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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3305

Class Designation: Civil Service

January 2015

Representation Unit: Torrance Municipal Employees
Organization AFSCME-LOCAL 1117 


Animal Control Officer


Under general supervision, enforces ordinances and laws pertaining to animals and issues citations; responds to public inquiries about animal control; handles wild and vicious animals; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Distinguished from the Animal Control Supervisor in that the incumbent does not supervise the enforcement of ordinances and laws pertaining to animals. This is a journey level class, distinguished from the Services Officer in that the incumbent is primarily responsible for enforcement of State laws and City ordinances dealing the care, treatment, licensing and impounding of animals within the City. At this level, incumbents work with only occasional instruction or assistance; work is reviewed upon completion for overall results. Work involves frequent interpretation of policies, procedures and guidelines, and may involve the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives general supervision from the Animal Control Supervisor. May provide technical supervision, which includes assigning, reviewing, coordinating and training to temporary employees and volunteers but this task is ancillary to the primary focus of the classification.

Examples Of Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties however; they are not all-inclusive.
  • Receives and responds to inquiries and complaints from citizens involving animals throughout the City.
  • Patrols City to enforce animal control ordinances and laws.
  • Investigates cases of animal abuse and neglect.
  • Uses controlled substances to tranquilize or medicate animals.
  • Maintains records of violation notices, crime reports, lost and found animals, and humane education.
  • Captures both domestic and wild animals, using equipment and methods appropriate for animal abatement and control; may require chasing and climbing fences.
  • Rescues trapped and injured animals; impounds animals, collects and disposes of dead animals. Inspects commercial and private kennels, pet stores, and pet and grooming shops to ensure conformance to laws and ordinances; explains violations and need for correction of poor sanitary conditions, inadequate food and over-crowded conditions.
  • Assists in the training of new and subordinate personnel.
  • Performs daily safety inspections of equipment.
  • Responds to emergency calls during work and after normal working hours.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties
  • May be called upon to testify in court.
  • May use computerized database to enter or retrieve information, such as animal license, ownership, quarantine, or bite records. 
  • Maintains and cleans equipment and tools; maintains clean and orderly workplace.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • State and local laws and ordinances related to animals.
  • Animal behaviors, habits, care, feeding and shelter of various wild and domestic animals.
  • Common infectious and contagious diseases of animals, their symptoms and first aid treatment.
  • Equipment and methods appropriate for wildlife abatement and control.
  • Uses and types of equipment carried on an animal control vehicle for various types of field calls.
  • Effective safety principals and practices.
  • City policies and procedures affecting departmental operations.
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to

  • Handle calls, questions and complaints in an appropriate manner.
  • Handle domestic and wild animals of various sizes and temperaments properly and humanely.
  • Use controlled substances to tranquilize or medicate animals.
  • Use first aid to procedures and treatments.
  • Identify and describe various types and breeds of domestic and wild animals.
  • Quickly assess a situation and take appropriate action under stressful and emergency conditions.
  • Work alone under adverse condition including dangerous locations and in proximity to sick and injured animals and irate citizens.
  • Manage multiple tasks, as well as determine priorities and adjust work schedule accordingly
  • Work effectively and efficiently with a minimum of supervision.
  • Act independently, exercise sound judgment within established guidelines and maintain confidentiality.
  • Deal tactfully and effectively with the public.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions.
  • Read a street map to locate field calls.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with co-workers, the public, other City departments and individuals from other agencies.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • Work a variety of shifts including weekends and holidays.
  • License or Certificate

    Must possess a valid State of California driver's license of the appropriate class.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge and skills required is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:

    Graduation from high school or possession of a GED Certificate. One year of full-time paid experience performing animal care, maintenance, or control of domestic or wild animals and dealing with the public. Experience should include recognition of animal behavior and disease and first aid treatment of animals.

    Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:

    Requires the ability to frequently drive to specific locations; work outdoors and possible exposure to variable weather conditions. Frequently required to walk, stand, stoop, kneel and use arms, legs, and back to lift and or move up to 50 pounds. Requires back and leg coordination to stoop, kneel, crouch, bend and crawl. Requires use of arms to reach and carry and use of hands to operate, finger and handle objects and controls. Requires color and visual perception and discrimination; as well as oral communications ability. Requires the ability to accurately perceive sounds.

    Career Ladder Information:

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Animal Control Supervisor.