If you love animals, and you care deeply about how they’re treated, and would like a challenging and rewarding job helping to protect them, you might consider working in one of several animal protection careers.
For many people, there’s nothing more disturbing than seeing a dog, cat, or other animal that’s been neglected or abused by its owner. Domestic animals are dependent on humans for almost everything, and it’s sad when people fail in their responsibilities to the animals in their care.
This is where animal protection agencies, or humane law enforcement, often steps in to aid these animals in need. There are also humane educators who work to educate the public about the correct treatment of animals, and how to create a positive environment where they’re treated with compassion and respect.
Professionals in the field of animal protection are also involved in helping to ensure the welfare of wildlife, and preventing animal overpopulation on public and private lands. Animal control officers are also included under the umbrella of this career category, and usually work in urban areas as more and more wildlife find themselves living in our cities and towns.
Animal protection is often a law enforcement issue
Humane law enforcement is another job that’s included here. This type of law enforcement can be provided to a community by private agencies, or by agencies of federal and local governments - or both - depending on the jurisdiction. Some of the officers involved in humane law enforcement include animal control officers, humane law enforcement officers, and regular police officers when the need arises.
The duties performed by these officers are varied, and can also be influenced by the jurisdiction in question. Some humane law enforcement officers go out on regular patrols in the community looking for violators of humane laws and statutes. They also respond to complaints relating to the treatment of animals in the community, and sometimes issue summonses, or even make arrests if the situation warrants it.
Animal cruelty investigators are another important element in helping to protect animals of all kinds. When someone reports that a pet or other animal is being abused, neglected, or mistreated in any way, these “first responders” are sent out to investigate the situation. Often the animal or animals in question need to be rescued, and a full investigation is undertaken to determine if legal action is warranted, and against whom.
Unfortunately, there are some in our society who feel like mistreating animals is no big deal, and not really against the law. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Neglecting or abusing pets or other animals can land you in prison, as everyone learned when a high-profile NFL quarterback recently served prison time for engaging in dog fighting activities on his property.
If you’re interested in a career in animal protection, you might start by contacting the Humane Society in your area. They’re often looking for volunteers to help with a variety of tasks, and this can be a great way to network, gain valuable experience, and find out if this is something you’d like to do. Just remember that this can be difficult work at times, because you’ll be coming into contact with animals that have been severely mistreated and abused, which can be a hard thing to witness for any animal lover.
But most people who work in this field receive a great deal of satisfaction knowing that they’re helping to protect pets and other creatures who can’t defend themselves. After all, animals deserve an opportunity to live healthy, happy lives that are free of fear, pain, or suffering.
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