and take it into your care. This can be a highly emotional and stressful situation, and it’s important to be able to handle this professionally and calmly.
Providing education: As a Dog Control Officer, you will play an important role in educating the public on safe dog practices, particularly children and adults. This could include running group sessions or delivering classroom presentations.
Animal shelter management: You may also be responsible for managing an animal shelter, which will require you to clean dog pens, feed the dogs and carry out any necessary maintenance.
Euthanasia: Unfortunately, not all dogs can be re-homed and it may be necessary to carry out euthanasia on animals that are deemed dangerous or unsuitable for adoption.
Stock control: You may also be responsible for removing stock from roads and investigating stock-wandering complaints.
Temperament testing: Some dogs that come into your care may need to be temperament tested for adoption suitability. This requires a good understanding of dog behavior to determine the best outcome for each animal.
To become a Dog Control Officer, you should first approach your local council to enquire about available positions. Alternatively, you can search for positions on websites such as Trade Me or Seek.
Being a Dog Control Officer can be a highly rewarding career, providing opportunities to make a positive difference in your community, meet new people and face new challenges every day. If you have the skills and personal attributes necessary, a career as a Dog Control Officer may be right for you.